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Student visa requirements
In order to be granted a student visa, an applicant must satisfy all legislative criteria. This includes that the decision maker is satisfied that they are a genuine applicant for entry and stay as a student and that they meet the requirements of Schedule 5A of the Migration Regulations for the relevant visa subclass. Some of the important student visa requirements are outlined below.
1. Genuine intention to study in Australia
Schedule 2 criterion 57x.223 requires the student to be a ‘genuine applicant’.
For all student visa subclasses, applicants must satisfy the decision maker that they are genuinely seeking to enter and stay in Australia for the purposes of study.
Applicants may be required to attend an interview as part of the assessment of this criteria.
2. Financial Requirements
Schedule 5A outlines the legislative requirements in relation to the applicant’s financial capacity and specifies that the decision maker must be satisfied that while the applicant holds the visa, the applicant will have access to the funds demonstrated or declared in application.
Migration regulations require international students to show evidence of funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs. Financial requirements for ALL family members are assessed regardless of whether they are traveling to Australia or not.
Living and Travel costs are assessed as follows:-
|LIVING COSTS||(Amount per year in AUD)|
|Living Cost for applicant||18000|
|Living Cost for spouse||6300|
|Living Cost for child 1||3600|
|School cost (if 5-17 years of age)||8000|
|Living Cost for each additional child||2700|
|School cost (if 5-17 years of age)||8000|
|TRAVEL COSTS||(Amount per year in AUD)|
|Travel Cost for applicant||2000|
|Travel Cost for Spouse||2000|
|Travel Cost for child 1||1000|
|Travel Cost for each additional child||1000|
All financial sponsors must meet the definition of eligible sponsors and this may vary depending upon the assessment level applicable to you.
For example, under Assessment Level 4 (AL4), financial sponsorship can only be provided from defined relatives which are limited to the applicant, applicant's spouse, applicant's parents, applicant's grandparents and applicant’s siblings. The applicant's uncle and aunt meet the definition only if they are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible NZ citizen and usually resident in Australia.
Joint accounts are acceptable only if all the account holders meet the definition of eligible sponsors.
Schedule 5A also specifies the period for which the funds or the savings history must be held for. This may vary depending upon the assessment level applicable to you.
Schedule 5A further qualifies that the regular income of any individual providing funds to the applicant should be sufficient to accumulate the level of funding being provided by that individual.
ASSESSMENT LEVEL AND PERIOD FOR WHICH FUNDS MUST BE HELD FOR
AL 2: No savings history required.
AL 3: 3 months savings history from date of application is required.
AL 4: 6 months savings history from date of application is required.
Please note that the minimum balance in the relevant period is considered.
Schedule 5A also specifies the minimum period for which the funds must be shown for. This may vary depending upon the assessment level applicable to you.
ASSESSMENT LEVEL AND PERIOD FOR WHICH FUNDS MUST BE SHOWN FOR
AL 2: 12 Months + Declaration
AL 3: 24 Months + Declaration
AL 4: 36 Months + Declaration
Declaration on student visa application(Q41 ) that you have access to sufficient funds to cover the same costs for the remainder of your stay
Acceptable Institutions for Funds and Loans
The Migration Regulations and Policy require that a financial institution must be an 'acceptable financial institution' for the purposes of a student visa to Australia.
The most common sources of funds which are acceptable for the purpose of assessing access to funds for student visa applications are:
• money deposits held with an acceptable financial institution
• loans from financial institutions
Financial Instruments available in India
In India different types of financial instruments are available and they are characterized with different features such as the lock-in period. An overview of the type of funds which are acceptable and non acceptable for the purposes of student visa applications is provided below.
Money Deposits held with an acceptable financial institution
Click here for a list of acceptable money deposits from Indian banks and post offices.
Bank Loans from acceptable financial institutions
• Loans must be issued from an Acceptable Financial Institute (AFI) only.
• A loan "in principle" is not acceptable.
• The loan sanction letter must be provided at the time of submitting an application and the loan disbursement letter is required before the visa is granted. We cannot grant a visa until the loan is at least partially disbursed. If the bank does not disburse the loan before visa grant then it is open to you to use another bank (AFI) that can meet your needs.
• Visa applicants are required to provide evidence of the family's income available to repay the loan. This income must be held by an acceptable individual.
• Visa applicants must provide the evidence of the collateral used to secure the loan and this collateral must be genuinely held by an acceptable individual.
• If collateral is made using funds other than regular income then the applicant must provide the trail of funds. E.g. sale deed can be provided as evidence if funds are obtained by sale of property. Please note that sale agreements are not acceptable. Only the registered sale deed is acceptable for visa purposes.
• Loans issued against fixed deposits, property, National Savings Certificate (NSCs) and Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) are acceptable.
• Loan issued against life insurance, super annuation funds, gold, shares and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) are not acceptable. Collateral owned by non-eligible sponsors is also not acceptable.
• Overdrafts are treated as a loan for visa purposes and must be provided in line with the above requirements.
• We only accept official, verifiable documents as forms of evidence.
The following financial instruments do not meet the regulatory requirements and thus are not able to be considered for visa purposes.
• Credit card
• Kisan Credit Card (KCC)
• Shares and mutual funds
• Gold and jewellery
• Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and other insurance documents
• Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) is not acceptable as funds. However, KVP as collateral is acceptable.
• National Savings Certificate (NSC) is not acceptable as funds. However, NSC as collateral is acceptable.
3. English proficiency requirement
To ensure students have the best chance of succeeding in their studies, they are required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate English language proficiency for their course.
Schedule 5A sets out the evidentiary standards applicable to students for the purpose of assessing English proficiency.
• Assessment Level 1 & 2 applicants must have the English language proficiency required by their provider.
• Assessment Level 3 & 4 applicants must provide evidence of their English language proficiency. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the standard acceptable English test. The minimum IELTS score requirement depends upon the assessment level applicable to the student.
Further information in relation to the English proficiency requirement is available on departmental website at: http://www.immi.gov.au/business-services/education-providers/schools_english_requirements.htm
4. Health requirements
All applicants for a visa to Australia must meet health requirements. Further information can be found at: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/health-requirements/index.htm
All costs related to the medical examination are your responsibility. If you undertake a medical examination and your application is not approved you will not be eligible for a refund of any costs you may have incurred.
5. Character requirements
All applicants for a visa to Australia must be assessed against the character requirements. Further information can be found at: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/character-requirements/index.htm
6. The Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
OSHC is insurance that assists international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia. OSHC also covers limited benefits for pharmaceuticals and ambulance services.
Students must provide evidence of cover for themselves and any accompanying dependants for the proposed duration of their Student visa in order to be granted a visa.
To allow students a reasonable time period to organise their affairs on completion of their course, students should obtain OSHC for a period covering at least one month after the course end date on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). For students studying a package course, the OSHC should cover their entire package and at least one month after the course end date on the latest CoE in the package.
The current approved OSHC providers are:
• Australian Health Management
• BUPA OSHC
• NIB OSHC
• Medibank Private
• Lysaght Peoplecare Limited (subcontracting to OSHC Worldcare).