Student Visa Changes 2016 Update

Australia's simplified student visa framework (SSVF) comes into effect from July 1 2016.

The following changes come into effect from 1st July 2016:

  • international students will apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
  • student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
  • all students and student guardians will generally be required to lodge their visa application online by creating an account inImmiAccount . border.gov.au

The SSVF is designed to make the process of applying for a student visa simpler to navigate  - and without paper. For more detailed information on the changes go to https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud/changes-student-visa

Current visa holders

If you hold a student visa with subclass numbers 570 to 576, your visa will remain valid and your visa conditions will not change after 1 July 2016. After 1 July 2016, family members of Student visa holders (subclasses 570-576) will need to apply for a subclass 500 visa if they want to join a family member in Australia.

Under the new system, students applying to all education providers will be assessed for visa risk under a single framework. It will be based on the country they come from and the immigration compliance record of other students who have studied at that particular education provider. A student’s financial and English language requirements will be based on the immigration profile of their country and of their chosen education provider. www.border.gov.au

Student Visa financial Capacity requirements

You need to have enough money that is genuinely available to you to pay for your course fees, travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia.

Documentary evidence of financial capacity

Where you need to provide evidence of financial capacity, you will be able to 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 dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • evidence that you meet the annual income requirement
  • an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only).
  • a letter of support from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.

The type of evidence, where required, includes money deposit or loan with an approved financial institution, government loan, scholarship or sponsorship.

The annual income option requires students to provide evidence of personal annual income of at least AUD 60,000. For students accompanied by family members the amount is AUD 70,000. The income demonstrated must be the personal income of your spouse (who is not travelling with you) or parents. In circumstances where both of your parents are working, their combined income can be considered for this requirement. In all cases, the evidence of annual income must be provided in the form of official government documentation, such as a tax assessment.

Where our online application system indicates that documentary evidence of financial capacity is required, it is important that you attach these documents to your visa application prior to lodgement. Failure to do so may result in visa refusal.

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