15 November 2010

Australian Student Visa fees a ‘turn-off’ for international students

A comparison of visa regimes by the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy has found that Australia has become very uncompetitive in foreign education and faces loosing many overseas students to the US, UK and Canada.

Australian Student Visa

Australian Student Visa conditions are making the country uncompetitive in education compared with other major countries.

Australian Student Visa conditions require applicants wanting to study for degrees to have about $144,000 in the bank - more than three times the amount needed by students to study in the US, UK and Canada.

International students wanting to come to Australia need to prove they have the funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of their stay, which for a three- year degree would amount to about $144,000, the report said.

In the case of a student from China, Australia's single largest market, funds may have to be held for six consecutive months immediately before the date of application.

In comparison, international students only have to provide money covering a combination of first-year tuition and living costs. In the US, that amounts to about $40,500 and about $23,000-$25,000 in Canada, Britain and New Zealand.

The actual cost of applying for an Australian Student Visa, $550, is almost $200 more than in Britain, and well over the $124-$152 charged in the US, Canada and New Zealand.

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced last week that he and Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans will soon make an announcement on higher education and immigration policies.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa application with the Australian Embassy

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