New Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF)

The Australia Government has released streamlined visa processing report and simplified student visa framework (SSVF) since 16 June 2015. SSVF has been implemented successfully since mid-2016. View a copy of the Future directions for streamlined visa processing report.

Main changes

  • student visa subclasses are reduced from 8 to 2
  • introduction to a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students

Why change?

The main reason of changing is to simplify student visa framework in order to provide genuine students with clearer instruction, come out with a more targeted manner to immigration integrity and build a platform for all education providers.

Pervious structure of students visa programme

Pervious student visa framework includes

  • eight visa subclasses

  • Assessment Level framework (AL)

  • Streamlined visa processing arrangements (SVP)

In previous student visa application, students need to choose applicable student visa subclass based on their aimed study level, for instance, subclass 573 for Higher Education. Either Assessment Level (AL) framework or Streamlined visa processing (SVP) agreements can assess student visa applicants.Three primary factors affecting the visa application are financial capacity, English language proficiency and academic background.

AL framework, three assessment levels

  • AL1 representing the lowest immigration risk

  • AL2 medium

  • AL3 representing the highest immigration risk, the most amount of evidence needed for supporting their claim  


  • students whose main course of study is an Advanced Diploma, Bachelor degree, Masters, Doctoral degree or eligible exchange programme at a participating SVP education provider

  • are not assigned an AL

  • If a student is eligible for SVP, generally have requirements for financial capacity, English language proficiency and academic background

  • similar to application under the previous AL1

  • regardless of their country of origin

Key points you should know about SSVF

  • the level of documentation relating to financial capacity and English language proficiency that the student would need to provide with their student visa application depends on the combination of immigration risk outcomes of the student’s education provider and country of citizenship

  • instead of different visa subclasses for different levels of study, there’s only one student visa subclass for all students

  • online engine helps students to find out what documentary they need to provide by entering their intended education provider and country of citizenship

  • students enrolled at an education provider with the lowest immigration risk outcomes

    • lower evidentiary requirements

    • regardless of their nationality

  • ‘students enrolled at an education provider with the highest immigration risk outcomes will have access to reduced evidentiary requirements if they are from a country with the lowest immigration risk’

  • ‘The eligibility criteria for the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa will not change’

  • SSVF will not affect the existing student visa holders, it will work on the students who apply after mid-2016

More information

As it becomes available, further information will be updated on the Department's website at

reference: Australian Government, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 2016, Future directions for streamlined visa processing New simplified student visa framework, viewed 19 July 2016, <

Words by Haisi Jiao
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