Australia – Student Visa Living Costs and Evidence of Funds

Students granted Permission to Work

You cannot work until you have commenced your course in Australia. Once your course has commenced you are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.

Work that is a formal registered part of your course is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight.

If you are doing voluntary, unpaid work, it is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight if it:

  • is of benefit to the community
  • is for a non-profit organisation
  • would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident (that is, it is a designated volunteer position), and
  • is genuinely voluntary (that is, no remuneration, either in cash or kind is received—board and lodging acceptable).

If you are a subclass 574 (Postgraduate research sector) student visa holder and you have commenced your masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there is no limit on the number of hours you may work.

You can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during any preliminary courses you undertake on a subclass 574 (Postgraduate research sector) student visa.

An example of how 40 hours a fortnight is calculated: After their course has commenced, a student visa holder works the following numbers of hours over a four week period:

  • week 1 – 15 hours work
  • week 2 – 25 hours work
  • week 3 – 25 hours work
  • week 4 – 10 hours work.

In the fortnight comprising weeks 1 and 2 above (40 hours worked in that 14 day period) or in the fortnight comprising weeks 3 and 4 above (35 hours worked in that 14 day period), the work condition is not breached. However, the student visa holder has breached their work condition in the fortnight comprising weeks 2 and 3 above (50 hours worked in that 14 day period). Students found to have breached their work conditions may be subject to cancellation of their visa.

Dependent family members granted Permission to Work
Dependent family members:

must not start work until the primary visa holder has commenced the course in Australia
can work up to 40 hours per fortnight at all times unless the primary visa holder has commenced a course towards a masters or doctoral degree and holds a subclass 573 (Higher education sector), 574 (Postgraduate research sector) or 576 (AusAID/Defence sector) student visa. In this case there is no limit on the number of hours a dependent family member may work.

What is a fortnight?

A fortnight means a period of 14 days commencing on any Monday and ending on the second following Sunday.

When is your course in session?

We consider your course to be ‘in session’:
for the duration of the advertised semesters, including examination periods
if you have completed your studies and your Confirmation of Enrolment is still valid (with the exception of masters by research or PhD students who have submitted their thesis for marking)
when you are undertaking another course, during a break from your main course and points from that course will be credited to your main course.

International students are required to demonstrate and/or declare that they have genuine access to sufficient funds to be granted a Student visa. Applicants may have to demonstrate sufficient funds to cover these expenses for the first one or two years in Australia, depending on their assessment level.Travel, tuition and living expenses

You must have enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for yourself, your partner and your dependent children for the duration of your stay in Australia.

The table below outlines the amounts in Australian dollars (AUD) that you need access to. These amounts are the minimum required for this visa. They do not necessarily represent the cost of living in Australia.
ExpensesPer PersonAmount required in AUDTravelYourselfReturn air fare to AustraliaFamily membersOne return air fare to Australia per personTuitionYourselfCourse feesChildren aged 5-18AUD8000 per yearLivingYourselfAUD18 610 per yearPartnerAUD6515 per yearFirst childAUD3720 per yearEach other childAUD2790 per year

The department must be satisfied that an applicant, once in Australia, will have genuine access to the funds they claim to possess to cover the travel, tuition and living costs for themselves and their family members.

Acceptable sources of income

The money to support you and your family members must come from one or more acceptable sources, which may include:
-a money deposit with a financial institution held by you, or a person supporting you, for at least three consecutive months immediately before the date of your visa application
-a loan from a financial institution made to you or a person supporting you
-a loan from your government
-your proposed education provider
-the Australian Government or an Australian State or Territory government
-the government of a foreign country
-a provincial or state government of a foreign country that has the written support of the national government of the foreign country
-an organisation gazetted by the Minister
-an acceptable non-profit organisation
-a multilateral agency.Examples: United Nations, World Bank or Asian Development Bank

Note: Non-cash assets such as property and shares are not acceptable sources of income. However, non-cash assets may be liquidated or used as collateral on a loan, if they are provided by an acceptable source.
Providing evidence of deposits or loans

You need to show evidence of how the money to fund your studies was accumulated.

If your source of income is a money deposit held in a bank account, you must provide the following evidence:
-pay slips
-bank loan documents
-interest from investments.

If your source of income is a loan, you must provide the following evidence:
-a bank statement showing the amount of available credit
-a statement from the holder of the loan that its purpose is to support your studies.

Note: If your source of income is a home loan with a redraw facility from an Australian financial institution, the funds from the redraw facility may be considered a loan. A home loan with a redraw facility from a non-Australian financial institution may be acceptable, but must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Financial support from a non-profit organisation

A non-profit organisation providing you with financial support must be lawfully established and operating in Australia or overseas.

You must show evidence of the organisation’s non-profit status, including:
-statement from the Australian Taxation Office showing organisation’s status
-documents of incorporation as a non-profit organisation.

You must also show evidence that the organisation has sufficient funds or income to support you financially. Evidence may include:
-bank statements
-financial statements.

Supporting family members when studying for less than 12 months

If you are applying to study in Australia for less than 12 months, your family members are not eligible to come with you to Australia. However, you must show that you have enough funds to support your family members in your home country, taking into consideration the standard cost of living in that country.

Prepaid boarding or homestay fees

If you are boarding or have entered into homestay arrangements with your education provider and have prepaid your boarding or homestay fees, the amount you have prepaid can be deducted from the total amount of living costs you must demonstrate to the department.

You will need to show evidence to the department of the boarding or homestay fees as separate from the tuition fees.

Example: A contract or an authorised receipt of payment from your education provider.Note: Only formal boarding or homestay arrangements will be accepted by the department. Prepayment of private boarding or homestay arrangements or rent will not be deducted from the living cost requirement.

1 Comment

  1. mann   |  Friday, 18 September 2015 at 3:50 am

    i am applying for student dependent visa 573.
    my wife has her visa till 24/04/2018. i want to know that how much do i need to show for living expenses.
    when applying for student visa we need to show the expenses for first one year. is this the same for student dependent visa?
    thank you

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