Proving Financial Capacity: Subclass 500 and 590 Visa Guide

This is a guide for proving financial capacity for the Subclass 500 Visa and the Subclass 590 Visa. If this is the migration pathway you seek, keep reading for expert insights from NB Migration Law. 

What is the Student Subclass 500 Visa (Australia)? 

This visa allows you to visit Australia to participate in a course of study. Starting May 10, 2024, the required amount of money for Student visa applicants to meet the financial capacity criteria has increased.

What is the Student Guardian Subclass 590 Visa (Australia)? 

This visa allows you to visit Australia, to support a child who holds a student visa. Effective May 10, 2024, the required financial capacity amount for Student Guardian visa applicants has also increased.

The “Migration (LIN 19/198: Evidence of Financial Capacity—Subclass 500 Visa and Subclass 590 Visa) Amendment (LIN 24/042) Specification 2024” introduces important changes to the financial capacity requirements for Subclass 500 (Student) and Subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa applicants.

Key Updates and Objectives for Amendment

This amendment updates the financial requirements to better align with the current cost of living in Australia, ensuring that visa holders can support themselves adequately during their stay and course of study. The revised financial requirements are now tied to the Australian National Minimum Wage, aiming to ensure that visa holders have a financial capacity equivalent to the minimum standard of living for the lowest-paid Australian workers.

Significant Changes to Take Note of: 

  • Increased Financial Requirements: The required proof of funds for primary applicants and their dependents has been increased by approximately 21%.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: The new figures apply to primary applicants with and without secondary applicants, and for each dependent child.
  • Consultation and Legislative Background
  • Consultative Process: The amendment was developed in consultation with the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Education, which supported the new methodology.
  • Legislative Impact: The Office of Impact Analysis determined that these changes are minor or procedural, thus not requiring a regulatory impact statement.
  • Implementation and Scope
  • Effective Date: The updated requirements apply to all new visa applications submitted on or after the commencement date of the instrument.
  • Exemption from Disallowance: The instrument is exempt from parliamentary disallowance and does not need a Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights due to its classification under the Migration Regulations.

Purpose of the Amendment

The changes are designed to reduce financial difficulties among international students by ensuring they have sufficient financial resources for their stay in Australia.

Overview of Key Points

  • Specific Requirements in LIN 19/198: Details the financial capacity evidence required for Subclass 500 and Subclass 590 visa applicants, as per subclauses 500.214(3), 500.313(3), and 590.216(3) of the Migration Regulations.
  • Ministerial Requirements: Applicants must provide evidence of financial capacity as specified by the Minister.
  • Updated Financial Figures: The figures, last updated on October 1, 2023, have been increased to reflect the current cost of living.
  • Historical Context and Rationale
  • Previous Adjustments: Previously, financial capacity requirements were adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), following recommendations from the 2011 Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program (Knight Review).
  • Feedback and Concerns: Stakeholder feedback indicated that the CPI-based method was inadequate, particularly regarding the cost of schooling for dependents.
  • New Methodology: The financial requirements are now based on a proportion of the Australian National Minimum Wage, ensuring visa holders can support themselves to a standard similar to the lowest-paid Australian workers.

Updated Financial Requirements for Subclass 500 and Subclass 490 Visa

  • Primary Applicant Living Costs: Increased from AUD 24,505 to AUD 29,710.
  • Spouse/Partner Living Costs: Increased from AUD 8,574 to AUD 10,394.

These updated figures aim to ensure that international students and their families can maintain an adequate standard of living during their stay in Australia, fostering a more stable and positive experience.

By understanding these updated financial requirements, applicants can better prepare for their visa applications, ensuring they meet the necessary criteria for a successful stay in Australia.

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