Australia Reverts International Students’ Post-Study Work Rights 

Australia Post Study

Following the policy change last year, Australia has announced its decision to adjust its post-study work rights on international student visa applications. The new development, which is to start in mid-2024, is to ensure that the main purpose of visas is education and not obtaining permanent residency.

This, according to Reuters, is in a bid to reduce the population of immigrants, as there was a surge from 510,000 between 2022 and 2023. With this move, the number is projected to decrease to 250,000 in 2024 – 25 and 2025 – 26.

According to the announcement by Australia’s Department of Education last week, the former post-study work visa durations for undergraduates, master’s, and PhD students in selected programs, which allow them to stay for up to 4-6 years depending on their level of study, will be reverted to the original 2-3 years.

Why the New Australia Post-Study Policy?

As of mid-2023, Australia planned to extend international graduates’ post-study employment rights, which would grant graduates with degrees in specific fields where there are skill shortages an extra two years of temporary graduate visa. This was to “strengthen the pipeline to skilled work.”

In addition to the current one to two-year post-study work rights, the extension is offered to qualified students who reside, study, and work in regional areas.

But in 2024, the strategy was reevaluated in light of Australia’s altered economic climate and other factors.

According to a Reuters report, the country plans to “tighten visa rules for international students and low-skilled workers as the government looks to overhaul what it said was a “broken” migration system.”

Also, according to the Australian government, the new policy change will serve as part of a broader migration strategy to improve the integrity and quality of international education.

The strategy involves introducing a “Genuine Student Test” to replace the previous “Genuine Temporary Entrant” eligibility requirement. This will strictly regulate the number of student visa applications processed, raise English language test score requirements, reduce the list of approved courses, and apply restrictions on course switching.

The IELTS score will increase from 6 to 6.5 as the new requirement for the Temporary Graduate visa. Furthermore, the application age limit has been reduced from 50 to 35 years old, and post-study work privileges cannot be extended again unless the candidate completes their school in a regional area.

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