Student visa numbers appear to be increasing according to the latest Student Visa Program Trends report.
During 2011–12 student visa applications increased by 0.4 per cent, which may be seen as a minor increase, however, it’s the first increase in lodgements since 2008–09.
Changes to the student visa program during 2011–12 and higher offshore lodgements (which grew by 4.4 per cent) have influenced the increase in students applying to study in Australia.
In November 2011, the department reduced the financial requirements for some prospective international students, and in March 2012, streamlined visa processing was introduced for certain prospective students of participating universities.
Streamlined visa processing means that specified applicants will have reduced evidentiary requirements when applying for a student visa. These changes to the student visa program, along with others, are expected to continue to boost the numbers of genuine international students.
Here are more interesting figures from the report:
- As at 30 June 2012, there were 307 050 student visa holders in Australia.
- 90.1 per cent of student visa applicants were granted a visa during 2011–12
- Most visas granted were higher education visas (113 160 grants), followed by vocational education and training visas (69 944 grants).
- China remains the top source country for international students with 49 592 student visa grants. Indian nationals were granted the second highest number with 33 764 visa grants.
The full report is available on the department’s website.