The financial requirement for an Australian student visa (Subclass 500) is important as you will not be able to apply for government relief as an international student. The funds must be genuinely available to you and should not be considered "show money."
A Visa or Migration Officer will consider several factors to determine if you have ready access to the funds you present during your application such as:
- whether your sponsor is one or both of your parents, de facto partner or your spouse;
- your or your sponsor's income, assets and employment;
- your and your sponsor's previous visa history and current immigration status;
- evidence of financial support history;
- source of funds for any lump sum deposits.
It goes without saying that you will need to have ready access to sufficient funds to pay for:
- Your proposed course tuition fees and other related expenses;
- Travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are living in Australia;
- Schooling costs for school aged dependents who will be accompanying you to Australia.
Documentary evidence of financial capacity
When preparing your financial documents in preparation for your student visa application, you have a choice of documents you will be submitting:
- Twelve Months' Fund Option
- Annual Income Option
Twelve Months' Fund Option.
You must possess sufficient funds to cover traveling costs to Australia, living expenses for 12 month, tuition and other course-related disbursements for yourself and your school aged dependents. Take note of the following 12-month living costs of each family member:
- Student or guardian AUD20,290;
- Partner or spouse AUD7,100;
- Dependent Child AUD3,040.
The following points are important as well:
- If you intend to bring along a school-aged child or children, you must prepare at least AUD8,000 per year per child and include this amount to the total amount of fees you have to prepare;
- Calculate the first 12 months of your course fees or include the total cost of your course if it is for a duration of 12 months or less. Deduct any prepaid costs and provide evidence of these payments (this should be on your Confirmation of Enrolment or provide receipts);
- For travel costs:
- If applying outside Australia, include AUD 2,000;
- If applying in Australia, include AUD 1,000.
- If you are a PhD student, you may not provide evidence of funds to cover the education of your school aged child if you can prove that s/he is enrolled in an Australian government school with exemption of school fees;
- If you are the recipient of an Australian Commonwealth Government scholarship, you might not have to provide evidence of schooling costs if you can prove that your dependent child is enroled in a government school where the fees have been waived.
Annual lncome Option.
The amount of funds you will depend on whether you will be travelling with other family members.
- If alone, you will need evidence that your spouse (who will not be accompanying you) or parents meet the annual income requirement of AUD60,000.
- If you have family members who intend to accompany you, then the annual income requirement is AUD70,000.
Take note of the following points regarding annual income option:
- If both of your parents are working, you may use their combined income to fulfill this requirement;
- Documents proving that you meet the annual income requirement must be in the form of official government documents such as tax assessments. Bank statements or information directly from an employer are not acceptable.
Private corporate sponsorship is acceptable but is subject to certain stringent conditions. And if the company is a family-owned establishment or if one or both of your parents are directors or partners, sponsorship by the firm will be treated as a parent sponsor.
For a Visa Officere to evaluate your application, you may submit documents such as:
- Money deposit held by yourself, your parent(s) or your spouse with a financial institution, held for at least 6 months prior to your student visa application ;
- Commercial loans from financial institutions. A Financial Institution is defined as one that "takes money on deposit and makes advances of money as part of its normal business activities and does so under a regulatory regime." Use this with caution though as you must also provide evidence that you will be able to pay back this loan;
- Loans or sponsorship from the national or provincial/state government of your home country. In this case, you must submit a letter from the relevant government agency to substantiate your claim;
- Financial support from the proposed Australian education provider (i.e. scholarships);
- State/Territory and Australian Government financial sponsorship;
- Financial support from organisations specified by legislative instrument such as Rotary, the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Ford Foundation.
The following are not acceptable evidence of funds for the purpose of your visa application:
- Income from a non-regular income stream (i.e. inheritance, lottery winnings, bequests, gifts, or funds from the sale of assets);
- Shares and mutual funds;
- Gold and jewelry;
- Life Insurance documents.
In general, you will have to provide the same level of evidentiary requirements proving financial capacity for your family members, including subsequent dependants.
You may be asked to provide evidence of your financial capacity and be asked to include it in your visa application or demonstrate proof even while your application is being processed. It may therefore be beneficial to prepare your documents in advance just in case you will be requested to submit these to a Visa Officer.