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8th Jan 2024
Afia Azmi

New Changes in Student Visa Across Countries in 2024

As we enter 2024, international students encounter notable changes in visa regulations across different nations. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the latest updates in student visa rules for some of the top study destinations.

United Kingdom

Recent changes in student visa rules restrict the ability of international students to bring their dependent family members. The university makes exceptions for a smaller group of students pursuing master's degrees on government scholarships.

Tom Pursglove MP emphasized the necessity of these changes to address the surge in dependent visas contributing to unsustainable migration levels.

The UK government aims to strike a balance, preserving the appeal of its higher education sector while preventing institutions from prioritizing immigration over education.

Read More - UK's New Visa Policy

United States

While the USA continues to attract a record number of Indian students, it has introduced changes to the F, M, and J student visa application process. The Department of State has authorized consular officers to waive in-person interviews for those with previous US visa experience.

Here's what you need to know -

  • Use your correct passport info when creating a profile and scheduling an appointment.
  • Wrong passport number will lead to cancelled appointments and loss of visa fees.
  • F or M visa applicants must attend a certified school, and J visa applicants need sponsorship from an approved organization.
  • If you've used the wrong passport number, create a new profile or update the existing one before booking an appointment. Applicants might face a new visa fee. 
  • For lost or stolen old passports, evidence of the old passport number is required at your visa appointment.
Australia

Australia has tightened visa rules, targeting international students and low-skilled workers.

  • These policies prohibit students from pursuing multiple programs simultaneously.
  • Work hours for students are now capped at 48 hours per fortnight.
  • The minimum savings requirement has been increased to $24,505, reflecting a 17% rise.

Read More - Enhanced Financial Protection for Indian Students in Australia

Canada

Starting January 1, 2024, Canada has increased the cost-of-living financial requirement to $20,635. Minister Marc Miller declared that Canada would change the required amount for the cost of living and will undergo annual adjustments based on updates from Statistics Canada.

In addition, educational institutions must now admit only as many students as they can adequately support, including providing housing facilities.

Read More - Canada's New Anti-Fraud Measures

Germany

Germany, grappling with a shortage of foreign workers, enacted the Skilled Worker Immigration Act on November 18, 2023, with changes effective from March 1, 2024.

The EU Blue Card scheme saw modifications, including -

  • An increased minimum salary expanded eligibility for recent graduates and experienced IT workers without degrees.
  • Family members of EU Blue Card holders can now visit without additional permits.
  • The Act also introduces flexibility, allowing candidates in a 3-year German training program to obtain a work permit, emphasizing work-study arrangements.

Moreover, starting in June 2024, authorities will introduce a new "Opportunity card" for individuals with foreign qualifications, allowing them to stay in Germany for a year to explore job opportunities.

France

France is actively seeking to attract 30,000 Indian students by 2030.

Offering a five-year Schengen visa to postgraduate degree holders who have spent a semester studying in France, the country aims to make the transition easier for Indian students. Language courses will assist students in transitioning from English to French classes.

As global dynamics continue to shape the landscape of international education, staying informed about the latest changes in visa rules is crucial for prospective students. Whether it's the UK's focus on reducing dependent visas, the US tightening its application process, or Australia's measures against "visa hopping," students must navigate these updates to ensure a seamless study abroad experience. Keeping an eye on these evolving policies will empower students to make informed decisions and plan their educational journeys effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Recent changes in UK student visa rules restrict the ability of international students to bring dependent family members, with exceptions for those pursuing master's degrees on government scholarships.

In 2024, Canada increased the cost-of-living financial requirement to $20,635, and educational institutions must now admit students based on their capacity to support them, including adequate housing facilities.

France offers a five-year Schengen visa to postgraduate degree holders who have spent a semester studying there, allowing them to travel freely within the Schengen area for up to five years.

Starting in June 2024, Germany will introduce an "Opportunity card" for individuals with foreign qualifications, enabling them to stay in Germany for a year to explore job opportunities.

The US has authorized consular officers to waive in-person interviews for F, M, and J student visa applicants with previous US visa experience, streamlining the application process for Indian students.

Germany's Skilled Worker Immigration Act introduces changes such as increased minimum salary, expanded eligibility for recent graduates and experienced IT workers without degrees, and flexibility for candidates in a 3-year German training program.

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