Understanding the New Student Visa Regulations in Australia 2024

Australia has long been a sought-after destination for international students seeking quality education and vibrant cultural experiences. In 2023, the Australian Government released a new Migration Strategy and introduced considerable updates to its student visa regulations. The strategy is aimed at ensuring the integrity of the system while enhancing opportunities for genuine students.

Sydney University, photographed by Andy Wang

Overview Of The Changes

The Australian government has all the information you need for the subclass 500 student visa. However, not all of the announced changes have been implemented yet. Here you can find the key changes in the student visa regulations and their implications for prospective international students.

Genuine Student Test

One of the fundamental changes to be introduced in the 2024 student visa regulations, is the Genuine Student Test (GST). It is supposed to replace the Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement (GTE), which is currently active (as of March 2024). The new GST aims to assess the authenticity of a student’s intention to study in Australia. It evaluates various factors, including academic history, financial capacity, and previous immigration compliance, to determine if you are really here to study and show true commitment to an Australian education. The Genuine Student Test is also supposed to ensure more fairness and transparency, so there is less fraud and rejection when applying for the student visa, because it encourages you to think critically about your educational choices and career goals.

Read more about the Genuine Student Test here.

Visa Hopping Policies

There have been concerns about visa hopping, where individuals could continuously apply for student visas to maintain residency in Australia without genuine study intentions. In response to this, the government has implemented stricter policies. These measures include increased observation of visa histories and patterns, as well as penalties for those found to be abusing the system. So, if you’re not planning to misuse Australia’s student visa system, you’re in the good books!

Adjustments to Prevent Misuse

Other adjustments to prevent misuse, are closer collaboration between immigration authorities and educational institutions. Enhanced reporting mechanisms and data-sharing initiatives aim to detect and deter fraudulent activities from both students and educational institutions more effectively. This means that the universities might share your study progress with the government, to ensure compliance with visa requirements.

Temporary Graduate Visa Terms

The Temporary Graduate Visa, subclass 485, allows international students to remain in Australia temporarily after completing their studies to gain work experience. Changes in 2024 include adjustments to the duration of the visa and the conditions attached, with a focus on aligning the visa terms more closely with Australia’s workforce needs and skill shortages.

Increased Language Requirements

Of course, your knowledge of the English language is very important for your academic success and integration into Australian society. Visa applicants are now required to demonstrate a higher level of English language proficiency through standardised tests such as IELTS or TOEFL, ensuring they have the necessary language skills to thrive in the English-speaking academic environment. For example, the Student Visa IELTS requirement increases from 5.5 to 6.0 (or equivalent). The test score for a Temporary Graduate visa will increase from 6.0 to 6.5.

New Age Limit

In a bid to better manage immigration and address concerns about long-term settlement patterns, the Australian government has introduced an age limit for student visa applicants. This measure aims to ensure that individuals applying for student visas are genuinely pursuing education and not using the system as a pathway to long-term residency without genuine study intentions. The maximum age will be reduced from 50 to 35. 

Possible Implications

The implementation of these new student visa regulations in Australia in 2024 could have serious implications for both international students as well as the Australian education sector. Stricter eligibility criteria or alterations in the application process could impact the influx of international students into the country. This could result in a significant reduction in the number of international students choosing to study in Australia, particularly if the new regulations create barriers or uncertainties that discourage prospective students from studying abroad in the country. 

Additionally, these regulations could also influence the financial aspects of the Australian education system. Currently, international students contribute substantially to the economy through tuition fees and living expenses. A decline in their numbers due to stricter visa regulations could result in revenue losses for educational institutions, affecting their financial stability and potentially leading to budget cuts or adjustments in academic programs. 

A decrease in international student enrollment could also have broader economic repercussions, impacting other sectors such as accommodation, hospitality, and retail that rely on the spending power of international students. Overall, the implications of the new student visa regulations in Australia in 2024 could extend beyond the education sector, shaping the country’s economic landscape and international reputation as a study destination.


The new 2024 student visa regulations in Australia represent an effort to strengthen the integrity of the student visa program, while enhancing opportunities for genuine students to pursue their academic aspirations abroad. By implementing these new measures, Australia aims to maintain its reputation as a top destination for international education while safeguarding its borders and national interests.

If you are a prospective international student navigating these changes, it’s essential to stay informed and comply with the updated requirements. Make the most of the opportunities available in Australia’s educational landscape!

If you want to study in Australia but don’t know how, find more information on how to start you education journey in our Ultimate Guide for International Students or at the official government website for international students here. Also have a look at Australia’s Top 10 Ranking Universities 2024