AUSTRALIA: Tough visa rules for 'high risk' students

Indian students enrolling in higher education, postgraduate research and English language courses in Australia will now have to adhere to more stringent visa regulations, reports The Economic Times. India is one of nine countries that have had their immigration risk assessment levels upgraded from three to four on a scale of five beginning this month - the result of visa non-compliance by students. The other countries are Sri Lanka, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Nigeria, Romania and Zimbabwe.

Assessment Level 1 represents the lowest immigration risk and Assessment Level 5 the highest. "These changes will not be an impediment for genuine applicants coming here for study. It simply means applicants affected by these changes will need to submit a higher level of evidence of their English language ability, academic qualifications and their financial capacity to support themselves during their studies in Australia," a spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship told media.

During 2007-08, more than 278,000 students from 190 countries were granted visas representing more than 21% growth in the student visa programme in one year. As of June 30, 2008, there were 63,500 Indian overseas students enrolled in Australian educational institutions, mostly in the vocational education sector.
Full report on the Economic Times site