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Learn about the Acceptable Sources of Funds BEFORE Applying for a Student Visa to Australia

If you are looking to study in Australia and your application is at Assessment Level 3, make sure you know what the acceptable sources of funds are to ensure your visa application is approvable.

Jennifer ArandaOriginally posted on March 27, 2016; updated February 7, 2018

Learn about the Acceptable Sources of Funds BEFORE Applying for a Student Visa to Australia

Once you and your family have determined that it is in your best interests to study, you'll need some time to compile your credentials and other documents so you can lodge your visa application early.  At the very least, you won't be biting your nails wondering if your visa application will be approved before your classes start!

The principle underlying your student visa application is this: you must be able to prove that you are both a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) and a Genuine Student.

Most applicants tend to focus on the financial requirements as that is after all, one factor that will definitely affect a family.  You are obliged to provide evidence that you have sufficient resources to cover your tuition fee and other schools costs, travel, living expenses. 

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (or DIBP) has certain conditions regarding the fund that you will be using for your studies:

  • You must prove that accumulated funds are from legitimate sources;
  • These funds must be readily available to you during your entire stay in Australia as a student;
  • Your sponsors must meet the definition of “acceptable individual.”  An acceptable individual would be one of the following:
    • Yourself
    • If applicable, your spouse or de facto partner
    • One of your parents 
  • Unlike other countries, you will have to provide living costs for your spouse and dependent children whether they accompany you to Australia or not.  You must also factor in school costs for school-aged children regardless if you intend to bring them with you or not.

Sources of funds that may be acceptable when assessing a student visa application are as follows:

  • 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. 

 Another option, called the Annual Income Requirement, takes into consideration the minimum annual income required to cover the expenses of your studies. 

  • If you will be travelling 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:‚Äč

  • 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.

Authors & Contributors

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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