The new Australian student visa regime known as the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) was launched July 1, 2016. So after two months since the change what is it looking like?
Robert Parsonson, Busienss Development at Nexpay has shared his thoughts via a posting on Linkedin
After speaking with a number of education agents (Japan, Korea, Czech, Indonesia, Nepal) the anecdotal feedback is the winners are the pre-July 1, ‘harder,higher risk’ countries and the losers are the pre-July 1 ‘ easier, lower risk’ countries:
1. Simplified – only one visa category
– fully online – can lodge for anywhere
– Faster for some countries that were previously long wait periods (e.g. Nepal) from up to 3 months to 1 week, Indonesia fastest approval 15 minutes.
-No paper applications – no more visits and waits at the embassy to lodge documents.
2. More complicated
– Countries that were previously straightforward have become complicated – e.g. Japan from 30 minutes to do an application now up to 2-3 hours.
– Need to load the student’s 10 – year history of travel (most can not recall and passports do not have the arrival stamps that they used to.
– Full data on family, and work history that pre-July 1 low-risk countries did not have to load.
– Write a rationale on ‘why you want to study in Australia’ (tricky for second language speakers)
The education agent now has to really work for the commission – there are some agents that say they may now have to charge a service fee to the student to assist in the enrolment. Agency staff has to spend more time per enrolment and productivity is dropping rapidly. No doubt efficiencies will be found to address some of these problems. For example, agents are now drawing up templates for the study rationale sections to give to students that defeat the purpose of checking the ‘genuineness’ of the student.
The dangers for the Australian market are offshore education agencies that do not want the problem of getting through an Australian visa may choose a new destination with an easier student visa system such as New Zealand.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) must monitor the situation carefully in the first 6 months to look for any unintended consequences and quickly get feedback from the users.