Review of the student visa programme

Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) appraisal – May 2018

A major reform, the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) was introduced on 1 July 2016. 

The Department of Home Affairs has recently conducted a high level appraisal of the SSVF policy settings (the Appraisal), in consultation with the Education Visa Consultative Committee.  The purpose of the Appraisal was to explore which elements of the SSVF could be enhanced to ensure it functions as effectively as possible. The final report, including recommendations, is at Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) appraisal – May 2018 (460KB PDF).

Future directions for streamlined visa processing

On 16 June 2015 the Australian Government released the Future directions for streamlined visa processing (2MB PDF)​ report and announced the introduction of a simplified student visa framework (SSVF) to support Australia’s international education sector.

The release of the report follows a period of extensive stakeholder consultation which included the release of a discussion paper to members of the Education Visa Consultative Committee and other key international education stakeholders. Thirty-two formal submissions were received in response to the discussion paper. 

On 1 July 2016, the Australian Government introduced the SSVF. The SSVF is designed to make the process of applying for a Student visa simpler to navigate for genuine students, deliver a targeted approach to immigration integrity and reduce red tape for business.

Under the SSVF, a single immigration framework applies to all international students and replaces the previous streamlined visa processing and Assessment Level frameworks.

More information is available at:

Reviews of the stu​dent visa programme

​The Hon Michael Knight AO released his report, Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011 (1.7MB PDF) on 30 June 2011 with 41 recommendations.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection released the final report of the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework (623KB PDF)​ on 29 October 2013.

The Review of the implementation of alternative English language proficiency tests in the student visa programme (639KB PDF) was conducted in 2013.

On 22 March 2014 streamlined student visa processing arrangements were extended to certain eligible non-university higher education providers for bachelor, masters or doctoral degree level courses.

On 23 November 2014 streamlined visa processing arrangements, similar to those in place for universities and non-university higher education providers, became available to prospective students of selected eligible education providers who offer advanced diploma level courses.

On 1 July 2015 streamlined student visa processing arrangements were further extended to another 39 eligible education providers including the newly formed Torrens University Australia.

This provided direct access to the streamlined visa processing arrangements for eligible education providers in both the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education sectors.​