International student campaign in Australia brings awareness to visa rules

by Ray Clancy on March 4, 2014

in Australia, Australia Immigration, Education in Australia, General Information

Overseas students in Australia are being reminded that if their visa runs out before they have completed their studies they must extend it in advance.

As part of a major campaign to make sure foreign students are aware of strict visa rules, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has issued a case study of how easy it is to make sure you don’t encounter visa problems.

student visasShuxia from India applied for her visa to do a package course leading to a bachelor degree and was looking forward to living away from home for the first time and studying in Australia.

While studying for an ELICOS language course she spent too much time enjoying her new life in Australia and did not pass the course so had to retake the course before going on to her diploma course.

By the time Shuxia passed the ELICOS course and began studying her advanced diploma, she started to take her study more seriously but then she realised that her student visa would cease before she would be able to finish her bachelor degree.

Two months before her visa expired, Shuxia went to the immigration website to find out about making an application for another student visa. She found a calculator which told her how much her visa would cost her and she completed an application.

She was granted a bridging visa A so that if her current visa ceased before her application was finalised, she could lawfully stay in Australia until the immigration department made a decision about her visa application.

After providing documentation to show her progress at university was good, Shuxia was granted her subclass 573 student visa and was able to finish her bachelor degree.

The DIBP is also reminding international students that if they are having personal difficulties while they are studying they should seek help, initially from a student advisor.

Another student, Swati successfully completed a Certificate IV in Business and applied for a second visa, a subclass 573 student visa to study a Bachelor in Management course.

A week before she was due to start her management degree, she received a call from her father telling her that mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Swati was upset and worried about her mother and 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 so upset.

Swati’s course attendance started to decline, until she was too upset to attend her course at all and as a result received a warning letter from the university advising that her course progress was not adequate and she risked being reported. This made her even more depressed.

Eventually she went to see a student advisor who suggested she speak to her doctor who at referred her to a psychologist who diagnosed depression.

Swati wanted to feel better before continuing her studies. She took her documentation from the doctor and psychologist to the student advisor and she was granted a six month deferral on the grounds of compassionate circumstances.

This allowed her to return to India and she returned to Australia five and half months later and resumed her course.

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