The Criteria You need to Meet
The criteria you need to meet to gain a Student Visa, and the process that you need to go through, depend on:
- What passport you hold determines your Assessment Level (1, 2 or 3). (If you are a citizen of more than one country, such as an EU country, let us know as it could make a big difference.) and
- What you plan to study – University/TAFE/Vocational course?
- Whether you are eligible to be assessed under the Streamlined Visa Processing system – for students studying at certain Eligible Education Providers, which includes most of the universities in Australia, and many of the TAFEs, you are then assessed in a similar way to Assessment level 1 students who are regarded as low risk of not complying with the visa conditions. But they must still satisfy the criteria of being a Genuine Student and a Genuine Temporary Entrant – see below.
Knowing these three things, we can advise you what Assessment Level will apply to your Visa application. The assessment levels run from 1 to 3, with AL1 being screened by their agents and or universities to determine whether they meet the criteria, ranging through to AL3, those people rated as having the highest risk of over-staying their Visas. AL3 students can expect that their cases will be scrutinised very, very carefully by the Immigration Department (DIBP), and they will need to show genuine funds, as well as meet the criteria of being a Genuine Student, and a Genuine Temporary Entrant.
These Assessment Levels do change from time-to-time. You can download the latest Assessment levels for people of your nationality here: Student visa assessment levels
There are a number of criteria which you need to demonstrate that you can meet to be eligible for a Student Visa.
The key criteria are:
- You must be a Genuine Student, whose main purpose for coming to Australia is to study. Your planned study should be related to your previous studies and/or work experience, as well as
being relevant to your future plans.
- You must be able to demonstrate that you are a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE), who has the intention to return home after graduating. DIBP want to see that there are more factors pulling you to return home, than encouraging you to stay in Australia. Want to know more? Have a look at the Minister’s instructions to Case Officers making the decision on GTE, Direction 53 here: Page 4 on http://www.immi.gov.au/gateways/agents/pdf/direction-53-assessing-gte.pdf
- You must have access to sufficient funds to cover the costs of your studies and living expenses, whilst in Australia.
- Applicants eligible for Streamlined Visa Processing (“SVP”), are assessed in a similar way to students from Assessment Level 1 countries, and do not need to show funds to DIBP, when applying for a Student Visa. However, the university or institution at which they intend to study may well require a student to prove they have the funds to cover tuition fees, living costs and their return airfare. At the very least, students must declare in their visa application that they have access to sufficient funds. If a student can’t pay their tuition fees each semester when the fees are due, their student visa may be cancelled, and they will have to return home.
- Applicants from AL2-AL3countries will need to show funds, the amount and who can show those funds varies from time-to-time, but generally covers costs for 1 year for:
Tuition fees – generally University fees per year (2 semesters) are in the order of $22-30,000, TAFE fees are in the order of $12,000 per year
Living expenses set by DIBP – currently approx. $18,610 per year for the student, and additional amounts for any spouse or children; and
Return Airfares – usually $1000-2000
For university studies generally the amount required to cover these costs is $42,000 per year, and for TAFE or private colleges about $31,000 per year.
AL2 students can have anyone show funds for them, but AL3 students can only show funds held for over 3 months, or a bank loan, and those funds can only come from parents, spouse, grandparents, brothers or sisters, or an uncle with PR or Citizenship living in Australia.
Don’t worry, we will show you the criteria that you need to meet at the time you are ready to apply to study. Just email us for advice:
JUST A WARNING : CHANGING COURSES ONCE YOU ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA If you come to study in Australia on a 573 visa or have been assessed under the Streamlined Visa Processing system, you will generally not be allowed to change your course or institution until you have completed at least 6 months of your Principal Course. The Principal Course is the highest level course e.g. if you are studying a Diploma then Degree, the Degree is the Principal Course. Only in exceptional circumstances will you be released by your university or institution.
Second, and most important, you cannot change from a 573 course to a cheaper 572 course without first applying for and being granted a 572 student visa. If you do change without first being granted a 572 visa that is regarded as a breach of Condition 8516 Must Maintain Eligibility, and your student visa is very likely to be cancelled. If you make a 572 application it will be very closely scrutinized and unless there are exceptional circumstances, a 572 application is at high risk of being refused. Students who do not attend at least 80% of lectures and meet course requirements, or who deliberately fail in the first semester of a degree, are very likely to be refused a 572 student visa.
[Photo Credit: Creative Commons License, disparkys]