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Student visa subclasses reduced from 8 to 2 under new Australian student visa simplification process

Students at The University of Sydney Source: AAP

Significant changes in student visa subclasses as per the Migration Legislation Amendment 2016 - Department of Immigration and Border Protection have decided to reduce student visa subclasses from 8 to 2 under new student visa simplification process (No more subclasses 570, 571, 572, 573 so and so forth). All new Student visa subclass 500 is for the international students where as subclass 590 is introduced for parent guardians. More information to follow…..

From 1 July 2016 DIBP will introduce a simplified international student visa framework. There will be two only student visa subclasses: Subclass 500 (Student) and Subclass 590 (Student Guardian).

International education is one of Australia’s five pillars of economic growth. Total export income generated by all international education activities was $16.3 billion for 2013‒14 . The Australian Government recognises the strong economic and cultural contribution of our international education sector and is committed to supporting its growth by facilitating the visa process for genuine overseas students.

On 16 June 2015 the Australian Government released the Future directions for streamlined visa processing (2MB PDF)  report and announced the introduction of a simplified international student visa framework (SSVF) to support Australia’s education services sector.

The release of the report follows a period of extensive stakeholder consultation which included the release of a discussion paper to members of the Education Visa Consultative Committee and other key international education stakeholders. Thirty-two formal submissions were received in response to the discussion paper. 

Key changes under the SSVF are:

  • a reduction in the number of student visa sub-classes from eight to two; and
  • the introduction of a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students.

A working group comprising peak bodies and relevant commonwealth and state government agencies has been established to support implementation of the eight recommendations from the report.

These changes will simplify the student visa framework, significantly reduce red tape, create a level playing field for all education providers and deliver a more targeted approach to immigration integrity.

Subject to the legislative change process t he Department intends to implement the review recommendations by mid-2016. 

For more details on the previous report and recommendation, please visit

Source DIBP