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Thread: Student visa - an option?

  1. #1
    MojitoZ
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    Student visa - an option?

    My TGf is about to submit an application for a student visa.

    To get a tourist visa the applicant must prove they have funds to support themselves for the time they will be here. I can't remember what the actual figure is but its pretty high. If they don't have that you can provide evidence that you will support them but you also have to prove that you have a relationship of some standing to convince immigration that you will actually support them and not change your mind once they have been here for a few weeks.

    My gf cannot show she has the required funds to support herself here, and that's not surprising because she is only young and there wouldn't be too many TG's her age who just happen to have that amount of spare cash floating around. Also I didn't want to take chances on what immigration would make of my relationship because it hasn't been going on that long in the scheme of things.

    So anyway she is enrolled in an english course and is applying for a student visa. She can study for a year and then she can apply for the temp partner visa. Drawback with this is that she has to do course and that costs money. However, she really will benefit from learning more english and if she wants to change to a different course after 6 ms I'm sure it can be done. Also it will give her something to do when she gets here and help her integrate. So I think for her this is a good plan.

    Even on student visa the applicant must show they have funds available to support themselves and the figure is $1500/mth they will be here. From what I was told this is less than for the tourist visa. The money can come from any source though and can be in the hands of some one who is prepared to vouch that they will take care of the TG in Aust.

    The difference from what I have seen is that you don't need to prove a relationship to the same extent as when you are trying to prove you will support someone on a tourist visa. This is probably because they have already shown the course is paid for and govt wants to support international student business, they are coming here for a clearly defined reason and period etc.

    Anyone have any experience with this or want make any corrections to my understanding of the way student visa works?

  2. #2
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    I don't think I have seen anyone here that has gone for a Student Visa but I am sure if your GF application is Approved a few more people may give it a shot. I had a look into it a little while a go before i had any knowledge in the Visa thing and it blew me away, in the end i went with the TV as there was so much info online and I knew a few people who had done it and could help me with it. I worried the whole time as I was scared she would be knocked back but in the end it was a pretty simple process. I hope the Student visa is a good way to go for the 2 of you. Could mean spending more time together but i am not sure how it will go when apply for a partner visa. As you say, you did not have to prove the relationship for the SV but that would mean they have no record of you two in a relationship for the Partner visa down the track. Correct me if i am wrong but she could work on a Student Visa as well can't she? Does she also get Medicare Privileges?

    Good luck with the whole process and keep us informed

  3. #3
    MojitoZ
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    Than ks G4. Yes applying for a visa is a bit of a nerve wracking process for me too and even more for my gf. I mean I'm sure she will get one but with all the work involved in putting together the application one can't help but feel anxious until its approved.

    With your point about applying for a partner visa down the track, the time she spends living here with me on a student visa will go towards proving the ongoing relationship in the future when applying for a temp partner visa. For example, and this is my plan, if she stays with me for 12 months on student visa then we apply for temp partner visa, by then we have the 12 months relationship living together in Aust (plus the history before that). Should be no prob.

    Re working on student visa - "when you have commenced your course of study in Australia, you can work up to 20 hours per week while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks".

    Re medicare - o/s students must have paid for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the period of the visa before it will be granted. This is often paid in conjunction with course fees and arranged by the education provider. In our case OHSC was paid to the college and they will arrange health cover with Medibank Private.

  4. #4
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    Sounds like you know your stuff. Was the course itself expensive? and How much is the application for a Student Visa? During the time she is travelling can she go home and come back? or is it once you have left the country the visa has ended?
    I can't see any reason why she would not be denied a visa unless she has previously broken the rules of a visa in the past. Be interesting to hear more about the relationship in the future. But at your own pace, no pushing.

  5. #5
    MojitoZ
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    Courses vary widely in price depending on the type, level and provider of the course. In our case its $10k/year of which currently I have paid 1/4. That is for an english language course studying 20 hours/week for 50 weeks. She will not complete 50 weeks within a year due to holidays etc, but that is the price for 50 weeks classes. The same provider offers a range of different courses at the same level so if she got sick of english classes she could do something else, which would be subject to payment of any fee difference. There is cheaper courses and there are certainly way more expensive courses like postgrad university level stuff, all depends on where your gf is at in life and education already.

    Cost of student visa is quoted on DIAC website as $565. However, our application will be submitted via Australian Visa Application Centre in BKK and with their charges I believe its coming up to about 20200 THB (644 AUD).

    As far as I know there are no restrictions on coming and going during the duration of the visa, however there is an attendance requirement for the course. According to DIAC website the student must maintain satisfactory attendance in their course as required by their education provider. In our case, and I believe generally, satisfactory attendance is 80%. This does not rule out having some holidays including a trip home. The visa does not end when they leave the country, it ends on the designated ending date.

    The education provider will advise the department if student's attendance is not satisfactory as determined by the provider.

    No she has never applied for Aust visa before so has not had an opportunity to break the rules.

    I'll fill in some more personal details about me soon.
    contrarian likes this.

  6. #6
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    Thanks for all th info. Looks like aricey thing to do but I guess it will be well worth it in the lang run and you can't put a price on happiness.

  7. #7
    MojitoZ
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    No worries G4, I'll let you know how I go. Seems like no-one else n here knows anything about SV's like you said.

    SV would not be appropriate for everyone, but I think in our circumstances it is the best and perhaps the only feasible way to get a visa now, that is:

    1. GF has insufficient personal funds to show she can support herself on tourist visa
    2. Relationship prob not going long enough to convince DIAC it will last the duration of the time I would need to support her on tourist visa or to get a prospective marriage visa
    3. GF wants to study (and I want her to have something to do when she comes here - not just wait around the house everyday for me to come home)
    4. I have money to pay up front, at least partially, for a course

    I know a couple of these points beg further details (esp 2!) and I will oblige in the future 555

    As a side note, one small thing I found out about is that Thai people have a "census registration" or what I have seen also called Tabbien Baan or Blue House Registration Book. Described to me by a Thai friend as "every family in Thailand must have it and we use it in legal contracts". I didn't see any mention of this on the Aust Thai Embassy website or the website for the Aust Visa Application Centre in BKK. Anyway, something to keep in mind as I think it is ID that should be submitted with all visa applications for TG to come to Aust along with their passport, Thai ID and birth cert.
    contrarian likes this.

  8. #8
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    The Blue book is the birth certificate or a book to register births deaths and marriages....

    I know a few Thais in Melbourne that are here on Study visas, the best thing is it allows them to work... If you can then apply for the PV while she is here this is a great option!
    Good luck Dan

  9. #9
    MojitoZ
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    Thanks mate. She lodged the application today. They told her she will find out on 24th August. I can't see any reason for her to be knocked back.

  10. #10
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    ANY LUCK, ANY LUCK, ANY LUCK, ANY LUCK???? it past the 24th........

  11. #11
    MojitoZ
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    Hi mate - sorry I have been a bit flat out and haven't had a chance to update but I can now say.....

    STUDENT VISA FAIL!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    no good... why???

  13. #13
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    **** thats not good at all... Did they give you a reason? Where to next? We can be of assistance for a Tourist Visa if you need it.

  14. #14
    MojitoZ
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    Reason given was she did not have enough available funds. The information I was told and what I saw somewhere else on the website was she had to have $1500 available funds / month of visa. Well she had that and more but they came back saying she needed to have some still higher amount. I wish they could have just called me and told me that and I could have put more money in the account (a separate account of mine, but funds available for her), but NO - they just assess it and that's case closed!

    But now, it turns out that it didn't matter anyway - she could have had 50,000 AUD in an account and she still wouldn't have got it. That's because on a student visa you still have to prove the relationship if TG has no savings and you are claiming that you are going to be taking care of them. In those circumstances, they require the same info to prove the relationship as for the tourist visa, in fact it could be assessed even harder due to misuse if student visas in the past, by others. So, if she had enough funds set aside it still would have got knocked out on this ground.

    Its only after I've had the outcome back that I've been able to find this info out from the immigration office in Bangkok, and I must say the staff there I have spoken with today and yesterday have been extremely nice and helpful. I'd previously been told not to worry about the relationship for student visa, just have the funds available and the confirmation of enrollment, and she'll be right. That was completely wrong. It goes to show that you need to speak with the staff in bangkok, not the staff in australia.

    Well, after yesterday I thought she would have to wait until December and 2 more trips to LOS for me b4 the relationship has been going long enough to satisfy them. That's because on the phone yesterday one of the guys who assesses student visas indicated he'd be looking or about a 6 month minimum.

    I called back today an spoke with a guy in the tourist visa section, and he explained to me that the primary criteria for tourist visa are

    1. relationship going for minimum 3 months
    2. seen each other on two separate occasions twice

    So she wouldn't have got a tourist visa yet anyway in our circumstances, but I'm thinking she can probably get one in September when I am there. I will be there 8-22 Sept, and 14 Sept will be the 3 month mark. That trip will be the second time I have seen her in person (as in 2nd separate trip). So he suggested on the basis of this scenario she'll get a tourist visa but I should wait until I get over there to apply, so I satisfy point 2.

    With a 7 day processing time this will be cutting a fine line.

    But anyway, its all ok. Whether she comes in sept or dec its only a few months and its not much in the broad scheme of things.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan View Post
    Reason given was she did not have enough available funds. The information I was told and what I saw somewhere else on the website was she had to have $1500 available funds / month of visa. Well she had that and more but they came back saying she needed to have some still higher amount. I wish they could have just called me and told me that and I could have put more money in the account (a separate account of mine, but funds available for her), but NO - they just assess it and that's case closed!

    But now, it turns out that it didn't matter anyway - she could have had 50,000 AUD in an account and she still wouldn't have got it. That's because on a student visa you still have to prove the relationship if TG has no savings and you are claiming that you are going to be taking care of them. In those circumstances, they require the same info to prove the relationship as for the tourist visa, in fact it could be assessed even harder due to misuse if student visas in the past, by others. So, if she had enough funds set aside it still would have got knocked out on this ground.
    Dan, sorry to hear the news...if only every marriage was put to the test like a TV/PV etc with a TG, then the divorce rate would be a lot lower.

    Are you saying that the money needed to be her savings and/or in her account. They will only consider the promise to support or access to funds in your account if you can prove a relationship, as per normal TV/PV.
    "Do not be afraid of death. Be afraid of the half-lived life!" Laird Hamilton

  16. #16
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Our last tourist visa was processed within a few days, and in fact all of them have been done within 5 days... I just specified that we were planning to fly on a certain date and they had it organised by then...
    So your saying that the requirements are similar for the student visa as the tourist visa in terms of proving your relationship status?, I have always been under the assumption that the money wasn't a big deal if you were assisting with her financial needs!... IMO the student visa is a good option, the 3 months on offer with the TV just goes too quick for my liking and the fact that she can work is a good bonus... The Tourist visa is also stamped with the 'No Further Stay' clause which stops you extending the visa or even applying for the spouse visa from Australia....
    I was so hoping for some good news Dan as this will be my next step.... Check out the Visa Expo this weekend at crown, could find what your looking for

  17. #17
    MojitoZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by contrarian View Post

    Are you saying that the money needed to be her savings and/or in her account. They will only consider the promise to support or access to funds in your account if you can prove a relationship, as per normal TV/PV.
    Yes effectively that is correct.

    From what they told me, the application was refused based on the amount of money available, it had nothing to do with whose account it was. They have checklist and that's point 1 for SV.

    If it had of been enough, due to being my money, they then would have looked at the relationship and whether it was genuine as per tourist visa, but it possibly seems with an even tougher standard!

  18. #18
    MojitoZ
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    I'll put more up about this saga tmw or the weekend.

    PPB it may be the best option for you, just turns out I was under some mistaken beliefs. Anyway I'm happy to share the info I've learned and hopefully someone else can benefit. Hopefully, cos it cost over $500. haha, err **** - those bastards!

    Processing time on tv sounds good, seems like she can prob get one but I don't want to get her hopes up only to be dashed again. I'm going to start putting the case together though.

  19. #19
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    The whole thing is a very painful process. At the end of the day all they care about is that this person will not "forget" to come home at the end of the Visa and become and unwelcome resident of Australia. And it also has a lot to do with money, in the end they don't want them working illegally so that the government don't miss out on there pressious Tax, Thus the reason for needing funds to support themselves. I feel being a sponsor is the best way to prove the fund.

    When I applied for a TV for Noy I did not have a lot of money so the Stat decs were there as "Insurance" to say I will look after the money side of things and make sure she leaves before the Visa expires. My Parents also did one as back up. I guess you will need a bit of evidence to prove you are together and that will involve phone/skype/email records, photos (not in a bar), money transfers proof etc... If you do want to go down the path of TV, there is a pretty good thread with a lot of info here

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by G4orce View Post
    The whole thing is a very painful process. At the end of the day all they care about is that this person will not "forget" to come home at the end of the Visa and become and unwelcome resident of Australia. And it also has a lot to do with money, in the end they don't want them working illegally so that the government don't miss out on there pressious Tax, Thus the reason for needing funds to support themselves. I feel being a sponsor is the best way to prove the fund.
    Government also concerned about the financial impact of migrants. For instance, a UK retiree can freely come here for a holiday, no questions asked, just turn up. But, if they want to live here permanently, then, as I understand it, they are required to make a large payment to the Australian government as they haven't contributed to the costs of Australian infrastructure, etc, yet will benefit from it in retirement. Essentially, no free ride.
    pattaya2011 likes this.
    "Do not be afraid of death. Be afraid of the half-lived life!" Laird Hamilton

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