New financial requirements for international students to be introduced

by The FindLaw Team

It’s often been said that the international education market generates more income for Australia than tourism, and although there may have been a slight downturn in recent years, students studying in the country still remain a valuable source of income. Due to the worth of the international education market, many people may assume that the students studying in Australia are quite well off, but this is often not the case. In fact, many people and their families may have saved for years so an applicant could study abroad, and as many Aussies can attest to, it’s also quite expensive to live here – especially as a student. So as a consequence, from 1 July 2012, the federal Government has introduced new financial conditions requiring international students to demonstrate, or declare that they have genuine access to sufficient funds that will cover any expenses for the first one or two years of study in Australia.

How do the changes affect international students?

International students wishing to study in Australia, and any family members joining the applicant, must have sufficient funds to cover the cost of living, travel, tuition, and schooling, if a student is bringing any dependents with them.


An applicant must have sufficient funds for a return air fare to Australia, and the same requirement is also applicable for any family members the applicant brings has with them.


Applicants must have enough funds to cover any fees associated with the course of study in which they are undertaking and the costs varies according to the type of institution the person is attending, and the type of qualifications that the person is attempting to gain. If an applicant has any school-age children (ages 5-18) the necessary funds available according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (the Department) is $AUD8000 per year.

Living expenses

Expenses associated with the cost of living are broken down as follows:

  • the applicant: $AUD18,610 per year
  • the partner of the applicant: $AUD6515 per year
  • first child: $AUD3720 per year and each other child; $AUD2790

Financial requirements for student guardians

The 1 July 2012 changes will also impact student guardians as well, and starting off with travel, any guardians must have sufficient funds to cover the costs associated with a return air fare to Australia, and if there are any children under the age of six, the same requirement will also be applicable.

Financial requirements in regards to living expenses are as follows:

  • the applicant: $AUD18,610 per year
  • first child under the age of six: $AUD3720 per year and each other child under six years of age; $AUD2790.

How is a financial assessment conducted?

When a determination is being made by a decision maker regarding whether or not an applicant has sufficient funds to study in Australia, there are a range of considerations that will be taken into account and can include the following:

  • the financial and immigration history of the applicant;
  • the employment history of the applicant, or alternatively, the employment history of any parties providing financial support to the applicant;
  • the source of the applicant’s income, which may include cash assets or bank loans.

If there are any further questions in regards to the genuine ability for an applicant to access sufficient funds to study in Australia, a decision maker may request further proof in support of their application.


Source: Deparment of Immigration and Citizenship


We welcome your feedback

Hi there! We want to make this site as good as it can for you, the user. Please tell us what you would like to do differently and we will do our best to accommodate!

Protected by FormShield

We've updated our Privacy Statement, before you continue. please read our new Privacy Statement and familiarise yourself with the terms.