Australia’s student visa reforms: positive implications for Indian and other international students

Australia’s recent revisions to its student visa policies have announced specific exemptions and initiatives that present a favorable outcome for other international students and mostly for Indian students, largely due to a pre-existing agreement between India and Australia.  

Indian student exemption from post-study work rights changes 

Australia’s new migration strategy introduced alterations to post-study work rights, which reduces the duration of temporary graduate visas for some international students. However, owing to a free trade agreement signed between India and Australia in 2022, Indian students remain exempt from these changes. This exemption is welcomed as a positive development for Indian students by Nishi Borra, president of the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI). 

Sector responses and government’s educational focus 

The exemption implies that Indian students will continue to be eligible for longer post-study work visas despite the broader policy shifts. While the eligibility for a second temporary graduate visa remains unaffected, the additional extension of two years is set to be eliminated for all international students, including Indians. Consequently, there are calls within the sector, including from AAERI members, for “grandfather” the new policies to protect current international students who may have chosen Australia partly due to its previously generous post-study work policies. 

The Australian government’s heightened focus on educational ties with India further underlines the positive trajectory for Indian students seeking education in Australia. The positive news has generated enthusiasm among education representatives, acknowledging the advantages for Indian students seeking quality education in Australia. Moreover, the Australian government’s concentrated efforts on strengthening education ties with India indicate a sustained commitment to fostering educational relationships between the two nations. The recent policy changes, including stricter scrutiny and revised migration points, serve as essentials for quality and integrity. 

Impact on all international students

While the revisions include reductions in the validity duration of temporary graduate visas, there’s a silver lining for all international students. Notably, the eligibility for a second temporary graduate visa will remain unaffected, providing ongoing opportunities for international graduates to continue their professional journeys in Australia. 


The measures introduced on 11 December are unlikely to affect Singaporean students due to their enrolment in high-ranking universities with stringent application procedures. These universities are not viewed as attracting non-genuine students, consequently shielding Singaporean students from the impacts of these visa reforms. 

Broader implications and future projections 

The exemptions for Indian students amid visa policy reforms signal an encouraging pathway for their academic and professional pursuits in Australia. The continuity of eligibility for a second temporary graduate visa offers assurance to all international students, ensuring ongoing prospects for post-study work. Additionally, there are still ongoing discussions regarding the balance between controlling student numbers, maintaining quality education and fostering positive relationships with international students. 

This combination of exemptions and ongoing opportunities highlights Australia’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and diverse international student community while enhancing educational bonds with key partner countries. 


To learn more about the exciting study opportunities available for international students in Australia, please visit our platform or contact our Business Development Managers for more information.

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