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Assessment Levels and the Student Visa Program
We consider each of these student visa applications on their individual merits. Assessment Levels facilitate this process, allowing us to deliver fast and efficient service to our clients while maintaining the integrity of Australia's immigration program.
Transparency in visa requirements and consistent decisions are a pivotal part of the student visa program. With visas granted to students from over 190 different countries, Assessment Levels, as an objective measure of immigration risk for each of these student groups, are a key tool in determining visa requirements and enable consistency in decisions across this diverse range of clients.
There are five Assessment Levels in the student visa program. They serve to align student visa requirements to the immigration risk posed by applicants from a particular country studying in a particular education sector. Assessment Level 1 represents the lowest immigration risk and Assessment Level 5 the highest. The higher the Assessment Level, the greater the evidence an applicant is required to demonstrate to support their claims for the grant of a student visa.
How are Assessment Levels determined?
Each country, across each education sector, is assigned an Assessment Level which is based on the calculated immigration risk posed by students from that country studying in that education sector.
To determine the Assessment Level of a particular country and education sector, we examine that group's compliance with their visa conditions and other indicators of their immigration risk in the previous year.
Where these statistical indicators show that a group has a higher level of immigration risk over a sustained period, the department responds to this trend by raising the Assessment Level of that group. In effect, this requires applicants to submit a higher level of evidence to support their claims that they wish to study in Australia.
Where a group's indicators demonstrate that they tend to abide by their visa conditions, these lower immigration risk groups have their Assessment Level lowered. This streamlines the visa process by reducing the level of evidence that these applicants need to submit to support their claims for a student visa.
The department regularly undertakes a comprehensive risk assessment of the entire student visa caseload and reviews the Assessment Levels to ensure that they align to the immigration risk of groups.
Assessment Levels and streamlined student visa processing
Applicants eligible for streamlined visa processing are not assigned an Assessment Level. This is because under the streamlined visa processing arrangements student visa applicants are assessed as though they are a lower immigration risk, irrespective of the passport they hold.
See: Streamlined Student Visa Processing
What Assessment Level am I?
If you are not eligible for streamlined visa processing, the passport you hold and the education sector of your principal course will determine the Assessment Level of your visa application.
To identify the Assessment Level for your visa application, match your passport type with the visa subclass for the education sector of your principal course.
The information sheet – Student Visa Program – Assessment Levels contains a list of the current Assessment Levels for all passports and education sectors. Your Assessment Level is the one in effect for your passport and visa subclass on the date that you lodged a valid application with the department.
See: Student Visa Program – Assessment Levels (formerly known as Form 1219i) (144KB PDF file)
If your passport is not listed in the table on this document you will be subject to Assessment Level 3. If you are sponsored by AusAID or Defence and are applying for a Subclass 576 – AusAID/Defence student visa you will be subject to Assessment Level 2.
What Assessment Level are my family members?
Your family members may be eligible to apply for a visa to accompany you to Australia. Family members are subject to the same Assessment Level as the student, regardless of the type of passport the family member holds.
See: Bringing Family