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学生签证风险等级框架拟将简化

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      2013年10月29日,澳大利亚移民与边境保护部部长助理公布了学生签证风险等级审议报告的结果,并宣布了政府关于简化学生签证风险等级框架的提议。
      根据立法修改程序,移民局计划取消四级与五级风险以简化风险等级框架,这样,该框架将只包含3个风险等级,现有的四级风险将降为三级风险。
      移民局同时计划对三级风险学生签证申请人的资金要求,由目前的18个月减少为12个月。但是,三级风险申请人的的资金担保人必须是其近亲。
      什么是风险等级框架?
      通过明确规定来自不同国家、申请不同类别学生签证的申请人的最低证明材料要求,风险等级框架能够有效的管理学生签证项目中的移民风险。
      当申请人申请学生签证时,这一法定标准会根据申请人的护照所属国和他们的主课程来判断风险等级。
      1994年移民条例明确规定不同风险等级的申请人需提供相应的语言、资金以及以往的学习证明材料。
      什么是学生签证风险等级?
      现行的风险等级分为五个级别,其中一级风险最低,而五级风险则最高。不同风险等级对证明材料的要求有很大不同,如资金要求和语言能力要求,这些都是获得学生签证的必备材料。风险等级越高,移民局对申请材料的要求就越高。
      根据立法修改程序,移民局计划取消四级与五级风险以简化风险等级框架 如此一来,该框架将只包含3个等级。
      风险等级框架审议考虑到哪些方面?
      此次风险等级审议目的在于如何改革现有的学生签证风险管理框架,以增强学生签证项目的完整性,同时提高澳大利亚在国际市场的竞争力。如何以校方为基础建立起有效的学生签证风险管理框架是此次审议的主要议题。
      此次审议同时还考虑了现行的学生签证风险等级框架是否能对同一国家内和不同教育机构间的不同情况作出恰当回应,入澳门槛的设置,以及如何改革风险等级框架以有效地识别和管理未来的移民风险。
      风险等级框架审议有哪些提议?
      审议中发现,总体来说,现行的风险等级框架运转良好,但提出了以下8项提议以进一步升级现行的风险等级框架,并在保证学生签证项目完整性的基础上,继续简化真实的留学生的签证审理程序。
      提议要点包括:
      ·增加SVP院校(提议一)
      ·简化风险等级至3级,取消四级和五级风险(提议三)
      ·降低对三级风险申请人的资金要求(提议四)
      其他提议主要涉及对现行风险等级框架的设定和审议流程。
      风险等级框架审议报告详见以下网址:
      Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 - PDF version
      Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 - Word version 
      提议取消4级风险和5级风险有什么影响?
      目前没有国家被评定为5级风险,所以取消4级风险后,现今所有4级风险的学生签证申请人,其风险等级将降为3级。
      目前的4级风险申请人将会从这一变化中受益,因为他们向移民局提供较低要求的语言能力、资金能力和之前学习的证明材料就可以获得学生签证。
      例如,之前4级风险571签证申请人只能申请从10年级开始在澳洲读书,而根据新的政策,这类申请人将可以申请从7年级开始在澳洲读书,这无疑对学生和学校双方都是非常有利的。
      对3级风险学生签证申请人的资金要求有哪些减少?
      现有的3级风险学生签证申请人必须向移民局提交来自其认可的金融机构的资金证明材料,以确保他们能够支付自己在澳洲的最初18个月的学费和生活费。
      根据立法修改程序,移民局提议将对3级风险学生的资金数额要求将由原来的18个月减少为12个月。
      但是,3级风险申请人的资金担保必须由申请人的近亲提供。
      移民局为何要减少对3级风险学生签证申请人的资金要求?
      移民局降低对3级风险学生签证申请人的资金要求将使澳洲对赴澳留学生的整体资金要求与其主要竞争国家保持一致,从而使澳洲的教育机构在教育水平相当的情况下在国际上更有竞争力。
      降低对3级风险学生签证申请人的资金要求的前提是,学生还需要满足对真实临居入境者(GTE)的要求,GTE提供了额外的完整性保障,但其在风险等级框架建立之初并未引入实施。
      1级和2级风险申请人将会面临哪些变化?
      审议没有提出任何关于1级和2级风险申请人的改变。
      移民局如何继续确保只有真实的学生才能获签?
      2011年11月开始实施的GTE要求可以确保只有那些真实的申请人才能获得学生签证。
      GTE要求会根据申请人的整体情况来判断他们的在澳洲临时居住的意图是否真实。GTE要求评定会综合考虑申请人的一系列情况,如申请人的移民史、申请人回国的动力因素以及可能造成申请人留在澳洲的因素。
      新变化是否会对澳洲在读的留学生产生影响?
      移民局关于简化风险等级框架的提议将只适用于新政实施后的学生签证申请。根据立法修改程序,新政将在2014年初实施。
      在哪里可以了解更多信息?
      大家可以登录移民局网站了解更多关于风险等级框架的信息,包括现行风险等级和学生签证证明材料的完整清单。

    Proposed Simplification of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework
      On 29 October 2013 the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection released the findings of the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level report and announced the government's proposal to simplify the student visa Assessment Level (AL) Framework.
      Subject to the legislative change process, the department proposes to simplify the AL Framework by removing AL4 and AL5. As a result the AL Framework would comprise three assessment levels (AL1 to AL3) with current AL4 countries/sectors reduced to AL3.
      The department also proposes to reduce the financial requirement for AL3 student visa applicants from 18 months to 12 months. However, as a result of this change, funds for AL3 applicants would be required to be provided by a close relative of the visa applicant.
      Show allHide all
      What is the Assessment Level Framework?
      The AL Framework manages immigration risk in the student visa program by aligning minimum evidentiary requirements for student visa applications to the immigration risk posed by applicants from a particular country applying for a particular student visa subclass.
      When someone applies for a student visa, a legislative instrument specifies which AL applies based on the applicant's passport country and their main course of study.
      The Migration Regulations 1994 then prescribe what level of English language proficiency, financial requirements and previous study the applicant must provide based on their AL.
      What is a student visa Assessment Level?
      Assessment levels currently range from AL1 to AL5. AL1 represents the lowest immigration risk and AL5 represents the highest immigration risk. ALs determine the level of evidentiary requirements, related to factors such as financial capacity and English language ability, that an applicant must provide to be granted a student visa. The higher the AL, the greater are the evidentiary requirements that apply.
      Subject to the legislative change process, the department proposes to reduce the number of ALs from five to three (AL1 to AL3) with the removal of AL4 and AL5.
      What did the review of the Assessment Level Framework consider?
      The review considered how the student visa risk management framework could be reformed to achieve enhanced integrity in the student visa programme while at the same time facilitating the competitiveness of Australia's international sector. Consideration of how the student visa risk management framework could be informed by a provider-based risk approach was a key issue for the review.
      The review also examined whether the student visa risk framework was appropriately responsive to differences within countries and between education providers, what eligibility thresholds should apply, and how the framework will be reviewed to ensure future immigration risks are identified and managed.
      What did the review of the Assessment Level Framework recommend?
      The review found that overall the AL Framework was working well, however it made eight recommendations to update the AL Framework so that it continues to facilitate the visa process for genuine international students while maintaining the integrity of the student visa programme.
      Key recommendations include:

  •  the extension of streamlined visa processing to low immigration risk providers (recommendation 1)
  • simplifying the AL Framework to three ALs with the removal of AL4 and AL5 (recommendation 3)
  • the reduction in financial requirements for AL3 applicants (recommendation 4)

      The remaining recommendations largely relate to the process of assigning and reviewing ALs.
      A copy of the review of the Assessment Level Framework report can be found on the department's website.

       See:Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 - PDF version (622KB PDF file)
       Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 - Word version ( 68KB Word file)
       What will be the effect of the proposed removal of AL4 and AL5?
      Currently no countries are assigned as AL5. The proposed removal of AL4 would result in all students who are currently subject to AL4 instead being assessed as AL3.
      Current AL4 visa applicants would benefit from this change as there would be a reduction in the level of evidence of English language proficiency, financial capacity and previous study that they would need to provide to the department for the grant of their visa.
       For example, international students seeking a Schools sector (subclass 571) visa from countries that were previously AL4 would, under the proposed changes, be able to enrol in Australian schools from Year 7 instead of from Year 10. This would provide a substantial benefit for both students and schools.
      What are the proposed financial reductions for AL3 student visa applicants?
      Currently an AL3 student visa applicant must provide evidence of funds from an acceptable source to pay for their expenses for the first 18 months of their stay in Australia.
      Subject to the legislative change process, the department proposes to reduce the evidence of finances required for AL3 students from 18 months to 12 months.
      However, as a result of this change, funds for AL3 applicants would need to be provided by a close relative of the student visa applicant.
      Why does the department propose to reduce the financial requirement for AL3 student visa applicants?
      The department's proposed reduction to the financial requirement for AL3 student visa applicants will bring the overall financial requirements for an Australian student visa in line with key competitor countries, enabling education providers to more effectively compete internationally based on the quality of their education.
      This proposed reduction to the financial requirement for AL3 student visa applicants is made possible by the existence of the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement which provides an additional integrity safeguard that was not in place when the AL Framework was initially established.
      What will change for AL1 and AL2 applicants?
      The review did not recommend any changes to arrangements for AL1 and AL2 applicants.
      How will the department continue to ensure that only genuine students are granted a visa?
      The GTE requirement, which was introduced in November 2011, provides a safeguard to ensure that only genuine applicants are granted a student visa. 
      The GTE requirement considers whether the holistic individual circumstances of an applicant indicate that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia. Assessment of the GTE requirement takes into account a number of factors relating to an applicant such as their immigration history, circumstances that may encourage the applicant to return to their home country and circumstances that might encourage them to remain in Australia.
      Will these proposed changes affect international students currently studying in Australia?
      The department's proposed changes to simplify the AL Framework would only affect new student visa applications made after the changes have been implemented.        Subject to the legislative change process, we intend to implement these changes in early 2014.
      Where do I go for more information?
      More information about the AL Framework, including a full list of current assessment levels and evidentiary requirements for a student visa is available on the department's website.

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