Ending ‘Visa Hopping’ in the Migration System

As a leading immigration lawyer at Migration Guru, a firm with over 90 years of collective experience in Australian migration law, I am committed to keeping you informed about the latest developments in immigration policy. One of the key changes introduced in the recent Migration Strategy is aimed at curbing ‘visa hopping’—a practice where students and other temporary visa holders continuously extend their stay in Australia, sometimes indefinitely.

Government Actions to Restrict Visa Hopping

Ending 'Visa Hopping' in the Migration System

To address this issue, the government has implemented several measures. One of the first actions was to introduce ‘no further stay’ conditions on visitor visas. This means that holders of these visas cannot apply for another visa while in Australia, effectively limiting their ability to extend their stay through successive visa applications.

Additionally, the Genuine Student Requirement, introduced in March, has significantly reduced the ability of students to switch from one student visa to another without demonstrating credible course progression. This requirement ensures that only those with genuine educational pursuits can continue their studies in Australia, thereby restoring integrity to the international student system.

Key Policy Changes Effective from 1st July

Starting from 1st July, new restrictions have been placed on visa pathways to further limit visa hopping:

1. Visitor Visa Holders:

– Visitor visa holders will no longer be able to apply for student visas while onshore. This measure addresses the increasing trend of visitor visa holders transitioning to student visas—a pathway that saw over 36,000 applications from 1st July 2023 to the end of May 2024. By closing this loophole, the government strengthens the offshore student visa integrity measures, ensuring that those who wish to study in Australia apply from their home countries.

2. Temporary Graduate Visa Holders:

– Temporary Graduate Visa holders will also be restricted from applying for student visas onshore. According to the Grattan Institute’s “Graduates in Limbo” report, 32% of Temporary Graduate Visa holders were returning to study when their visa expired, primarily to prolong their stay in Australia. This change clarifies that graduates are expected to find skilled jobs and transition to permanent residency or leave the country, reducing the incidence of ‘permanently temporary’ residents.

Implications for Visa Holders

For current and prospective visa holders, these changes signify a shift towards a more structured and stringent migration system. Students and graduates must now carefully plan their pathways to ensure compliance with the new regulations. Genuine students should focus on maintaining satisfactory course progression, while graduates should aim to secure skilled employment to enhance their prospects of gaining permanent residency.


These policy changes are part of a broader effort to uphold the integrity of Australia’s migration system, ensuring that temporary visas are used for their intended purposes. At Migration Guru, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive support and expert advice to help you navigate these new regulations. Our extensive experience in Australian migration law positions us to guide you effectively through these changes.

For personalized assistance and more detailed information, please contact us at Migration Guru. We are here to help you achieve your migration goals within the framework of the latest policy updates. Readers are encouraged to follow us on Facebook for all the updates.

Source:- Department of Home Affairs, Press Release by minister Clare O’Neal

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