Important information for Iranian students facing financial pressures

Current as of June 2013

Frequently Asked Questions for international students and education providers are now available.
Frequently Asked Questions pdf 94kb rtf 59kb 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

for International Students and Education Providers 

 

Who can I talk to about my personal situation?

 
The best person to speak to is the student adviser at your institution. They can talk you through the options and services that are available. Contact your University International Office for direction to your student advisor.
 If you are unable to pay your tuition fees, you should talk to your student advisor or international office to discuss payment plans or a possible payment extension. 
Applications will be assessed by your institution on a case by case needs basis. 
 
If you are studying at a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institution please contact the International Student Officer or the Student Administration Office within your institution for assistance.

 

What are the Student visa conditions that apply?

 
While recognising the concerns of Iranian nationals currently in Australia holding a Student visa, you must continue to meet the conditions of your visa.  The following conditions apply to all Student visas:
  • remaining enrolled in a registered course;
  • maintaining satisfactory attendance in the course and maintaining course progress for each study period;
  • continuing to satisfy the requirements for grant of the Student visa, including continuing to have sufficient financial capacity to support your study and stay in Australia;
  • notifying your education provider of your residential address in Australia and any changes in your residential address within 7 days of the change;
  • maintaining health insurance during your stay in Australia: this usually means having a up to date health insurance policy for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC); and
  • complying with work limitations.
 
For further information about student visa obligations please see

 

Can a student apply for a course deferral or for a reduced study load on compelling and compassionate grounds?

 
Under Standard 9 of the National Code, a provider may allow an international student to study at a reduced load or put a deferral in place.  This would require an extension of the Certificate of Enrolment (also known as a CoE) for compassionate or compelling reasons, i.e. circumstances beyond the control of the student and which affect the students’ course progress or wellbeing. 
Your institution will make a case by case decision based on its internal policies and procedures under the National Code.  For further information see the National Code.

 

If I defer my course of study or reduce my study load can I increase the hours I am permitted to work under the conditions of my student visa?

 
If students are permitted to defer their course of study, their course is considered “out-of-session” and there is no restriction on hours of work permitted. Students and their dependants are permitted to remain in Australia during the period of the deferral. However, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship can consider visa cancellation where it is found that a student has deferred for non-genuine reasons and remains in Australia on a Student visa for purposes not consistent with their visa.
 
Higher Degree by Research students (visa Subclass 574) have unlimited work rights once their Master or PhD by Research course has commenced.
 
If, under Standard 9 of the National Code, a provider allows an international student to study at a reduced load or put a deferral in place a student can still retain their student visa status.  Work restrictions still apply but this avenue could reduce the financial cost of tuition fees per semester.
 
Under the Knight Review changes, students’ permitted work hours are now calculated on a fortnightly basis rather than weekly.  When a course is in session students are permitted to work up to 40 hours per fortnight (previously 20 hours per week).  You may not work more than 40 hours per fortnight during any fortnight when your course is in session.
 
Students are permitted to remain in Australia on a student visa if they have agreement from their institution for an agreed period of course deferral.

 

My education provider agreed to defer my studies.  Now my Student visa will expire before I complete my course.  What should I do?

 
If you wish to remain in Australia to complete your studies, you will need to apply for a new Student visa.  To do this you will need to satisfy the relevant legislative criteria for a Student visa, including obtaining a new Confirmation of Enrolment from your education provider.
 
For further information about applying for a new student visa, please see

 

What if I am not currently working, how can I find a job?

 
For information on employment opportunities you should consult the International Office at your institution.  They will be able to provide you with information on the employment services they have to assist you to find work.
 
The Study in Australia website also includes some practical advice that may assist you in finding work.

 

What can the Australian Government do to help me get my money from Iran?

  
There is nothing in Australian laws implementing United Nations Security Council sanctions or Australian autonomous sanctions, that prevents Iranian students in Australia from accessing their funds in Iran.
 
The only exception is where a student’s bank in Iran has been designated by the UNSC or the Australian government because of its involvement in Iran’s internationally unlawful nuclear and missile programs. In this case, it is the bank that is the target, not the student; the student could overcome the difficulty by changing to a bank in Iran not subject to international sanctions.
 
From 1 March 2012, all financial transfers valued at AUD$20,000 or more between Australia and Iran require prior approval by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Any financial transfer below AUD$20,000 does not require prior approval. 
 
For further information about these measures, please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website at:
http://www.dfat.gov.au/un/unsc_sanctions/index.html