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Australia extends streamlined visas Posted on: 30-05-2014

 Australia extends streamlined visas

28 May, 2014

The Australian government has announced that it will extend streamlined visa processing (SVP) arrangements to private sector providers offering advanced level diploma courses, potentially simplifying and accelerating the application process for international students.

Photo: Roberto Seba, Tourism Australia

Initially introduced to the university sector in 2011 following the Knight Review, SVP allows participating institutions to treat all applicants as the lowest immigration risk, regardless of nationality. SVP was extended to 22 non-university institutions offering higher education programmes last year.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Steve Morrison, said, “This will enable eligible education providers in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and higher education sector to directly access SVP. This will make study in Australia even more attractive to overseas students, while at the same time ensuring that immigration risk is appropriately managed.”

Non-university institutions that are deemed to meet the low immigration risk rating and offer advanced diplomas will be invited to apply for SVP in the latter half of 2014, with implementation expected to take place by early 2015. Almost 300 providers are currently registered to offer such courses.

Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education, said, “The number of international students seeking to study in Australia continues to rebound positively, with an increase of over 27 per cent in the number of visas granted to offshore applicants in the 2013-14 programme year.”

He added the proposed further rolling out of SVP would support high-quality private providers. “Extending SVP arrangements will help capitalise on these trends, reducing red tape and helping to attract further students from overseas.”

Clare Field, CEO of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (Acpet), who called for a level playing field in SVP conditions in an interview with Study Travel Magazine last year, told The Australian she welcomed the recognition that VET providers also have a low immigration risk profile, but said the policy was still restrictive as many low-risk providers did not offer advanced diplomas.

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