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 Australia strengthens student visa guidelines

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Australia has further tightened its policy on student visas to ensure these are only given to 'genuine' individuals.

A press release of the Australian high commission Wednesday quoted the minister of immigration and citizenship, Chris Evans, as saying that the 'tough new measures' will ensure that only 'genuine international students are accepted to study in Australia'.

 

'This latest round of changes strikes the right balance between making the visa application process easier for genuine students while imposing additional checks on those who may seek to abuse the system,' Evans said in an address to the American Chamber of Commerce in Perth.

 

The measures include changes to the assessment of students studying more than one course, increased powers to cancel visas and streamlining the processing of post-graduate students.

 

'This means that students applying for more than one course will be required to meet the highest level of risk assessment within their package of course. Further, changes have been made to the migration regulations to improve visa cancellation guidelines if it is found that a student has suspended or deferred studies for non-genuine reasons,' Evans said.

 

'However, my department now has an improved capacity to verify students' claims where there are not compassionate or compelling reasons for deferral or suspension,' he added.

 

Indian nationals account for the second highest international student community in Australia after the Chinese. There are nearly 90,000 Indians studying at various educational institutions in Australia.

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