Australian Student Visa 2024: Enrolment Cancellations and Visa Refusals

With enrolment cancellations by institutions and rising refusals, international students have started to feel the impact of the Australian migration strategy released in December 2023, aimed at reducing migration levels.

Universities Cancelling Course Offers for Students

Recent news has revealed that some Australian universities are cancelling enrolment offers to international students. Several universities have taken the extreme step of writing to students whom they had approved but who were still waiting for their visas to be granted, requesting they cancel their enrolment. This is devastating for those who have an offer and are already envisioning their course in Australia. This has already affected many international students, causing frustration and disappointment with the sudden decision.

Why Are Universities Cancelling International Student Offers?

Some institutions have chosen to limit the countries from which they will accept applications to increase their visa approval rate. There are concerns from some universities that they might no longer be classified as low-risk entities by the Department of Home Affairs, affecting their standing and operations.

The migration strategy released in December 2023 included several recommendations for international students, such as increased funding for visa integrity, higher English language requirements, and more rigorous scrutiny of lower-quality education providers by ranking them based on their risk level.

It appears that universities are cancelling admission offers to safeguard their reputation and avoid a high number of visa rejections.

Student Visa Refusals Australia

Increase in Student Visa Refusal Rates for Some Countries and Some Institutions

There has been a significant increase in the number of visa refusals, which is expected to rise further in the second half of 2024.

High refusal rates: Over the last 15 years, student visa application approval rates have consistently been above 90%. However, recent government figures reveal a decline to 82% last year, with the approval rate for vocational education even lower, dropping to 70% in the last six months of 2023.

Which countries have higher refusal rates? According to a report by The Australian Financial Review on January 30, 2024, there was a significant decrease in student visa approval rates for applicants from some countries, such as India with a reduction from 73% to 42%, Pakistan from 64% to 30%, the Philippines from 81% to 36%, and Nigeria from 71% to 29% over four months from June to September 2023, as noted by Craig Mackey of IDP Education Australia, an international education company offering student placement in Australia.

Ian Aird, CEO of English Australia, another international education company, mentioned that in October 2023, student visa grants from Colombia were down by 34.79% over the same comparison period in 2022. Approval rates for visa applications for the education provider English Australia, from Thailand and Brazil in October 2024 compared to the year before, also experienced declines, with Thailand's rate dropping by 89.99% and Brazil's by 46.82%.

However, approval rates for countries such as South Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan were at 90% or higher, possibly due to financial capacity and genuineness of intention to study.

CoE Cancellations Australia 2024

Why Are There Higher Rates of Student Visa Refusal?

The government aims to reduce the net overseas migration number, from 510,000 in the last year to 375,000 this current year, and then to 250,000, which is regarded as the "normal" level. Much of the reductions will be in student visas.


The student refusals are mostly based on the Genuine Temporary Entrant Criteria (GTE). In many cases, the GTE rejection seems to hinge on the economic status of the student's home country, rather than the individual's qualifications or demonstrated intent to study at the institution.

Unfortunately, it is getting tougher both for education providers and with Home Affairs. If you need any assistance, please contact us.

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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Regional Migration: Australia's Top Priority 2024

In early 2023, regional migration visas in Australia were under a cloud of uncertainty. The Parkinson Report Migration, released in March 2023, failed to offer any guidance or support for regional migration options.

The final report suggests a recalibration of the skilled points test and even proposes the removal of points for regional study. It states, “In conjunction with this measure, existing regional concessions in mainstream permanent phases, such as additional points for regional study, could be removed to ensure those programs are strongly focused on selecting migrants who will best meet national economic objectives.”

Additionally, state nomination applications in Australia across all states were reduced by 70% from July 1, 2023, marking a significant downturn in the 2023-24 financial year.

However, early 2024 has seen positive developments in regional migration policy.

Migration Policy Developments 2024

Regional employer-sponsored nominations visas such as 482, 186, 494, and DAMAs are now the top priority in ministerial processing directives. This means they are processed above all others, including professions in teaching and health that were previously given high priority.

This shift demonstrates the Federal Government is encouraging migration to regional areas.

The new Skills in Demand Visa Australia includes an "Essential Skills" category visa for lower-skilled occupations, such as carers, with potential salaries below A$70,000. These visas aim to supply workers to regional areas for both caregiving and agricultural roles.

For the 2024 to 2025 financial year, skilled points visas, including the 189, 190, and 491 visas, will remain unchanged. The 491 Visa, designed for regional areas, continues to be available, dispelling rumors of its abolition in the Migration Review.

Click here to read more about the Skilled Work Regional 491 Visa.

Why is regional migration regaining favour?

Several factors are at play, including a strong demand from industries and communities in regional Australia for migrants. Furthermore, the housing crisis has prompted the federal government to encourage migration away from Australia's largest cities, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your potential application(s).

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

For visa application assistance in Australia, you can book an appointment online or call us at (+61) 8 8351 9956.

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Skilled and Work Visa Updates – January 2024

The recent round of invitations in December 2023 disappointed many aspiring migrants. Invitations were limited to health professionals and teachers, excluding many with completed skills assessments and English proficiency for the 189 visa. This has raised concerns about the accessibility and fairness of the invitation process.

Looking back at 2023, there were only two invitation rounds for the 189 and family-sponsored 491, all focused on health professions and teachers. This means many of those with skills assessments and English did not receive an invitation for the 189. This seems quite unreasonable and seems to be putting unnecessary pressure on those aspiring to come to Australia and not allowing them to get an invitation.

Invitation Rounds 2023


Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)


Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – Family-Sponsored



Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)


Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – Family-Sponsored


State Nominations for the 190 and 491 visas

State and territory nominations offer a broader range of occupations, each with slightly different criteria based on local economic needs. Unfortunately, the Northern Territory has exhausted its nomination allocations, temporarily closing new state allocations. Limited opportunities for points-based visas have prompted increased interest in employer-sponsored applications, particularly the TSS482 and the permanent residency 186 visas. The new Skills in Demand Visa, expected in late 2024, has also generated strong interest.

Labor Market Testing for TSS482

Labour market testing requirements for the TSS482 visa have been eased, reducing the number of advertisements required and eliminating the need for Workforce Australia Advertising. However, a minimum 28-day advertising period in the four months before nomination is now mandatory. Regional employer-sponsored nominations now receive the highest priority for processing under Ministerial Direction Number 105, indicating the government's emphasis on regional visas.

Changes in Priority Processing

Offshore applicants no longer receive priority processing, possibly reflecting the government's focus on reducing pressure on housing in major cities. This shift encourages regional visas and discourages offshore applications from individuals likely to settle in urban areas.

Working Holiday Maker Updates

Starting from January 1, 2024, working holidaymakers may work for the same employer for more than six months without seeking permission under certain circumstances. Exceptions include work in different locations, plant and animal cultivation, specific industries, natural disaster recovery, aged care, healthcare, childcare, and critical sectors like tourism and hospitality.

While some exceptions exist, individuals working beyond six months in non-covered situations must seek permission, with higher chances if tied to an employer-sponsored application. These changes provide flexibility for working holidaymakers but also highlight the importance of understanding the specific conditions and seeking appropriate permissions.

How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your potential application(s).

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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Australian Immigration News - December 2023: Covid Concessions, Positive Reforms, and the Replacement of a Top Bureaucrat

Welcome to our Australian Immigration News – December 2023! In this blog, we will discuss the conclusion of Covid concessions, alterations in the Temporary Graduate Visa, positive reforms affecting Partner Visas, the opportunity for permanent residency for 482 and 457 visa holders, the replacement of a top bureaucrat, international student news, and the upcoming Government Implementation Plan.

End of the Covid Concessions

The Covid era for Australian Immigration is officially over. The concessions introduced during the pandemic to address travel challenges and support temporary workers in Australia have concluded as of November 25, 2023. Notably, periods of reduced work due to Covid-19 will no longer count towards meeting work experience requirements for new ENS/RSMS TRT stream nomination applications.

Changes in the Temporary Graduate Visa Program

Starting November 25, 2023, all applications for any stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa program must be lodged in Australia.

Positive Reforms for Partner Visas

Exciting reforms have been introduced for Partner Subclasses 309 and 820 visas. Applicants can now receive grants whether they are inside or outside Australia at the time of visa approval. Moreover, Subclass 309 Partner visa applicants can apply for merits review independently, no longer relying solely on the sponsor. This change enhances accessibility for family violence victims.

PR for 482 and 457 Visa Holders

Individuals holding 482 and 457 visas for at least 2 years may be eligible to apply for permanent residency. Those with occupations listed on the Medium or Short-term Skilled Occupation List can apply for the 186 PR Visa, meeting criteria such as Competent English and being under the age of 45, unless specific narrow exemptions apply. Read more here.

Home Affairs Public Servant Replaced – Michael Pezzullo

The governor-general terminated the appointment of Michael Pezzullo, head of the Department of Home Affairs, due to breaches of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct. The hope is for a more accessible and efficient standalone Department of Immigration.

End of Indefinite Detention

The High Court's decision in NZYQ brings an end to indefinite detention for those unable to return to their original country of passport. Legislation imposing tough conditions on those released is expected to face a high court challenge.

International Student News

Plans are underway to impose caps and potential taxes on international students, likely in response to housing shortages and a rental crisis. As international education is a key industry, there is expected pushback.

Upcoming Government Implementation Plan

Stay tuned for the awaited release of the Government's implementation plan for migration reforms. The Parkinson report hints at significant changes, including point-based visa reforms, Business Visa changes, and the end of Student Visas needing to meet GTE.




How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your potential application(s).

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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Australian Immigration News October 2023: WA and Victoria Invitation Rounds, Positive China News and More

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State Sponsorship 190 and 491 Visas

The Australian states are now open for sponsorship under the 190 and 491 visas. Check the eligibility criteria for your desired state or territory to see if you qualify.

We have some articles for more information: South Australia / Queensland / Victoria / New South Wales.


Victorian Invitation Rounds

Victoria recently held an invitation round, inviting professionals in various occupations, including Marketing Specialists and Accountants. Having high points for a job in Victoria with a good salary seems to be a relevant consideration from the Victorian Government.

The Victorian Government said that for offshore applicants they are only considering Health, Education, and Social Services.

Selection rounds will continue through September 2023, with the program closing in early 2024. Submit your Registration of Interest as soon as possible.


Western Australia

Western Australia also had the first invitation round for 190 and 491 visas. Some occupations invited were in priority WA Industries: building and construction; healthcare and social assistance; hospitality and tourism; and o education and training. The invitations were to people living in WA, living in other states, and offshore.


Employer-Sponsored 482 to PR in Two Years

If you have held a 457 or 482 visa for over two years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

Click here to read more about Permanent Residency for employer-sponsored 482 visa holders after 2 years.


Big news coming soon

It is expected that the Minister for Home Affairs will announce the plans for reforms in the next few days or weeks.

One of the changes that may be coming is Refining the Points test

In addition to points we have already covered; the table says better targeted skilled migration will:

  • Introduce new permanent skilled visa settings, including exploring a revised points test
  • The points reforms could include more points for skilled partners. 
  • A more granular system in terms of age and points, for example not losing 10 points when you turn 40. There is also the possibility of cuts to regional points.
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