Policy overview - combined country and education provider evidence framework

The 'evidence framework' is based on immigration outcomes, and guides whether a visa applicant is required to provide evidence of English language proficiency and financial capability at the time of the Student visa application. 

There is no connection between the evidence framework and the quality of an education provider.

Under the simplified student visa framework (SSVF) each country and each Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registered education provider is allocated an evidence level. Education provider and country evidence levels are then combined to guide financial and English evidence requirements for student visa applicants.

All education providers have access to the benefits of streamlined evidence requirements. Education providers that obtain the lowest evidence level have streamlined evidence requirements for all countries, while education providers with the highest evidence level only receive these benefits for students from the lowest evidence level countries.

Where streamlined evidence requirements apply, the student visa applicant will generally be able to satisfy the Department of their financial capacity by declaration and they will not generally need to provide evidence their English proficiency. However, we can request further evidence where appropriate.

Where regular evidence requirements apply the student will generally be required to provide evidence of their financial and English language capacity.

The online document checklist tool

Where our online lodgement system, indicates that documentary evidence of financial and/or English language capacity is required, applicants must attach these documents to their visa application prior to lodgement. Failure to do so might result in visa refusal. Before a student lodges their application they can use the document checklist tool to get an idea of what evidence is likely to be required based on their circumstances.

Country and education provider evidence levels will not be published

To reduce the likelihood of unintended market impacts and the targeting of certain education providers by non-genuine students, the evidence levels of education providers and countries will not be published. The online document checklist tool will advise a student of their likely financial and English language requirements prior to visa lodgement, based on their passport country and intended education provider.

Sharing evidence level data externally, including with agents

We do not recommend education providers publish or share their evidence level data with external parties, including agents, because it may increase the potential for the education provider to be targeted by non-genuine applicants and, consequently, increase the likelihood of an education provider’s evidence level increasing over time.

More information is available about evidence levels.

Packaged courses

Where the student intends to package courses to combine their preliminary course of study with their principal course of study, the education provider evidence level applied to the student visa application would correspond to the student’s principal course of study.

Updates to country and education provider evidence levels

Country and education provider evidence levels are updated every six months at the end of March and September each year. The updated evidence levels for the March release is based on 12 months data from the previous calendar year and the September release will be based on 12 months data from the previous program year.

These timeframes provide minimal disruption to enrolment peaks and processing peaks.

Small education providers and countries

Where there is insufficient data to determine the evidence level of an education provider or country a default evidence level is assigned. This applies if a country or education provider has less than the threshold of 50 for any of the following data items in the relevant reporting period:

  • number of active student visas
  • where the client was outside of Australia
  • number of students whose visas are due to expire.

Small education providers

If an education provider has less than the threshold of 50 for any of the data items listed above, their default evidence level will be two.

Small countries

If a country has less than the threshold of 50 for any of the data items listed above, their default evidence level will be three unless that country meets certain criteria regarding income, in which case a default evidence level of one is applied.

What is an education provider?

Education providers are identified based on their CRICOS provider codes. Data for individual CRICOS education provider codes will be merged into a single report.

Access to information about education provider evidence levels

Education providers have access to an online reporting portal through ImmiAccount on our website. The education provider report is available to education providers on a monthly basis so education providers can track and manage the evidence level associated with the international students they recruit. The Principal Executive Officer in PRISMS has access to the education provider report for their individual CRICOS registration.

Education provider reports show both the overall evidence level for the provider and the outcomes of the education provider on a country by country basis. The report will be based on 12 months data up to the end of the previous month.