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Student Visas

 
 

Student Visas (subclass 500, subclass 590, visa extensions)

Are you looking to study overseas in Australia?  Australia is one of the world’s leading educational providers.  That combined with it’s incredible lifestyle and natural beauty, it’s an amazing place to spend 3+ years studying. 

If you want to make sure that you have the best chances of getting your visa accepted, then make sure you talk to the Migration Star team today.  

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Effective from 1st July 2016, international students who want to come to Australia to study full-time at a registered educational institution must apply for a Student visa (subclass 500).

A new immigration risk framework, simplified student visa framework (SSVF) has been implemented to assess Student visa applications.

The applicant will be assessed as regular or streamlined based on the provider and country of passport.If the visa applicant falls under regular category, it is mandatory to satisfy English language and financial capacity requirements in addition to the general requirements.

If the visa applicant falls under streamlined category, it is not mandatory to provide the evidence of English language and financial capacity.

 

Family members

A candidate applying for a student visa might apply for secondary visas for their partners and dependent children below 18 years of age. A parent willing to accompany a student needs to apply for a ‘student guardian’ visa.

 

Assessment

Candidates applying for a student visa need to go through different levels of assessment depending on country of domicile. There are five assessment levels graded 1 to 5 with 1 being the least stringent and 5 the most. For higher levels of assessment, a candidate is needed to furnish more supporting documents.

 

Financial requirements

Applicants need to be aware of the cost involved for undergoing an academic or professional study program in Australia. Before applying for a student visa Australia, it is crucial to estimate the financial liabilities of a study program. Visa issuing authorities must be satisfied about your financial stability and ability to cover your educational costs.

General requirements

The following information provides an explanation of general requirements:

  • Enrolment: -1. The visa applicant must provide evidence of enrolment at the time of application lodgement
  • If applied outside Australia, Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for all intended courses.
  • If applied inside Australia, Letter of offer or CoE for all intended courses. However, CoE(s) must be provided before the visa can be granted

Health, character and medical insurance:

Requirements
Ø  Visa applicant(s) must meet the health requirements. Visa applicant(s) might need to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process and can choose to undertake them prior to lodging the visa application.
Ø  Visa applicant(s) must satisfy character requirements.
Ø  Visa applicant(s) must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. It can be only meet by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), unless exempted.

The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity step to ensure that the student visa program is used as intended, and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.
The GTE requirement applies to all visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will take into account whether the individual circumstances indicate an intention for a temporary stay in Australia. This is the most important factor in assessing the student visa along with the Statement of Purpose.

Applicant’s circumstances

  • Decision makers should have regard to the applicant’s circumstances in their home country and the applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia.
  • For primary applicants of Subclass 500 Student visas, decision-makers should have regard to the value of the course to the applicant’s future.
  • Weight should be placed on an applicant’s circumstances that indicate that the Student visa or Student Guardian visa is intended primarily for maintaining residence in Australia.

The applicant’s circumstances in their home country

When considering the applicant’s circumstances in their home country, decision-makers should have regard to the following factors:

  • Whether the applicant has reasonable reasons for not undertaking the study in their home country or region if a similar course is already available there. Decision makers should allow for any reasonable motives established by the applicant;
  • The extent of the applicant’s personal ties to their home country (for example family, community and employment) and whether those circumstances would serve as a significant incentive to return to their home country;
  • Economic circumstances of the applicant that would present as a significant incentive for the applicant not to return to their home country. These circumstances may include consideration of the applicant’s circumstances relative to the home country and to Australia;
  • Military service commitments that would present as a significant incentive for the applicant not to return to their home country; and
  • Political and civil conflict in the applicant’s home country. This includes situations of a nature that may induce the applicant to apply for a Student visa or Student Guardian visa as means of obtaining entry to Australia for the purpose of remaining indefinitely. Decision makers should be aware of the changing circumstances in the applicant’s home country and the influence these may have on an applicant’s motivations for applying for a

Decision makers may have regard to the applicant’s circumstances in their home country relative to the circumstances of others in that country.

 

 

The applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia

In considering the applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia, decision makers should have regard to the following factors:

  • The applicant’s ties with Australia which would present as a strong incentive to remain in Australia. This may include family and community ties;
  • Evidence that the student visa programme is being used to circumvent the intentions of the migration programme;
  • Whether the Student visa or Student Guardian visa is being used to maintain ongoing residence;
  • Whether the primary and secondary applicant(s) have entered into a relationship of concern for a successful Student visa outcome. Where a decision maker determines that an applicant and dependent have contrived their relationship for a successful Student visa outcomes, the decision maker may find that both applicants do not satisfy the genuine temporary entrant criterion; and
  • The applicant’s knowledge of living in Australia and their intended course of study and the associated education provider; including previous study and qualifications, what is a realistic level of knowledge an applicant is expected to know and the level of research the applicant has undertaken into their proposed course of study and living arrangements.

Direction number 69

Assessing the genuine temporary entrant criterion for student visa and student guardian visa applications: section 499, migration act 1958https://www.border.gov.au/StudyinginAustralia/Documents/direction-no-69.pdf

An applicant who is a genuine temporary entrant will have circumstances that support a genuine intention to temporarily enter and remain in Australia, notwithstanding the potential for this intention to change over time to an intention to utilize lawful means to remain in Australia for an extended period of time or permanently.

The genuine temporary entrant criterion for Student visa applications requires the Minister to be satisfied that the applicant intends genuinely to stay in Australia temporarily, having regard to:

  • The applicant’s circumstances; and
  • The applicant’s immigration history; and
  • If the applicant is a minor — the intentions of a parent, legal guardian or spouse of the applicant; and
  • Any other relevant matter.

This Direction provides guidance to decision makers on what factors require consideration when assessing the above paragraphs, to determine whether the applicant genuinely intends to stay in Australia temporarily.

Decision makers must take a reasonable and balanced approach between the need to make a timely decision on a Student visa or Student Guardian visa application and the need to identify those applicants who, at time of decision, do not genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily.

 

Part 2 of Direction No. 69: Directions assessing the genuine temporary entrant criterion

  • Decision makers should not use the factors specified in this Direction as a checklist. The listed factors are intended only to guide decision makers when considering the applicant’s circumstances as a whole, in reaching a finding about whether the applicant satisfies the genuine temporary entrant criterion.
  • Decision makers should assess whether, on balance, the genuine temporary entrant criterion is satisfied, by:
  • Considering the applicant against all factors specified in this Direction; and
  • Considering any other relevant information provided by the applicant (or information otherwise available to the decision maker).
  • Decision makers may request additional information and/or further evidence from the applicant to demonstrate that they are a genuine temporary entrant, where closer scrutiny of the applicant’s circumstances is considered appropriate.
  • Circumstances where further scrutiny may be appropriate include but are not limited to:
  • Information in statistical, intelligence and analysis reports on migration fraud and immigration compliance compiled by the department indicates the need for further scrutiny;
  • The applicant or a relative of the applicant has an immigration history of reasonable concern;
  • The applicant intends to study in a field unrelated to their previous studies or employment; and
  • Apparent inconsistencies in information provided by the applicant in their Student visa application.
  • An application for a Student visa or a Student Guardian visa should be refused if, after weighing up the applicant’s circumstances, immigration history and any other relevant matter, the decision maker is not satisfied that the applicant genuinely intends a temporary stay in Australia.

Guardian Visa – subclass 590

This is a temporary visa for a person who needs to come to Australia to provide care and support for:

  • A student visa holder who is younger than 18 years of age
  • A student visa holder who is older than 18 years of age and who needs such care and support due to exceptional circumstances

This visa can be applied in or outside Australia:

  • At the same time as the student
  • After the student has applied

After the student has been granted their visa, in which case the student would have demonstrated that other welfare arrangements were in place to meet their visa requirements.

Common requirements

  • Be a parent or person who has custody of the student, or a relative who is 21 years or older and has been nominated in writing by a parent or someone who has custody of the student
  • Not bring family members younger than 6 years of age, except under certain circumstances
  • Be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student unless exempted

Other requirements

  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Have enough money to support oneself, accompanying dependent(s) and the student.
  • Have adequate health insurance for oneself and accompanying dependent(s)
  • Only stay in Australia temporarily
  • If applying in Australia, must hold an eligible substantive temporary visa

 

Financial requirement

The applicant needs to have enough money genuinely available to support oneself, the student and accompanying children for the duration of stay in Australia. The applicant is required to declare this in the visa application.

If the applicant is required to provide evidence of financial capacity, s/he can demonstrate this by providing one of the following:

  • Evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependents) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • Evidence of meeting the annual income requirement
  • The applicant must have genuine access to funds. The funds shown in the visa application must be available for use and must come from an acceptable source.

 

Health insurance

The applicant must provide evidence that s/he has enough health insurance for the duration of stay in Australia. This can be Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) or another health insurance product from Australia or the applicant’s home country that provides a similar level of cover.

Identity & relationship documents

The applicant must provide identity documents and proof of relationship with the student.

Genuine temporary entrant requirement

When the department assess whether the applicant plans to stay in Australia temporarily the department will consider:

  • The applicant’s personal circumstances in home country
  • The applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia
  • The applicant’s immigration history
  • Anything else that relates to the applicant’s plan to remain in Australia temporarily.

The visa entitlements

This visa allows the visa holder to:

  • Stay in Australia for as long as the student stays or up until the student turns 18 years of age
  • Study an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) for less than 20 hours per week
  • Study another course for up to three months

The visa does not generally allow the visa holder to work.