Under the new student visa structure, an application will be subject to revised assessment criteria, which will determine its risk level.

Visa applications will now be assessed based on;

  • The passport of the applicant.
  • The education provider that the application is registered to study within Australia.

As before, education providers must be registered with CRICOS, (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students).

Each of the above criteria will be rated from one to three for each visa application, and a combination of the two scores will be used to determine the overall risk of the applicant breaking the terms of their visa.

A level one application is deemed to be low risk, and as such, the applicant will have to provide less documentation to back up their declarations made in relation to their financial capacity or English language proficiency. A level three applicant is deemed to be higher risk and will have to provide more documentation to back up these declarations.

The ratings assigned to a particular passport or education provider are based on the frequency of applicants using that passport or education provider breaking the terms of their visa during the previous 12 months. These ratings are reviewed on a regular basis.

Streamlined Visa Process

Depending on their overall risk assessment, an applicant may qualify for the streamlined visa process. During the streamlined visa process, a declaration made by the applicant that they satisfy the financial capacity and English language proficiency requirements may be satisfactory. Although the Department of Immigration and Border Protection reserves the right to request proof of these declarations in any case they deem appropriate.

Applicants not qualifying for the streamlined visa process will need to provide a higher level of proof that they satisfy the financial capacity and English language proficiency requirements.

The below graph illustrates the country and immigration risk levels necessary to be eligible for the streamlined visa process.

Country Immigration Risk  
Education   One Two Three
Provider One S S S
Immigration Two S S R
Risk Three S R R

= Streamlined process

= Regular process

All applicants, regardless of their risk level, will have to satisfy the health and character requirements.

If an applicant wishes to undertake one course of study as a gateway to another, then the applicants’ risk level is calculated in relation to the main course of study they wish to undertake.

Due to its commercially sensitive nature, information regarding the risk level of each education provider will not be available. There will, however, be an online tool available to calculate the overall risk level of an applicant, given the country of their passport and their education provider.

For further information regarding the student visa process, contact us today.