The Australian government announced changes to cut red tape on student visas. The government claims the changes will benefit the education system, create jobs and stimulate the economy.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison and Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne announced the changes to revitalise the tertiary education system.
The changes are in two steps. First, streamline student visas, and then extend the streamlined process to non-university schools, colleges and other education providers.
Streamlining student visas will mean reducing assessment to only three levels. Level 3 students will only need to show they can support themselves financially for six months instead of the current 12 months. This means that level 3 students with less than $40,000 less in the bank are eligible to apply for a student visa.
Streamlined visa processing will then extend to 22 low-risk non-university providers. The changes take effect in early 2014.