Australian Student Visa Application Updates

 

Getting a student visa is one of the easiest ways to start the migration process to Australia. Unlike families that have to go through extensive and stringent visa application processes in order to move to Down Under, aspiring students are allowed a more straightforward approach.

 

And now, the process is about to get even simpler. Currently, all applicants are classified according to three risk assessment levels, with level 1 presenting the least risk and level 3 presenting the highest risk. Your assessment level depends greatly on two things: 1.) your country of origin, and 2.) the education sector in which you are planning to study. The higher your risk assessment level, the greater evidentiary support you would need to submit when you apply.

 

Incoming students who have a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) from a participating education provider in Australia for an advanced degree, on the other hand, are exempted from the risk assessment process and instead are eligible for Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP), regardless of their country of origin.

 

From 1 July 2016, however, the three risk assessment levels will be abolished and there will only be one kind of Student Visa (subclass 500), regardless of what they will be studying. This new system, which will replace both the SVP and the Assessment Level Framework, is called the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) and it features the following changes:

 
  1. Evidentiary requirements for incoming students will be based on their country of origin and their education provider in Australia, regardless of what field of study they will be getting into.

  1. All international students will now apply for the student visa online. You can apply for one here.

  1. Standard requirements for the Student Visa (subclass 500) required include:

     
    1. Certified enrollment in a registered course of study. Prior to applying, the incoming student has to be enrolled in a registered course of study, and a CoE has to be submitted along with the student visa application.

    2.  
    3. English language proficiency certification. An aspiring student should present either proof that s/he is exempted from this requirement or evidence of an acceptable test score on a certified English language proficiency exam (e.g., TOEFL, etc.).

    4.  
    5. Proof of financial capacity. International students are allowed to work a limited number of hours while studying in Australia, but they will need to present proof (e.g., bank certificates, etc.) that they have the means to shoulder their course fees and living costs without relying on their part-time jobs.

    6.  
    7. Health and good character certification. The latter can be obtained from a previous school attended by the applicant while the former is derived from a health examination done prior to application. International students are also required to avail of an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) as part of the requirements.

    8.  
    9. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement. This is basically a fancy term for insurance that the student will only stay in Australia temporarily. The requirement would vary per applicant. You might need to present evidence of your immigration history or of circumstances back home (e.g., business or property holdings, active bank accounts, etc.) that serve as incentive for you to come back once you have completed your studies.

  1. The new SSVF was designed to make the application process faster. 75% of the applications should have a result within 1 month. (Pro-tip: Submit all your complete and correct requirements when applying so that you can get a result even faster. Failure to do so will result in delays, or worse, an outright rejection.)

  1. Family members of international students with existing student visas (falling under subclasses 570-576) will need to apply for the new one (subclass 500) if they want to join the said student in Australia.

 

IMPORTANT:

 
  1. The visas of existing student visa holders will remain valid and unaffected by the SSVF.

  2. Eligibility for the temporary graduate visa (subclass 485), which allows international graduates of Australian educational institutions to work in the country temporarily, will also remain unchanged by the new student visa policies.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined iRemit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.

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