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In this edition we discuss the guidelines for student visa applications for assessment level 3 and 4 applicants and let you know the new permission to work rules starting on the 26th March.
|Permission to Work Changes |
On the 26th of March the new permission to work rules will come into effect governing the visa conditions on student visas.
For more information on how this new arrangement works you can read the DIAC web site information sheet which currently all the information available (click here)
On the 24th March a couple of significant changes will take place, for assessment level 3 and higher the minimum English weeks of study will increase to 50 weeks (click here)
and some student visas will be able to be granted up to 4 months prior to course commencement (click here)
Perhaps later this year if we are lucky, finally DIAC will remove automatic cancellation procedures for unsatisfactory attendance and progress.
| Student visa Requirements
In the recent newsletter (Vol.211), we talked about changes in Assessment levels (AL) for certain student visa applications. Today, we will look at more detailed requirements for student visa applications. As we mentioned previously, DIAC set different requirements for student visa applicants depending on your country and education sector you will be studying in.
In this issue, we will cover 2 major student visas - Subclass 573 (eg. for Bachelor degree etc) and Subclass 572 (eg. for Certificate III, IV, Diploma etc) at Assessment Level 3 and Assessment Level 4 respectively. If you are from India, Bangladesh or China, you may find this information very useful. Unfortunately, we are unable to cover everyone's student visa application in this newsletter. However, it can give you a brief idea about your student visa application.
You need to meet several requirements to be granted a student visa. Some of them are applicable to all the assessment levels in every education sector, whereas financial, academic and English language requirements can vary depending on assessment level and education sector. We will first go through general student visa requirements, then focus on AL3 & 4 for Subclass 572 & 573.
1. General Requirements
First of all, you need to have an electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate (CoE) or 'offer of a place in a course' letter proving that you are accepted for full-time study. Also to be eligible, you must be of good character and sound health and having acceptable health insurance through the Overseas Student Health Cover for yourself and members of your family unit accompanying you to Australia. In addition, you shouldn't have any outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia.
2. Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement
You may remember we talked about this requirement in details in our past newsletter. Please have a look at Volume 210 if you have been subscribing our newsletters. If not, you can view our past newsletters at our Newsletter Archives .
What this requirement means is that DIAC will consider your overall circumstances to assess whether you genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily.
Now we will look into requirements for applications in AL 3 & 4.
3. English Language Skills
You must provide English language test results unless you have studied in English for at least 5 years in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, UK or USA or have completed a foundation course or other approved course in Australia in the past 2 years.
For the visa purpose, you can take either the Academic or General IELTS test. However, please remember that you need to check with your Australian education provider about test and score you need to have for their requirement.
Since 5th November 2011, DIAC started to accept other English tests for student visa purpose. Please see their website for the details:
> For Subclass 573 - Assessment Level 3
- If you are commencing your course directly, you need to get an IELTS overall band score of 6.0 or above.
- If you are doing a foundation course before commencing your main course, you need to get an IELTS overall band score of 5.5.
-If you are studying a preliminary English course (up to 30 weeks) before your main course, you need to get an IELTS overall band score of 5.0.
> For Subclass 572 - Assessment Level 4
- If you are commencing your course directly, you need to get an IELTS overall band score of 5.5 or above.
- If you are studying a preliminary English course (up to 20 weeks) before your main course, you need to get an IELTS overall band score of 5.0.
> For students who are extending student visa
You don't need to provide a new IELTS result if you have completed more than half of your course (at Certificate IV level or higher, other than a foundation course).
4. Academic requirements
> For Subclass 573 - Assessment Level 3
You need to meet one of the following requirements:
- You have completed Year 12 (or equivalent),
- You have completed Year 11 (or equivalent) and you have completed or are enrolled in a Foundation course in Australia
- You have completed a qualification at Certificate IV level or higher in Australia
- You have a Confirmation of Enrolment in a course at Certificate IV level or higher, which you will complete before your main course.
> For Subclass 572 - Assessment Level 4
You need to provide evidence that you have completed Year 12 or equivalent.
5. Financial requirements
You need to prove that you have access to sufficient funds to cover the cost of air fares, course tuition fees and living costs for you and your family members. For Subclass 573 (AL3), you need to provide the evidence of funds for the first 18 months of your stay in Australia, whereas, it is for 24 months for Subclass 572 (AL4). You are required to provide the evidence that you can afford the expense for your family members even though they are not coming to Australia with you (with some exceptions).
You need to convince your case officer that the funds you are relying on will genuinely be available to you during your stay in Australia.
DIAC estimate your living costs in Australia to be $18,000 annually. If you have a partner, you are estimated to spend additional $6300, and another $3600 for your first child. Please see DIAC website for the detailed estimation for living costs: http://www.immi.gov.au/students/student-visa-living-costs.htm
In order to prove that you have access to funds, you need to provide the following evidence:
- Money deposit from a financial institution
> The funds in a money deposit needs to be held for at least 3 months before lodging your application (exemption applies for certain circumstance).
- Loan from financial institution or the government in your home country
- Scholarship or Financial support
If you have any income, you need to provide the evidence to prove that too.
If you are in Assessment Level 4, DIAC specify family members who are eligible to support you financially. They are:
- You (applicant)
- Your partner
- Your parents
- Your grandparents
- Your brothers and sisters
- Your uncle or aunt, who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen and usually lives in Australia.
This rule tells you your partner's family members cannot give you financial support even though your partner is coming to Australia with you.
|Archives, some light reading |
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Try one of our historical newsletters to read, that will do the trick.
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Karl Konrad: Managing Director and
Jee Eun HAN, Executive Manager
Australian Immigration Law Services
Publisher of IMMIGRATION NEWS
At Australian Immigration Law Services (AILS), we offer professional advice and practical solutions to all migration matters. Our team of licensed agents and consultants specialise in various areas of immigration law, such as skilled migration, business, family, and reviews.
For over a decade students studying in Australia have had to endure a ridiculous system where the 20 hours a week limitation was strictly enforced to the extent many had their visas cancelled if they went a couple of hours over the limit.
This rule was used by the DIAC compliance centres around the country as the weapon of choice when it came to canceling a students visa. "Breached the working hours by 2 hours did you? Right off you go back home then."
It was a stupid rule, stupidly enforced.
On the 26th March there will be at last some flexibility allowed in assessing a students working routine.
Many students often would say it is nearly impossible to work exactly 20 hours per week. Two 8 hour shifts leave them short of cash and 3 shifts put them 4 hours over. At least from the 26th of this month, perhaps alternating shifts of 2 days one week and three days the next can even out the cash flow whilst remaining within the law.
In reality though it would have been better off using a month rather than a fortnight to give the maximum hours permissible.
Have a read of the new changes and remember don`t give DIAC any ammunition to cancel your visa by staying within the rules.
Jee Eun Han