Australia is one of the primary destinations in the world for people looking to study in a foreign english speaking country with a stable and reliable education system. The basic structure of the Australian student visa migration program is split into a number of subclassess. There is the independent ELICOS sector visa, the schools sector visa, the vocational education and training sector visa, the higher education sector visa, the postgraduate research sector visa, the non-award sector visa, the AusAID or Defence Sector Visa and the Student Guardian Visa.
Student Visa applications are assessed for the visa subclass appropropriate to their principal course of study. So, for example, if an applicant is intending to enrol in a bachelor of arts degree whether or not they are intending to undertake a foundation course first, they will have to satisfy the criteria for the subclass 573 visa. Regulation 1.40A of the Regulations requires the Minister to specify the types of course for each student visa subclass except for the subclass 576 visa.
In addition to the Migration Act and the Migration Regulations, the overseas student program is regulated by the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001 and related legislation. Uner Part 4 of the ESOS Act, the Minister For Education created the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007. The ESOS Act and the national code include provisions regarding the refund of course fees to students if an education provider fails to provide the course agreed and establishing an assurance fund to which registered education providers must contribute.
The National Code of 2007 is a legislative instrument. Breaches of it by education providers can result in enforcement action being taken against them under the ESOS Act. Many Education providers are also regulated by State or Territory Legislation. The national code is divided into 4 parts which includes a description of the act and legislative framework and objectives, outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Australian and State and Territory governments which share the responsibility for implementing the National Code 2007. The next two parts explain the commonwealth register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas students and provide 15 standards that Education providers must meet in their dealings with overseas students. Because of these regulatory requirements, Australia is considered to have one of the most student friendly visa systems in the English speaking world and for this reason, Australia is a popular destination for many students from India, China, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and a range of other countries around the world.