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Agent Digest – Student Visa Program

student visa program

It is pleasure to introduce the fifth edition of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Agent Digest(January 2018). We have made all efforts to ensure that it continues to provide insights on current issues affecting the student visa program. These insights will be a definite value addition in the work done by migration and education agents.
With the rising number of student applications, the Department is all geared to develop a format which will help them in managing the peak lodgement period effectively. Hence, during the Jan – April 2018 period, we are anticipating a record number of student visa applications. Keeping the probable growth in the program registrations in consideration, we look forward that you take proactive steps to submit the completed applications at least six weeks from the date of commencement of the course.

Alice Maclean, Director – Student and Graduate Visas

Attach documents upfront

It is recommended to share the documents upfront along with the student visa application. In such a case, the Department is able to take immediate decision on the submitted application on the basis of information provided. In case of a grant, the Department will not request any further information. This will expedite the process of approval and more applications would processed within the same time frame.The applications should also include evidence of financial capacity along with proof for genuine access to those funds. With these documentary evidences, the applications are subject to regular evidentiary requirements.

Further to the educational and financials related documents, you would also need to submit an evidence of English proficiency or a proof declaring your exemption for the language proficiency. Any sort of in completion with respect to documentary formalities in the entire processing of student visa application may lead to visa refusal.
At the time of submitting the application, it is in the best interest of the agents to ensure that their ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statements’ provide as much information as is relevant for the authorities to approve the same. Needless to say, the supporting documentation should be appropriately attached to the application. Not only the documents should be complete, there should be detailed a note to explain the gaps in study or employment, if any. In case of shift of field which is not directly related to their earlier study or employment, a proper reasoning should be shared which addresses the reason for which the student is inclined to pursue higher studies in an unrelated field. This should also cover an explanation on how this study is going to help them in accomplishing their future plans.
Since generic statements are not given much weight age in the GTE assessment, all explanations should be made specific to the student’s circumstances so that it gives the much-needed clarity about the student to the decision makers.

Finding out more
In the interest of agents, we have developed subscription-based access on LEGEND.com. This is a repository resource offering detailed information on migration legislation as well as the procedural guidelines as applied by the officers during the assessment of applications.
Another resource for seeking valuable guidance is the Departmental website. It provides information about the program including visa requirements, statistics, application processing time etc. Additionally, it mentions explanation of all the conditions applicable to any student visa holder.
Depending on the completion of the procedural formalities of the application, the time taken in processing a visa application varies largely. However, the Department does not provide status updates on applications as part of their procedure. In case any further information is required for approving the application, the Department will contact you from their side. Once the decision has been made on the visa application, the same will definitely be updated to you.

Cost of annual living amounts to increase
With the onset of 2018, the Australia’s consumer price index has risen up and so will be the case with cost of annual living. From 1 February 2018, the calculation of funds should be in line with the new updated cost of annual living while submitting a student visa application. The following data can be kept in consideration so as to provide evidence of sufficient funds as per the updated cost of living amounts:

Student or guardian: AUD$20,290

Partner or spouse: AUD$7,100

Child: AUD$3,040

TIPS:
1. In case, you receive a ‘Request for Information’ from the Department, do not email the documents to the Department as it would not be considered. Also there is no need to inform them on call that you have done the needful. What is required in response to ‘Request for Information’ is that you upload the documents to the application in ImmiAccount. By doing this, your documents will get attached to your application. Remember that emailing or doing anything other than what is advised as part of the procedure can delay visa processing.
2. In case there has been any visa refusals or cancellations from any country either for themselves or their family members, the applicants are required to declare the same. This holds applicable even in cases where the family members are not intending to accompany the student to Australia. Since different countries may use different terms like a rejection, denial or a visa declined, this disclosure covers sharing of all such cases which stand equivalent to visa refusals. Any misleading or incorrect information may lead to refusal under PIC 4020.

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