Financial evidentiary requirements for an Australian student visa
The following are the financial proof for student visa Australia subclass 500 evidentiary requirements.
All student visa applicants must have genuine access to sufficient student visa funds to cover costs and expenses for themselves and any accompanying family applicants for the duration of the intended stay in Australia. All applicants must declare on the application that they have sufficient funds available for the duration of the entire stay in Australia.
If required, the applicant must provide additional evidence of their financial capacity as the amount of funds required, in the form of evidence that is acceptable. If the applicant has provided evidence of finances that are not sufficient the application may be refused without requesting further information regardless of the evidence level.
The type of evidence that applicants can provide to demonstrate evidence of their financial capacity:
The option to meet the financial requirement through evidence of annual income is expected to be available to small numbers of student visa applicants. This is because in countries where income is under reported to government taxation authorities or where income is primarily taxed through businesses, applicants would not be able to demonstrate the requisite income level. For applicants unable to provide the specified evidence of income, evidence of funds for travel costs and the first 12 months’ living costs, course fees and school fees, this is an alternative way to demonstrate financial capacity.
The income demonstrated must be the personal income of the student visa primary applicant’s:
The annual income amount to demonstrate is equal to A$72,465 for single applicant and A$84,543 for a couple. The income specified is gross (that is, before tax) and the evidence must be in the form of official government documentation, such as a tax assessment (or country equivalent). To ensure the claimed income is recent, the documentation must have been issued in the 12 months immediately before the application is made.
If the primary student applicant’s spouse/de facto has provided evidence of their income to satisfy the financial requirement and will leave their employment and accompany the primary student applicant to Australia, they may no longer have the requisite income. In that case the applicant must meet the financial requirement under ‘Funds for travel costs and the first 12 month’s living costs, course fees and school fees.
Subsequent entrant family members who apply to join a student visa holder who was granted a student visa prior to 1 July 2016 will still need to meet the financial requirements for the Subclass 500 (student) visa. When deciding what evidence of financial capacity should be required depends on the evidence level assessed for the primary student when granted their TU570 to TU-576 student visa:
• Streamlined evidentiary requirements = AL Exempt (ALX/Streamlined) and AL1
• Regular evidentiary requirements = AL2 and AL3.
The amount of funds an applicant must demonstrate can be calculated by adding the living cost amount of A$24,505 for a student for the first 12 months, the first annual course fee and travel costs for the student. If the period of stay is less than 12 months, then the living costs are calculated on a pro rata basis.
The amount of funds an applicant must demonstrate if family member applicants are included in the application can be calculated by adding:
The applicants, together, must demonstrate the specified total amount to meet the requirement.
If an applicant:
it will be assessed whether the evidence of financial capacity provided by the applicant is the same as that provided for their sibling or guardian.
If the same evidence is provided officers should assess if the evidence is sufficient to cover the costs of both students/applicants or whether additional evidence of funds is required. The 12 month period is calculated in relation to the proposed entry date of the student guardian.
The applicant is required to give evidence of funds for the first 12 months of stay.
The first 12 months means the period that:
If the intended stay period is less than 12 months, the applicant must provide evidence on a pro rata basis of funds that they will use for the intended period of stay.
Living costs for each applicant are A$24,505, A$8,574, A$3,670 and from 2017 increase by CPI. Officers should refer to the instrument in place at the time the application is made to determine the relevant living costs amounts. Airfares and health cover are not included in living costs.
Students who will be accommodated in formal boarding or homestay arrangements with their education provider may prepay a portion of these fees prior to the issue of a CoE.
Formal boarding or homestay arrangements do not include privately arranged boarding or homestay arrangements, or private rent arrangements.
If a student provides evidence of prepayment of formal boarding or homestay fees, this amount can be deducted from the amount the student needs to show against the living costs component of the financial requirements.
Acceptable evidence may be in the form of a contract or an authorised receipt of payment from the education provider.
Tuition and/or education fees are indicated by the education provider on the CoE and/or “Offer of Place” letter.
When calculating course fees, the total course length is found by using the course start date and course end date on the CoE/s. Course fees are not based on the applicant’s stay in Australia. For example, a course from 1 March 2017 to 31 October 2018 will have a course length of 20 months.
For students with formal boarding arrangements the costs of boarding should have been separated from the course fees by the education provider. If an officer is concerned that the boarding fees have been rolled in with the course fees on the CoE they can check the letter of offer to refer to if the course and boarding components have been separated out on that document.
If an applicant provides one or more CoEs with their visa application, any amount that the provider records on the CoE as prepaid may be deducted from the total course fees payable when calculating the amount of funds to cover course fees.
The costs of schooling must be included in any financial capacity calculations if school-age dependents are included in the student visa application (either by making a combined application with the student, or by applying as a subsequent entrant). The costs of schooling for family members who do not apply for a student visa should not be included in the calculation. For the purpose of assessing the financial capacity to meet the schooling costs of school-age dependents the cost is predetermined at A$9,661 a year, unless school fees are exempted.
If at time of visa decision, the child in question is not a school-age dependent (that is, is under 5 years old) but will become so during the first 12 months of the intended stay period, the cost of schooling must be included in any financial capacity calculations from the time they do become a school-age dependent until the end of the first 12 months.
This cost should be calculated on a pro-rata basis for the number of days out of 365 the child will be a school-age dependent.
Dependent children of PhD students are not required to demonstrate capacity to meet school costs if they provide evidence of enrollment in an Australian government school because Australian government schools exempt children of PhD students from paying school fees.
Dependent children of Australian Commonwealth Government scholarship recipients, including children of DFAT and Defence students, are not required to demonstrate this amount if they provide evidence of enrollment in a government school and commonwealth scholarship. Australian government schools exempt children of Commonwealth scholarship recipients from paying school fees.
Travel costs should be consistent across the program and communicated externally so applicants are aware of the funds required to include in the calculation of funds. Travel costs are set at A$2000 for applicants applying outside Australia and A$1000 if applying inside Australia.
There may be exceptions for some countries (for example countries in Africa) where travel costs are significantly higher. Any exceptions must be made public.
If family members make a combined application with the student, total travel costs must include the travel costs for each member of the family unit included in the visa application.
The exchange rate used to determine financial capacity should be the rate applicable at the time of application. However, as financial evidence criteria are to be satisfied at the time of decision, if there has been a variation of more than 10%, the current exchange rate should be used instead.
As per above calculation the minimum bank balance required for Australian student visa application for single applicant will be; A$65,000 for a university course; and A$45,000 for vocational course.
The types of evidence a student visa applicant can provide to satisfy the financial requirements are:
The value of an item of property is not a permitted type of evidence. The evidence of additional funds above and beyond that is prescribed, cannot be requested. The relationship of the individual/organisation providing the funds to the applicant must be considered under the ‘genuine access’ component of the financial requirement.
The financial evidence acceptable from the type of financial institutions are:
Some students may choose to move funds from a non-acceptable institution to an acceptable one. The funds could then be used to meet the financial requirement; however, officers should consider whether the student would have access to those funds. For example, a student may have savings in a post office account. A post office is not an acceptable financial institution as it does not give loans. The student may withdraw their funds and deposit them into an acceptable financial institution.
Other common scenarios include when students draw on provident funds or take out a loan with an institution that does not take money on deposit. On their own, neither of these forms would be acceptable. However, if the student deposits the funds in an acceptable financial institution or even borrows against the funds (loan from an acceptable institution) then the funds can be used to meet the financial requirement.
Evidence of money deposits may be in the form of bank statement for Australia student visa. Term deposits or fixed deposits may also be used to meet this requirement if the student will have genuine access to the funds for use during the period the visa is held.
Subsequent entrant family members who apply to join a student visa holder who was granted a student visa prior to 1 July 2016 will still need to meet the financial requirements for the Subclass 500 (Student) visa.
Applicants reliant on funds in provident fund accounts/ accounts maintained under government schemes may arrange to have sufficient funds transferred into an account with an acceptable financial institution, to which the applicant has unrestricted access. Bank statements relating to the accounts into which funds were transferred, may be submitted as evidence of financial capacity.
A loan encompasses a legally enforceable agreement by which a financial institution promises to advance funds to a borrower on the condition that the funds advanced be repaid and is not dependent upon any or all of the funds that have been agreed to be lent coming into the possession of the borrower, and nor is it contingent upon there being a repayment schedule.
Therefore, other forms of borrowing, such as a credit card or a line of credit, where there is a pre-approved limit that may be drawn upon when required and which the borrower needs to make payments only on the funds that are withdrawn, can be considered loans.
An applicant who claims financial support from the government, education provider or international organisation is expected to provide supporting documentation from the relevant organisation confirming and describing scholarship or financial support.
Officers should refer to the scholarship/funding letter as 'financial sponsorship letter for student visa' to check the level of funding included. For example, because DFAT does not normally provide sufficient funding to cover living costs of family members, DFAT students must demonstrate additional funds to support family member applicants. The Department of Defence usually includes funding to cover family members and additional evidence of funds is not required.
Evidence of finances for secondary exchange students
The AASES form issued to secondary exchange students is sufficient evidence of financial capacity for secondary exchange students. This is because secondary exchange programs involve paying a fee to an exchange organisation, which includes homestay accommodation (full board) and course fees.
Requesting formal evidence of financial capacity from students subject to streamlined evidentiary requirements should be the exception and should be undertaken in limited circumstances only. Circumstances where officers may consider requesting specified evidence are:
The sponsor will need to give an affidavit declaring that the funds they are showing as financial evidence to support the applicant's student visa application, are available to the application to cover their tuition fees, board, lodge, health insurance and return airfare home after finishing their studies.
All subsequent entrant applicants for a student visa must have sufficient funds or support to cover costs and expenses for themselves and each family member of the primary student applicant for the duration of the intended stay in Australia. The funds must be accessible and be available to financially support the applicants in Australia.
All applicants must declare on the application that they have sufficient funds available for the duration of the entire stay in Australia. If required, the subsequent entrant applicant must provide additional evidence of their financial capacity.
The family member applicants whose application is not combined with the primary student will have to provide either:
If the subsequent entrant cannot provide evidence of financial capacity for themselves, family members and those who already hold an associated visa, the primary applicant’s visa can be referred because they may have breached visa condition 8516.
Application by subsequent entrant family members
The amount of funds an applicant must demonstrate can be identified by adding the following:
When assessing the financial requirement for subsequent entrant applicants, the 12 month period is calculated in relation to the subsequent entrant family member applicant(s) proposed entry to Australia. This is especially relevant if the primary applicant has already been studying in Australia for some time.
In determining whether to require evidence of financial capacity for subsequent applicants, officers should be guided by the primary applicant’s combined country and education provider risk ratings.
Requesting formal evidence of financial capacity from subsequent entrant family members of streamlined students should be undertaken only in very limited circumstances.
Five examples of circumstances in which officers may consider requesting specified evidence are:
The applicant must have genuine access to funds. These funds should be available to be used for the purpose of financially supporting the applicant (and family members if any) while in Australia. The circumstances of the applicant/person providing the funds can be considered to determine whether the applicant(s) would genuinely have access to the funds.
Examples of circumstances that may be considered are:
Applicants who have demonstrated sufficient funds by providing evidence of the annual income of their spouse/de facto partner or parent would need to show that they would genuinely have access to the funds generated from the income. Because the annual income requirement is restricted to the applicant’s spouse/de facto partner or parents, there is generally no need to further scrutinize ‘genuine access’ based on the relationship to the applicant.
However, in order to meet the ‘genuine access’ component of the financial requirement, the applicant may need to provide evidence of the relationship to the applicant of the person providing the funds. Decision makers may also seek evidence of the currency of employment/asset ownership generating the personal income, particularly if there are concerns with the age of the records, or information available to the decision maker to indicate there may have been a change in circumstances (for example significant economic downturn in a country, or specific intelligence about an applicant).
Additional scrutiny may also be appropriate if the amount of personal income demonstrated is equal to the amount required, suggesting that the funds have been generated specifically to meet visa requirements.
Money deposits held by the applicant, the applicant’s spouse/de facto partner or the applicant’s parents would generally satisfy the genuine access requirement.
Funds that are not committed to the applicant are less likely to be available to the applicant for the purpose of financially supporting the applicant in Australia. For example, if several family members and/or third parties are contributing to the applicant’s stay in Australia, the money is less likely to be available to the applicant in Australia than if the money is in the applicant’s own name (or the name of their spouse/de facto partner /parent, as relevant).
An example of a situation in which an applicant would reasonably be expected to have access to funds in Australia in circumstances where the money deposit is in another person’s name, is where the applicant will live with a relative in Australia and the relative will provide for all (or some) costs and expenses while in Australia. For example, the relative will provide for all living costs, but the student’s parents will fund, for example, course fees.
Consideration should be given to eight factors:
If a business account is presented as evidence of financial capacity, decision makers must be satisfied that those funds will be for the use of the student while the student is in Australia.
(Note: If financial support is being provided by a business, it is the business (and not the individuals within the business) that provides the support. Unless the persons who have the authority to commit the business are identified and appropriate documentation is obtained, genuine access to the funds cannot be established.)
In these circumstances, the business should be able to transfer the funds that it wishes to commit towards the student into an account (current, savings or term deposit) in the name of the student or the person providing the financial support. The applicant may be asked to provide evidence that the source of funds was the business.
Where funds have been transferred into an acceptable financial institution but have come from another source, supporting documents should show that the student has genuine access to these funds. For example:
Loans should be in the name of the student or other individual providing financial support to the student.
Decision makers may wish to seek additional information to be satisfied that the loan is for the support of the student and is not a loan that has been committed to other purposes. As four examples, this may occur if:
Loans in the name of the applicant, the applicant’s spouse/de facto partner or the applicant’s parents would generally meet the genuine access requirement unless there is evidence indicating that the funds from the loan may not genuinely be available to the student visa applicants. If the loan is jointly held in another person’s name, consideration should be given to the relationship between the student visa applicant and the loan holders to establish whether the funds will genuinely be available to the applicant in Australia.
If a loan was obtained against collateral, consideration should be given to who the collateral for the loan is owned by and that individual’s relationship to the applicant. Another consideration may the amount of time before the application that the loan was obtained. If the loan was drawn down many months before the application was lodged, the applicant should be able to demonstrate either that the funds are in an account (current or savings) in the name of the student or the individual providing financial support or have been used to pay expenses such as course fees and airfares.
To be satisfied the funds will be available to the applicant, decision makers may consider four factors:
Evidence of disbursement is the best way to satisfy us that the student will have genuine access to these funds:
In the case of applications made in Australia by student visa holders; if the evidence of funds relates to the proceeds of an overseas loan or money deposit held overseas, the applicant may be requested to arrange for the transfer of funds for the first 12 months into an account with a bank in Australia. Evidence of genuine access would be bank statements of the Australian account showing the deposit and a trail to show that the funds are proceeds from the overseas loan or deposit previously identified.
A student visa applicant would generally satisfy the genuine access requirements if the student is to be funded by one of the following six entities through a scholarship or other formal funding arrangement:
If there are concerns based on the circumstances of the entity providing the funds, the decision maker may request further information to verify funds will be available and genuinely accessible by the applicant. Four examples of situations in which further information may be required are:
For the purposes of a student visa application, scholarships that meet the following four policy requirements generally meet the genuine access requirement:
A student visa applicant who claims financial support from their education provider or proposed education provider is expected to provide supporting documentation from the education provider. Documentation from the provider is expected to address each of the four factors above. Further evidence should be requested only if decision makers have concerns that the scholarship does not comply with these factors.
Corporate sponsorship would satisfy the genuine access requirements if either:
In either case the applicant should be an employee of the company.
Australia Student Visa bank balance required for Australian student visa application is A$24,505 for living expenses, one year of tuition fees, return airfare to and from Australia to student's home country, and overseas student health cover.
Student visa financial support statement from the bank must be able to show funds sufficient for full year of tuition fees, full year living expenses for all the applicants to be included in the visa application, return airfare at the cost of A$2000 per applicant and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
Bank Statement student visa should be attested from the issuing bank with details of the issuing authority clearly mentioned on the statement for verification purposes.
There is no standard student visa financial support statement form. Declaration from sponsor should cover what support the sponsor commits to provide and for how long.
There are no restrictions on who can show funds as financial evidence for Australian student visa application. The person showing funds must have genuine funds, and have genuine commitment to support your studies in Australia.
Yow can provide bank deposits, fixed deposits, study loan, provident fund made available in an accessible account.
To sponsor someone for Australian student visa you can provide financial evidence covering their entire expenses for 1 year in Australia, and also provide a legal declaration about your commitment to support the applicant intending to apply for Australian student visa.
There are no conditions to how old the funds should be in the accounts, as long as the source of funds are genuine.
Disclaimer: ‘Atlantis International Pty Ltd’ and its associates are independent consulting entities which are not associated in anyway with the Australian ‘Department of Home Affairs’ (DOHA). Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.