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Australia Tightens Visa Rules for Indian Students- A Guide to the Changes

New Australian Visa Policies: What Indian Students Need to Know

Access to quality education, significant opportunities for skilled professionals coupled with the ease of immigration makes Australia a favored study abroad destination for Indian overseas education aspirants. However, surge in enrolment and blatant misuse of visas for migration purposes has led to some impactful changes in the Australian visa process in recent times. The Australian government has further overhauled its immigration policy with effect from July 1,2024 in an effort to limit its net overseas migration. Amidst implementing the new measures, the Australian government has categorically emphasized that it will continue to consider academically inclined students demonstrating genuine interest to live, study and work in Australia.

Some of the notable changes that have come into effect include:

  • End to visa hopping
  • Fee hike in student visa
  • Curtailed stay on temporary graduate visa
  • Change in application process
  • Higher English proficiency test scores for visa application
  • Limitation of work options and reduced stay period for students on work permits
  • A New Visa for Young Indian Professionals

If you are planning to study in Australia, it is important for you to understand the revised visa policy guidelines and accordingly plan your overseas education journey.  

Why Has Australia Revised Its Visa Policies?

Even though Australia has a robust and student friendly immigration system, it has experienced a surge in international students in the post-pandemic phase. The unprecedented rise in student population has resulted in the misuse of various visa categories from visitor visa to student visa. This influx of applicants has strained the housing sector and brought about steep inflation. The Australian government has implemented several changes across various visa categories with the following objectives:

  • Review and address the loopholes in international student recruitment and education
  • Reduce the record annual migration of 5,28,000 witnessed in the year 2022-2023 by 50 percent.
  • Ensure that the talented migrants are skilled and committed to drive growth and innovation across Australian industries
  • Identify and restrict those students who solely with the purpose of migration
  • Ensure that no student juggles between visas to overstay in Australia on an indefinite basis
  • Address the labor and talent shortage in Australia

The primary purpose of the policy change is to prevent international students from exploiting temporary visas as a pathway to migrate to Australia

End to Visa Hopping : Why Visa Hopping is an Immigration Concern?

Visa hopping is an illegal practice adopted by international students to remain in Australia indefinitely by switching from one visa to another. More than 36,000 international students applied for alternate visas such as work permit or permanent residency over the last 12 months while staying in Australia on their student visas. As per the new Australian immigration policy guidelines foreign students need to adhere to the conditions prescribed in their original visa, and cannot continuously extend their stay in Australia.

What is the Visa Hopping Prohibition About?

The revised immigration policy prohibits visa holders, especially international students, from applying for other visas like the work permit while living in Australia. Any plans of changing visa category will require students to leave the country upon expiration of their current visa and apply from their home destination or any place other than Australia.

Student Visa Fee Hike and Curtailed Temporary Graduate Visa

Visas and Work Permits Impacted by the Policy Change

Though the policy change has impacted various visa categories like student visa, temporary graduate visa, visitor visa, travel visa, and medical treatment visa, the impact is maximum on student visa and temporary graduate visa.

Here is why:

Fee Hike  :  International Student Visa

Indians make up the second largest group of foreign students in Australia. The student visa enables international students to live and study in the country.

One of the most impactful changes in Australia’s new visa policy is the doubling of fees for international student visas from AU$ 710 to AU$ 1600, effective July 1, 2024.This fee hike is intended to support various education and migration initiatives, including financial support for apprenticeships and the implementation of a comprehensive migration strategy. In line with this, the Australian government has increased its temporary skilled migration income threshold from AU$ 70,000 to AU$ 73,150.

The broader aim of these changes is to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australian international education, ensuring it continues to attract deserving and promising study abroad aspirants who can contribute to the Australian industry and economy. Despite these changes, there is no alteration to the work hours permitted for international students. They can still work up to 48 hours per fortnight while on a student visa.

Temporary Graduate Visa

This visa enables international students graduating from Australian universities to stay back in Australia after completing their education and gain work experience in their respective domains.

Changes to the Student and Temporary Graduate Visa at a Glance

  Student Visa Changes

 Degree Classification

Associate, Diploma or Trade qualification

Post Vocational Education Work Stream

Graduate or doctoral qualification

Post Higher Education Work Stream

Sector Industry Eligibility

The qualification meeting your study requirements will be used to determine your area of work

Stay Period Post Vocational Education Work Stream


Vocational Education Work Stream

Up to 18 months (unchanged)


Post Study Work Right : Higher Education Work Stream

For  bachelor ’s degree

 2 years

For master’s degree

 2 years

For master’s with research

 3 years

For PhD students

 3  years


Temporary  Graduate Visa Changes
  Name Change

The Temporary Graduate Visa Program has been bi-furcated as follows :

Post Vocational Education Work Stream

Post Higher Education Work Stream

 Higher Age Limit
For undergrad and grad students 35 years
For master ‘s (research) and doctoral  students 50 years
 Stream Qualification Criteria

Diploma and degree holders


Vocational education

Applicants must choose a stream matching their qualifications while looking for employment

STEM qualification Can look for work in STEM fields only
Non STEM qualification Can look for work in areas other than STEM fieldds
Minimum Savings Amount
AU$ 24,505 For visa application


Student and Temporary Graduate Visa : Old and New Rule Comparison


     Old Rule 

New Rule Effective 1 July,2024

                                                                       Student Visa

Live study and work temporarily after graduation

Live and work temporarily after graduation

Stay back in Australia and look for suitable employment after competing your graduate studies

You will not be permitted to live in Australia after competing your graduate studies

Explore various work options across related or other sectors while being on a student visa

Limited options for work and other purposes if you have to stay back in Australia after studies due to qualification -stream criteria

Students could move to other visa categories like skilled worker or post study work visa

Students cannot  move to other visa categories like skilled worker or post study work visa


     Old Rule  and New Rule Comparison

New Rule Effective 1 July,2024

                                                     Temporary Graduate  Visa

You can stay in Australia when  applying for the temporary graduate visa

Return to home country after completing graduation to apply for the temporary graduate visa

You explore various paths to post graduate employment

Path to post graduate employment is narrow due to qualification and stream match criteria


Curtailed Temporary Graduate Visa

As per the new rules, you will not be able to stay back in Australia once your temporary graduate visa expires. You will have to explore other possibilities to continue your stay, such as finding an employer-sponsored visa or permanent residency, or leave Australia. The stay periods have been reduced under the revised guidelines.

Stricter English Language Requirements: 

More importantly, the English language requirements for various visas from the student to temporary graduate visa have become more stringent.

Change in Visa Application Process

It may get challenging to stay back in Australia for further studies or work opportunities once your student visa expires.

  • As a prospective student you will have to apply for your student visa overseas. In short, you will have to begin your visa application process outside Australia.
  • If you are on a student visa you will not be able to apply to other visa categories like skilled worker or post study work visa while you are in Australia. You will have to come back to your home country to apply for a different visa to extend your stay in Australia beyond your student visa.
  • The Australian government will only consider off-shore applications (from any place outside Australia).

The changes in Australia’s immigration policies, while seemingly restrictive, are designed to produce high-caliber graduates who can address the country’s skill shortages. This is evident from initiatives like the upcoming Innovation Visa and the MATES program for young Indian professionals. We believe that the recent policy changes such as returning to home country after studies to apply for work permit, albeit seemingly restrictive, have been designed and implemented to produce high calibre graduates that can fill in the rising skill and talent shortages in Australia.

This is evident from two student friendly initiatives floated by the Australian government.

  • The new Innovation Visa: that is scheduled to roll out in the ensuing (2025) promises to offer exciting employment opportunities to Indian students graduating from Australian universities.
  • A New Visa for Young Indian Professionals: Indian nationals with suitable qualifications in sought after fields like renewable energy, mining, engineering, artificial intelligence and finance can avail of a two year temporary visa. The visa has been initiated by Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement made in May 2023. This is a unique program called MATES which stands for Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early Professionals scheme. The initial selection for 3000 applicants will happen through a ballot process. Select professionals can apply for a visa costing AU$ 365.

As these changes reshape the academic landscape for international students, it’s crucial to take expert guidance to navigate your study abroad journey. At Collegepond, with over two decades of experience in study abroad counselling, we’re uniquely positioned to help you understand and adapt to these policy shifts.

Contact Collegepond today to schedule a free consultation with our expert counsellors and we can help you:

  • Understand how these visa changes affect your study plans
  • Explore programs that align with Australia’s in-demand skills
  • Learn about new opportunities like the Innovation Visa and MATES program
  • Develop a strategy to maximize your chances of success in Australia

Start your journey to unparalleled academic success in Australia with Collegepond. Your bright future is just a consultation away!

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Copyright © 2002 – 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd.

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Address: Office No. 204, 2nd Floor, ML Spaces, Dashrathlal Joshi Rd. Opp. Old Jain Mandir, Vile Parle West, Mumbai – 400056.


Email: info@collegepond.com


Call Us:  022-46003655


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Copyright © 2002 – 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd.