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Updates to Student and Graduate Visas in Australia: English Requirement and New Genuine Student

Graduate Visa Australia

Recent changes to Australia's student visa and graduate visa policies signal a significant shift in the landscape of international education and post-study opportunities in the country. Starting from March 23, 2024, these updates include an increase in the English language requirements and the introduction of the Genuine Student Requirement.

English Language Requirement

Student Visas:

  • The minimum test score for English proficiency will rise from an IELTS score of 5.5 to 6.0 (or equivalent). For PTE the minimum test score is now 50.
  • For those enrolling in ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students), the required score will increase from IELTS 4.5 to 5.0 (or equivalent). For PTE the minimum test score is now 36.

Graduate Visas:  


  • The English requirements will go up from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).


  • An overall band score of at least 57; for the listening test component a score of at least 43; for the reading test a score of at least 48; for the speaking test component a score of at least 42; and the writing test component of the PTE — a score of at least 51.

Big Impact on the Graduate Visa:

The validity period for the English test has been reduced from three years to just one year prior to the application date, a change that may present challenges for many applicants.

The new Genuine Student Requirement

The Department of Home Affairs has recently updated its website to include crucial information on the Genuine Student (GS) requirement, set to take effect on March 23, 2024. This update aims to provide applicants and stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of the GS criterion, including what evidence and information should be incorporated into the application. The GS is replacing the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE).

What is the Genuine Student Requirement?

The Genuine Student requirement is designed to assess an applicant's intention to genuinely pursue studies in Australia.

Key Factors in Assessing the Genuine Student Requirement

The assessment of whether an applicant meets the GS requirement will consider various factors, including:

Applicant's Circumstances: This can include the reasons for choosing a particular course, the relevance of the course to the applicant's past or proposed future employment in their home country or a third country, and the potential for the course to enhance the applicant's career prospects.

Immigration History: The Department will look into the applicant's previous travel to Australia and other countries, including compliance with visa conditions and the laws of those countries.

Compliance with Visa Conditions and Other Relevant Matters: Any previous history of visa compliance, as well as other matters deemed relevant by the Department, will be taken into account.

Students in Australia

Plans to be a Skilled Migration Now Acceptable

The GS criterion also acknowledges that there are post-study pathways available for students who may be eligible, recognizing the potential for students to transition to other visa categories following their studies.

This is a welcome change from the previous GTE requirement, which required the applicant to make a statement about why they desperately wanted to leave after their studies.

Contact us if you need assistance with your Student or Graduate Visas. As soon as we have more updates about the Student and Graduate Visas, we will post them on our website and social media channels: TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your visa application.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

You can book an appointment online or call us at (+61) 8 8351 9956.


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Saturday, 20 July 2024

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