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Australia Tightens Visa Regulations: Key Changes to Combat International Visa Scams

In a significant move to combat international visa scams and bolster the integrity of its education system, Australia has recently implemented stringent new regulations. These measures are designed to protect students and maintain Australia’s reputation as a top destination for quality education.

Key Changes in Australian Visa Regulations

  1. Closing of Visa Loopholes: The Australian government has taken decisive action to shut down loopholes in the student visa system. These loopholes had allowed international students to switch from legitimate study programs to arrangements primarily designed to facilitate work in Australia. This change focuses on the policy of holding “concurrent COEs” (Confirmations of Enrolments), which some students were exploiting to transfer from reputable higher education and vocational training institutions to less expensive, private colleges.
  2. Increased Financial Requirements: From October 1, 2023, international students applying for a visa must demonstrate they have a minimum of AU$24,505 in savings to cover annual living costs. This is a 17% increase from previous requirements and is aimed at reflecting the higher costs of living in Australia. The government aims to ensure that students are not driven to exploitative work due to financial pressures.
  3. Scrutiny of High-risk Cohorts: There will be increased scrutiny on prospective student groups that have historically submitted a high volume of fraudulent applications. The government is also considering using its powers under Section 97 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) to issue suspension certificates to high-risk education providers, preventing them from recruiting international students.
  4. Empowering the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA): The ASQA will be given more powers to regulate those who manage, oversee, and control Registered Training Organizations (RTOs). RTO owners will have to comply with “Fit and Proper Person” Requirements to register and operate their businesses.
  5. Addressing the Issue of ‘Course Hopping’: The trend of “course hopping,” where students transfer to less expensive, private colleges, sometimes referred to as “ghost colleges,” is being addressed. This trend has been facilitated by students obtaining two COEs (Confirmations of Enrolment) on the same visa.
  6. Phasing Out Subclass 408 Visa: The government is planning to phase out the subclass 408 “Covid-19 pandemic event” visa, which has allowed approximately 100,000 international students to transition into a full-time work visa with minimal oversight.

Impact and Intentions

These regulatory changes are a response to concerns about students being enticed away from prestigious universities into lower-fee courses that may not meet educational standards. The Australian government’s focus is to safeguard both domestic and international students, ensuring access to reputable educational institutions. These regulations are also part of efforts to maintain the significant contributions of international students to the Australian economy.


With these strict new regulations, Australia aims to protect the interests of students and uphold its status as a leading destination for world-class education. By targeting international visa scams, the government is proactively ensuring that students are not misled by deceptive schemes offering substandard education at lower costs.

Need Help with Your Australian Student Visa Application?

Navigating the complexities of the Australian student visa application process can be daunting, especially with the recent regulatory changes. At Study Unifees, we understand these challenges and are here to offer our expert guidance. Our team of experienced counselors is well-versed in the latest visa regulations and application procedures. By booking a free counselling session with us, you can gain valuable insights and personalized assistance to streamline your visa application process. Don’t let the intricacies of visa applications hold back your educational aspirations in Australia. Reach out to Study Unifees today and take the first step towards a smooth and successful journey to studying in Australia. Book your free counselling session now and embark on your educational journey with confidence!

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