Australia Adopts E-Visa System For Students

BANGALORE: Now getting a student visa for higher studies in Australia has become as easy as surfing the web.

The eVisa system taken up with the cooperation of the Australian Government is applicable for overseas studies through approved education agents. Each education agent will have a unique Login ID and password enabling him or her to access the service. IDP Education Australia Ltd., with seven offices in India, including one in Bangalore, is among the approved agents. “We have started processing student eVisas and we provide a student`s supporting documents as electronic attachments and this has all become easier because Australia no longer considers Indian students in the high risk category,” said Henry A.S. Ledlie, Director-India of IDP.

A student can apply for a student visa online if he or she has an Indian passport valid for six months, has an Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment for the course and has an acceptable international credit card. “Since most Indians don`t like to part with credit card details, we take care of that process too in a secure way,” Mr. Ledlie said. The student has to pay the charges, lodge the application through the Internet, satisfy other requirements and submit any medical documents needed.

Mr. Ledlie was in the midst of the Australian Education Fair conducted by his organisation and felt the reason for more Indian students going to Australian universities was not just the cost factor but a question of quality of life. Life in that country was less stressful and more relaxed and it helped students get on better with their studies minus any tension. “Cost-wise Australia is still 40 to 60 per cent cheaper than the U.S. or U.K./Europe, varying with the location,” he added.

Compared to the 270 student visas granted to Indians in 1994-95, the number has now grown to 21,000 and the forecast of 80,000 students in Australia by 2025 is fairly realistic, he said. Indian students will now have to pass more than TOEFL; Australia required students to qualify the International English Language Training Study (ELTS), a testing procedure evolved by IDP, Cambridge University and British Council. There were a number of testing centres in India and in addition to Australia, a few other countries too may join this testing.

As to what Indians are studying in Australia, technology and management studies still dominated the scene. Many were studying accountancy in addition to management subjects. Close to 75 per cent of the students are in undergraduate courses and the rest in postgraduate and more specialised courses

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