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Visas and Overseas Student Health Cover

NEW SIMPLIFIED STUDENT VISA FRAMEWORK

On 1 July 2016, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) made a number of changes to its student visa processes.  These changes include the introduction of a simplified student visa framework (SSVF). The SSVF is a change to the way the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) assesses your eligibility for a student visa.

Under the SSVF:

  • all international students will now apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
  • all international students will be required to apply for their student visa online
  • a new immigration risk framework will be used to guide the evidence of English language and financial capacity that a student needs to provide with their visa application.

All international students are required to have sufficient funds to cover their course fees and living costs in Australia. While student visa holders are able to work a specified number of hours in Australia, they should not rely on working to cover their course fees and living costs.

As part of the visa application process, DIBP might require you to provide evidence of your financial capacity and English language proficiency. This will be guided by the immigration risk outcomes associated with your country of citizenship and intended education provider.

Where the DIBP online client service tool indicates that documentary evidence of financial and English language capacity is required, it is important for applicants to attach these documents to their visa application prior to lodgement. Failure to do so might result in visa refusal.

HOW DOES SIMPLIFIED STUDENT VISA FRAMEWORK AFFECT YOU?

Under the SSVF, CQUniversity is required to ensure that students who apply for admission are both genuine temporary entrants to Australia and genuine students and that they have access to sufficient funds to support themselves and any accompanying dependants during their studies.

By applying to CQUniversity, you declare that you are both a genuine student and a genuine temporary entrant under the SSVF arrangements. An offer into a course at the University is subject to these requirements.

Once any outstanding conditions of your offer have been met, the tuition fee deposit and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) paid and the formal acceptance documents have been received, the University can issue the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

CQUniversity has the right to refuse an application if you fail to meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirements of the SSVF program. This includes, but is not limited to, concerns that you are either a non-genuine temporary entrant, a non-genuine student or that you do not have the financial capacity to support yourself and your dependants during your studies.

WHAT ARE THE GENUINE STUDENT AND GENUINE TEMPORARY ENTRANT (GTE) REQUIREMENTS?

Part of the SSVF arrangement is that the University ensures that all prospective international students applying to CQUniversity are both genuine students and genuine temporary entrants.

This means that CQUniversity must be satisfied that:

  • your main purpose of coming to Australia on a student visa is to study; and
  • you have the required English proficiency; and
  • you accept responsibility for obtaining your student visa and that you will comply with the conditions of your student visa; and
  • you have genuine access to sufficient funds to cover your tuition costs, OSHC, return airfares and living expenses for yourself and any dependants; and
  • you have a genuine understanding of your intended course and its structure, the total cost of your tuition and living expenses in Australia and that you are able to articulate the advantages of studying in Australia compared to your home country and how this investment will benefit your future.

Any breach these requirements may mean that you are not eligible for admission to CQUniversity.

The GTE requirement applies to all student visa applicants and considers whether your individual circumstances indicate that your intention is for a temporary stay in Australia. A genuineness assessment is made by taking into account a number of personal factors relating to you, such as your immigration history, circumstances that might encourage you to return to your home country and conditions that might encourage you to remain in Australia.

STUDENTS UNDER 18

CQUniversity has an obligation under the ESOS Act and the National Code of Practice to ensure all students under the age of 18 have appropriate accommodation and welfare arrangements in place for the entire period the student is enrolled and/or under the age of 18.

If you are under the age of 18 you have three options in obtaining a visa to study in Australia:

  1. Your carer applies for a Student Guardian Visa to come to Australia and provide welfare for you during your stay in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will approve these arrangements.
  2. Reside with and be cared for by an approved DIBP relative living in Australia. The DIBP will approve these arrangements.
  3. Reside in accommodation and receive welfare through the following CQUniversity approved providers.  They are:
    Australian Homestay Network (AHN)
    Apply directly to Australian Homestay Network via the online process at 'Join as a Student'.
    ISA Guardian & Welfare Services
    Apply directly to ISA Guardian & Welfare Services via the online process.

Once confirmation of approved accommodation and confirmation of approved welfare has been received from Australian Homestay Network and ISA Guardian & Welfare Service respectively, CQUniversity's Admissions Team will send you your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) and Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation Letter (CAAW) to facilitate your application for a student visa.

STUDENTS WITH FAMILIES

If you wish to bring your spouse or children, you must provide evidence that you will be able to support them financially while they are in Australia. There are costs associated with schooling, childcare and health insurance.

WORKING WHILE STUDYING

International students studying in Australia on a student visa are able to work part-time and do not need to apply for a work visa. From 26 March 2012, all new and existing student visa holders are permitted to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during any fortnight while their course is in session.

Higher Degree by Research students will not be limited in the number of hours that they can work once their course has commenced.

Students often obtain employment in service and hospitality industries. Our on-campus support staff will be able to provide you with information on casual and part-time employment opportunities available. The opportunity to work part-time allows you to earn some spending money and meet more people, however you should not rely on these earnings to pay tuition fees or other living expenses.

You need to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) in order to work in Australia. For more information on the TFN, please visit the Australian Tax Office.

OVERSEAS STUDENT HEALTH COVER

DIBP requires that international students on student visas have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their studies. This means that the OSHC insurance must commence from approximately one month (4 weeks) prior to the date you arrive in Australia on a student visa and must be in effect until you leave Australia or move to a non-student visa subclass.

Please note the following students are considered to have adequate health insurance and do not need to purchase OSHC:

  • Norwegian students covered by the National Insurance Scheme
  • Swedish students who have insurance provided by CSN International or Kammarkkllegiet and
  • Belgian students.

If you arrive prior to the start of your OSHC cover, you will need to contact your health insurance provider to request that the cover starts earlier. This may mean there are additional costs.

Allianz is CQUniversity's preferred provider of OSHC. You can receive a quick quote for your OSHC on the Allianz website or download the price list. Please note that the price list remains the same for 2016.

LIVING IN AUSTRALIA

For information regarding the cost of living in Australia during your studies, please visit https://www.cqu.edu.au/international-students/living-in-australia

WILL THE CHANGES IMPACT EXISTING STUDENT VISA HOLDERS?

The SSVF only applies to student visa applications lodged from 1 July 2016 and will not affect the visas of existing student visa holders.