Australia’s Migration Strategy – what it means for you

Strengthening the integrity and quality of Australia's education programs, and the protections and support for you.

22 December 2023

This article was last updated 25 March 2024

The Australian Government’s Migration Strategy was released on 11 December 2023.

The Strategy is designed to further strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s international education programs, better protect international students and support graduates to achieve their career goals.

International students are welcomed and valued in Australia. We want to make sure you have the best possible experience here, and to support you to use your Australian qualification for career success. 

Genuine international students can feel welcome, safe and supported to access a high-quality Australian education.

Key features

Clear post-study pathways

The Strategy provides clear post-study pathways. These include opportunities to stay and work in Australia for a limited time and, for some graduates, pathways to permanent residency - if your skills and qualifications are needed. This will enable you to better plan for your future, in Australia or elsewhere. 

To make things fairer, the Strategy will limit ‘visa hopping’ between different temporary visas that do not offer a pathway to permanent residency.

Genuine student requirement

On 23 March 2024, the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement was replaced with a new Genuine Student (GS) requirement.  

The GS requirement is a set of questions within your student visa application that you must answer.  

These targeted questions will help the Department of Home Affairs assess if the applicant is a genuine student applicant.  It will also improve the application process and ensure that genuine international students benefit from a safe and supported study experience in Australia.

Student visa applications lodged before 23 March 2024 will continue to be assessed against the previous GTE requirement.

English language requirements

On 23 March 2024, the English language requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate visas changed. The new English language requirements will better support learning and employment outcomes for you.  

Student Visas

  • The minimum test score for a Student visa has increased from International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 5.5 to 6.0 (or its equivalent).
  • The minimum test score for students undertaking an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course before their main course of study has increased from IELTS 4.5 to 5.0 (or equivalent).
  • The minimum test score required for students undertaking university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training is IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent). These recognised courses will be listed on the Department of Home Affairs website.

For students studying English only through ELICOS, full time school students, secondary exchange students, and postgraduate research students, there is no change.

Temporary Graduate visas (TGV)

  • The test score required for a Temporary Graduate visa has increased from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
  • Passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) are not required to meet this increased minimum English language requirement. The settings for this cohort remains at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.0 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
  • Applicants must provide evidence that they have completed an English Language test, meeting these requirements, no more than one year immediately before the date of the visa application. 

Stricter requirements for education providers

The Australian Government is introducing new measures to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia's education programs for international students.

  • A new VET Integrity Unit will be run by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to ensure you receive the highest quality education and training.
  • Education providers will be given more access to education agent data to help providers work with high quality education agents. 
  • The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) will be changed to strengthen the existing ‘fit and proper’ provider test for education providers registered to deliver programs to international students.

Simplified Temporary Graduate visas

The length of post-study work visas will change. However, Australia’s Temporary Graduate visa will still give you time to gain valuable work experience and demonstrate your skills to Australian employers.

If you gain work in a skilled job during your post-study work period, you may be eligible to apply for the new 4-year Skills in Demand visa. This visa provides a clearer pathway to permanent residency.

Initial stay periods for Indian nationals will not change, as agreed in the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement. See the Migration Strategy for further details.

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