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SOME BASIC REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUES

  • CONFIRMATION OF ENROLMENT (COE)
  • CRICOS
  • FULL TIME STUDY
  • GENUINE TEMPORARY ENTRANT (GTE)
  • GOOD CHARACTER
  • HEALTH REQUIREMENT
  • NO DEBTS TO THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
  • EVIDENTIARY FRAMEWORK AND STUDENT VISA PROCESSING
  • STREAMLINED EVIDENTIARY REQUIREMENTS
  • REGULAR EVIDENTIARY REQUIREMENTS
  • EVIDENCE OF FINANCIAL CAPACITY
  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS
  • PACKAGING OFFER LETTERS AND THE PRINCIPAL COURSE
  • VISA DURATION
  • REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS UNDER 18

CONFIRMATION OF ENROLMENT (COE)

PRISMS produces and tracks all Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) documents that are produced for international students studying in Australia on a student visa.  These CoEs are necessary for the issuing of student visas.

CRICOS is also contained within the PRISMS database.  CRICOS records all of the registered courses for each provider that is registered to provide education to an overseas student studying in Australia on a student visa.

An CoE is a Confirmation of Enrolment. This is a web-based document created by PRISMS that records which course or courses a student is enrolled in.

If a student intends to study more than one course, more than one CoE is produced. This allows the student to get a student visa for the combined length of all the courses. This is often referred to as a 'Package' visa.

Producing a CoE

These are the steps that are followed:

  1. The institution agrees to enrol the student.
  2. The institution authorises and prints a copy of the CoE and provides it to the student and/or agent.
  3. The information on the CoE is transmitted to DIBP via PRISMS.
  4. When the student applies for a student visa, DIBP matches and approves the CoE details.

 

What Does a CoE Look Like?

A CoE has 4 parts, and you're going to look at some of its main features.

Part A - Information for overseas students: where to apply for the student visa

Part B - Course details: such as CRICOS code of the provider and the course, course start and finish date or course fee

Part C - Student details

Part D - Notes: relating the eCoE

CRICOS

CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.  It is an online register of all the courses and institutions that are available to students who wish to obtain a student visa. Institutions offering education or training services to students studying in Australia on student visas are required to comply with the Federal legislative requirements for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Each institution is given a unique CRICOS Provider Code on registration. This code identifies the institution as a registered provider of education and training services to overseas students. Providers are required by law to include their provider code in all marketing material. For example, an institution's website usually shows the code at the bottom of each web page.The importance of the the CRICOS Provider Code is as under:

  • It identifies the education institution as a registered provider of education and training to overseas students;
  • It clarifies who is legally responsible for provider obligations under the ESOS Act.
  • Where more than one provider is involved in the delivery of a course, only one provider is registered on CRICOS to deliver the course. The CRICOS Code ensures clarity about who is responsible for any obligation under the ESOS Act and the National Code 2007.
    For example, a university may enter into an approved arrangement for a college to run one of its courses on its behalf, or a number of institutions may form a partnership to offer a particular course. The registered provider will be responsible for all the obligations under the ESOS legislation.
  • Each course has a unique Course Code. Some courses can be listed more than once with different CRICOS numbers.

Some courses may seem to be the same but if they have different CRICOS Course Codes, the length of the course, course cost, or the entrance requirements may be different.It's important that when you talk with a prospective student, you use the correct CRICOS Course Code. This means you can be sure you are referring to the relevant course information.

FULL TIME STUDY

Only students who have enrolled in full-time study can apply for a student visa, with the exception of Doctoral (PhD) students waiting for their thesis to be marked.

GENUINE TEMPORARY ENTRANT (GTE)

The key integrity measure the Department of Immigration and Border Protection makes in granting a student visa is whether the applicant is a genuine temporary entrant. That is, are they coming to Australia for genuine study purposes and have a realistic prospect of returning home once their studies have finished. DIBP takes a balanced approach and will weigh up all the factors before making a decision.

Some factors that the department considers as part of the GTE requirement include:

  • the circumstances in the applicant’s home country
  • the applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia
  • the applicant’s immigration history
  • the value of the course to the applicant’s future
  • any other matter relevant to the applicant’s intention to stay temporarily

Examples of how a student might be considered not to be a Genuine Temporary Entrant are:

GTE Considerations

Examples

Circumstances in the applicant’s home country

Any matter, such as economic downturn , relevant to the applicant’s intention to stay temporarily

The applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia

The student has been in Australia for extensive periods of time, either without having successfully completed a qualification, or has moved education providers on numerous occasions.

The applicant’s immigration history

The student has had previous visa applications refused or visas cancelled.

The value of the course to the applicant’s future

The student is applying for a course that is not related to their career choice or previous qualifications

Any other matter that may be relevant

The student cannot explain how an Australian qualification will benefit them in the future

 

GOOD CHARACTER

The student must make a declaration on the visa application form that includes but is not limited to the following:

  • they have not been involved in criminal activity, or
  • they have not been previously deported.

Health Requirement

The health of overseas students studying in Australia is important and protects the Australian community from public health and safety risks, particularly active tuberculosis.

To meet the health requirement, a student must be free from a disease or condition that is:

  • considered to be a threat to public health or a danger to the Australian community
  • likely to result in significant health care and community service costs to the Australian community
  • likely to require health care and community services that would limit the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to those services already in short supply.

HEALTH EXAMINATIONS

A student may be required to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process process, check the Health Examinations information on the DIBP website. There are specific requirements for arranging a health examination. An online system known as eMedical processes health examinations results electronically and these are forwarded to DIBP for assessment. If your student does require a medical examination outside of Australia, they must contact an Australian panel doctor in their country. A list of doctors is available from Immigration Panel Doctors www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Help/immigration-panel-physicians

  • RISK OF TUBERCULOSIS (TB)

The following table shows how the risk of Tuberculosis (TB) in different countries impacts on the likelihood of the necessity of a medical examination. DIBP may decide to request a health assessment regardless of the risk assessment detailed for TB below.

 

Country TB Risk Level

Student to stay in Australia less than 6 months

Student to stay in Australia more than 6 months

Low Risk

No health examination normally required

No health examination normally required

High Risk

No health examination normally required

Medical examination required

Chest X-ray required (if over 11years old)

 

  • LOW RISK COUNTRIES (OTHERS CONSIDERED HIGH RISK)

Albania; American Samoa; Andorra; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Australia; Austria;Bahamas; Bahrain; Barbados; Belgium; Belize; Bermuda; Bonaire; Bouvet Island; Bulgaria;Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cuba; Curacao; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Dominica; Egypt; Estonia;Falkland Islands; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; French Polynesia; FYR Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia); Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Heard and McDonald Islands; Hungary; Iceland; Iran; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Jordan; Kosovo; Kuwait; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Malta; Mauritius; Mexico; Monaco; Montenegro; Montserrat;  Netherlands; Netherlands Antilles; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Niue; Norfolk Island; Norway; Oman; Palestinian Authority; Pitcairn Island; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico;Reunion Island; Saint Eustatius & Saba; Saint Helena (Ascension and Tristan da Cunha); Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (Dutch); Samoa; San Marino; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Seychelles;  Slovakia; Slovenia; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Spain; Svalbard & Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Tokelau; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Turks and Caicos Islands; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom (British citizen); United States of America; Uruguay; Vatican City; Virgin Islands (British); Virgin Islands (US);  Wallis and Fortuna Islands.

  • HEALTH INSURANCE

Adequate health insurance is a mandatory visa condition. DIBP requires evidence of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to demonstrate that the student is adequately insured. There are some exceptions (for example, students from Norway, Belgium or Sweden who have acceptable health cover from their home country).

Often, the education provider will include the option to pay for health insurance in the enrolment fees and a CoE will indicate that the student has OSHC arranged. Students will need to provide details of their OSHC policy in their visa application. International students have the right to choose their OSHC provider, although their education provider may make specific recommendations to applicants because they have negotiated an arrangement with a particular insurer.

If the cost of health insurance is not included in enrolment fees, the student will need to obtain OSHC insurance and provide OSHC policy details in the application.

A student (and any accompanying family members) must have OSHC for proposed duration of their student visa. e.g. they must have OSHC taken out for the entire period from the date they arrive in Australia on their student visa to the expiry date of their student visa.  

Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) holders can obtain Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) that provides a similar level of cover. 

DIBP have further information on their website here and the Department of Health here

NO DEBTS TO THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

The student must not owe money to Australia, or have agreed repayment plans in place. A declaration on the application form will normally satisfy this requirement.

EVIDENTIARY FRAMEWORK AND STUDENT VISA PROCESSING

Applicants who provide all requested documentation with their visa application are generally processed quicker. 

All student visa applications follow a similar process, with students providing information in an online form to DHA which is then assessed in accordance with established guidelines. Experience has demonstrated that in the aggregate, applications from different countries and for different education providers, indicate different rates of student fraud and other visa cancellation events.

The “Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF)” provides the evidentiary requirements for each student application on the basis of a combination of the rating of the student’s country of citizenship and the rating of the provider with which they will undertake their principal course of study.

These ratings are updated each 6 month period on the basis of:

  • Rate of visa cancellations
  • Rate of visa refusal due to fraud
  • Rate of visa refusal not due to fraud
  • Rate of student visa holder becoming unlawful (overstaying their time in Australia)
  • Rate of student visa holders applying for a Protection visa

Applications with regular evidentiary requirements are required to provide evidence of English proficiency and financial capacity with their applications, while those classed as streamlined are generally able to satisfy the Department of their financial capacity by a declaration and are not generally required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. However, DHA retains the discretion to seek further evidence where appropriate.

STREAMLINED EVIDENTIARY REQUIREMENTS

Under the SSVF, students associated with the lowest evidentiary rating will have streamlined evidentiary requirements and generally these students will be able to satisfy the Department of their financial capacity by providing a declaration with their visa application and their English proficiency by a Confirmation of Enrolment from their education provider.

The Genuine Temporary Entry (GTE) requirement remains the key measure that determines if a student is eligible for the grant of the visa.

While evidence of finance and English is not required with the visa application, DHA retains the right to ask for financial evidence from any student if there is specific intelligence that suggests there may be a problem with the financial capacity of the student.

REGULAR EVIDENTIARY REQUIREMENTS

Regular applications require a student to present two extra pieces of evidence with their visa application: financial capacity and English language proficiency evidence.

EVIDENCE OF FINANCIAL CAPACITY

  • Genuine Access Requirement

All funds that can be accepted as evidence must be clearly available to the student in order to pay for their studies and living costs. The factors that may be considered include:

  • The relationship of the sponsor (e.g. a parent or guardian’s funds are appropriate, but “family friends” bank accounts are not normally acceptable)
  • Income, assets and employment history of sponsor/parent
  • Previous visa history of the student (e.g. have they had difficulties in the past)

Students cannot rely on their ability to earn money through work in Australia as evidence of having funds.

The following are sources of evidence of financial capacity:

  • money deposit with a financial institution (bank)
  • loan with a financial institution (bank)
  • government loans
  • scholarship

There are three options to provide financial evidence.

  • Option 1: 12 months living expenses

Show evidence of funds for travel costs plus 12 months of living and tuition costs. One year’s living expenses are designated as:

  • Student: AUD$19,830
  • Spouse or de-facto partner: AUD$6,940
  • Any dependant children: AUD$2,970 

If a student has dependants, they need to show access to relevant funds for the accompanying family unit (spouse and/or children).

Each school-age child requires AUD $8,000 for each year of schooling they will require (unless they have been provided with an exemption from a Government High School).

  • Option 2: Annual income of parents

Show evidence that the annual income of the student’s parents (combined if necessary) or spouse exceeds AUD$60,000 per year. If one or more members of the applicant’s family unit are seeking to satisfy the secondary criteria for the Student visa, they will need to demonstrate an income of AUD$70,000 per year.

This information must be provided on Government documentation (such as a tax return) which less than 12 months old.

  • Option 3: Secondary exchange students only

Show a completed Acceptable Advice for Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) Form

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

DHA have designated certain English proficiency tests as acceptable and prescribe minimum standards.

 

  • Acceptable Test Scores

Test Type

Minimum Score

Minimum Score  where combined with 10 weeks ELICOS

Minimum Score  where combined with 20 weeks ELICOS

International English Language Testing System (IELTS test)

5.5

5

4.5

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Paper-Based test

527

500

450

TOEFL internet-based test (also known as TOEFL iBT)

46

35

32

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (also known as Certificate in Advanced English)

162

154

147

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)

42

36

30

Occupational English Test (OET) English test: Minimum test score:

Pass

-

-

 

English Language Tests for Student Visas

Test

Test Score Band

IELTS

4.0

4.5

5.0

5.5

6.0

6.5

7.0

7.5

8.0

8.5

9.0

TOEFL iBT

31

32

35

46

60

79

94

102

110

115

118

PTE Academic

29

30

36

42

50

58

65

73

79

83

86

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

32

36

41

47

52

58

67

74

80

87

93

TOEFL PBT

433

450

500

527

550

           

 

  • Exemptions

There are exemptions for this requirement to present an English test score for the following students:

  1. ELICOS, Schools, Secondary Exchange and Postgraduate Research Students

2.Students who have successfully completed, in the two years prior to student visa application, the requirements for a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, in a course that was conducted in Australia in English; or

Students who have successfully completed, in the two years prior to student visa application, a substantial component of a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV level or higher that was conducted in Australia in English while the applicant was holding a student visa.

  1. Foreign Affairs and Defence sponsored students
  2. Students who are citizens of, and holds a valid passport issued by:
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  1. Study of more than five years in English in one or more of the following countries:
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • South Africa

PACKAGING OFFER LETTERS AND THE PRINCIPAL COURSE

In many cases, a student comes to Australia with the intention of studying more than one course. Where the student intends to package courses to combine their preliminary course of study with their main course of study, the education provider evidentiary requirements rating applied to the Student visa application would correspond to the student’s main course of study (or principal course).

The principal course is the course that the student intends to undertake in Australia at the highest level. For example, a student may intend to study 3 courses in this order from lowest to highest level:

  1. An ELICOS program, then
  2. A foundation program, then
  3. An undergraduate program (the principal course).

If that student has a package of courses that provides clear course progression to the undergraduate degree, then the rating that corresponds to the provider of the undergraduate program will be applied in the visa process.

DHA will only recognise a package of offers if the student has a CoE (for applications made outside Australia) or a letter of offer (for applications made in Australia, noting a CoE will be needed before the visa can be granted) of a place into all the courses, including the highest-level course from the education institution(s). It is not enough that the student intends to continue to study at a higher level than the first course they undertake but does not have a CoE for the higher level course.

A letter of offer for a course can be conditional on the student successfully completing a previous course. In the above example, the student may have to successfully complete the foundation program before continuing to the undergraduate program.

A package of courses must also increase in level across the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). For example, a student cannot study a course of a lower level after one of a higher level.

VISA DURATION

The duration of a student visa generally depends on the dates of study detailed in the CoEs that are submitted with the application. In general, the visa granted will cover the full length of every CoE that is in a sequence or package, if the evidences provided satisfy the visa requirements. The following table shows the general guidelines used:

Duration of Course

Duration of Visa

10 months or less

Student Visa normally granted for one month longer than the end date of the principal course

Longer than 10 months

Student Visa normally granted for two months longer than the end date of the principal course, if it ends before November.

If the course ends in November or December, the visa will normally cease on 15 March of the following year (about three months after)

REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS UNDER 18

Under Australian law, an individual under 18 is not yet an adult. So certain requirements apply to these students. The student must provide evidence of adequate welfare arrangements for the duration of their visa, or until they turn 18, to make a valid visa application.                                           

The student must show they have adequate welfare arrangements in one of the following ways:

  • live in Australia with a parent or legal custodian (applicant must complete Form 157N to nominate a student guardian).
  • live in Australia with a relative who is a Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) holder (guardian must apply for this visa and complete Form 157N) or holding other valid visa in Australia. The relative must be over 21 years of age with good character and be nominated by the parents or custodians.
  • the student’s education provider will provide for their general welfare and accommodation (provider will issue a Confirmation of Adequate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter.
  • A secondary exchange student must provide their AASES form.                                                                                                                                                             

If the student will be living with a relative (but not the parent), the nominated relative must:

  • be a brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, step-grandparent, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece or step-nephew
  • be aged over 21 years
  • have the right to remain in Australia until the visa expires or the student turns 18 years-of-age (whichever happens first)
  • and have a police clearance check.

The student's parents or custodian need to prove that the nominated relative meets these criteria.

The student's parent or custodian must complete Form 1229 – Consent to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years.

 

Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW)

If a younger student is not living with a parent or suitable relative, the education provider must sign a letter called the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW): approving the student’s general welfare and accommodation arrangements before the student visa can be issued. The provider must nominate two dates:

  1. when the provider has elected to begin taking responsibility for the student's welfare, and
  2. when the provider will cease to take responsibility for approving the welfare arrangements for that student.

If a student’s welfare arrangements are approved by education provider students must not travel to Australia until the welfare arrangements are due to commence. Dates are nominated by the provider not the student.

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