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Visas 2012

On 24 March 2012 the Australian Government introduced radically new visa processing arrangements for students planning to enroll in a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree program at the majority of Australian universities, which are making the application process for such students a lot simpler and faster.

Whereas previously the evidence you were required to provide in support of your Student Visa application varied a lot depending on your country of origin, from now on all you need to submit, if you are enrolling in a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree program is -

  1. a valid passport,
  2. 4 passport-size photographs,
  3. a cheque to cover the cost of the application fee,
  4. the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from the Participating University where you are going to study, which implies that you will have reached the level of English required for your chosen program of studies,
  5. a certified copy of your birth certificate, showing your parents' names, with a certified translation in English,
  6. certified copies of your academic records showing that you have the educational qualifications required by the university where you have enrolled, with certified translations in English,
  7. a declaration that you have access to adequate funds to meet the costs of your study and stay in Australia.

A key factor is the concept of "Participating University": Participating (or Eligible) Universities have been assessed by the Government as meeting a range of conditions intended to ensure the genuiness and reliability of the international students they accept into their courses. A list of 41 "Participating Universities" has been published by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC); it includes all of Australia's public universities as well as most private ones.

The Goverment has introduced a number of other changes that will benefit international students -

  • the option to "package" preparatory courses with the University program you are enrolling in, including ELICOS, Foundation and Bridging courses, as well as preparatory Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, as long as these are offered by the University itself or by one of your University's "nominated partner institutions".
  • more flexible work conditions for all student visa holders, which will also provide more flexibility for their employers; for example, postgraduate research (subclass 574) visa holders can work an unlimited number of hours per week once their course has commenced, which means that they can engage in employment related to their research.
  • legislation to abolish the automatic visa cancellation process for international students, which will reduce complexity and uncertainty for students and provide for fairer, more efficient monitoring of compliance processes.

If you want more information about these changes, you can contact us to ask a question or you can go to the relevant section of DIAC's web site.

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