I received many queries from our community on how to calculate funds required on student visa. Application will most likely be refused if funds submitted are less and no proper documentations are attached in support of the application as the case officer must be satisfied that the applicant is a genuine student before the grant of visa. I framed some frequently asked questions to guide our intending student applicant in the Philippines or the sponsor in Australia on how to show evidence of funds for a successful student visa application.
How much money is required by the Australian Embassy if I enrol in Advanced Diploma in Business Marketing for 2 years?
It is required that the applicant submits to the Australian Embassy evidence of funds to pay for the course fees – this is the tuition fee payable to the school; living costs – computed at $18,000.00 per year for the main applicant; $6,300.00 per year for the partner of the student; $3,600.00 per year for the first child and $2,700.00 per year from each other child; travel costs which covers return air fare of the applicant, the partner and child if applicable.
The approximate funds required would be:
Say total tuition: $15,000.00
Living expenses for student applicant per year: $18,000.00
Add: living expenses for partner per year: $ 6,300.00
Add: living expenses for the first child per year: $3,600.00
Add: living expenses for each other child per year: $2,700.00
Add: return air fare for the student applicant: $ 1,500.00
Add: return air fare for partner and child each: :$1,500.00
The computation for the living expenses must be least 18 months duration.
Will the Australian Embassy accept land titles as evidence of funds in lieu of cash?
No. Only cash from acceptable source is accepted for the purpose of show money or evidence of funds. This is actual cash money deposited with a financial institution in the name of the student applicant or the individual providing the financial support and that money must be in the bank at least 3 months immediately before filing the application. For example, if the funds required is 1.8 million pesos, that amount must be in the bank account of the student applicant or the sponsor at least 3 months before the application is filed. If the money was deposited less than 3 months, the application will be refused.
For running account like business accounts, the Australian Embassy will take the lowest amount of the 3 months for the purpose of computing the amount submitted.
Assets which are not cash like land titles is accepted if you apply for a loan against those properties to the amount required. Proceeds of loan does not have to wait for 3 months before you can file the application. It advisable however, that you attach in your application loan documents to show that the money which was deposited less than 3 months came from the loan with certification from the bank that the loan was secured for the student’s studies.
Are shares of stock accepted as evidence of funds?
No. It can only be considered if you sell and convert those shares into cash and deposit the proceeds to a bank account.
How about home loan with redraw facility?
If the sponsor providing support is in Australia who has a home loan and has accumulated extra money on their home loan and that excess is in their redraw facility, that extra funds can be shown as evidence of funds. What you need is attach in the application the actual home loan papers showing a redraw facility and current loan statement showing extra money in the redraw facility. The borrower will then provide a statement or an affidavit that he undertakes to use the money in the redraw facility for the studies of the applicant.
Is money deposited in the Rural Bank or Cooperative Bank in the Philippines accepted?
The Australian Embassy in Makati will not accept evidence of funds deposited in a Rural Bank or a Cooperative Bank in the Philippines. The Embassy has published lists of financial institutions where deposits are accepted. There are about 38 financial institutions or commercial banks where deposits in these banks are accepted. I suggest that the applicant will check the Australian Embassy the names of the banks.
What documents are required as proof of the deposit?
You need to attach to your application certified by a lawyer copy of bank passbook or time deposit slips or bank statements. If the funds are provided by your parents or relative, the sponsor must execute an Affidavit that the student applicant will have full access to these funds at any time when required to pay for the course fees, education expenses, travel and other associated school expenses.
The person providing the funds must also provide an Affidavit that the funds deposited was acquired from legitimate source. For example, if the source of money is from business, the sponsor or the student applicant will attach business registration certificate, income tax paid to the Philippine government as proof that the funds were acquired from acceptable source. In one case where the sponsor was a contractor, I had to attach signed contracts as proof that the money was acquired from legitimate source. In another case, I attach the retirement papers of the parents as proof that they accumulated the funds from their retirement to support the studies of their son in Sydney.
In the affidavit of financial support, I suggest that you include a statement that you waive your rights to bank secrecy as funds coming from the Philippines will surely be checked by the Australian Embassy before they issue a pre-visa assessment letter.
Student applicant must note that while funds are important in the application, the actual application form 157A, the visa application charge, medical and police checks and letter of offer from the school, certified copy of passport, birth certificate must accompany the application for lodgement at the Australian Embassy in Makati.
For those who require questions on all aspects of immigration, this writer provides free initial telephone consultation and he can be contacted on 0412 269 439.
[Mr. Jessie Icao is a practising solicitor in the State of New South Wales and registered migration agent since 1993 MARN 9367993. He is also admitted as lawyer in the Philippines. The information provided is of general nature and cannot be relied in its entirety. I suggest that you consult an immigration solicitor or a registered migration agent for complete legal advice].