When applying for a student visa for Australia, one of the main criteria is evidence of being a genuine student. To be a genuine student an applicant must meet the requirements set out in Schedule 5A to the Migration Regulations (Cth). These requirements can vary depending on the visa subclass applied for and the assessment level that the applicant falls within. Separate provisions apply to show that they are a genuine student covering English language proficiency, financial capacity and other requirements.
Should an applicant not be able to meet all of the requirements, they cannot be found to be a genuine student visa applicant and must be refused the visa on the basis that they do not meet the requirements. The specific requirements that need to be met vary according to the visa subclass and the applicant’s assessment levels. Usually, to prove that an applicant has met the necessary requirements in relation to English language proficiency the IELTS is the most commonly relied upon qualification. However, the department of immigration will occasionally publish in its gazette the other tests which are recognised as being valid for the purposes of entry into Australia. Usually, it is not possible to use the results of an English language test completed after the lodgement of the application. In some circumstances, the department of immigration will also accept evidence of the completion of state school certificate exam or the completing of a tertiary institution course as evidence of meeting the English language proficiency requirements.
In relation to the financial capacity requirements, an applicant must be able to pay for their tuition and education costs, living costs for the duration of the stay in Australia, school costs for school age dependents and travel costs. The fees for education are determined by electronic confirmation with the education provider or the offer of place letter. Living costs for a student are calculated at the base rate of $12,000.00 per year for an individual student and then adjusted on a prorata rate. If school age dependents also accompany the student, they must also allow $8,000.00 per year for each school age child. The cost of travel to and from Australia must also be provided for. Where a student visa applicant relies on a source of funding, it may be acceptable for this to be based on private corporate sponsorship, financial support from the proposed education provider, loans from financial institutions or the sponsorship of a government. Applicants can also rely on support from ‘acceptable individuals’ which includes most close relatives and family members.