Living Cost Update for Visa Holders

Date —

16 Oct 2019

Industry Sector/s —
Higher Education

Summary —

The Cost of Living financial requirements increase to annual living costs and expenses is expected on Wednesday 23 October 2019. The increase is in line with CPI increases from June 2017 to June 2019 and is being put in place to mitigate the risk of visa holders falling into financial hardship.

Key Issues —

The Department of Home Affairs have advised that the Cost of Living requirements have been updated and is expected to take effect on Wednesday 23 October 2019. The update was agreed by the Education Visa Consultative Committee (EVCC) during the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) consultation process.

Evidence for financial capacity will be maintained through the new legal instrument – Evidence of financial capacity (LIN 19/198) when registered with the Federal Register of Legislation (date to be advised). The current legal instrument (F2018L00032) can be found at the link below.

Australian Government Link — [EXT LINK]

The new instrument will update the following annual living costs and expenses in line with the CPI increases from June 2017 to June 2019:

1. for a primary applicant:
 an increase from AUD20,292 to AUD21,041
for a spouse or de facto partner of the primary applicant:
an increase from AUD7,100 to AUD7,362
3. for a dependent child: 
an increase from AUD3,040 to AUD3,152
annual school costs:
    an increase from AUD8,000 to AUD8,296 
personal annual income if there is no secondary applicant:
    an increase from AUD60,000 to AUD62,222
personal annual income where there is a secondary applicant:
    an increase from AUD 70,000 to AUD72,592

Future financial capacity evidence requirement updates will be made on an annual basis in line with the CPI increases, with implementation at the end of each financial year. Adjustments in the CPI are provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It is expected that the next increase will occur after July 2020.

Independent providers should familiarise themselves with the update to advise international students of the changed requirements.

Member Engagement:

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA International Education Reference Committee.

Further Information:

For more information on this issue please send an email to or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at

Disclaimer & Copyright:

The material published on this website page is intended for general information only and is not legal advice or other professional advice.  It may not be reproduced without ITECA’s prior written consent.

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