Australia: Changes to the Student Visa Living Cost Amount

Frequently asked questions on what changes are being made to the living cost amount for Student visa applicants?

From 1 July 2012, the living cost amount for applicants for Student visas and the Student Guardian visa will increase as follows:
  • AUD 18 000 per year to AUD 18 610 per year for the main student
  • AUD 6300 per year to AUD 6515 per year for the student”s partner
  • AUD 3600 per year to AUD 3720 per year for the student”s first child
  • AUD 2700 per year to AUD 2790 per year for every other child.
International students need to demonstrate and/or declare that they have genuine access to the living cost amount 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.
The Student visa living cost amount applies to all dependants regardless of whether or not they intend to accompany the main student to Australia.

Why is the Student visa living cost amount increasing?

In June 2011 the Knight review raised concerns that the existing living cost amount for Student visa applicants did not adequately prepare students for the realities of moving to Australia to study.  The review recommended the department regularly review and adjust the living cost amount for Student visa applicants.
Accordingly, the department will review the living cost amount annually, and adjust it according to movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is a measure of changes over time in

Of approval we.

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the cost of goods and services in Australia. Adjusting the living cost amount to align with the CPI supports the government”s objective of ensuring that Student visa applicants are financially prepared to live and study in Australia for the duration of their visa. 

When will these changes take effect?

The new living cost amount for Student visa applicants will take effect on 1 July 2012.

Which student visa applicants are affected by the changes to the living cost amount?

The change to the living cost amount applies to all Student and Student Guardian visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2012.

Will the living costs increase again in the future?

Any further changes will be considered following annual reviews of the living cost amount.  The next review is scheduled for mid-2013.

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