The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will increase the funds required for prospective student visa applicants to demonstrate their ability to meet living costs in Australia.
The change is a part of stage two of the Knight Review to help reform the Australian student visa program. Under the change, from July 1, 2012, the funds required for overseas students seeking student visas will increase from $18,000 to $18,610 per year.
In order to be granted a student visa, it is a requirement that overseas students demonstrate and/or declare that they have genuine access to sufficient funds. They may have to demonstrate sufficient funds to cover these expenses for the first one or two years in Australia, depending on their assessment level.
According to the DIAC, required funds are aimed at ensuring students are better able to make the most of their studies and have a safe and enjoyable experience in Australia. They should be sufficient to help international students afford the cost of travel, tuition, school costs of any dependents, and living costs.
Funds demonstrated or declared will be considered through a range of factors to see whether they are genuinely available to contribute to the cost of studying and living in Australia. The factors may include the applicant’s previous financial and immigration history; the employment history of the applicant or the person providing them with financial support; and the source of the income used (such as cash assets or a bank loan). Applicants may be requested to provide further information in case there is doubt about their ability to access their claimed funds in Australia.