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International student numbers set to boost after India gets higher immigration rating

Source: Public Domain

Where risk ratings have changed, the evidence required for English language capability and financial capacity may also change.

For student visa purposes, India was recently moved from high risk to moderate risk by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

This will boost number of international students says Melbourne-based education and immigration consultant Bina Shah.

The number of international students in Australia hit a record high in 2016 with more than 60,000 Indian students choosing Australia as a country to study abroad.

Ms Shah believes this number is likely to go up with Australia’s Department for Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) moving India up from Level 3 – High Risk to Level 2 – Moderate Risk in their immigration risk ratings.

The combined immigration risk outcomes of the student’s education provider and country of citizenship are used in Australia’s Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) to guide the level of financial and English language capacity related documentation that the student needs to provide with their student visa application.

“India moving up from high risk to moderate risk will positively impact student’s visa applications,” says Ms Shah.

Where risk ratings have changed, the evidence required for English language capability and financial capacity may also change.

"It is really good news for students from India. This development has lifted the morale of prospective students as well as stakeholders," she says.

She states in future, most students might be required to produce less documents regarding financial capacity of sponsor which will make the process a bit easier.

“There should be more visa approvals and more students travelling to Australia as a result,” she says.

What is an Immigration Risk Rating?

Immigration risk ratings are calculated using a weighted average based on the total number of international students (applicants and holders of student visas) that have a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) based on their principal course of study from the education provider.

The following weightings and immigration risk indicators are used to calculate the immigration risk rating of each education provider and country under the SSVF:

  • rate of visa cancellations (25 per cent weighting)
  • rate of refusals due to a fraud reason where the applicant lodged overseas (40 per cent weighting)
  • rate of refusals (excluding fraud) where the applicant lodged overseas (10 per cent weighting)
  • rate of student visa holders becoming unlawful non-citizens (15 per cent weighting)
  • rate of Subsequent Protection Visa applications (10 per cent weighting).

As at 31 December 2016 there were 355,755 student visa holders in Australia. This is the highest recorded number of student visa holders in Australia in any year at 31 December.

Over one third of students in Australia at 31 December 2016 were from China (19.9 per cent) or India (14.7 per cent).

To check what type of evidence, an applicant will need to provide for student visa application, visit: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500-

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