Visa Innovation – SSVF
Visa innovation: Supporting international education and enhancing integrity
Today the Department of Immigration and Border Protection introduced a simplified student visa framework (SSVF).
The main changes under the SSVF include:
- a single student visa (subclass 500) for all students, regardless of their course of study
- the global roll out of online visa lodgement to all international students
- a new targeted approach to managing immigration integrity.
The existing eight Student visa subclasses are being reduced to two—the Student visa (Subclass 500) and the Student Guardian visa (Subclass 590). Online visa lodgement will also make the application process simpler for students and education agents, while creating efficiencies in processing.
Importantly, the SSVF will also enhance integrity by delivering a more targeted approach to risk management. All students are subject to the same core visa requirements such as being a Genuine Temporary Entrant and meeting health and character criteria. Under the SSVF, a combined country and education provider risk framework guides a student’s evidentiary requirements.
‘The Department needs to be satisfied that students are genuine and they and their accompanying family members can support their study and living expenses while in Australia,’ said David Wilden, First Assistant Secretary, Immigration and Citizenship Policy Division.
Students can enter where they’re from and where they’re intending to study using an online tool on the Department’s website. Results will be used to help a student determine their likely financial or English language evidentiary requirements and guide them through the online application process,’ Mr Wilden said.
The move to more digital services will not only benefit students, but combined with other changes in the programme will result in expected red tape savings of $24.1m per year and reduce student visa regulations from 145 pages to eight.
The SSVF will support the sustainable growth of Australia’s international education sector by making the process of applying for a Student visa simpler to navigate for genuine students, reducing red tape for business and delivering a more targeted approach to immigration integrity.