New Beginnings Johanna Nonato

Australia welcomes international students from different countries. In June 2018, there were 486,934 people on student visa, about a third of these students were from China and India and 8,233 of these were from the Philippines. This is according to the Student visa and Temporary Graduate visa program report ending June 2018 published by the Department of Home Affairs.

Some of you might have relatives who are interested to study in Australia but don’t know where to start. This article discusses the key things that the applicant should consider in studying in Australia. 

Why am I interested to study in Australia?

The applicant should reflect on the reasons why he or she wants to study in Australia. Is it to enhance your current skills and knowledge to improve your career prospects? Is it just a way to stay and work in Australia? 

In applying for a student visa, applicants should satisfy the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement and all the rest of the student visa criteria. The GTE requirement can be satisfied by taking a course that is related to your current/previous work experience or qualification. You have to demonstrate (through your statement of purpose) the value of the course you enrol into your future and your intention of coming back to your home country when you have completed your course.

If the applicant’s intention is just to work in Australia and studying is a secondary objective, then he or she should instead consider other visas that have working rights in Australia. Student visas are not meant to be used as a way of working in Australia.

The applicants should also consider if they have the capacity to pay their tuition fees and the living costs in Australia (set at $20,290 per year) while studying and working part-time (most students are allowed to work for a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight, some courses can give you full work rights (such as Masters by Research, PhD courses).

Should I get advice and assistance for my application?

There’s always the option to do it yourself or you can get advice and assistance from education agents and migration agents. Some agents will charge for their services and some do it free as they get commissions from the education providers for successful enrolments.

Some migration agents are also education agents or vice versa. What sets the Registered Migration Agents apart is that they must adhere to the Migration Agents Code of Conduct which includes their obligations to clients, standards of professional conduct, and more. Also note that in Australia, it is illegal to give migration advice or assistance if you are not a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer. You can check if your adviser/agent is registered at the Migration Agents Registration Authority by searching their name or MARN number.

Whether you get advice and assistance from education agents or Registered Migration Agents, make sure you understand the enrolment and student visa application process and ensure that you get receipts for any payments you make.

From where should I enrol and apply for my student visa, outside or inside Australia?

Some people come here on a tourist visa and then later decide to apply for a student visa. From the Student visa and Temporary Graduate visa program report ending June 2018 published by the Department of Home Affairs, 93.4% of student visa applications lodged in Australia from April 2017 to June 2018 were granted while 91.2% were granted offshore.

This shows that onshore student visa applications have a slightly higher chance of approval. Some education providers also offer less stringent entry requirements and lesser tuition fee.

With the right objective, assistance from a trusted adviser, and support from family members, potential applicants can have a meaningful and successful journey in their student life in Australia.

Image: Mimi Thian | Unsplash

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