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Student Visa Requirement Changes For Top Destinations


student visa

Enrollment in study abroad programs has reached a record high among Indian students, with nearly 13 lakh participating or enrolled in 2023, indicating a significant recovery post-pandemic. Numerous changes have occurred in various countries throughout 2023, leading to alterations in student visa routes and technical requirements, including application processes and documentation, among other aspects.

Notably, Canada and the UK have implemented substantial changes in their international visa systems. Meanwhile, other countries have remained committed to refining their pathways for students aspiring to study within their borders.

Furthermore, there have been shifts in application assessment trends. Among the preferred destinations for Indian students seeking higher education are the UK, Canada, the USA, and Australia.

United States

The US visa application process has become more rigorous, implementing modifications that require all F, M, and J student visa applicants to use their passport information when creating a profile and scheduling visa appointments.

Canada

In 2023, while the visa procedures and technical requirements to study in Canada remained largely stable, two significant updates reshaped the landscape. Firstly, the financial requirement for studying in Canada has undergone a notable alteration, doubling the amount students must demonstrate in their accounts. This adjustment is in response to the increased cost of living in the country. Another key change aims to counter acceptance letter fraud, with Canada’s designated learning institutions now required to verify each applicant’s letter of acceptance (LOA) directly with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Programme is also under review. Canada has introduced policies allowing international students an extended work permit of up to 18 months after graduation.

United Kingdom

The UK witnessed adjustments in its visa procedures in 2023, particularly affecting students aspiring to study in the country. The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department introduced a significant change involving modifications in fees. Notably, the UK visa fees surged from £363 to £490, representing a substantial 35% increase. Additionally, there were revisions in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), escalating from £624 to £1,035. In an effort to reduce immigration, the UK also prohibited students from bringing families and dependents on a student visa. A review of the post-study work visa is also underway.

Australia

Australia raised English proficiency test score requirements and the savings requirement for student visas. Moreover, age limits for work visas were reduced, and scrutiny of second visa applications was intensified.

Australia introduced policies such as temporarily removing caps on working hours and extending post-study work rights for select degree holders. According to a statement from the Australian government, “A two-year extension of post-study work rights is available for international graduates with select degrees that are in areas of verified skill shortage.” The statement added, “This extension will give eligible international higher education graduates an additional two years on their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). The extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years of work rights for eligible students who study, live, and work in regional areas.”

France

France extended its post-study work visas to five years for master’s degree graduates. Additionally, those who studied in France for a semester can now avail a five-year short-stay Schengen visa to explore job opportunities.

Italy

Italy extended opportunities for Indian students by allowing an extra 12-month stay after degree completion. Provisions for professional training and internships enhance the post-study experience in this country.

Ireland

Ireland allows international graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees to stay for two years on a post-study work visa. PhD holders can stay for three years. Previously, the time frame for undergraduates was one year.

New Zealand

New Zealand has introduced a notable reform in its technical requirements, allowing the IELTS One Skill Retake option, providing flexibility for test-takers to retake any of the four skills if needed.

Prospective international students should be mindful of recent changes in visa procedures, financial requirements, and post-study opportunities when considering study abroad destinations. The evolving landscape emphasizes the importance of staying informed and adapting plans to maximize the benefits of international education.





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