More savings required and no more concurrent COEs for international Students

Main changes:


The Department of Home Affairs is introducing measures to ensure integrity in international education and support legitimate international students, as this sector is a significant export industry for Australia. A loophole that allowed education providers to shift new international students who have been in Australia for less than six months from study to work arrangements has been closed. Concurrent enrolments increased in 2023, raising integrity concerns.

The Department is also investigating more than 200 educational institutions that are considered “dodgy providers” and that have visa refusal rates higher than 50%.

The government will scrutinize high-risk groups more closely, demanding additional documentation to prevent fraud. Additionally, under Section 97 of the ESOS Act, suspension certificates might be issued to high-risk education providers, stopping them from recruiting international students. This marks the first use of such power in Australia.

This measurement takes effect immediately.

Ending onshore visa hopping (1 July 2024 changes)

The Minister for Home Affairs published a media release that announces further changes to the migration system that were articulated within the Migration Strategy. These changes are to stop what is referred to in the Migration Strategy and the media release as visa hopping where temporary visa holders continue to apply for further temporary visas onshore to extend their stay in Australia with little prospect of becoming permanent residents.

As a measure to restrict visa hopping the media release outlines the following changes to commence from 1 July 2024:

The legislative instruments that will bring about these changes have not yet been released.

The Australian government released its much-anticipated Migration Strategy, which outlines a new vision for Australia’s migration system and a what to expect in 2024.


Under clause 500.214 of the Migration Regulations 1994, applicants for student visas are required to have genuine access to funds to meet the costs and expenses of the applicant during their stay in Australia, and the costs and expenses of each member of their family unit who will be in Australia with them.

The Department will now demand international students to demonstrate higher savings for a student visa, reflecting increased living expenses.

The below table outlines the funds you need to show to meet the minimum financial capacity requirement, which will be changed from 10 May 2024.

Minimum required funds to meet financial capacity requirements

Financial capacity requirement before 10 May 2024 Financial capacity requirement after 10​​ May 2024
primary applicant AUD24,505 AUD29,710
spouse or de facto partner of the Student primary applicant (not applicable to Student Guardian applicant) AUD8,574 AUD10,394
dependent child AUD3,670 AUD4,449
annual school costs AUD9,661 AUD13,502
personal annual income if there is no member of the family AUD72,465 AUD87,856
personal annual income where there is a member of the family unit AUD84,543 AUD102,500

DHA will assess applications lodged before 10 ​May 2024 under the financial capacity requirements in effect at the time of application.

To calculate how much funds you should demonstrate when applying for a student visa please click here: Student Visa Funds Calculator


The Department is also planning to replace the Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement by the Genuine Student Test.

Under Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement, students must prove that they are a Genuine student, and a genuine temporary entrant. That is, students must provide evidence showing that their main purpose in Australia is to study, and they are not using student visas to work in Australia. In addition, students are also assessed against their intention to stay in Australia temporarily only, and that they will depart Australia when they complete their study.

Under the new Genuine Student Test, students need to prove they come to Australia to study, but they do not have to prove that they are coming to Australia temporarily. This is considered align with the General Skills Migration program, where the Department wants to attract more people educated and trained in Australia to enter the workforce and ultimately get Permanent Resident.

This measurement is not official announced yet by the Department. We will update further details about this once more information becomes available.

The government plans further measures to enhance international education integrity in the upcoming Migration Strategy release.

International Students – Visas and compliance

In a joint media release Minister’s Clare, O’Connor and O’Neil announced a number of changes within the international student sector.

Increase in savings required

Evidence of savings for international students will need to show evidence of $24,505 in savings from October 1, 2023.

This is a 17% increase on the current levels and amounts to the equivalent of indexation since 2019 and reflects the increases in living expenses since that time.

Changing courses

Taking effect immediately, the Government has changed the ability of international students who have been in Australia for less than six months, to change from genuine study to arrangements such as ‘concurrent enrolment’ that facilitated working in Australia.

Fit and proper persons

Suspension certificates can be issued under s97 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) to high-risk education providers. The Government has identified more than 200 providers with visa refusal rates higher than 50%.

An Instrument has also been released that strengthens the fit and proper persons standards for persons who exercise a degree of control or influence over the management or operation of a training organisation. The purpose of these changes is to increase public confidence in their suitability to manage, or be involved with, an organisation that provides or assesses national VET qualifications.

Aged care work concessions

Members have enquired whether student visa holders working in the aged care sector, who are eligible for the concession to the working hours cap until the end of December 2023, can change employers during this period.

The Department of Home Affairs have confirmed that a change of employer is acceptable provided all other relevant criteria are met.


Recent News

Ending ‘visa hopping’ – 600 and 485 visas to student

35 Years or Under Age Limit for 485 Visa (50 for Masters by research and PhD)

Core Skills Occupations List (CSOL)

Bridging Visa R

Genuine Student (GS)