Student Visa Program in Australia

The Australian Government has introduced significant changes to the student visa program, aimed at reinforcing the integrity of the system and ensuring that visas are issued exclusively to genuine students. This initiative not only aims to uphold the standards of Australia’s immigration system but also to create opportunities for international students who obtain qualifications in Australia to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economic growth. As part of a comprehensive Migration Strategy, substantial amendments to the eligibility criteria for student visas have been announced.


Key Changes to Eligibility Criteria

Effective from 1 July 2024, individuals holding specific types of visas will no longer be eligible to apply for student visas from within Australia. This new restriction is part of a broader effort to eliminate the practice known as 'visa hopping,' where former international students extend their stay in Australia through successive temporary visas. The visa subclasses affected by this change include:


  • Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate)
  • Subclass 600 (Visitor)
  • Subclass 601 (Electronic Travel Authority)
  • Subclass 602 (Medical Treatment)
  • Subclass 651 (eVisitor)
  • Subclass 771 (Transit)
  • Subclass 988 (Maritime Crew)
  • Subclass 995 (Diplomatic Temporary) – primary visa holders only
  • Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations)) – Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) stream
  • Subclass 426 (Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Diplomatic or Consular)


The primary goal of these stringent measures is to ensure that Temporary Graduate Visa holders either leave Australia after their visa expires or seek skilled employment and other viable pathways leading to permanent residency.


Navigating the Changes: Essential Advice for Prospective Applicants


As these changes to Australia’s student visa program approach, it is crucial for prospective applicants to take proactive steps to navigate the new landscape effectively:


Stay Informed: Keeping up-to-date with ongoing developments and revisions in immigration laws is essential. Understanding the implications of these changes on your eligibility for a visa will enable you to make informed decisions.


Plan Strategically: With the new regulatory framework in place, individuals currently holding Temporary Graduate Visas should explore alternative visa pathways or seek viable employment opportunities that align with their skills and career aspirations. Planning ahead and considering long-term residency options can help mitigate potential disruptions to your visa status.


Seek Expert Guidance: Consulting with a qualified and experienced migration lawyer can provide invaluable insights into navigating the complexities of the updated visa requirements. Their expertise ensures that your application is meticulously prepared and submitted on time.


At NB Migration Law, we specialise in assisting individuals through their migration journeys with personalised support tailored to meet each client's specific needs. Our dedicated team is committed to ensuring that your application not only adheres to all stipulated requirements but also optimises your prospects amidst these impending changes. We offer a 30-minute complimentary consultation to help you start your journey towards securing a pathway to Australia.




The revisions to Australia’s student visa program represent a proactive step by the government to uphold visa integrity and create opportunities for genuine students to contribute to the country's economy. By implementing stricter eligibility criteria and prohibiting onshore applications for certain visa holders, Australia aims to address loopholes and ensure a fair and sustainable immigration system.


Prospective applicants are encouraged to stay informed, plan strategically, and seek expert guidance to navigate these changes effectively and pursue their aspirations in Australia. These adjustments underscore Australia’s commitment to supporting a robust and transparent immigration framework that prioritises the contributions of genuine international students while safeguarding national interests.


As these reforms take effect, it becomes paramount for applicants to adapt proactively, ensuring compliance with updated regulations and maximising their chances of securing a successful pathway to study and potentially settle in Australia. Navigating the evolving landscape of Australia’s student visa program requires diligence and foresight. By staying informed, planning strategically, and leveraging expert guidance, prospective applicants can navigate these changes with confidence, paving the way for a promising educational and professional journey in Australia.


Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.