The Australian Department of Home Affairs has revealed a major achievement by slashing the typical processing period for student visas to a mere 16 days. This substantial improvement follows a trying period in 2022 when visa delays plagued numerous global study destinations as the world recuperated from the pandemic.
“Good news for international students! Additional Australian Government resourcing since 2022 has led to big reductions in average visa processing times. On average, student visas are now being processed in as little as 16 days,” announced the Australian government via a post on LinkedIn.
This outcome can be attributed to a planned allocation of $48.1 million from the nation’s budget spanning a 12-month period, coupled with a series of targeted initiatives aimed at resolving visa processing delays.
Reports indicate that approximately 600 new personnel were recruited between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, to bolster support for temporary and migration visa processing. Processing pending visa applications stands as a government priority.
To facilitate a seamless visa application process, the department has advised prospective student visa applicants from outside Australia to submit their visa applications at least eight weeks before their course commencement. This proactive approach can help students avoid unnecessary delays and ensure they have ample time to complete all requisite procedures before embarking on their studies in Australia.
In a move to streamline the admission of incoming students, Australia has elevated the financial capacity requirement for international students. Starting from October 1, 2023, student visa applicants will be obligated to demonstrate savings of at least AU$24,505 as proof of financial capacity.
“Almost 600 new staff [were] recruited between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, and are now supporting temporary and migration visa processing,” a spokesperson informed The PIE News.
“Processing on-hand visa applications is a government priority. In most instances, the department of home affairs has reduced the time it takes to finalise visa applications. These actions have already reduced the number of student visa applications on-hand and improved student visa processing times,” the spokesperson added.
In response to The PIE, the Department of Home Affairs noted that the median processing time was even shorter, standing at just 13 days.
Despite these promising statistics, the department issued a cautionary note, emphasising that these swift processing times should not lead students to become complacent when applying for visas.
“Processing times are impacted by cases that are complex, changes to the volume of applications and changes to Ministerial Directions,” the spokesperson cautioned.
The department further advised that students applying for a student visa from overseas should initiate their application at least eight weeks before the commencement of their course. This proactive approach, they emphasised, would help ensure a smooth and timely visa application process.
Study Gold Coast, a prominent regional hub for attracting international students to Australia, has informed The PIE that backlogs have been successfully addressed, and current processing times align with their anticipated standards.
The spokesperson affirmed, “This is not being raised by our members as a current issue.”