Student Visa and Student Visa Processing

Minister Clare O’Neil (Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security) signed a new ministerial direction on 14th December 2023, stating the order in which the student visas and student guardian visas will be processed. As per the Australian government, this has been done to increase the integrity of the international education sector in Australia.

Education providers and institutions with Evidence Level 1 will be given priority processing. Australian universities and colleges with Level 2 evidence level will take second most priority with Level 3 institutions getting the last priority on the processing of student visas. Under the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) policy for student visa applications, each country and each Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)- registered education provider is allocated an evidence level from 1 to 3.  Level 1 evidence-level education providers benefit from having the most streamlined evidence requirements.

Ministerial Direction 107 provides the priority in the following order from first to last for how the Student Guardian visa Subclass 590 and offshore Subclass 500 student visas will be processed:

Priority Processing RankType of Student Visa Sector
Priority ProcessingSchool students, Foreign Affairs Students or Defence students, and Postgraduate Research Sector Applicants.
Second Priority ProcessingHigher Education, English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), Vocational Education and Training (VET), and NON-Award sector applicants studying at an education provider with an Evidence Level 1.
Third Priority ProcessingSubsequent Entrant applications which are lodged outside Australia that include an unmarried family member under 18 years of age.
Fourth Priority ProcessingAll Student Guardian Visa Applications subclass 590 are held inside or outside Australia.
  • All secondary student visa applicants and student guardian visa applicants like spouses, de-facto partners, or dependent children who are included in the primary applicant visa application will receive the same priority processing as the primary applicant.
  • Subsequent Entrant for student visa subclass 500 relates to the secondary applicants who did not make a combined application for a student visa with the primary applicant.
  • In the case of course packaging, the principal course of study with the highest Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level will receive the order of priority.
  • The new student visa processing priority applies to all student visa applications lodged after 15th December 2023 and the applications which are already lodged but not decided.

The following weightings and evidence-level indicators are used to calculate the evidence level of each education provider and country under the simplified student visa framework (SSVF):

  • Rate of visa cancellations (25% weightage)
  • Rate of refusals due to a fraud reason (40% weightage)
  • rate of refusals (excluding fraud) (10% weightage)
  • rate of student visa holders becoming unlawful non-citizens (15% weightage)
  • rate of Subsequent Protection Visa applications (10% weightage)

Evidence levels are allocated to each education provider and country.

Evidence Level IndexEvidence Level
Below 1.0Level 1
Between 1.0 and 2.7Level 2
Above 2.7Level 3


Disclaimer: The above information is not tailored to personal circumstances. For information relevant to personal circumstances, please book an appointment with Oracle Immigration Consultant’s expert migration agents in Australia.
For any inquiries, please contact us at +61 430812158. We are premier Immigration agency and consultancy in Melbourne (Bundoora and Geelong).

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