Policy overview - combined country and provider immigration risk

Under the simplified student visa framework (SSVF) each country and each Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registered education provider is allocated an immigration risk rating. Provider and country immigration risk ratings are then combined to guide financial and English evidentiary requirements for student visa applicants.

All education providers have access to the benefits of streamlined evidentiary requirements. Education providers that obtain the lowest immigration risk rating have streamlined evidentiary requirements for all countries, while education providers with the highest immigration risk rating only receive these benefits for students from the lowest immigration risk countries.

Where streamlined evidentiary requirements apply, the student visa applicant will generally be able to satisfy the Department of their financial capacity by declaration and they will not generally need to provide evidence their English proficiency. We however can seek further evidence where appropriate.

Where regular evidentiary requirements apply the student will generally be required to provide documentary evidence of their financial and English language capacity.

The online document checklist tool

Where our online lodgement system, indicates that documentary evidence of financial and/or English language capacity is required, applicants must attach these documents to their visa application prior to lodgement. Failure to do so might result in visa refusal. Before a student lodges their application they can use the document checklist tool to get an idea of what evidence is likely to be required based on their circumstances.

Country and provider immigration risk ratings will not be published

To reduce the likelihood of unintended market impacts and the targeting of certain education providers by non-genuine students, the immigration risk ratings of education providers and countries will not be published. The online document checklist tool will advise a student of their likely financial and English language requirements prior to visa lodgement, based on their passport country and intended education provider.

Sharing immigration risk data externally, including with agents

We do not recommend education providers publish or share their immigration risk data with external parties, including agents, because it may increase the potential for the education provider to be targeted by non-genuine applicants and, consequently, increase the likelihood of an education provider’s immigration risk rating increasing over time.

More information is available about Managing immigration risk.

Packaged courses

Where the student intends to package courses to combine their preliminary course of study with their principal course of study, the education provider immigration risk rating applied to the student visa application would correspond to the student’s principal course of study.

Updates to country and provider immigration risk ratings

Country and provider immigration risk ratings will be updated about every six months in approximately March and September of each year. The updated immigration risk ratings for the March release will be based on 12 months data from the previous calendar year and the September release will be based on 12 months data from the previous programme year.

These timeframes provide minimal disruption to enrolment peaks and processing peaks.

Small providers and countries

Where there is insufficient data to determine the immigration risk rating of a provider or country a default immigration risk rating is assigned. This applies if a country or provider has less than the threshold of 50 for any of the following data items in the relevant reporting period:

  • number of active student visas
  • where the client was outside of Australia
  • number of students whose visas are due to expire.

Small providers

If an education provider has less than the threshold of 50 for any of the data items listed above, their default immigration risk rating will be two.

Small countries

If a country has less than the threshold of 50 for any of the data items listed above, their default immigration risk rating will be three unless that country meets certain criteria regarding income, in which case a default immigration risk rating of one is applied.

What is an education provider?

Education providers are identified based on their CRICOS provider codes. Data for individual CRICOS provider codes will be merged into a single report.

Access to information about provider immigration risk ratings

Education providers have access to an online reporting portal through ImmiAccount on our website. The immigration risk rating report is available to education providers on a monthly basis so providers can track and manage the immigration risk associated with the international students they recruit. The Principal Executive Officer in PRISMS has access to the immigration risk reports for their individual CRICOS registration.

Education provider reports show both the overall immigration risk rating for the provider and the outcomes of the education provider on a country by country basis. The report will be based on 12 months data up to the end of the previous month.