If you are considering applying for a Student visa in Australia, one criterion that you will need to meet is a financial capacity requirement in order to qualify. This means that you need to declare in a student visa financial support statement in your application that you will have genuine access to sufficient funds to cover costs and expenses for you, and for any accompanying family members, for the duration of your intended stay in Australia. You will also need to provide evidence to demonstrate that you satisfy this requirement as part of your student visa application.
The migration provisions prescribe the minimum funds required, and alternative sources of funds that are accepted for the purposes of meeting the Australian student visa financial requirements. It is also important to point out that having genuine access to the funds is a key aspect in this regard.
Also be aware that the financial requirement for a student visa is just one criterion that needs to be satisfied in order to be eligible for a student visa. Other requirements also apply.
In this article, we examine the Australian student visa financial requirements and what this entails for student visa applications.
Lets start by taking a look at the minimum amount of costs and expenses that need to be declared as part of the student visa financial requirements.
Minimum Funds Required
The minimum costs and expenses threshold that you need to meet to satisfy the student visa financial capacity requirements are outlined below:
- Travel costs for the primary applicant and all accompanying family members (cost of the airfare to and from Australia);
- Course fees for the primary applicant for the first 12 months;
- School costs of $9,661 for all school-age dependents for the first 12 months (pro-rated where the period of stay in Australia is for less than 12 months);
- Living expenses for the primary applicant and all accompanying family members. The Migration legislation specifies minimum amounts for this category (these are subject to change). The minimum living costs (pro-rated where the period of stay in Australia is for less than 12 months) are:
- Student or guardian: AUD $24,505
- Spouse or de facto partner: AUD $8,574
- Dependent child: AUD $3,670
To calculate the pro-rata amount, divide the annual cost by 365 and multiply the result by the number of days that you intend to stay in Australia.
Note also that the living costs above do not include airfares or health insurance.
The following minimum travel costs apply under the Australian student visa financial requirements:
- $2,500 if you are applying from East or Southern Africa;
- $3,000 if you are applying from West Africa;
- $2,000 if you are applying from anywhere else outside Australia; and
- $1,000 if you are applying in Australia. If you will be returning to Africa, include $1,500.
This aspect of the student visa financial requirement is based on the actual course fees payable for the first 12 month period of study in Australia, and not on the intended length of stay in Australia.
If the course is for a period of 12 months or less, then the total cost must be included.
Any costs that have already been paid should be deducted. In this case, provide evidence of payment, such as a receipt or Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
If you are onshore and the course has already commenced, include the course fee for 12 months from the date when you lodge your student visa application.
School Fees For Dependants
Schooling costs must be added as part of the financial requirement for a student visa if you are including any school-age children in your application. The amount to include is $9,661 annual school cost for each child if the period of intended stay in Australia is for more than 12 months (pro rata if the period is less than 12 months).
If the child is not of school-age at the time of the student visa decision (that is, under 5 years of age), but will turn 5 during the first 12 months of your intended stay in Australia, the cost of schooling must be included as part of the student visa financial capacity requirement from the time the child does become a school-age dependant until the end of the first 12 months (calculated on a pro-rata basis).
If, as the primary applicant, you are enrolled in a course as a doctoral degree student, a Foreign Affairs student, a Defence student or a Commonwealth sponsored student, and the child is enrolled in a course of study at a State or Territory government school where the fees have been waived, then a $nil amount is to be included in the financial capacity calculation.
If you are a PhD student, you do not need to demonstrate a capacity to meet school costs if the child is enrolled in an Australian government school where the school fees have been waived.
The same applies if you have received an Australian Commonwealth Government scholarship, including from the Department of Foreign Affairs or Defence, and you have enrolled your child in an Australian government school where the fees have been waived,
Note that you must provide evidence that the child is enrolled.
Student Visa Financial Declaration
As part of your visa application, you will be required to complete a student visa financial support statement, with a declaration confirming that all applicants each have access to sufficient funds to support themselves for the total period of stay in Australia and understand that further evidence of funds may also be requested.
When completing your student visa financial support statement, you will need to show how each applicant included in the application will support themselves in Australia to meet living, tuition and school costs. For example, if funds are provided by an individual (including yourself), you will need to specify whether the funds are provided by an individual other than the applicant, the funding type, approximate value in $AUD, and the financial institution (if applicable).
Documentary Evidence Is Key
As noted earlier in this article, you should provide documentary evidence to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds that meet the above Australian student visa financial requirements when submitting your student visa application to the Department of Home Affairs. Failing to provide supporting evidence can result in your application being refused.
If you are requested by the Department to provide additional supporting documentation, ensure that you do so within the required timeframe as indicated in the request letter. If you need more time to obtain the information and/or documents, notify the Department of this and request additional time in writing. Enusre that you do so as soon as possible from receipt of the request; avoid leaving it too late as again, you may risk a refusal of your application.
Before me move on to discuss the types of funds that may be used to meet the student visa financial requirements, let us now summarise how this criterion applies to a student visa application by the primary visa applicant only, versus a combined application with family members included.
Application By Primary Applicant (Student) Only
To satisfy the student visa financial requirement by a single applicant, you need to demonstrate the following:
- living costs for the first 12 months for the student (or pro-rated if the period of stay is less than 12 months);
- the first annual course fee for the student, less any amounts already paid; and
- travel costs for the student.
Combined Application Including Family Applicants
If applying with dependants, you need to demonstrate the following:
- living costs for the first 12 months for the student and accompanying family members (or pro-rated if the period of stay is less than 12 months);
- the first annual course fee for the student, less any amounts already paid;
- travel costs for the student and all family members; and
- the school fees for all school-age dependants for the first 12 months (or pro-rated if the period of stay is less than 12 months).
The financial requirement for a student visa must be demonstrated as having been met by all applicants (primary and secondary).
Types Of Funds Accepted For A Student Visa
You may meet the student visa financial capacity requirement in a number of ways.
First, you can demonstrate this through your own funds. This may be from a range of sources, including:
- money deposit or loan from a financial institution;
- government loan; or
- scholarship or financial support.
The value of an item of property is not an accepted form of evidence for this purpose.
Alternatively, the funds can be held by a person other than yourself, however, in such cases, evidence must be provided to show that you have genuine access to the funds.
There is also the option to demonstrate sufficient funds through your parent/s, spouse or de facto partner’s personal annual income. If your parent, spouse or de facto partner’s personal annual income is being used to demonstrate that the financial capacity requirement has been met, the annual income threshold is $72,465 for you as the primary applicant, or $84,543 if your spouse or de facto partner is included in the application.
This means that you need to provide evidence that your parents or your partner had a personal annual income of at least $72,465 in the 12 months immediately before you apply. If you will be accompanied by family members to Australia, then you must demonstrate that your parents’ or partner’s income is at least $84,543.
If both of your parents are employed, then their combined income can be considered. You will need to provide evidence of your parents’ or partner’s income in the form of official government documents such as tax assessments that have been issued in the 12 months immediately before the application is made.The Department will not accept bank statements or direct evidence from an employer.
Note that you cannot include the annual income of the parents of your spouse or de facto partner for the purposes of the meeting the Australian student visa financial requirement.
Genuine Access To Funds
A key aspect in meeting the student visa financial capacity requirement is to demonstrate that you have genuine access to the funds. These funds should be available to be used for the purpose of financially supporting you, as the primary applicant, as well as any accompanying family members while in Australia.
In deciding your student visa application, the Department may consider your circumstances and/or the circumstances of the person providing the funds, to determine whether you (and any accompanying family members, if applicable) would genuinely have access to the funds. This may include employment history, income and assets, and the source of the income used, such as if funds are being provided by a third party.
If the funds are being provided by someone other than yourself, to demonstrate that you have genuine access to those funds, you should provide the following evidence:
- evidence of your relationship with them;
- their identity documents; and
- evidence of any financial support they have provided to you or to another student visa holder in the past.
If the financial support provided is from, or involves, a business, you need to provide evidence that the business is operating.
For money deposits, yout should explain their source.
For a loan you should provde:
- evidence of the security you used;
- the terms of the loan; and
- evidence that you can cover ongoing costs.
Business loans are not accepted for this purpose.
Other Student Visa Requirements
In addition to the student visa financial requirements outlined above, student visa applicants must meet a number of other criteria to qualify for a student visa, including:
- the ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant’ (GTE) requirement, whereby you must demonstrate an intention to enter and remain in Australia temporarily as a student;
- have adequate arrangements for health insurance for the duration of your intended stay in Australia;
- the proposed course of study is an approved course for student visa purposes; and
- minimum English language requirements may also apply.
Get More Information
To learn more about applying for a student visa in Australia, please refer to our articles below.
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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in applying for a student visa in Australia, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this.
For up to date advice on the student visa and the financial requirements for a student visa, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration service providing advice on student visas.