Research shows that Australia continues to be one of the most affordable overseas study destinations, with costs of living and course fees significantly lower than the USA and UK. Reports that Australia will significantly increase tuition fees and other costs are not correct. In spite of its small population, Australia has the third largest number of international students of English speaking nations.
Research shows that Australia continues to be one of the most affordable overseas study destinations, with costs of living and course fees significantly lower than the USA and UK. Reports that Australia will significantly increase tuition fees and other costs are not correct. In spite of its small population, Australia has the third largest number of international students of English speaking nations.
Reasons to be cheerful: Australia adds up for international students
New data from English language testing company IDP Education is sending an upbeat signal to Australian universities that international students may be ready to come back in big numbers as COVID-19 begins to receding.
When IDP Education published its results in August it said anecdotally 74 per cent of overseas students wanted to resume their studies once the pandemic was over.
“International students know the cost of study in Australia and they know the limits of post-study work rights, but they are still keen to come,” says Andrew Barkla from IDP Education.
In an interview with The Australian Financial Review on Thursday, chief executive Andrew Barkla said the company now had hard numbers showing “a pipeline of 82,000 students who have applications for the next six months and are ready to go”.
Given Australia accounts for 47 per cent of the student volumes that IDP places internationally, Mr Barkla agreed it was reasonable to expect at least 38,000 customers of the company were thinking of coming to Australia.
And given that 120,000 international enrolments could be expected in Australian universities in 2021, the fact that one provider alone could speak for up to a third of that volume was encouraging.
IDP has a dominant position with the International English Language Testing System, which it developed with the British Council and Cambridge University.
“These are students who want an onshore campus experience. But more than that they know their circumstances,” Mr Barkla said.
“They understand the price the universities charge. They know the cost of living and how the dials are set for post-study work rights. So they have the complete picture and they still want to come.”
The next step was for government to send a signal that the door is open to international students. Pilot programs to fly students to Australia were important even if the numbers were only small because they signalled a government commitment to the scheme.
Pilot programs needed
“We need to get these pilot programs moving. We need a level of public confidence so students and families see they can be done in a secure and safe way that benefits the public as well as the students,” Mr Barkla said.
“Pilot programs are a signpost that Australia is prioritising the opening up of the international sector.”
The Northern Territory said it would accept 100 international students and South Australia will take 300, although neither has committed to a date. By contrast, the UK is taking any international student arrivals and Canada is accepting any who can proved face-to-face teaching is their only option.
Australia also had not done as well as Canada and the UK in supporting students stuck in the country during the ban on international travel.
But on post-study work rights, which are important for international students who want work in their host country to pay off education, Australia was “not doing too badly”, Mr Barkla said.
A single reform to post-study work rights would make a difference: allowing overseas students who are studying online to include the online study they do in their home country towards a work-visa entitlement, instead of being able to include only those hours physically studying in Australia.
He doubted there would be a long-term setback from Australia’s political dissonance with China.
“The Chinese family who is looking to send their child overseas – they are pretty savvy. And they’re pretty connected beyond what they read in the Chinese press,” Mr Barkla said.
Interest to study in Australia increasing
“I’ve been in webinars and on roadshows in China and, looking forward, the interest in Australia and the UK as a study destination is increasing. If anything, it’s the geopolitical tension between China and that US gets more attention.
“So the number of parents who would normally be looking to the US are now shifting their interest to the UK or Australia.”
In a recent interview with the Financial Review the vice-chancellor of the University of NSW, Ian Jacobs, said he was optimistic on the outlook for universities because demand for education was moving to a higher level.
“In the 19th century, primary education was extended to most people. In the 20th century, it was secondary education. In the 21st century, tertiary education will be available to all,” he said.
“And Australia is placed to deliver that, face-to-face, online, short or long courses, undergraduate and postgraduate.”
His optimism is shared by Mr Barkla. After in initial pandemic-related fall, IDP’s English language testing volumes have returned to 55 per cent of what they were pre-COVID-19.
As restrictions ease the company has plans to open another 50 labs globally to add capacity.
IDP Education has a business model universities would envy, and could possibly learn from.
When COVID-19 hit Mr Barkla asked staff to accept a 20 per cent cut in salary (a higher percentage for senior executives), and in return he would guarantee no job losses. Within five days 100 per cent of staff had signed up.
At the height of the crisis it raised $250 million in the market to bolster its cash position, and so far it has burned through just $27 million.
Australia government student visa fee relief for student effected by COVID-19
The Australian Government has been making several changes to visa requirements in recent weeks.
One of the most notable is that applicants will be given
additional time to hand over their English language results and
complete biometric and health checks, allowing future students who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 the chance to finish their visa applications.
In addition to these measures, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has announced that current international students who will be unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to COVID-19 will be able to lodge another student visa application free of charge.
This will certainly be warmly welcomed by the thousands of international students who’ve been worrying about what the future will hold for their education in Australia.
What is the fee waiver?
The fee waiver means that any international student who is unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to the pandemic, will be able to reapply without paying the usual application fees. This fee waiver came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 5 August 2020.
A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that the waiver will only be available to students who had a valid visa from 1 February 2020:
“A visa application fee waiver will be available to students
who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and
who were unable to complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19.”
This fee waiver will only apply to new applications and no refunds will be offered to those who applied before midnight 5 August 2020.
Even if you are eligible to receive the fee waiver, there are some extra steps that must be taken in order to receive the free application.
First, you’ll need to submit COVID-19 Impacted Students form from your education provider, in addition to your visa application.
This form will have to be signed by your education provider, showing how the pandemic has affected your visa requirements.
As well as fee waivers, the Australian Government has announced that the eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa have been relaxed. If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and are enrolled with an Australian education provider, you may be eligible for the following:
New or current student visa holders who have been forced to undertake online study outside Australia due to the pandemic will be able to count this toward the Australian Study Requirement.
Graduates who have been affected by the travel restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 will be able to receive a temporary graduate visa outside of Australia.
It’s clear from these announcements that the Australian Government wants to make sure that international students will be safe in the knowledge that they will be able to continue their education in Australia.
Department of Home Affairs website,
for the latest news on Australia’s travel restrictions. You can view and
download up-to-date information for all types of visa holders in English or
All travellers to Australia from midnight, 15 March 2020 are required to
self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolating means you’re required to stay in your
You’ll need to avoid going out into public spaces such as restaurants,
supermarkets, workplaces, universities and any other public places that you
will come into contact with people. Additionally, avoid receiving visitors into
your home or local accommodation.
If you need more information on self-isolation, get more details by
downloading the Isolation Guidance information
sheet from the Department of Health website. If you need to use
public transport (e.g. taxis, ride-hail services, train, buses and trams.),
kindly follow the precautions listed in the public transport guide.
If you’re starting your studies during the time you’re required to
self-isolate, contact your school or university to discuss your study options.
Many universities have put in place measures to assist students who are
required to self-isolate, such as delayed semester starts or online study
If you, or any friends and family start showing flu-like symptoms such
as a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, it is important to
contact your local doctor. You can also monitor your symptoms using the Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom
checker. Call before you visit and explain your symptoms and travel
history to ensure they are prepared to receive you.
If you’re enrolled in Semester 1 2020 and unable to begin classes due to
the travel bans or the 14-day self-isolation, you’ll need to get in touch with
your university or school as soon as possible to discuss your enrolment.
Many Australian universities have delayed their semester start dates or
have put in place changes to assist international students who have been
impacted by the recent travel bans.
We recommend you contact your university or school as soon as possible
to discuss your possible study options or deferring your studies to start at a
You can also check out the following websites for current advice and
information that may assist you:
If you have arranged for student accomodation and can’t travel into the
country, then it’s vital you check in with your student accommodation about
your next steps.
Some student accommodation providers may require you to provide
additional information or may change or delay your accommodation arrangements.
can I go for support?
The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus presents an emotionally
challenging situation for many international students. The spread of the virus
may be causing you or your friends and family distress or anxiety, especially
if you have loved ones in affected areas or have not been able to return home
or to Australia because of the recent travel bans.
The Australian Government have created a dedicated and multi-lingual
support service for international students. You can contact them via email or
phone 1300 981 621 (8:00 am–8:00 pm AEDST Monday to
You can also visit the Australian Government Department of
Education website to download the latest information, guides
and FAQs for up-to-date general health and enrolment advice, where to access
support services, and news on the latest immigration and border protection
If you have flight arrangements in place, your plans may be affected by
travel bans or cancelled flights.
Many major airlines and countries are cancelling flights or restricting
entry. If you have overseas travel plans, it’s important to regularly check
your airline’s website or contact the airline directly for next steps and
travel options at a later date.
to IELTS testing
There are currently changes being made to IELTS testing. Visit the IELTS website to find out if the changes
will affect you.
Australia’s international education industry has strengthened across the board, pushing student numbers to new record levels according to the latest data. But doubts have started to emerge over how long the country can maintain its growth streak.
Records continued to fall for Australian international education, but clouds are starting to form, as the country’s reliance on China increases.
The number of international students within Australia currently sits at 9.4% above the 554,200 for the whole of 2016
Year to October data, released by the Department of Education and Training, shows more than 606,700 international students have entered Australia so far in 2017, a 13% increase from the level achieved by the same time in 2016, while enrolments and commencements also experienced double-digit percentage growth.
“The more Australia can do to discover or seek out new markets, the better for the international education sector as a whole”
The surge in numbers has also pushed up total revenue, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicating the 12 months to September period grew to a landmark $29.4bn, up from $28.4bn last quarter.
The figure for students, enrolments and commencements as of October has already surpassed that for the whole of 2016.
The number of international students within Australia currently sits 9.4% above the 2016 total of 554,200, while enrolments and commencements – the number of new enrolments in a calendar year – are 7.5% and 2% higher, respectively.
English Australia noted September 2017’s figures were 6.7% down from September 2016
While the figures are welcomed in Australia, not all sectors and source markets experienced consistent improvements, casting doubt over how long the boom will last.
Although 3.3% above the previous year’s October figures, ELICOS stands alone as the only sector to not yet surpass 2016 totals, and after a strong first half of 2017, experienced two consecutive declines in commencements in August and September.
It was the only major sector to do so.
In its latest market analysis report, English Australia noted September 2017’s figures were 6.7% down from September 2016, representing “arguably the first poor month at the national aggregate level for ELICOS in recent years.”
Meanwhile, China further strengthened its position as Australia’s top source market, increasing 18% from the same period in 2016 and pushing its market share across all sectors from 27.5% to approximately 30%; reaching as high as 60% for some sectors.
Usually Education agents assist international students to secure a place in an Australian school. While institutions can enrol students directly, they also work with the global student agent network such as IEA-A International Network. You may choose to use a qualified education agent, usually known as a student counsellor, academic adviser, or student recruiter in your home country, or one based in Australia, to guide you through the process of choosing a school and enrolling.
Also based on your home country, your education agent with deep knowledge of Australian visa system, will manage your student visa application that could be critical for getting your student visa successfully. IEA-A has Australian office and in your local country so our services start in your country and continue in Australia. Why you need a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor ?
Education agents help reduce the stress of choosing a school in another country. Understanding your options, with someone who speaks your language, can be very reassuring. It is important through that that your agent is knowledgeable, up-to-date on student visa and curriculum changes, and has your best interest at heart. We hear stories of students who arrive for their first day of class to find out that the school has never heard of them. The education agent industry can attract unethical people, so do your research to make sure you are working with a good agent!
In this section, we provide guidance on using agents. Our qualified principal Migration Agent and education councillor Mrs. Feriha Guney (Qualified Education Agent Counsellors QEAC number: C102). (Migration Agent – MARN:0960690) is one of the industry expert with over 15 years of experience and thousands of satisfied international student, can assist you herself or with a number of education counsellors or migration Agents/Lawyer work with her. Some of the benefits of using a qualified education agent
If you agent is not qualified or experienced could cost you not only your visa fee or time but also he/she can damage your education career and even may change your life. On the other hand a qualified and experienced education agent, coudl help you to build your education career and even after a successful life, by doing:
conduct an interview to understand your needs and goals
make suggestions for the best institutions and programs to help you reach your goals
assist you to collect all of the documents you will need for your application
guide you through the application process
review your statement of purpose and provide information on interview process
guide you through the visa process once you have been accepted by an institution
help you prepare for the move and your arrival in Australia
organisation of airport pick-up and accommodation
provide information on how to find job in Australia and regulations
provide information on how to get Australian Tax number if you want to work
provide information on how to open bank account
provide information on how to get Australian Mobile Phone services
provide information on how to extend / change your visa while you are studying (may require additional fee)
provide information on how on Graduate work visa after your graduation of apply (may require additional fee)
provide information on how to apply a permanent skill visa
Education agents fees
When working with an agent, is very important to understand how the agent makes money. You will find that most experienced and qualified education agents offer their services for understanding your education career, checking your “statement of purpose” as well as preparation for the interview, finding right school for your education purpose, helping you to have school acceptance, counselling and the enrolment process fee which it depends of the country of application (as requirements for each country is different).
Although some inexperienced agent may offer their services free of charge, you should question their qualification and experiences that may cost your education career or even change your life forever. In addition to that you may or may not be charged for any school application fees that arise such as the school assessment (the schools charge the agent for this service). You will also be charged for the visa application fee which is paid to the government of Australia.
If you are applying in Australia, IEA-A usually will not charge you a fee. However if you are applying from overseas and if your home country considered in a risky country, there yoru application need to be prepared professionally and reviewed by expert before making application, so we may charge you an application fee. Best Agent location – in your home country or in Australia or in both?
Should you use an agent in your country, or one based in Australia? There are benefits and drawbacks to each options.
IEA-A usually offer both location support, in your home country for visa application and assessing your application according to your home country requirements, in Australia for on-going help and support. This way you have benefit of Using an education agent based in your country, you are dealing with somebody who is local and understand your education system.
Education Counsellor in your home country should also be very knowledgeable about visas for nationals of your country. The interview process can take place over the phone or face to face in your native language, and all the paperwork and applications can be processed locally.
When an education agent located in Australia, you have representation when you arrive, and can expect very good relationships with, and knowledge about, Australian education providers. Your agent can assist with airport pickup, accommodation, and in some cases even help you to understand how you can get a job while you are studying. How do I know if an agent is knowledgeable?
The migration agent system is regulated by the Australian government. Registered migration agents can counsel on migration visas, student visas, or both. If you are working with a migration agent who is also a student agent, we suggest you use one who is registered with the Office of the MARA to ensure they are up-to-date on visa rules. In addition, you can also find out whether a night and overseas agent has been banned from working in migration.
Although it is not mandatory, the Qualified Education Agent Counsellors qualification managed by the PIER Education Agent Training, ensures an agent understands student visas and regulation, especially if you are working with an education agent in your country. The qualification is not mandatory currently, but it can be a good indication of the quality of the agent. See if your agent has right qualification.
All IEAA Education counsellors and migration Agents have required qualifications and lead by our principal Director Ms. Feriha Guney who has both qualification as Registered Migration Agent and Education Agent (Mrs. Feriha Guney (Qualified Education Agent Counsellors QEAC number: C102). (Migration Agent – MARN:0960690 ) and over 15 years of experience on both fields. If you want to check your eligibility as a student visa o study ion Australia, send your resume and write to us on [email protected]
The Australian Education Roadmap developed by Austrade clearly articulates an ambition to develop, enhance and grow the onshore sector to welcome up to 720,000 students; compound annual growth of 3.8% on the nearly 500,000 Australia welcomes today.
“In a high market-share scenario, these numbers could almost double to nearly 990,000 by 2025,” states the report. “Beyond this, in the relatively untapped borderless skills market of in-market, online and blended delivery – there are projected to be in excess of one billion students around the world.”
“In a high market-share scenario, these numbers could almost double to nearly 990,000 by 2025,”
The three areas of focus for the strategy are: Strengthening the Fundamentals of Australia’s education system (via delivering the best student experience possible, providing robust quality assurance); Making Transformative Partnerships (via alumni building, strengthening partnerships) and Competing Globally (via promoting excellence).
Richard Colbeck, minister for tourism and international education, signed off on a considered and cohesive strategy which represents clear ambition.
In Richard Colbeck, minister for tourism and international education, Foreword, he commented, “It is critical that we embrace the role as a driver of change. We must be conscious of what our competitors are doing, particularly what they are doing better than us.”
Stakeholders welcomed the announcement. Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, said, “Given that international education is now worth $19.6 bn a year to the Australian economy, it now requires the level of attention that the nation’s third largest export sector should attract.”
“Given that international education is now worth $19.6 bn a year to the Australian economy, it now requires the level of attention that the nation’s third largest export sector should attract.”
Honeywood is a member of the Coordinating Council for International Education which consulted with government on its draft strategy. The council commended the first “whole-of-sector” strategy and said effective implementation was now needed.
“The sector provides far more than just an economic boost,” underlined Honeywood. “Research collaboration, two-way student mobility and student services such as accommodation and employment skills are all vital and require greater national coordinated effort. These ‘soft diplomacy’ benefits are often overlooked.”
Minister Colbeck also announced the formation of an ongoing council that will be responsible for implementation.
It was the country’s foreign minster, Julie Bishop, who announced the strategy while in Tasmania and it is the department for foreign affairs and trade which is championing the alumni agenda. To support this concurrent strategy, a website and Linked In group has been launched.
Twelve “inspirational” alumni ambassadors have been selected to work to build Australia’s profile in their home countries, and a video profile series is available, Australian by Degree.
“Over 50 years, 2.5 million international students have been attracted to Australia and its world class educational institutions,” said Bishop.
Yet another review has landed on desks around Canberra. A newly released 160-page Productivity Commission paper on International Education Services has underlined what many of us who work in this dynamic sector already know.
Not only is international education kicking goals for our beleaguered economy but it continues to enhance Australia’s global credentials. Notwithstanding this, the report also warns this $17 billion a year industry that more regulatory reform might be required if Australia is to remain the study destination of choice.
Up front, the Productivity Commission’s report is very much a good news story. It finds that our nation’s third-largest export creates 130,000 equivalent full-time jobs. These jobs are not just in teaching but cut across the entire economy, including the provision of accommodation, food, entertainment and even tourism.
There are more than 450,000 full-tuition, fee-paying international students in Australia now, accounting for 20 per cent of all students enrolled in our higher education institutions and 5 per cent in vocational education and training (VET). Importantly for our future relations in our region, about three-quarters of all international students come from Asia, with China and India the biggest markets.
Of equal importance, the report noted that we have another 160,000 enrolments in Australian courses delivered offshore, with an increasing number of these in the advanced skills (VET) sector. Overall, our international education industry has recovered from recent years of declining enrolments and the commission concludes that it “is back on a high-growth trajectory”.
So where is the flip side to all this good news? The Productivity Commission points to four key areas of concern. These relate to governance, student visa integrity, comparative quality course ratings and the complex issue of education agent quality assurance.
International education has come a long way, in a short space of time, since each state and territory government had separate regulatory authorities. Until the federal government intervened, each state had jurisdictional oversight of student and education provider policy and procedures. These were replaced in 2011 by the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) for higher education and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for vocational education. Despite initial teething problems, these two national regulators have made significant improvements in the good governance of a complex industry.
It is therefore surprising that the Productivity Commission raises the possibility that these two regulators be merged into one entity. Some education institutions, which deliver both higher education and VET courses, would welcome any ensuing reduction in their regulatory reporting burden. However, because each of these national regulators primarily service very different types of education providers and courses, there is little momentum among international education stakeholders for such a merger to be effected.
Control of who is deemed to be a genuine temporary student and student visas has long been vested in our Immigration Department. In recent years this has been justified because of border control concerns.
Yet the Productivity Commission boldly suggests that other factors and government departments should have a stake in the outcomes here. Whereas the Immigration Department’s almost entire focus is on the immigration risk of an education provider, the commission questions the merits of this. Instead, they would like to see factors such as the quality of the education provider’s course delivery, their financial or consumer risk and even student graduation outcomes factored into the visa-issuing process.
Industry groups, such as the International Education Association of Australia, have long argued for just such a comprehensive student visa issuance model. Currently, it is all too easy for certain education providers to tailor their immigration risk rating just long enough to qualify for special visa status. They might be delivering the worst business course in Australia, but that is not being factored into the equation.
The third related area of concern identified in the report is the lack of transparency on the ratings of course quality. This is supported by a recent global survey of 45,000 international students by Hobsons Education Solutions. It highlighted that course rankings now come ahead of education institutions’ overall quality and the choice of country as the key driver of enrolments.
Happily, something is being done about this in Australia. The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) online platform will be released soon by Education Minister Christopher Pyne. QILT will incorporate student experience, graduate outcomes and employer satisfaction surveys into one easily accessible portal.
There has been a great deal of media interest recently in the complex relationships between education agents and education institutions. Unfortunately, none of this public commentary has mentioned that the federal Education Department is awaiting a report that it has commissioned on this very issue. The report is due by the end of June and more than 1000 key stakeholders have been surveyed already and separate education provider and agent focus groups have been held around the country.
The Productivity Commission report has provided yet one more set of recommendations to a sector that is already suffering from review fatigue. A long-awaited whole-of-government approach is in the mix now.
The government is to finalise soon its National Strategy for International Education. It is not before time that Australia’s third-largest export gets this attention.
Phil Honeywood is the executive director of the International Education Association of Australia.
Restaurant & Catering Australia has welcomed new training and product development arrangements for the vocational education sector announced by the Australian government this morning.
R&CA CEO, John Hart says that the announcement serves as a welcome step in addressing the needs of the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“The [hospitality] sector is currently experiencing a shortfall of 35,800 jobs, with this number expected to increase to 56,000 by the end of 2015. Additionally, employment in the cafe, restaurant and takeaway food services sector is projected to grow more than 43,700 jobs or 8.5 percent to November 2018,” says Hart.
Hart says that this rate of employment growth is expected to be higher than any other industry in the Australian economy and it is estimated that Australia will require an additional 2.5 million people with Vocational Education Training (VET) qualifications; 1.7 million of which will need to be qualified at Certificate III level or above.
“The new model supporting industry reference committees will more closely align the skill needs of industry with the training that is delivered through the vocational education sector,” says Hart
“Changes to this structure and authorising environment through the Australian Industry Skills Committee will help to provide the necessary skilled staff required to deliver quality customer experiences well into the future.”
Hart says today’s announcement is recognition that skilled staff in the tourism and hospitality industry is necessary for the economic growth of the country.
“Waiters, cooks, chefs and café and restaurant managers are the most in-demand occupations in the sector and will continue to be well beyond 2015.
“’Australia’s system of competency standards and qualifications-based learning is world renowned; this change to the development process will strengthen that reputation even further.
Eighty eight per cent of international students are satisfied or very satisfied with their overall experience, outperforming similar competitor nations.
A new report on international students’ experiences has found widespread satisfaction across all survey areas — learning, support on arrival, living and support services — at a rate higher than similar competitor nations.
The lone exception is living and accommodation costs which registered only a 50 per cent satisfaction rating.
The biannual International Student Survey was released by federal education minister Christopher Pyne on the back of a NSW report which suggested widespread cheating, low academic standards and even corruption. A report on the ABC tonight is widely expected to come to similar conclusions.
“The report confirms that the reputation of Australian institutions and the quality of teaching are by far the most important factors for international students choosing Australia over other countries,” Mr Pyne said in a statement.
Chris Ziguras, a higher education researcher from RMIT, said the survey threw a positive light on a sector currently under siege by media.
“This report is reassuring to the government and to the sector as a whole that students are coming here for all the right reasons and generally satisfied. Australia is on par with and outperforming other destinations,” Dr Ziguras said.
While the broad brushstroke nature of the overview support lacked nuance, the over all picture was undeniably positive, Dr Ziguras said.
“You’re asking people to tick boxes and you are not getting deep insights. If it was a one-off survey then you’d say it was pretty bland but the fact it’s been done three times in succession shows (the aggregate results) are reassuring.”
Dr Ziguras said he was “dismayed” by last week’s Independent Commission Against Corruption report.
“I’m not sure who they spoke to but they apparently didn’t speak to students,” he said.
“It’s dismaying not because of what it says about the sector but because of the way the sector is perceived. That’s very depressing,” he said.
Dr Ziguras also said he was concerned about the potential for corruption based on the fact international students generate revenue.
“All students generate revenue. The same potential exists for such things with the admittance of domestic students in undergraduate programs with universities dipping lower and lower into ATARs because evert new student brings revenue. There’s the same potential there.”
Fiona Docherty, pro vice-chancellor (international) at UNSW said feedback from international students at her institution didn’t line up with the view promulgated in the ICAC report, especially in relation to the use of agents.
“I’m interested in feedback after students get here and can reflect objectively on their choices to come to that university. Our experience shows that 90 per cent of students are satisfied with their agents,” Ms Docherty said.
Scott Sheppard, deputy vice-chancellor (international) at Queensland University of Technology, also said he struggled to correlate the ICAC report’s findings with the experience of international students at his institution.
“Maybe it’s because we have a relatively low percentage of international student enrolments, but the findings didn’t alight with our experience,” Professor Sheppard said.
The mirrors in the Spiegeltent have been polished. The contortionists set to bend across its stage are limber. International guests from Belgium, Shanghai and beyond are streaming through Customs. The street art-covered labyrinth has been erected. The 2015 Sydney Festival is ready to go.
Sydney’s 39th annual festival of art and culture (and plenty of big things children can play on) kicks off Thursday morning when the Festival Village – now with two Spiegeltents – opens its doors. During the day, festivalgoers at the Hyde Park hamlet will be able to walk all over a two-storey maze designed and constructed by Irish street artist Maser and relax in the City of Sydney’s lawn library. At night they can catch sword-swallowers at Limbo and hit the bars and food stalls for a Grand Royale with Cheese (not a burger but an ice-cream).
The Village is not the only Sydney Festival venue springing to life for opening day (want to swing through a waterfall? You can do that at Darling Harbour from 9am), but it is the festival’s centre, expected to draw 10,000 visitors per day. And the festival is ready for them.
The festival will be Sydney’s first major public event since the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Crowds for the fireworks were estimated to have been smaller than in 2013, leading some to ask whether Sydneysiders had been shaken by the Martin Place siege and heightened terror alert level. But police point out that high-profile viewing areas that night, such as the Sydney Opera House, were at capacity from early afternoon.
Festival organisers said punters appear undeterred: they expected to exceed the 124,000 tickets sold in 2014. Executive director Chris Tooher said that sales at the beginning of the week were at 64 per cent of the final target, ahead of the same time last year. It will be weeks before numbers on the free, unticketed events are known.
Many of the festival venues have private security and Tooher said organisers were working closely with police and other authorities to ensure safety at the Domain and Hyde Park.
Department of Immigration published information about how to change your course while you are studying in Australia. You can get further information from IEAA on visa requirements or new course acceptability on [email protected] or you can call 02-92327055.
If you are thinking about changing your course of study, you need to ensure that you continue to meet all the conditions that apply to your student visa.
Changing courses – streamlined visa holders
If you were granted a visa under the streamlined visa processing arrangements and you would like to change to a new course of study, you generally need to enrol in another streamlined eligible course (or package of courses) at the same level as your current course in order to remain compliant with the conditions on your current student visa.
To check whether a course is eligible for streamlined visa processing, or to learn more about the streamlining arrangements for certain student visas, see streamlined student visa processing.
If you want to change the level of qualification you are studying towards, you need to apply for a new student visa because your visa subclass will not be appropriate for your new course (or package of courses). For example, if you want to change from a Bachelor degree to an Advanced Diploma.
If you transfer to a course of study that is not eligible for streamlined visa processing processing or if you change the level of qualification you are studying towards and you have not been granted a new visa appropriate to your new course then your visa might be considered for cancellation.
It is our policy that students who have transferred to a course not eligible for streamlined visa processing at the same level as their current course would not be considered for cancellation if either:
the country of their passport is Assessment Level 1 for their current visa or
they have held their current visa for at least 12 months.
Changing courses – non streamlined visa holders
If you want to change to a new course to study towards the same level of qualification and your visa was not granted under streamlined arrangements, you do not need to apply for a new student visa unless your current visa is about to expire.
If you want to change the level of qualification you are studying towards, you need to apply for a new student visa because your visa subclass will not be appropriate for your new course (or package of courses). For example, if you want to change from a Bachelor degree to a Certificate IV. Changing your education provider – all student visa holders
In addition to ensuring that you comply with your visa conditions, there are also requirements under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) National Code that apply if you want to change your education provider.
If you have not completed six months of your principal course (the main course of study you are undertaking) and you want to change your education provider, the ESOS National Code sets out the circumstances in which this will be possible. Unless special circumstances apply, you are usually required to have the permission of your existing education provider in order to transfer to another education provider.
If you do want to transfer, your education provider must assess or consider your request to transfer. All education providers must have documented procedures on their transfer policy. You should make sure you understand your education provider’s transfer policy, and what your written agreement says you must do, before you attempt to enrol with a new education provider.
If your education provider does not give you permission to transfer to another education provider and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you should first access the internal appeal process with your education provider. If you are still not satisfied, you can appeal the education provider’s decision at an external complaints handling body, such as the State or Territory Ombudsman or the Overseas Student Ombudsman. Scenarios
The following are common scenarios about international students changing courses and complying with their visa conditions. Moving from a university to a vocational education course
Unless certain exceptions apply to you, the ESOS National Code requires you to complete six months of your principal course (the highest qualification course) for which your visa was granted before changing from a University Course (for example a Bachelor degree) to a vocational education course (for example a diploma).
Australian migration law also requires you to obtain a new visa if you want to study in a different educational sector.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Mandeep was enrolled with the Eucalyptus University to study a Bachelor of Accounting. She was granted a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa.
After commencing her bachelor degree, she was informed by a friend she could study her course faster and cheaper at a different institution. Mandeep thought this sounded like a good option as she wanted to get her degree as fast as possible. She thought she might have a problem with her visa if she changed her course.
Mandeep phoned the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to see if she could move to this cheaper institution. After confirming all the details of Mandeep’s case, the immigration officer told Mandeep her visa was granted under streamlined visa processing arrangements with the Eucalyptus University – if she changed to a non-streamlined education provider while holding a streamlined student visa, she might be in breach of a condition of her visa (condition 8516).
The immigration officer informed Mandeep that if she wanted to change education provider she would have to choose one of the following options:
transfer to another streamlined institution (after completing six months of her principal course)
apply for a new student visa (after completing six months of her principal course) with a letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the new provider.
Mandeep decided to move to the cheaper institution, regardless of the information she had found out about her visa. Shortly after, an officer of the department contacted her and issued a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation for her student visa. Mandeep responded to the notice and provided reasons why her visa should not be cancelled. An officer of the department considered her response and proceeded to cancel her student visa for breach of condition 8516 as she had not acted on one of the two options put to her earlier.
Mandeep was upset and regretted not abiding by the conditions of her visa. Mandeep no longer held a visa to remain lawfully in Australia and made arrangements to return to her home country. Changing courses in the first six months
If you have not completed six months of the highest qualification course in which your visa was granted, you need a release letter from your education provider (unless certain exceptions apply to you under the ESOS National Code).
If you are refused a release letter or your circumstances are not excepted under the ESOS National Code, you might want to access the internal appeal process with your education provider.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Trung had heard a lot about Australia. His cousin had studied in Australia and Trung believed if he trained in Australia this would result in good employment prospects. His dream was to set up a boutique hotel. Trung applied to the Australian University to undertake a Bachelor of Commerce and the education agent assisted him in applying for a visa to be able to study this course.
Trung arrived in Australia on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) student visa in late July. He was excited to commence his course but as the semester progressed he felt overwhelmed by how intense and technical the lectures were. He also struggled with the Australian accent. After eight weeks Trung began to lose interest in the course and stopped attending classes.
Trung went to the Blue Gum Institute and sought to enrol in a Certificate III in Hospitality which would mean he could still pursue his dream of opening a hotel. The student advisor explained to Trung that he required a release letter from the Australian University prior to being able to enrol with Blue Gum Institute. Trung applied for a release letter but was not granted one.
Trung called the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for advice. He was informed by an officer of the department that his current visa was granted to study in the higher education sector at the Australian University and as Trung wanted to study Hospitality at the vocational level he needed a Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa which is the correct visa for students that study in vocational education and training courses.
Trung decided to apply for a subclass 572 student visa for the course at Blue Gum Institute. He was happy in his course once he was granted the subclass 572 visa and thinks he might apply for another student visa to go back to the bachelor course once he has completed the Certificate III course. Note: If Trung had not have applied for another student visa, which was more appropriate to the course of his study, his subclass 573 student visa would have been liable for cancellation. This is because it is a requirement of the conditions of a student visa that the holder maintain enrolment in a course of study that is appropriate to the subclass of student visa. Moving to a ELICOS course at the advice of your university
If you are having difficulties in your course talk to your student advisor.
If delaying the commencement of your course to complete an English course confirm your education provider has issued you a new confirmation of enrolment.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Bess enrolled in a Bachelor of Engineering at Banksia University. She had achieved high marks in her previous schooling in China and was looking forward to commencing her course at Banksia University. Bess had achieved the appropriate IELTS level and was confident she would be able to do well in her chosen course of study.
Bess commenced her first semester but struggled with some of the language used in her course. She also found it hard to keep up with the pace that some of her lecturers spoke. Bess was concerned if she failed her course, her visa might be cancelled and she would have to return to China.
She decided to talk to a student adviser about her situation. After Bess discussed the issue with her student adviser, it was suggested she take an ELICOS level English course for one semester with the expectation she would return to her bachelor degree once her English improved.
Bess was concerned this would affect her student visa. She called the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and asked if she could move to an ELICOS course if she was intending to return to her original study plan.
The immigration officer told her as long as she continued her planned study at the Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa level after completing the English course, she will continue to meet her visa conditions. Bess called Banksia University to confirm her enrolment after completing her English course.
Bess completed her English course and then recommenced her bachelor degree. Note: If Bess had substantially failed her studies at Banksia University, this might have led to the cancellation of her visa. This is because the conditions attached to a student visa require, among other things, that the student visa holder progress towards the completion of their course of studies. Changing courses after the first six months
If you have completed six months of the highest qualification course in which your visa was granted, you might choose to change courses or educational sectors.
If you choose to change education sectors you must apply for a new visa and continue to study your original course until your new visa is granted for your new course.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Kumar arrived in Australia on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) student visa.
He commenced his bachelor degree at Wattle University; studying a Bachelor of Communication to learn about the role of communication in modern society. Kumar had aspirations to open his own mobile phone store.
After two months studying Kumar decided he wanted to change to a Diploma of Marketing. He felt the diploma course was more suited to his career aspiration as it would provide him with sound theory and knowledge of marketing to enable him to progress his career prospects in sales and marketing management.
While continuing his studies at Wattle University, Kumar researched education providers and approached Bottlebrush Institute and enquired about enrolling in a Diploma of Marketing. The Bottlebrush Institute administration staff advised Kumar he would need to provide a release letter from Wattle University, before he could enrol in this diploma course. Kumar was confused and didn’t understand why he needed a release letter. The administration staff explained that a release letter was required because he had not completed six months of the Bachelor of Communication for which his subclass 573 visa was granted.
Following receipt of this advice from the Bottlebrush College, Kumar checked the conditions of his student visa with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The department confirmed Kumar’s visa was granted to study in the higher education sector at Wattle University. If he wanted to study a Diploma of Marketing, he needed a Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa, which is the correct visa for students who study a vocational education and training course.
Upon receiving this information Kumar continued studying his Bachelor of Communication at Wattle University. He decided after completing six months of this course he would transfer to the diploma.
He later applied for the diploma course with the other institution and obtained a confirmation of enrolment for the diploma. He then applied for a Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa which was granted to him so that he could undertake the diploma course. Stopping study to work for a while
Most student visa holders can only work 40 hours per fortnight while their course is in session.
You must continue to study as the holder of a student visa.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
José arrived in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa.
He was from Peru and came to study in Australia as he had heard it was a great country to receive an education.
José enrolled in a Diploma of Information Technology. He was not sure what career path he would eventually take and felt that information technology was a good starting place.
He commenced his Diploma at Boomerang College and made a lot of friends in Australia while studying. One of his friends told him about casual work available at the local Greek Taverna and José started to work there on weekends. He was aware of his visas work conditions and only worked 10 hours per day on the weekends to ensure he didn’t work more than the maximum of 40 hours per fortnight allowed.
José enjoyed working at the Greek Taverna and wanted to increase his hours for a short while. He stopped attending classes and thought he would return to Boomerang College the following semester.
As his intention was to only work full-time for one semester, José did not think there would be a problem with not attending class.
A short while later, José received a notice from Boomerang College advising they were going to report him to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for unsatisfactory attendance. The notice said he could access the College’s complaints and appeals. José was surprised to receive the notice and the following day attended Boomerang College to speak with the student advisor.
José explained he intended to work full-time this semester and return to his diploma the following semester. The student advisor told José he was breaching his visa conditions by working full-time and not attending classes. The advisor explained students are able to defer or temporarily suspend their studies; however this would only be approved on the grounds of compassionate and compelling circumstances. He was also told that suspending or cancelling his enrolment might affect his student visa.
José did not take the advice he received from the student advisor seriously and continued to work full-time.
Boomerang College cancelled José’s confirmation of enrolment and José soon received a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation of his student visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. He did not respond to the notice and the department cancelled his student visa.
As a result of the cancellation, José is barred from applying for various types of visas while in Australia and would likely be subject to a three-year exclusion period (re-entry ban) that would affect his ability to be granted a further temporary visa. José lost his job and no longer had a visa – he had to return to his home country. Note: You must not engage in work before commencing your studies in Australia. Generally, most student visa holders are not permitted to work more than 40 hours per fortnight while their course is in session. Read more about working while studying in Australia. Personal problems affecting studies
Seek treatment from a professional.
If you are having difficulties in your course talk to your student advisor.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Swati successfully completed a Certificate IV in Business at the Blue Gum Institute and applied for a second visa – a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) student visa to study a Bachelor in Management at the Australia University. She hoped these skills would help her family’s business in India.
One week before Swati was due to start her management degree, she received a call from her father informing Swati that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Swati was upset and worried about her mother and would ring India every few hours. She wanted to return home but her father insisted she continue her studies in Australia. Swati tried hard to continue with her studies but she could not concentrate because she was stressed and anxious about her mother’s health.
Swati’s course attendance started to decline, until she was too stressed and anxious to attend her studies at all. Swati received a warning letter from the Australia University advising that her course progress was not adequate and she risked being reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. This made Swati feel depressed.
Swati went to see the student advisor at the Australia University for advice. The advisor suggested she go and speak to a doctor. Swati went to her local doctor who referred her to a psychologist.
The psychologist diagnosed Swati with depression. Swati wanted to feel better before continuing her studies. She took her documentation from the doctor and psychologist to the student advisor. The advisor granted Swati a deferral on the grounds of compassionate circumstances.
One week after the deferral was granted, Swati returned home to India for the period of her deferral. She took her medical and deferral documents with her as well as her new confirmation of enrolment that showed she would recommence her course in six months.
Swati felt better at home and was able to support her mother. She returned to Australia five and half months later and resumed her course two weeks after arriving in Australia. Note: You might be questioned about your deferral by the department. It is important that you have access to any medical and/or deferral documents, especially if you intend to travel outside of Australia. This will ensure that you are able to present evidence to the department in the instance that you are questioned about your deferral while you are outside of Australia Guardian departs Australia and leaves student minor in Australia
Before departure, ensure that you make adequate welfare arrangements for the student minor.
Appropriately inform the school and the department of these welfare arrangements prior to departure.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Romita came to Australia on a guardian visa to look after her son Surjit while he studied his high school qualifications.
All was going well until Romita’s husband Kirpal became ill and she needed to go home while her husband was in hospital for an operation. Romita thought she would need to be in India for six weeks while her husband recovered.
Romita did not know what to do – she did not want to take Surjit with her. He was studying in year 12 and she felt it was important for him to do well in his studies. Romita talked to Surjit’s school to ask for their advice.
Surjit’s school advised Romita she should make alternate welfare arrangements for Surjit before she leave Australia. The school offered to help find a homestay arrangement for Surjit. Romita said she had a 26 year old daughter who lived nearby in Australia. The school said they would be happy with a close relative looking after Surjit as long as the department approved the arrangement before Romita left Australia.
Romita called the department to seek advice. The immigration officer advised her if she could submit evidence of the need to travel, it would be appropriate for her to arrange for her daughter, provided she was more than 21 years of age, to look after Surjit in her absence. She was also advised that form 157N must be submitted together with information for her expected date of return. She was advised that the department should be informed of any change in circumstances.
Romita submitted this information to the department and her daughter was approved as the temporary guardian of Surjit. The immigration officer advised Romita she should take the confirmation of the changed welfare arrangements with her when she travelled in and out of Australia.
Romita returned home and cared for Kirpal. Once he was able to look after himself, Romita returned to Australia and stayed until Surjit finished his schooling, which was just before his 18th birthday.
Read more about education providers approving care arrangements for students less than 18 years old.Form 157N also explains what is and who can become a guardian.
To read common queries about changing courses, see the FAQ section of Department of Immigration and Border Protection website [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"] .
More than 74,000 applications were lodged in September quarter 2013, the highest for the quarter in the past four years
International students Increase comes after slump caused by a ‘perfect storm’ of migration rule changes, bad publicity about safety and the strong dollar.
A large increase in international student visa applications in Australia has raised the sector’s hopes of moving on from the slump caused by a “perfect storm” of a series of migration rule changes, bad publicity about the nation’s safety, and the strong dollar.
More than 74,000 student visa applications were lodged in the September 2013 quarter, 7.1% higher than the same period in 2012 and the highest for this quarter in the last four years, according to figures published by the Department of Immigration this week.
The strong signs follow a tough three years for Australia’s international education sector, which experienced rapid growth until a series of developments, including violent crimes committed against foreign students and a government clampdown on misuse of the system as a pathway to permanent residency.
A 2011 discussion paper noted “the rapidity and magnitude of changes to migration and student visa policy settings”. Other problems were the strength of the Australian dollar, bad publicity from education provider closures that displaced thousands of students, the effects of the global financial crisis, and increased competition from international education providers elsewhere.
The executive director of the International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood, welcomed the latest increase in visa applications, saying the original crackdown caused “pain” to the sector but was motivated by genuine concerns.
Honeywood said some people had enrolled in two-year diplomas in cooking or hairdressing at a cost of $10,000 a year as a pathway to permanent residency.
In 2011 a report by government-appointed reviewer Michael Knight said Labor’s changes were “not made arbitrarily or capriciously”. The number of international student enrolments grew from 274,060 in 2002 to 619,119 in 2010, including a rapid increase in the vocational education and training sector. This growth was driven by the fact students were “virtually guaranteed” permanent residence if they completed courses related to “very long lists” of particular occupations in demand and skilled jobs.
“Some less reputable institutions set up courses with no serious educational purpose but basically designed to get fees from students en route to a migration outcome. Further down the food chain some nefarious operators set up whole institutions as nothing more than a migration scam,” Knight wrote in his report.
“Then there were some unscrupulous education agents on impossibly high commissions, funnelling students with fraudulent documents into any course irrespective of the quality of the course or the student.”
Knight said changes the Rudd government put in place in 2009 and 2010 created a perception in some parts of the world that Australia had “rolled up the welcome mat”.
They included stronger scrutiny of applicants in Australia’s major markets, leading to an increased rejection rate. Applications were required to have access to $18,000 to cover expenses for each year of study, up from $12,000. The government also revoked the list of migration occupations in demand, weakening the link between studying and permanent residence.
Since that time, authorities have sought to make Australia a more attractive destination.
From March 2012, “streamlined visa processing” ensured that prospective students faced a less onerous application process if they provided confirmation of enrolment from a participating university in Australia at bachelor, masters or doctoral degree level. Such applications were treated as though they were a lower migration risk, regardless of their country of origin.
“Streamlined processing has been very good for public universities because they’re the only ones that have been allowed to have it,” Honeywood said.
“You haven’t had to have as much paperwork, you’ve been judged as having a low level risk … but it’s meant that other key players have been left out of the loop, including some high-quality private colleges and also some public TAFEs.”
The Coalition government has announced plans to extend streamlined visa processing to up to 22 “low-risk, non-university providers” such as colleges and TAFEs.
It has also flagged changes to assessment levels and the easing of financial evidence requirements, so long as the funds were from a close relative of the student application. The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said this would mean students from a number of key markets would be able to apply for a student visa with up to $40,000 less in the bank.
The government statistics, released this week, showed there were 346,965 international student visa holders in Australia at the end of September. Offshore student visa lodgements increased by 27.6% – and total student visa grants rose by 13.6% – in the September quarter compared with the same period in the previous year. The application success rate was 94.3%.
Honeywood said a lot of factors might be influencing the upward trend, but it was significant enough to indicate the new visa regime had “become more acceptable to overseas education agents and to some of our traditional markets”.
“It’s pointing in the right direction and there have been enough quarters now trending up rather than down,” he said.
The deputy chief executive of Universities Australia, Greg Evans, said he saw potential to reach the high numbers experienced “before the sector was hit by the combined negative impact of changed visa conditions, concerns over safety and an elevated currency”.
Evans pointed to “encouraging” increases from Nepal (up 29% compared with the same quarter a year earlier), India (up 7%), Vietnam (up 42%) and China (up 5%).
“These welcome figures reflect both improved regulatory and visa conditions provided by government as well as the tireless efforts of our universities,” Evans said.
The Migration Council Australia chief executive, Carla Wilshire, said international education was one of the nation’s biggest export earners and represented a long term-investment in economic and political ties to the growing powers in the neighbourhood.
“The rebound in international student numbers is a welcome sign that efforts to streamline the visa process and improve the integrity of the system are working,” she said.
A government spokesman said the Coalition welcomed the rise in international student numbers and was working to grow the sector, which he said was “damaged by the mismanagement of the previous Labor government”.
The education minister, Christopher Pyne, has previously acknowledged that changes “were certainly needed to weed out a number of poor providers” but argued “it wasn’t well handled and it all fed a sense of rapid change and uncertainty for the education sector”.
SOURCE: theguardian.com Daniel Hurst, Friday 17 January 2014
Study Group is to take over an existing pathway college at the Australian National University (ANU).
Based in Canberra, ANU is one of Australia’s top-ranked universities. It established ANU College to provide English language and other courses intended to prepare international students for further study.
Study Group’s chief executive David Leigh told EducationInvestor that the university had “done a great job of getting the college where it is today. But it’s had to do that with the resources it has. It doesn’t have the marketing platform it can now rely on with us”.
He added that the partnership would be a net contributor to Study Group’s finances from its first year.
The announcement came as the firm released its results for the nine months to 30 September 2013.
The figures show a 7% increase in total revenue, to £198.3 million (29012: £184.8 million), and a 26% increase in ebitda, to £29.6 million (2012: £23.5 million).
In a statement, the firm highlighted growth in business units including UK higher education, career education and Embassy English language teaching. The group also reported an operating cash flow of £3.9 million, and a cash balance of £27.2 million, at the end of the period.
Formed in 1994, Study Group offers university pathways, career education and English language teaching in Europe, Australasia and North America. But it’s had a tough few years, suffering a pre-tax loss of £33.6 million in 2012, and £27 million in 2011.
As well as its own brand, Study Group owns and operates Embassy language schools, Bellerbys sixth form colleges and a number of Australian colleges. Providence Equity Partners bought the firm for £388 million in July 2010.
In September, the firm raised £205 million through a bond issue, using the money to cover its debts.
Overview of TRA Migration Skills Assessment / May 2013
Purpose of the TRA Migration Skills Assessment Guidelines
These guidelines describe the TRA Migration Skills Assessment program and the requirements for applicantsseeking a skills assessment under the program.The primary audience for these guidelines is potential applicants for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment. Terms explained in the Glossary are bolded when they first appear in this document.
The TRA Migration Skills Assessment program is managed by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). TRA is a business unit of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE). TRA is the relevant assessing authority for certain occupations under the Migration Regulations 1994.
TRA operates seven separate skills assessment services. Six of these are for migration purposes. It is important that you select the program that provides you with the outcome you need.
If you are interested in applying for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment, it is essential that you:
check that the nominated occupation in your visa application with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is one that is assessed by TRA through www.immi.gov.au/asri
check that this program is the appropriate program for your skills assessment (see below)
read the eligibility requirements for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment before starting an application.
This program is for applicants seeking a skills assessment for migration purposes AND who are not required to seek skills assessment through one of the TRA assessment services below:
Provisional Skills Assessment – required by recently graduated international students in trades and related occupations, seeking a Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 485)
Job Ready Program – required by recently graduated international students in trades and associated professional occupations, seeking a skilled migration permanent residency visa
Offshore Skills Assessment Program – required for trade applicants for permanent skilled migration visas whose country and occupation are managed through TRA approved registered training organisations
457 Skills Assessment Program – required by trade applicants for temporary (subclass 457) skilled migration visas whose country and occupation require a skills assessment
TRA Migration Points Advice – required for certain skilled migration visas, for applicants who already have a successful skills assessment and require points advice for a visa application.
These guidelines do not provide information on visas or points requirements for migration. All enquiries about migration requirements must be directed to DIAC (www.immi.gov.au).
TRA reserves the right to amend these guidelines as needed. Information about changes to the guidelines will be documented in the ‘Document change history’ table on page 2.
TRA Migration Skills Assessment Summary
A TRA Migration Skills Assessment is an assessment of your qualification/s and employment to determine whether you have skills and experience comparable to Australian industry standards for your nominated occupation.
You should check with DIAC regarding the eligibility requirements for the skilled migration visa you seek before submitting an application to TRA for a skills assessment.
The TRA Migration Skills Assessment program aims to ensure that your qualifications, skills and employment experience are comparable with and relevant to the Australian industry standards for a skilled worker in your nominated occupation.
Regulation 2.26B(2) of the Migration Regulations 1994 provides that “the standards against which the skills of a person are assessed by a relevant assessing authority for a skilled occupation must be the standards set by the relevant assessing authority for the skilled occupation”.
TRA is responsible for the delivery of the TRA Migration Skills Assessment program.
Fees payable for the TRA Migration Skills Assessment
TRA manages TRA Migration Skills Assessments on a cost-recovery basis in accordance with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines. Table 1 lists the fees payable by you (all amounts in these guidelines are in Australian dollars). All fees are paid to TRA unless otherwise specified. The fees paid to TRA do not attract Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Table 1 Fee payable for the TRA migration skills assessment
TRA Migration Skills Assessment
Before you submit your application.
Online by Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card.
TRA Migration Skills Assessment Review
Only payable if you lodge an application for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment review.
The fee will be refunded if the original assessment outcome is overturned. based solely on the evidence originally provided in the application under review
Online by Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card.A Review Request Form is available from the TRA website. Refer to the TRA Review Policy available from the TRA website (www.innovation.gov.au/tra).
Payments for TRA services are made online by Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card through the TRA Online Portal (https://extranet.deewr.gov.au/trades/Interface/Pages/Security/Logon.aspx).
Online payments are processed securely using the Government EasyPay service operated by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
If you are unable to pay by Visa or MasterCard, please contact TRA about alternate payments methods. Do not send your application form until we have advised you how to pay.
If your application is received without a valid payment, your application will be returned without being assessed.
Refunds will not be provided if you choose to withdraw your application.
TRA provides refunds in other limited circumstances. The circumstances in which TRA will refund a payment are detailed in the TRA Refund Policy available on our website (www.innovation.gov.au/tra).
TRA roles and responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of TRA in relation to the TRA Migration Skills Assessment include:
responding to enquiries about the program
notifying applicants of receipt and outcome of applications
assessing applications involving:
validating your qualification/s and assessing the comparability of your qualification with the Australian qualification required for your nominated occupation in Australia
validating that your employment claims are genuine, at therequired skilled level, and comparable with and relevant to the skill level required for your nominated occupation in Australia
If you engage an agent or representative to assist you with your application, you must provide TRA with a signed Nomination of an Agent or Representativeform (or similar correspondence). This will allow TRA to provide information about your application to your nominated agent. TRA will not provide any information about your application to your nominated agent without your authority in writing to do so.
You must notify TRA in writing each time you appoint or change an agent or representative. This advice will replace any previous agent or representative details held on your TRA file.
All personal information collected by TRA is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). Section 14 of the Privacy Act contains the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) which prescribe the rules for handling personal information.
The Privacy Actdefines ‘personal information’ as ‘information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion’.
More information about the Privacy Act, including a copy of the full text of the IPPs, can be obtained from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website at: www.oaic.gov.au.
TRA collects personal information from applicants for the purposes of:
processing applications, verifying evidence provided with applications, and assessing whether applicants have suitable skills in a nominated occupation
conducting investigations and ensuring compliance with relevant laws, awards or standards and
ensuring compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines (2002).
TRA may give some or all of the information it collects to DIAC, the Australian Federal Police, your employer/s, your supervisor/s, your nominated agent or representative, the organisations that issued your qualifications, TRA approved RTOs, agencies providing advice to TRA on qualifications such as UK NARIC, organisations or individuals providing in-country verification services, contractors, the Fair Work Ombudsman and other Australian and state/territory government agencies for the above purposes.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and validity of all information provided to TRA.
When you provide personal information in relation to the Department’s services, we will allow you access to your personal information and we will correct your personal information if it is inaccurate (subject to restrictions on such access/alteration of records under the applicable provisions of any law of the Commonwealth).
The information collected by TRA will not be used for any other purpose or disclosed to any other person or organisation unless such a use and disclosure is authorised under the Privacy Act 1988.
Complaints about breaches of privacy should be referred to:
Privacy Contact Officer
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
GPO Box 9839
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Privacy complaints can also be made directly to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
False or misleading information
TRA will take reasonable steps to independently validate the information you supply in your TRA Migration Skills Assessment application.
You are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and validity of all information provided to TRA.
However, if TRA determines at a later date that information previously supplied is false, misleading, non-factual or simply incorrect, and that in relying on that information TRA has incorrectly assessed you as successful, TRA may write to you to advise that the assessment is no longer considered successful. TRA will advise DIAC accordingly.
TRA may refer such matters to the appropriate authorities for investigation where information provided to support an application is known or believed to be false.
NOTE: Penalties under the Crimes Act 1914 and the Criminal Code Act 1995 may apply for making false or misleading statements and providing false or misleading information or documents.
Certification of documents and statutory declarations
TRA must be able to validate, to its satisfaction, the content and authenticity of all documents that you provide.
Original documents must not be sent to TRA. All documents in support of your application must be certified copies of original documents.
A certified copy is a true copy of an original document that has been seen and certified by a person listed on the Australian Attorney-General’s website or a registered migration agent and annotated as follows:
‘I certify that I have sighted the original document and this is a true copy of it.’
This certification must be made on a copy of the original documentation and include the certifier’s name, title and registration number (where applicable), their original signature and the date. Copies of signatures will not be acceptable.
If a document has multiple pages, the first page must include the signature and date of the certifier, as well as the total number of pages of the document. Every page in the document must have the original initial of the certifier and the date.
If you have documents certified outside Australia, certified copies are copies authorised, or stamped as being true copies of originals, by a person or agency recognised by the law of the country in which you currently reside or documents certified by an Australian registered migration agent.
A statutory declaration is a written statement that allows person to declare something to be true. Statutory declarations may also be referred to as an affidavit, sworn statement or similar legal declaration.
TRA will accept statutory declarations from applicants as a part of evidence sought for employment and/or qualifications. However, a statutory declaration on its own will not provide sufficient evidence to TRA of claims for employment and/or the attainment of qualifications.
All statutory declarations must:
· be accompanied by additional third-party evidence that can be independently verified by TRA, and
· include the reason why the statutory declaration is being provided instead of certified copies of original documents.
In all instances, the declaration must have your signature witnessed by a legal authority in the country where the declaration was made.
If you are supplying a statutory declaration from outside Australia, statutory declarations must be signed and stamped by a person with authority to do so as recognised by the law of the country where the declaration is being made.
TRA Migration Points Advice
DIAC introduced a new migration points test for certain skilled migration visas on 1 July 2011. The points test recognises a range of skills and attributes.
TRA will expect that you have a successful skills assessment outcome before you lodge an application for Migration Points Advice with TRA.
TRA is responsible for providing advice for the points test about:
skilled employment, and
qualifications obtained in Australia and overseas
TRA is not responsible for awarding points.
The awarding of points for the skilled migration points test remains at the discretion of delegated officers of DIAC.
Detailed information about the points test is available on the DIAC website (www.immi.gov.au).
TRA Migration Skills Assessment requirements and processes
Overview of the TRA Migration Skills Assessment
The TRA Migration Skills Assessment involves an assessment of your qualification/s and employment history to determine whether they are comparable with Australian standards for a skilled worker in your nominated occupation.
TRA will assess documents you provide as evidence of your qualifications/apprenticeship and employment in your nominated occupation.
Purpose of the TRA Migration Skills Assessment
The TRA Migration Skills Assessment can be requested to meet the skills assessment requirement specified by DIAC for permanent skilled migration.
You should check with DIAC before submitting an application to TRA to ensure that you have selected the appropriate skills assessment for the visa you are seeking, and that TRA is the correct assessing authority for your nominated occupation.
Nominated occupation for the TRA Migration Skills Assessment
Your nominated occupation for the TRA Migration Skills Assessment must be:
To receive a positive TRA Migration Skills Assessment outcome you must provide documents to show that you:
are from a country and in an occupation covered by the TRA Migration Skills Assessment program
have a qualification comparable to the Australian qualification for your nominated occupation
have completed an apprenticeship comparable to the Australian apprenticeship for your nominated occupation
have completed three years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid employment in your nominated occupation at the required skill level
have completed at least 12 months of full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid employment in your nominated occupation, or in a closely related occupation where you are required to maintain your skill level for the nominated occupation, in the two years immediately before applying
have paid the $1,000 TRA Migration Skills Assessment fee.
The TRA Migration Skills Assessment process
You must adhere to the following process to be eligible for a successful TRA Migration Skills Assessment.
Complete application form
To apply for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment, you must complete a TRA Migration Skills Assessment Application Form available from the TRA website (www.innovation.gov.au/tra).
You can complete the application form online or you can save the form on your computer as a word document.
You must print the application form, sign and send it together with your required documents and evidence of payment of the required application fee. You must sign and date the form before you post it to TRA. Refer to section 1.7 for information about paying fees.
Your application must be decision ready for assessment by TRA.
Decision readymeans that your application has:
all the mandatory fields completed
all the required documents attached to the application form as evidence of the qualification and employment claims made in your application
been signed and dated by you.
You must also attach evidence of payment of the required application fee to your application.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is correct, accurate and complete before you submit it to TRA.
TRA does not contact applicants for additional information
If you engage an agent or representative to help you to complete the TRA Migration Skills Assessment application, you will be required to provide their details in Part 3 of the Application Form or notify TRA in writing by completing the Nomination of an Agent or Representative form available on the TRA website (or similar correspondence).
Skills assessment application fees
The TRA Migration Skills Assessment fee payable to TRA is $1,000. Refer to Section 1.7 for information about paying fees.
You are required to provide the following documents with your application for a valid TRA Migration Skills Assessment:
a completed application formwhich is signed and dated
a certified copy of the biographical identity page of your valid passport. If your passport does not contain a photograph, you must also send a certified passport photograph of yourself
certified copies of
your qualification and/or apprenticeship documents such as final certificates or diplomas relevant to your nominated occupation
a full academic transcriptof results, including the start and end date of your qualification/award (resulting from either training and/or assessment)
evidence of the nature and content of the qualification/award including subjects achieved. The evidence should describe the content of each subject and any machines, tools and equipment used
contact details for the organisation issuing the qualification
certified employment statements that can be independently validated. Employment statements must include all the requirements in Section 2.8
evidence of payment of the application fee.
You must ensure that TRA receives all of the required documents with your application.
You may provide a statutory declaration with your application as partial evidence of your employment and/or qualification attainment. Refer to Section 1.14 for information about statutory declarations.
A statutory declaration will not be accepted on its own as evidence of employment or training. You must also provide some form of third party evidence that can be independently verified by TRA to support the claims made in the statutory declaration.
You must have all documents certified by a certifying officer who meets the requirements set out in Section 1.14 of these guidelines.
Do not send original documents to TRA. TRA will not be liable for the return of original documents.
Documents submitted as evidence that are not in English must be in their original language accompanied by an English translation.
Translating Documents in Australia
If you have documents translated in Australia, acceptable translations may be obtained from translators accredited with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Details of these translators can be found in the Yellow Pages or the telephone directory under ‘Translations’ or on NAATI’s website at www.naati.com.au.
Make sure you check the translator’s accreditation by either calling NAATI on 1300 557 470 or asking to see the translator’s letter or certificate of accreditation as a translator in the language and checking the translator’s identification card from NAATI. Translations done by NAATI accredited translators must include the translator’s name, NAATI identification number and accreditation status.
Translating Documents outside Australia
If you have documents translated outside Australia, the translator must be approved by the authorities in the country where the translation is made. Ask your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for advice if you are unsure.
Overseas translations must be on the organisation’s letterhead and include an official stamp and the translator’s name (all in block letters), signature and contact telephone number legibly printed below the signature.
This information is required so that TRA can contact the translator if necessary to verify the translated documents.
Assessment of your application
A TRA Migration Skills Assessment will generally be completed within 60 working days of receipt of the required documents.
A TRA Migration Skills Assessment will involve the following:
· validation of documents provided by you
· comparing the qualification documents you provide with the requirements for the relevant AQF qualifications/ apprenticeships in Australia
· comparing your employment history with the requirements for a skilled worker in your nominated occupation in Australia
· notifying you of the outcome of the assessment by letter.
The onus is on you, the applicant, to provide TRA with sufficient, valid documents to support your claims for a comparable qualification and employment at the required skill level.
You will not be successful in a TRA Migration Skills Assessment if the documents you provided to TRA:
· are not relevant to your nominated occupation
· contain insufficient detail for TRA to be satisfied that you meet the TRA Migration Skills Assessment eligibility requirements
· cannot be validated to TRA’s satisfaction as being a true and accurate record of your qualifications and/or employment
· are found to contain false or misleading information.
Review of Assessment
If you do not agree with an assessment outcome, you can lodge an application for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment review. A fee of $900 applies.
You will receive the Application for Review form when you are sent your TRA Migration Skills Assessment outcome letter after the assessment is finalised.
Meeting the eligibility requirements: qualifications
Your qualification will be recognised as comparable to the relevant Australian qualification if TRA is able to validate that the qualification is:
· at a level comparable to the Australian qualification required for the occupation
· at a quality standard comparable to Australian qualifications
· relevant to the nominated occupation.
In determining comparability of the level and quality standard of qualifications we will apply the relevant principles set out in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Principles and Processes for the Alignment of the AQF with International Qualifications Frameworks.
In summary, these principles include (but are not limited to) that:
· the AQF will not be adapted to suit another nation’s or region’s requirement
· alignment will usually be between the AQF and another national or regional qualifications framework, or if these do not exist, between the AQF and another national or regional qualifications system
· there is a clear and demonstrable link between the qualifications levels in the AQF and the levels in the national or regional qualifications framework (or system)
· national or regional qualifications frameworks and qualifications are based on the principles and objectives of learning outcomes and volume of learning that are comparable to the learning outcomes in the AQF
· procedures for inclusion of qualifications in the relevant national or regional qualification framework or system are transparent
· international experts are consulted to support and assist in the development of reliable outcomes.
The following documents must be provided as evidence of a qualification:
· a certified copy of the qualification
· a certified copy of the academic transcript for the qualification
· you may also wish to provide other documents which provide further detail regarding the entries included in the academic transcript.
You may provide a statutory declaration with your application as partial evidence of your training and qualification attainment. However, a statutory declaration alone will not be considered by TRA to meet the evidence requirements for qualification documentation. You must also provide some additional form of third party evidence that can be independently verified by TRA, for example a letter from an authorised person at the institution that issued your award.
To ensure a valid and reliable assessment of your qualification, statutory declarations and letters issued by training institutions must include the following details:
· name and level of award
· date award issued
· start and end date of training period
· name and contact details of issuing institution/authority
· a list of the subjects you completed to be eligible for the award
· any other details that may assist TRA to verify the qualification
Qualification is at a level comparable to an Australian qualification
To determine whether your qualification is at a level comparable to the relevant Australian qualification for your nominated occupation, we will refer to a range of Australian and international government and other authoritative sources.
We will require you to have completed a minimum of nine years of compulsory general education prior to undertaking and completing a qualification that includes a volume of learning comparable to the relevant Australian qualification for the occupation.
The level of an Australian qualification required for an occupation in Australia will generally be specified in industry-endorsed Training Packages. Occupations that we assess are generally at either an AQF level of Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma.
Qualification is at a comparable quality standard to an Australian qualification
To determine whether your qualification is of a comparable quality standard to the relevant Australian qualification for your nominated occupation, we will compare the vocational education and training system from the country where the qualification was awarded to Australia’s training system.
The central features of Australia’s vocational education and training system include:
· a national qualifications framework
· Australian laws to regulate vocational education and training (VET)
· a formal, government managed system for assuring the quality and standard of qualifications issued by training providers· a formal, government managed system for assuring the quality of training providers
· national recognition of qualifications issued by registered training organisations
· industry involvement in the training system.
In determining whether a qualification is of a comparable quality standard, we will consider whether the country’s vocational training system has:
· a structured qualifications system or framework
· a government-led system of training provider quality assurance
· a government-led system for accrediting/endorsing qualifications
· established relationships with industry/employer organisations to provide input into training provider delivery
· formal recognition of the qualification in the country of issuance.
Qualification is relevant to the nominated occupation
To determine whether your qualification is relevant to the nominated occupation, we will assess your qualification and academic transcript to determine if the content of your qualification is comparable to the learning outcomes required for the relevant Australian qualification for the nominated occupation in Australia.
The evidence you provide should describe the content of each subject/component completed and any machines, tools and equipment you used to gain your qualification.
We will refer to Australian industry-endorsed Training Packages to determine whether your qualification is relevant to your nominated occupation in Australia.
Meeting the eligibility requirements: apprenticeships
An apprenticeship will be recognised as meeting the eligibility requirements if it is:
· at a level comparable to the relevant Australian apprenticeship required for the occupation
· at a quality standard comparable to Australian apprenticeships
· relevant to the nominated occupation.
We will consider the following:
· Was an award or qualification issued as a result of the apprenticeship?
· Did the apprenticeship involve a combination of paid employment and off-the-job training?
· Is the apprenticeship supported by approved government and industry bodies?
· Was the content and duration of the apprenticeship sufficient to develop competence to a comparable standard?
Documents required as evidence of an apprenticeship
The following documents must be provided as evidence of an apprenticeship:
· a certified copy of the apprenticeship qualification or award
· a certified copy of the academic transcript for the apprenticeship qualification or award
· evidence of paid employment during the apprenticeship, such as formal recognition that the employment is directly linked to the apprenticeship.
You may provide a statutory declaration with your application as partial evidence of your apprenticeship. However, a statutory declaration will not be considered on its own by TRA instead of the required apprenticeship documentation. You must also provide some additional form of third party evidence that can be independently verified by TRA, for example a letter from an authorised person at the institution that issued your award, an employment statement and evidence of paid employment during your apprenticeship.
To ensure a valid and reliable assessment of your apprenticeship, statutory declarations and letters issued by training institutions and employers must include the following details:
· name and level of award issued upon completion of apprenticeship
· date award issued
· start and end date of training period
· name and contact details of issuing institution/authority
· a list of the subjects you completed to be eligible for the award
· details of your employment and training arrangements
· any other details that may assist TRA to verify the apprenticeship
Qualification or award resulting from apprenticeship
The qualification or award arising from the apprenticeship must be comparable to the relevant Australian qualification for your nominated occupation. Refer to Section 2.6 for more information about this.
Qualifications or awards must be granted through a government-regulated system.
The qualification or award must be relevant to your nominated occupation.
Combination of paid employment and off-the-job training
Your apprenticeship must have involved a combination of paid employment and off-the-job training.
Evidence of paid employment may include:
· training documentation that lists the employer
· payslips from an employer during the period of your apprenticeship training
· employment statements from your employers stating that you were employed under supervision for the duration of the apprenticeship training.
Content of apprenticeship was supported by government and approved industry bodies
Your apprenticeship must have been awarded through a program that was regulated and quality assured by the government of the country where the apprenticeship was completed.
TRA will source evidence of involvement by government, employers, employees and/or education authorities in determining the content of the apprenticeship program. TRA recognises that countries may differ in the ways in which these parties are involved.
Duration of apprenticeship was sufficient to develop competence
To ensure an apprenticeship is of sufficient duration to develop competence it must include a period of employment and off-the-job training comparable to that required for an Australian apprenticeship.
Meeting the eligibility requirements: employment
Employment will be recognised as meeting the TRA Migration Skills Assessment requirements if it is:
· paid, full-time (or equivalent) employment
· relevant to the nominated occupation
· performed at the required skill level for Australian industry standards
· for at least three years, including 12 months in the last two years.
Documents required as evidence of employment
The following documents must be provided as evidence of employment:
· employment statements for all employment claimed or a personal statement (if claiming self employment)
· details of your employment history in your own words
· other certified evidence of being employed such as pay slips, tax documents or superannuation documents
· other documents listed in Section 2.8.7 if you are claiming self employment
· you may wish to also provide any other evidence that can substantiate your claims for employment at the required skill level.
You may include a statutory declaration as partial evidence of your employment with your application. However, a statutory declaration will not be considered by TRA on its own as evidence of your employment. You must also provide an additional form of third party evidence that can be independently verified by TRA, for example taxation documents citing the name of the employer, or letters of appointment, past references, performance reviews, etc issued by an authorised person of the business.
To ensure a valid and reliable assessment of your employment, statutory declarations must include all the details listed in Section 2.8.6 (if an employee) and Section 2.8.7 (if self employed).
NOTE: If you are seeking recognition of employment undertaken prior to gaining an AQF qualification via a recognition of prior learning process (as described in Section 2.8.4), your evidence must also demonstrate that you were employed in directly related and relevant employment to the occupation for a period of not less than three years under the supervision of a tradesperson/employer.
Full-time (or equivalent) paid employment
Full-time (or Equivalent part-time) Employment
TRA considers full-time employment as ongoing employment working the required number of hours considered full-time in the country where the employment was undertaken. Fair Work Australia considers full-time employment in Australia as 38 hours per week, unless a particular industrial award specifies otherwise.
If your country of employment operates under different arrangements for full-time work from that required in Australia, you must provide evidence to TRA with your application that can be independently validated.
Acceptable evidence may include a statutory declaration from your employer or an extract from an official government website or document.
Note: Evidence of employment undertaken on a part-time basis will be considered and counted toward employment requirement on a pro-rata basis.
Employment is considered to be paid when an employer pays you wages commensurate with the skill level required for the employment undertaken. If you are self employed, employment is considered paid if you charge fees commensurate with the skill level required for the services you provide.
TRA requires sufficient evidence of paid employment to verify that your employment was full-time (or equivalent part-time) and at the required skill level for your occupation in Australia.
TRA will require at least one primary source of evidence or a minimum of two secondary sources of evidence for each year and each period of employment being claimed. Additional evidence may also be requested.
Primarysources of evidence may include:
· Tax records that cite the name of the applicant and the employer
· Annual payment summaries/Group certificates that cite the name of the applicant and the employer
· Pay slips that include the name of the employer, commencement date of the employment and year to date income information
· Superannuation documents that cite the name of the applicant and the name of the employer
· Annual/company returns (for self employed applicants) with an accompanying accountant statement
Secondary sources of evidence may include:
· Pay slips (without details of commencement date or year to date income information)
· Advice regarding wages paid in an employer statement (in accordance with Section 2.8.6)
· A certified statement from your registered/certified accountant.
· Letters from taxation offices that do not contain the name of the employer
· Bank statements showing income deposited from employment
You may wish to provide other evidence to substantiate your claims of paid employment.
Employment is relevant and at the required skill level for your nominated occupation
TRA generally considers that skilled employment is undertaken after the issuance of a qualification which is formally recognised as comparable to the Australian qualification required for the occupation in Australia.
Employment will be considered relevant to your nominated occupation if your employment statement/s demonstrate that you have performed tasks comparable to those undertaken in the nominated occupation in Australia.
Employment will be considered at the required skill level for your nominated occupation if you provide evidence that you have worked in the occupation at a skill level comparable to a qualified tradesperson/technician in the occupation in Australia.
We will compare the statements provided by your employers and the written description of your work in your own words in Part 8 of the application form, with the tasks specified in the Australian Government agreed sources of the descriptions of occupations, such as the Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
Applicants who hold an aqf qualification issued via recognition of prior learning
Some applicants may have been issued with an AQF qualification recently through a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process. This may be their first comparable qualification.
Skilled employment prior to the issuance of an AQF qualification may be recognised if the employment:
· is directly related to the nominated occupation
· commenced after the applicant’s 16th birthday
· includes a minimum of three (3) years full-time (or equivalent) paid employment under the direct supervision of a tradesperson/employer (an informal training period) before an additional three years full-time (or equivalent) paid employment has been completed at the required skill level for the occupation.
Skilled employment undertaken prior to and after the issuance of an AQF qualification will be considered to meet the three year requirement.
employment for at least three years, with 12 months in the last two years
To ensure that you have the skills and experience to meet the requirements of a skilled worker in an Australian workplace you are required to demonstrate that you have undertaken at least three years of employment at the skill level required for the occupation.
To ensure that your skills are current, we require you to provide evidence that you have worked for 12 months at the required skill level in your occupation, or a closely related occupation where you are required to maintain your skill level for the nominated occupation, within the last two years.
Employment as an employee
For each period of employment you are claiming as an employee, you must provide an employment statement.
Every employment statement must be signed by a person authorised to make the statement. This person may have been your employer or a direct supervisor.
Every employment statement provided to TRA or a TRA approved RTO must be unique and include:
· the name of the business
· the nature of the business (for example, construction company, hotel)
· a description/overview of business and the services/products provided by the business
· the address of business where you worked
· when you worked there, that is start date and end date of your employment
· the nature of your employment (full-time, part-time)
· your normal hours of work
· your job title (occupation)
· a detailed description of the nature and content of the work you undertook
· a detailed description of the machines, tools and/or equipment you used
· the name, position, telephone and email contact details of the person authorised to make and sign the statement
· the length of time that the person signing the statement has been supervising you must also be clearly indicated.
· All employment statements must be signed and dated, and on letterhead used by the employer’s business where possible. If you are unable to provide employment statements on letterhead you must provide us with an explanation of why this is not possible.
· All employment statements must be certified.
TRA or a TRA approved RTO may contact an employer to validate the information provided in an employment statement.
TRA requires you to provide a contact telephone number for every person who supplies an employment statement for you. A mobile telephone number will not be sufficient as a primary contact number unless TRA or a TRA approved RTO can validate independently that the number and person providing the statement is linked to the organisation where you were employed.
If you provide a statutory declaration for a period of employment you must include all the details listed above in the statutory declaration.
TRA may consider self-employed work in your nominated occupation.
If you are or have been self-employed, you must provide evidence of trade, trade-related or occupation-specific self-employment.
Your application must include a personal statement on a properly signed statutory declaration, affidavit, sworn statement or similar legal declaration (with your signature witnessed by a legal authority in your country).
Your personal statement must provide the following details:
(a) the exact commencement and completion dates of each period of self-employment
(b) the occupation in which you were self-employed
(c) the nature and content of the work tasks you personally performed
(d) the number of staff you employed and their occupations, where relevant
(e) a description of your workshop and the tools and equipment used
(f) a list of three clients, with contact details, for each year of self employment you are claiming.
(g) TRA will also require you to provide the following evidence of your self-employment:
(h) a certified copy of your business registration certificate valid for each period of self-employment you claim
(i) a certified statement on letterhead paper from your accountant or legal representative certifying the name and nature of your business, the exact start and end dates of your self-employment and the capacity in which you were self-employed
(j) evidence of paid employment (see Section 2.8.2 B)
(k) certified copies of at least three statements from suppliers confirming the purchase of materials and equipment relevant to the work you were performing through your self-employment for a range of different self-employment trading periods you are claiming
(l) certified copies of at least three quotations/invoices or contracts for clients with details of the work completed, the client details and job location for work undertaken during the period of self employment claimed. You must ensure that these documents reflect the range of work that you have undertaken in your nominated occupation over the course of the self employment period claimed
(m)certified copies of references from three clients confirming full details of the work you did for them and the dates the work was undertaken. These references must be from different clients to those mentioned in (k) above, but these clients must be included in (f) above
(n) evidence of any trade licensing or registration and the prerequisites to obtain the licence or registration, where relevant
(o) any other documentation that provides support for the existence and purpose of the business. This may include information such as certified copies of advertising or promotional material (including internet advertising).
Term used in guidelines
A record of all learning leading to a qualification issued by an authorised training provider.
In Australia, this may be called a ‘transcript of results’, ‘record of results’, ‘record of achievement’ or ‘statement of results’.
A person who submits an application for a TRA Migration Skills Assessment.
A body or organisation approved by the Minister for Education or the Minister for Employment and gazetted by DIAC as responsible for undertaking skills assessments for migration purposes.
Australian and New Zealand Standard for Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)
ANZSCO is a system developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to collect, publish and analyse occupation statistics across government agencies, and the standard to capture occupation information in all visa, settlement and citizenship programs.
ANZSCO is also used within skilled visa programs, where it is a requirement for visa eligibility, as the standard by which a visa applicant’s skills to undertake a specific occupation in Australia are assessed.
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
A national system of qualifications encompassing all post-compulsory education.
Currency is a rule of evidence in the vocational education and training system in Australia. Evidence of recent (current) employment enables verification by TRA that an applicant is currently performing to the required industry standard for the occupation in Australia.
An application that is on the correct application form, is signed and dated, has the correct fee and represents an applicant’s most comprehensive and strongest case for a successful assessment outcome. TRA does not contact applicants for additional information.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
DIAC has responsibility for administering the Migration Act 1958 and associated regulations.
DIAC works in conjunction with DIICCSRTE to deliver skilled trades/technical people and professionals to Australia through the General Skilled Migration program.
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE)
The Australian Government department with portfolio responsibility for industry, innovation, climate change, science, research and tertiary education.
TRA is a branch within DIICCSRTE.
Full-time, part-time or casual employment from which income is earned and in which there exists an employer–employee relationship.
Refers to the level of a qualification formally recognised within a national/regional qualification system/framework or international classification system
In Australia, people who want to provide immigration assistance must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
A registered migration agent can use their knowledge of Australia’s migration procedures to offer advice or assistance to a person wishing to obtain a visa to enter or remain in Australia. They can also assist people who are nominating or sponsoring prospective visa applicants.
The occupation selected by an applicant for the TRA Migration Skills Assessment.
To be accepted by TRA, this occupation must be on a Skilled Occupation List or Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List and be an occupation assessed by TRA.
Evidence that contain vital information for verifying paid employment claims. For example, tax records or pay slips that include the name of the employer and the start date of the employment, etc.
A qualification awarded as a result of study and relevant to an occupation assessed by TRA.
The mechanisms within a country to assure the quality of vocational training qualifications and training providers
related to the Australian standards for the nominated occupation
required skill level
The level of skills and knowledge expected for a tradesperson to operate effectively in an Australian workplace as a skilled worker.
A request to re-examine an application when the applicant/ participant does not agree with an assessment outcome.
Evidence that contain vital information for verifying paid employment claims. For example, tax records, employment statements, payslips, etc.
Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)
The relevant assessing authority, under the Migration Regulations 1994, for trade and related occupations.
Quality assurance processes to substantiate the claims made in applications and supporting documentary evidence.
A document that gives someone permission to travel into a specific country and stay there for a set period.
Volume of learning
The volume of learning is a dimension of the complexity of a qualification. It is used with the level criteria and qualification type descriptor to determine the depth and breadth of the learning outcomes of a qualification. The volume of learning identifies the notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full time years.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison has recently joined Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne to announce a series of measures which would ease student visa rules to improve Australia’s international sector.
In the announcement, the two Ministers revealed that Australian government will simplify student visas by streamlining the assessment-level framework (ALF) and by extending streamlined visa processing arrangements to non-university degree providers with low risk.
As Minister Morrison stated, the measure package includes reducing assessment levels under the ALF from five to three, as well as reducing financial evidence requirements for AL3 students from 18 months to 12 months, as long as the student applicant is funded by a close relative. The change would help foreign students from a number of key markets be able to apply for an Australian student visa with a bank account of up to $AUD 40,000 less than that required by the current rule.
“The changes will assist all providers, but particularly the vocational education and training sector, making access to Australia’s education system more attractive for overseas students,” said Minister Morrison.
The streamlined visa application process is said to benefit up to 22 low-risk non-university providers that deliver Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degrees, or providers for students enrolled in an eligible exchange program.
The measures are expected to make the international education sector attract more foreign students to Australia, as well as to restore it as one of Australia’s most important economic contributors.
“These changes would allow the vocational training sector to contribute more freely to our plan to restore Australia’s tertiary education system to its former peak of almost $19 billion in export income for the nation,” said Minister Pyne. “The non-university education system supports thousands of Australian jobs directly, and indirectly. If we cut red tape and allow more students into Australia to access a world-class tertiary education we all stand to gain.”
If you are interested in Australian visas, contact International Education Agency – Australia (IEAA) for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our migration services to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Australia.
The student visa program enables overseas students to come to Australia to undertake full-time study in registered courses.
When processing applications, the department ensures:
·transparency in the requirements to be granted a student visa
·consistency in decision-making
·integrity of the student visa program by using objective measures of risk to determine visa requirements.
Before applying for a student visa, students must have been accepted for full-time study in a registered course in Australia.
A registered course is an accredited education or training course listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and offered by an Australian education provider registered to offer courses to overseas students. See:CRICOS
Applying for a student visa
Students must apply for a visa in the sector that relates to their main course of study:
·Independent English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector (subclass 570) visa
·Schools sector (subclass 571) visa
·Vocational Education and Training sector (subclass 572) visa
·Higher Education sector (subclass 573) visa
·Postgraduate Research sector (subclass 574) visa
·Non-award sector (subclass 575) visa
·AusAID and Defence sector (subclass 576) visa.
Generally, only students subject to Assessment Level 1 or students eligible for streamlined visa processing may be granted their first student visa while they are in Australia. Other students may only be able to obtain their first student visa while they are in Australia under exceptional circumstances. See: Student Visa Program—Assessment Levels(formerly known as Form 1219i)(144KB PDF file)
Students who already have a student visa to study in Australia, but want to change their main course of study to one in a different education sector must apply for a new student visa in the education sector appropriate to their new main course of study. See:Applying for a student visa(formerly known as Form 1160i) (128KB PDF file)
Assessment factors and streamlined visa processing
Students must provide evidence to satisfy the assessment criteria that apply to them before they can be granted a student visa. This may include evidence that they have the financial capacity to cover living costs in Australia—tuition fees, travel costs and capacity to support any family members. Applicants must also satisfy criteria for proficiency in English, level of education and other matters such as the potential to breach visa conditions.
The evidence required for these criteria varies according to the student visa applicant’s assessment level. Assessment Level 1 represents the lowest evidentiary requirements and Assessment Level 5 represents the highest. See: Student Visa Program—Assessment Levels(formerly known as Form 1219i)(144KB PDF file)
Streamlined visa processing is available for prospective international students with a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) from a participating university at bachelor, masters or doctoral degree level. Student visa applicants who are eligible for streamlined visa processing are not subject to assessment levels. See: The university sector streamlined visa processing( 80KB PDF file)
All students and accompanying family members must meet character and health requirements and obtain overseas student health cover (OSHC) for the duration of their visa. Students from Belgium, Norway and Sweden may not need OSHC if they have acceptable health cover offered by those countries.
Passport holders from certain countries may be entitled to Medicare, however it is still a requirement for overseas students to obtain OSHC for the duration of their stay in Australia while on a student visa. See:Health insurance for students
Students may ‘package’ their studies to combine a preliminary course with their main course of study on the one student visa. The subclass that applies to the package would be the one that corresponds to the main course of study. The student’s assessment level is based on the package of courses they are studying. See: Course packaging
Students and dependent family members who were granted a student visa before 26 April 2008 and have not yet applied for permission to work may only apply for permission to work after they have started their course in Australia. See:How to apply for permission to work
Students and their dependent family members with permission to work must not undertake work until the main student visa holder has started their course in Australia. They are limited to 40 hours work per fortnight while their course is in session, but may work unlimited hours during formal holiday periods. Holders of a Postgraduate Research (subclass 574) visa who have started their course have unrestricted permission to work.
Student visa holders found to be working in excess of their limited work rights may be subject to visa cancellation.
Family members’ permission to work
Family members who have permission to work can work up to 40 hours per fortnight once the main student visa holder has started the course of study.
Where students are on a Higher Education (subclass 573) visa, Postgraduate (subclass 574) or AusAID and Defence (subclass 576) visa and have started a masters or doctorate course, any family member who has permission to work can do so for unlimited hours.
No extension of stay
Most Assessment Level 3 and all Assessment Level 4 students (except those in the schools sector) undertaking a course or courses of 10 months duration or less, are subject to a ‘Further Stay Restricted’ condition. This condition generally prevents students from extending their stay in Australia, although they may apply for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa or a student visa with permission to work or a student visa with permission to work.
If an Assessment Level 3 student provides evidence of funds to cover a further 12 month stay, the ‘Further Stay Restricted’ condition is no longer mandatory.
Students who are sponsored by the Australian Government, or the government of their home country, may also be subject to a ‘Further Stay Restricted’ condition. They will only be able to extend their studies in Australia if the sponsoring government gives written consent.
Change of address
Students must inform their education provider of their current residential address within seven days of arrival and of any change of address in Australia within seven days of the change. Students must also notify their current provider of any change of enrolment to a new provider.
Family members aged 18 years or over may only study for up to three months. If they want to undertake a course of study that exceeds three months, they must apply for a student visa in their own right.
School-age family members, children aged 5–18 years, who join the student in Australia for more than three months must attend school. The student must meet any associated education or tuition costs for that child.
A student’s child aged 18 years or over cannot apply for a student visa as a family member. If they want to study in Australia, they must apply for a student visa in their own right.
Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa
Where students are under 18 years of age, it is possible for a parent or relative to apply for a student guardian visa to accompany them to Australia. The student guardian visa allows that person to stay in Australia to care for the student until they turn 18. A student guardian does not have permission to work while in Australia.
The student visa program report is a quarterly statistical publication that provides data on the student visa program administered by the department. This report will be a valuable resource for anyone who has an interest in the international student sector. See:Student visa statistics
Further information for students
TheEducation Services for Overseas Student Act 2000provides important safeguards for overseas students in Australia. The Act regulates the activities of education providers delivering education and training to international students by setting standards and providing tuition and financial assurance. See:Australian Education International
If students choose to work part-time while studying in Australia they have the same work rights as Australian permanent residents and citizens. For more information and advice about conditions of employment in Australia students can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman. See:Fair Work Ombudsman
Further information is available on the department’s website. See:www.immi.gov.au
The department also operates a national general enquiries line. Telephone:131 881 Hours of operation:Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne: “We need new architecture in international education.” Picture: Ray Strange. Source: The Australian
EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has promised to open the jobs market to more overseas students who have graduated from Australian universities, as a means of rehabilitating the stagnant $14 billion international education industry.
In his first speech on the industry since he was sworn in as minister, Mr Pyne said yesterday the Abbott government would move quickly to extend the streamlined visa process beyond universities to training colleges, and maximise career opportunities in Australia for the best foreign graduates of our universities.
Monash University researcher Bob Birrell said he was troubled by any policy changes that used migration or easier labour market access as a lure to sell education, especially if it encouraged a repeat of last decade’s boom in low-quality diplomas pitched at foreign students seeking permanent residency.
“We know from past experience there are literally hundreds of operators who are skilled in packaging courses that provide the cheapest possible entry,” Dr Birrell said.
Under the Howard government, which linked gaining an Australian tertiary qualification with permanent residency, thousands of students swarmed into low-level vocational diplomas and dozens of dodgy private colleges exploited the lax policy.
Mr Pyne acknowledged past abuses and said preventing any repeat would be “very much part of our planning, to get that right”.
“But Labor used a sledgehammer to break a walnut (following the excesses of the education-migration boom) and we don’t want to repeat that error. But we also don’t want to go back to a situation where people lose faith in the quality of education in Australia.”
Mr Pyne told the Australian International Education Conference in Canberra he would work with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to maximise the international student market while maintaining visa integrity and educational quality.
Universities Australia welcomed Mr Pyne’s speech as showing the government’s intention “to turbo-charge international education policy against a backdrop of declining enrolments and export revenue”.
A report from accountancy firm Deloitte yesterday identified education exports as one of five “super-growth” sectors offering prosperity as the mining investment boom recedes.
At yesterday’s conference, attended by several hundred education delegates from around the world, Mr Pyne said Labor had presided over a decline in education exports from $18.6bn in 2009 to a little more than $14bn last year – “quite an achievement in a growing economy”.
He cited forecasts that the Asia-Pacific middle class would rise from 500 million to 3.2 billion by 2030, and that the number of young people in the world looking to study abroad would double to more than seven million by 2020.
The National Tertiary Education Union said last night it feared Mr Pyne’s proposal was part of a broader government strategy to avoid increasing taxpayer funding to universities.
Jeannie Rea, the union’s national president, said the government was seeking to increase international student fee revenue to universities rather than plug the direct funding gap faced by universities. “It becomes a cross subsidisation,” Ms Rea said.