A crackdown on international students, visitors, and education providers has been implemented over the past week by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor. These developments come at a time when the government is making efforts to cut down on the number of people migrating to Australia. 


Genuine Student Requirement

The Government has replaced the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for student visas with a Genuine Student (GS) requirement. This is effective for student visa applications lodged on and after 23 March 2024.


All applicants for a student visa must be a genuine applicant for entry. They must stay as a student and be able to show an understanding that studying in Australia is the primary reason of their student visa. The GS requirement is intended to include students who, after studying in Australia, develop skills Australia needs and who then go on to apply for permanent residence.


New English Language Requirements

The Australian Government has made changes to English Language Requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate visas.


Student and Student Guardian visa processing priorities

Australian Government’s processing priorities for the student and student guardian visa programs. It builds on ongoing work to strengthen the integrity of the international education sector.


Methodology for calculating evidence levels

Evidence levels are calculated using a weighted average based on the total number of international students (applicants and holders of student visas) that have a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) based on their principal course of study from the education provider.


As the Coalition ramps up its attack on the government over the impact of high migration levels on housing and infrastructure, Mr O’Connor has ordered his department to suspend high-risk education providers from recruiting international students. The government on Wednesday said that in coming weeks high-risk providers, dubbed “visa factories and ghost colleges”, would be issued with warning notices and given six-month deadlines to comply or be banned from recruiting international students.

Migration Amendment (Suspending Education Providers) Regulations 2024

The purpose of this amendment is to provide assistance to the Migration Strategy of the Australian government by enabling the Minister to take into consideration a “relevant score” when making a decision regarding the issuance of a suspension certificate to education providers in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act).


Migration (Suspension Certificate Matters) Specification (LIN 24/034) 2024

The Australian Government has rolled out a new legislative instrument, Migration (Suspension Certificate Matters) Specification (LIN 24/034) 2024, under the authority of the Minister for Home Affairs. This instrument:


  • Implements a method to calculate a’relevant score’ for education providers, considering their compliance with visa regulations for overseas students.
  • Covers a broad spectrum of factors including student visa applications, cancellations, and compliance with Public Interest Criterion 4020, among others.
  • Aims to ensure only genuine students and education providers benefit from Australia’s world-class educational offerings.


How the calculation works:


  • The ‘relevant score’ is determined twice yearly, focusing on various compliance and performance metrics.
  • The score influences decisions on issuing suspension certificates to providers, potentially affecting their ability to recruit overseas students.



No further stay

A final measure targeting visitor visas being used to subvert offshore student visa integrity checks will increase the use of “no further stay” conditions, forcing international students to apply for the correct visa.



There is no doubt that the government of Australia is taking steps to continue reducing the number of people migrating to the country and fixing the immigration system that has been described as “broken.” There is a range of emotions being expressed by the industry, and we are all waiting to see how the situation will play out.