Applicants from India, Nepal and Pakistan will soon face more hurdles in their Australian study visa application process due to a new requirement to demonstrate a higher financial capacity to live in Australia.
The annual fund to be demonstrated by students from these ‘high risk’ countries has been increased to AU$21,041. This figure is to be proved in addition to their course fees, a move agents say would deter prospective students from these countries from choosing to study abroad in Australia.
Migration agent Jujhar Bajwa told SBS Punjabi: “It’s definitely going to have an effect, especially since the students are now required to not just show the evidence of funds but also that of English language proficiency, and the required funds being increased within a month of that big change.”
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Melbourne migration agent Ranbir Singh told SBS Punjabi: “These funds are normally shown by way of genuine savings or fixed deposits. Alternatively, the parents can give evidence of their annual income to support a student visa applicant.”
Indian students make up the second-largest group of international students in Australia – in 2018, there were 71,857 (18 percent) Indian students enrolled with education providers across the country. Nepal sent the third-largest group of students, with 28,233 enrolled. In sixth place is Pakistan with 11,397 students. Collectively, these three countries make up 28 percent of the entire international student population in India.
In September, their risk assessment status was downgraded from Level 3 to Level 2 by the Department of Home Affairs. Level 2 means the country is considered lower risk, while Level 3 means study visa aspirants from these countries now need evidence of financial capacity and English proficiency when applying for courses with education providers, save for reputed universities.
Brisbane-based migration agent Suman Dua told SBS: “The applicants who wish to apply for a student visa will now have to provide financial evidence and English test if they plan to study with an Education provider whose rating is either two or 3.
“The education provider also has a rating from one to three. Previously applicants did not have to provide evidence of funds or English test as long as they were studying with a provider whose rating was either one or two.”
The increase in financial requirement is not the only consequence for students following the downgrade. Earlier this month, it was reported that certain Australian education providers have cancelled or withdrawn Confirmation of Enrolments (CoEs) and offer letters to Indian students.