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11,000 student visas cancelled by the department of immigration

Typically, the department cancels between 8,000 and 9000 visas annually, but in the latest figures released by the DIBP for the year ending June 2015, there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of cancellations, according to a report in The Australian.

The visas of 1793 Chinese students were cancelled making them the highest risk group. With 1160 visa cancellations, South Korean students were next, followed in number by students from India, Vietnam and Thailand.

The total number of student visas issued rose by 2 per cent, from 292,060 to 299,540.

Low-quality education providers, unscrupulous education agents, and the overly complex current student visa framework have been blamed for these large number of visa cancellations.

Last month, two colleges - St Stephen Institute of Technology and Symbiosis Institute of Technical Education - were shut down after allegations that they were not providing education, but were “being used to source student visas for Indian students who then go to work…”

Given the greater scrutiny by the DIBP, several larger providers, including sector heavyweight Navitas, have cancelled contracts with some third-party -agencies that source international ¬students.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne also has moved to push out unscrupulous education agents, announcing a code of ethics and a feasibility study into an industry-led quality framework for agents.

“The quality of the educational services that Australia offers to the rest of the world is an asset that we should protect and enhance,” said Mr Pyne, adding that, “International education is Australia’s fourth largest export industry overall and our largest services export ahead of tourism, so maintaining our strong reputation for quality is important.”

The government says it will introduce a single framework for student visa risk assessment in mid-2016. The new system is expected to effectively have one student visa class (with a separate subclass for student guardians.)

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  • Guest
    Anon Wednesday, 02 September 2015

    I know we are not suppose to name and shame, but if people who are aware of unscrupulous education agents (and migration agents), are not encouraged to do so, how can we expect change? There is an education agent (RMA) that I am aware of in WA that sells visa duration to their students. This agent has also bought shares into a local RTO, obviously would continue this dodgy practice of selling visa duration rather than genuinely recommending study pathways.

    The client that went to this dodgy agent was concerned after talking to my clients about his visa situation. I discovered that the RMA did not provide a contract, a letter of offer, the CoE or OSHC details to the student. Student was asked to just hand over $3500 and everything will be sorted out to obtain a 50 week visa. Total cost would be around $7000, which would include tuition fee, VAC and OSHC. When this student came to me, he wanted to know how he could obtain his OSHC card. Student mentioned that the agent was not contactable and didn't know how to get his OSHC details. After some investigation, I discovered that the student's OSHC will only commence on the date that the student will start his course; however the student visa was granted 3 months before the course started and this application was assessed onshore. Student visa holders should have OSHC cover for the period of visa grant, but this student did not. Either the case officer granted the visa incorrectly or this dodgy agent cancelled the OSHC when the visa was granted and purchased a separate one to start at a later date (pocketing the access). The agent also requested many holiday gaps in between courses providing this student with an additional 30 weeks of break while the student's course was only a registered 26 week course. Student intend to continue studies after completing the course he was enrolled in, but was not informed about the additional VAC and STAC if the student was to extend his visa a second time onshore.

    This is what a dodgy agent typically does and by not naming and shaming, this unethical practice will continue. How do can we expect to bring integrity to this industry if naming and shaming is discouraged by certain members of the migration industry?

  • Guest
    Guest Thursday, 03 September 2015

    People are too scared to name and shame as there are so many dodgy providers!
    I have heard of students paying up to 10K for a visa but then they don't get a visa. They are too scared to make complaints as they are concerned for their own safety if they dob someone in. Who know what these dodgy buggers are capable of? It is a shame though that they are giving the decent agents a bad name and the industry as a whole.

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