Advancing quality education: Updates to Australian visa requirements

In a move to enhance the quality of education and safeguard the interests of international students, Australia’s education sector is set to undergo significant changes with updates to visa requirements. In an announcement dated 21 March, the Australian government outlined its commitment to implementing pivotal updates in line with December’s migration strategy. These changes took effect on 23 March, marking a shift in the education landscape for providers, recruitment agencies and international students alike. 


Among the key adjustments includes raising the English language proficiency requirements for student visas. Previously at IELTS 5.5, the new standard will be set to IELTS 6.0 for student visas and IELTS 6.5 for graduate visas. This move seeks to enhance the academic experience for international students and increase employability.  

Additionally, the introduction of a new ‘no further stay’ rule on visitor visas underscores the government’s commitment to streamline the visa process, ensuring that applicants obtain the necessary visas before arriving in Australia. This move not only simplifies the visa application process but also provides clarity and security for international students planning their educational journey in Australia. 

Moreover, the implementation of the Genuine Student Test is another significant development aimed at ensuring that individuals enrolling in Australian institutions are genuinely committed to their academic pursuits. This test will clarify applicants’ study intentions and economic circumstances, thereby maintaining the integrity of Australia’s education system. 

In tandem with these visa reforms, the Australian Government has strengthened its oversight capabilities through new legislation. Effective 23 March 2024, amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994 empower the Immigration Minister under Section 97 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act. 


Section 97 of the ESOS Act grants the Minister the authority to issue suspension certificates to education providers enrolling students for purposes not aligned with their visa conditions. The revised regulations aim to bolster the government’s ability to prioritise the interests of genuine students and education providers which is a significant aspect of the broader Migration Strategy. 


Furthermore, the decision to minimise high-risk education providers from recruiting international students seeks to uphold educational standards and protect student welfare. By issuing notices beforehand and allowing a grace period for providers to rectify operations, the updates of the policy aim for a balanced approach while maintaining educational quality. 



Although these changes may initially present potential challenges for some stakeholders, they intend to pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable education system in Australia. By working closely with industry stakeholders and advocating for transparency, the government plans for a smooth transition and a conducive environment for education providers, recruitment agencies and international students.


While these changes may require adjustments, they promise a more enriching and secure educational experience for international students in Australia. This reflects the country’s steadfast obligation to educational excellence and fostering a vibrant international student community 

If you’re interested to collaborate with a recruitment agency that prioritises transparency and delivers high-quality, low-risk enrolments, connect with our Business Development Managers for further information. Additionally, to stay updated on news, updates, and exciting study opportunities available for international students in Australia, visit our blog. 

Latest Posts

To get the latest updates,
subscribe to our mailing list

Subscribe to newsletter

Request a demo

An upgrad GSP expert will reach out to discuss your needs.

Book a demo