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The Student visa allows international students to study full-time education and training in Australia. Students can stay in Australia during the duration of the relevant course one prefers to study. The minimum requirements include a certificate of enrolment with an Australian provider, genuine intention to complete the relevant period of study in Australia, have the required English proficiency unless exempt, have overseas student health cover for the period of intended stay in Australia and have access to funds to cover return airfares, tuition fees, and cost of living in Australia.

Depending on the risk level of the country, English language proficiency results and evidence of funds may not be required. This is how the education consultants in the Philippines and many other risk level 1 and 2 countries are advertising “No IELTS and no show money” for a student visa in Australia. Many approach agencies to apply for a student visa to Australia because of the work privilege. Student visa holders depending on the level of studies can work up to 40 hours per fortnight. “No IELTS, no show money and work” – a very tempting reason to part with your hard earned money! Let us see what the reality is.

As of December 2018, there were 433,624 student visa holders in Australia.
Source: The Department of Home Affairs

A story about Mr Vocation and his aspiration for a better life

Mr. Vocation is 29 years old and is currently working in UAE as a sales representative. He completed a one-year vocational course (Automotive) in the Philippines. He admitted that he has less than a vocation level of English but has a very high desire to improve his life for his family and himself. He responded to an advertisement from immigration and educational consultancy. Immigration and Educational consultancy accepts his evidence of a 1-year vocational course in Automotive and signs him up to study cookery in Australia. They also accept his initial deposit of approximately AU$2000 non-refundable but can be transferred to another applicant. Mr. Vocation signed a contract for a total of AU$8100.

Mr. Vocation struggled to complete the 1-year diploma and was surprised that he even passed. Student visa holders must study and pass their intended course otherwise they face the consequence of getting their visa canceled. Although English language proficiency evidence is not required for student visa applications from risk level 1 and 2 countries, the course is taught in English. If students struggled in English in their home country, it will be a struggle to successfully complete their course of study in Australia.

“No show money” – why you shouldn’t be trapped with this promise
The reason the “show money” became a requirement for student visa application is for students to have the financial capacity to pay for the first 12 months of tuition fee as well as to cover their living cost of $20, 290 (single applicant) as the student visa holders reason is to study in Australia. Most immigration and educational consultancy agencies use the “no show money” and back it with “you can work in Australia for up to 40 hours” to attract more individuals to apply for a student visa in Australia. In regard to the work privilege, it remains as is — a privilege. It shouldn’t be the main purpose of student visa applicants when they arrive in Australia. Student visa applicants must realize that it will take time to find a casual or part-time job. International students must not depend on finding a job as soon as they land in Australia. They must have funds for the tuition fee for the first 12 months. They must also not take their visa conditions lightly as they risk getting their student visa canceled if the department finds out they are breaching their visa conditions (i.e. working more than 40 hours per fortnight when the course is in session, switching from their course to other lower level courses, etc.)

Some International students on a student visa have to work to be able to afford their tuition fees and the cost of living. International students in Australia can receive permission to work part-time (up to 40 hours per fortnight) while they study).
As for Mr. Vocation, what are the prospect of success for his student visa application? His course must be closely related to passed educational qualifications or work experience or must have a strong statement to support a change of career option. If he does get his student visa approved, what is likely to happen when he gets to Australia? He already spent all his hard earned money on the student visa application and agency fee. As he arrives in Australia, he will have to pay for accommodation (approximately $150-$200 per week). He will need money for food and transportation as well as the cost of a mobile phone. It may take him a month or two to find a casual job. By then, it will be time to pay his tuition installment. He now has a choice to either pay his tuition fee or send money to his family.

Note: Under the Migration regulations, prospective students visa applicants and their family members must have access to funds in order to meet the living costs requirement of $20, 290 (contact us if you wish to learn more about the cost of living for the student’s partner and child).

Let’s say Mr. Vocation completes his studies successfully and now would like to extend his stay in Australia by applying for a further visa. The next visa that student visa holder may be eligible for is a temporary graduate visa which will require a competent score in English. If he doesn’t pass the English competency assessment, he may be eligible to apply for a temporary graduate visa and will be forced to return to his home country.

A qualified migration agent with a current legal practising certificate issued by an Australian body can provide immigration advice and help you prepare your visa application.
These are realities often not mentioned in seminars to get students to study in Australia. Consider all the requirements and the reason they are required before you decide to sign a contract with no refund facility and part with your hard-earned money. It is best to consult with a registered migration agent (RMA) with the office of the MARA (Migration Agent Registration Authority). Consumers can contact the office of the MARA if they believe the RMA has provided incorrect advice. There is no one to go to if the immigration advice is from a non-registered operator.

Do you wish to study in Australia? Book for a free assessment of your personal circumstances and qualifications today from a MARA registered migration agent. You may also watch relevant videos we posted on our Facebook page in regard to student visa application and working in Australia so you may equip yourself with more information prior to lodging your application.

Deciding to relocate to another country is a major undertaking for yourself and your family. It is often a complex and difficult process, most likely expensive and time-consuming, as well as stressful and very worrying. Government requirements and application processes are also constantly changing. In this environment, it is very easy to get it wrong or make a mistake.

5 Common pitfalls and mistakes visa applicants make :
(a) Relying on the internet for information certainly has its risks. Too often, the information is generic, most likely out of date, or at worst, wrong. It is best to seek advice from a qualified migration agent to assess your circumstance so you may be provided with correct and updated information in regard to the visa you wish to apply.

(b) Listening to relatives and friends for advice and support is another common mistake. What previously worked for them may not in fact work for you now. It’s important to understand that everyone’s situation and particular circumstance is different.

(c) Not asking the right question about issues you are worried about because you are frightened of being judged does no one any favors. You need to be open and honest, and willing and able to ask any question – about the things you are not sure of and the things you are sure of.

(d) Leaving everything to the last minute is very risky and stressful for everyone. We understand that short timelines are sometimes unavoidable. However, when visa applicants (and visa holders) fail to give their migration matter the necessary priority, it is a recipe for a disaster.

(e) Choosing the cheapest option can also very easily end up as an expensive disaster. Too often we are asked for advice and help to fix someone’s personal train wreck. It is very dispiriting telling a client that you don’t have a magic wand and cannot fix their migration problem.

The reasons we stated above show how crucial it is to make the right decision and to choose the best migration pathway and visa options that best meet your needs.

3 Reasons for using a Migration Agent
(1) Getting it right the first time.
Successfully lodging your visa application is much more than just ticking the boxes and completing an online application form. We will advise you about all of your visa options and available pathways. We make sure that all legislative requirements are correctly and comprehensively addressed, using the correct form and addressing each individual part, and submitting all necessary supporting documentation within prescribed timelines. Providing correct and accurate information minimizes the risk your visa application will be refused and avoids the imposition of a 3 to 10-year ban from applying for another visa.

(2) Providing a professional and personal service.
Our migration agents are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) in order to provide immigration assistance services. Only registered migration agents can legally give immigration assistance in Australia. Registered Migration Agents must comply in law to a strict Code of Practice including a high standard of professional conduct and undertaking continuous professional development and training. Our professional networks include membership of a national forum of migration agents where we share and discuss issues and concerns affecting our industry and our clients.

3) Taking the worry and stress out of the equation.

Our clients are our number #1 priority. We explain the legislative requirements using plain English and easy to understand language. Engaging our services to manage your migration matter is an onerous responsibility which we greatly value and respect. Your future depends on us delivering a quality and reliable service to you and your family.

Better manage your stress levels by letting us look after and take responsibility for your particular migration matter. If you are wanting to migrate to Australia or New Zealand with your family, complete our free visa assessment form online and our experienced and qualified migration agents will assess your personal circumstance and advise you the best option for yourself and your family.

Visa assessment form here: https://world2australia.mmportal.com.au/assessment

From 18 March 2018, Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS) SC482 takes effect while Temporary Work (Skilled) SC457 will be abolished.

TSS (SC482) will have three streams. The Short Term (ST), the Medium-Long Term (MT) stream and the Labour Agreement Stream.

The Short-Term stream allows employers to sponsor/nominate skilled overseas workers in the occupations listed on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum period of two years with an option to be renewed once for further two years. Applicants have an option to reapply for further Short-term stream visa outside Australia when the maximum four years have been reached. Applicants under this stream will have to satisfy a “genuine temporary entrant” requirement, which includes assessment of their circumstances, immigration history, compliance with visa conditions and other relevant matter.

The Medium – Term Stream allows employers to sponsor/nominate skilled overseas workers for occupations on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years. There are no restrictions on renewals while in Australia.

The Labour agreement stream will enable skilled overseas workers to be employed under a labour agreement with the Commonwealth government.

Eligibility to the Employer Nomination Scheme (SC186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (SC187) will have to meet changes to requirements on age, employment history, salary, English Language and eligible occupations. The changes will not apply to persons who held or had applied for SC457 visa on 18 April 2017.

Primary applicants for SC482 must have at least two years relevant work experience. They must be under 45 years old. Short-Term stream applicants will have the same English language requirements as SC457 while Medium-Term stream applicant will require an overall 5 in the International English Language testing system or equivalent with a minimum of 5 in each component score. Visa application charge for the short-term stream will have a small increase while the medium- term stream will be closer to the VAC for skilled migration visa.

All applicants must satisfy a more stringent health criterion. SC482 visa holder must work only in the occupation related to the SC482 visa that was granted.

The visa period for dependent children who are members of the family unit will cease at the end of the day before the holder turns 23 years old.

Some changes to the SC186 and SC 187 visa include:

a labour agreement stream
lowering of the primary applicant’s age to 45 years or under
the requirement for the primary applicant to have at least three years relevant work experience for Direct Entry
the requirement for an applicant nominated in the TRT stream to have worked at the time of nomination for three years our of the previous fours years in relation to the SC457 or SC482 visa held
TRT and DE stream will require applicant’s nominated occupation to be on the MLTSSL at the time of nomination. Additional occupations will be available in a regional area.

Australia is the third most popular destination for international students in the world – why is this so?

Australia’s education system is highly regarded and internationally recognised as being of a very high standard.

Eight Australian universities are listed in the 100 top universities in the world, and Australia is ranked 9th in the University world ranking, topping Germany, New Zealand and Japan.

There are many courses to choose from (around 22,000) and a large choice of institutions at which to study (approximately 1,200).

Australia also has five “best student cities” out of 30 in the world.

There are 2.5 million international alumni of Australian Institutions who are making a difference around the world including 15 Nobel Prize Laureates. It’s been claimed that 1,000 million people around the world rely on Australian discoveries and innovations every day.

Secondly, Australia is clearly a migrant nation. Based on the 2016 Census, Australia has a population of 24.8 million people – two thirds (67%) who were born in Australia, and over 6 million people who were born overseas. England and New Zealand are the most countries of birth after Australia, followed by China and India.

The composition of Australia’s population is constantly changing. Since the last Census in 2011, the proportion of people born in China increased from 6.0% to 8.3 % of the Australian population, and India from 5.6% to 7.4%. The Philippines moved from number 8 to number 6, overtaking Italy which moved from 6th to 8th. Representing 0.6% of the Australian population, Malaysia replaced Scotland in the top ten countries of birth. There are over 260 languages spoken in Australia.

Thirdly, as well as being the biggest island in the world with over 500 national parks and more than 2700 conservation areas, Australia also claims to be a sporting nation with more than 1,200 registered sporting organisations.

…and finally, Australia is also the 4th “happiest” country in the world.

It’s no wonder why so many international students are coming to Australia.

What are the requirements to be granted a student visa?

Evidence to be provided by student visa applicants includes:

Financial capacity including access to the funds.
Financial evidence comprises living costs and course/tuition fees for the first 12 months, and return airfare to country of origin.

From 1 February 2018, the cost of annual living amounts will increase.

Evidence of funds required should include:

Student or guardian AUD$20290,
Partner or spouse AUD$7100, and
Child AUD$3040.
2. Evidence of English proficiency (unless exempted) must also be provided.

3. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement with sufficient information and supporting documents.

Any study gaps or employment should be explained and if the field of study is unrelated to previous study or employment, the reason must be addressed. The statement must also show the student’s circumstances.

4. Previous visa history

Applicants must declare any previous visa refusals or cancellations from any country for themselves, as well as family members, even if the family member is not intending to travel to Australia. Incorrect information provided in response to this question may lead to a refusal of a visa application under Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4020 (false and misleading informtion).

Choosing your migration agent is as important as your decision to go to Australia. Whether you intend to study, get a job or simply have a good time, you need the services of an expert to help you in processing your request with the Australian Government.

You see, having the funds and all the necessary documentation does not guarantee your being granted a visa to travel to Australia. It is how your requirements are presented to the Australian Embassy case officer that will make all the difference. With all the very similar paperwork that get to these officers’ desks, how do you convince him or her that you do deserve to be granted a visa?

This is where the services of a migration agent comes in. With the wealth of experience under the agent’s belt, he or she would know exactly how to present your case so that favourable action is taken. That’s how important a migration agent is to your travel plans.

However, your choice of a migration agent should withstand a due diligence test. Google can help you, but here are some things you should look for:

1. MARA Registration
MARA or the Migration Agents Registration Authority, as the name implies is responsible for accreditation. And mind you, the requirements are stringent. These include a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice and a clean bill of health from the National Police, so to speak, among others. A search on the MARA website will give you the status of your migration agent.

2. Testimonials
Go through your migration agent’s website and find out if they have happy clients. This is one sure gauge of their success rate.

3. Empathy
Only when he or she has a good understanding of your case can your migration agent successfully help you present your case to the case officer for positive results. This can only result from genuine care from your migration agent, who will see you as a person with a unique situation and not just a customer.

We at World2Australia know exactly what it cost you to embark on your journey, not just the financial costs but also the emotional and psychological costs. Despite living in Australia for the last 20 years, Gloria Collins is very much in touch with her Filipino heritage. Hence, she never fails to deliver high quality services.