Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need to use Agent to seek admission in universities and colleges?

Agents are appointed by education providers to represent them. Agents are tasked with the responsibility to promote the courses offered by the education provider, validate if the student is genuine and assist students to submit application to education provider and eventually provide assistance in filing visa application.

Are there differences in agents

An education provider may appoint more than one agent to represent them in a region or market. It is important for students to know if the agent is official representative of the education provider. Every Australian Education Provider publish list of their agents  that represent them in a particular region or country in their website. Students should validate this from the Education Provider website.

Some agents may claim to represent an education provider, but might actually be a proxy of another agent.

Why are Agents fees not uniform?

Agents are paid by the Education Provider if they successfully recruit students for them. A nominal fee maybe charged to meet operating expenses as Agents risk not getting paid anything if visa is unsuccessful. As the service fees are not regulated, it is up to the agent to determine the fees they wish to levy based on market and competition.

If Agents are paid by Education Provider, why is there huge disparity in the service fee charged by some consultancy firms?

As explained earlier, service fees charged by ECPFs are not regulated. However, as a guiding rule, ECPFs that have more success in sending students would rely less on up-front service fee to students for their revenue.

What evidence do I need to provide for English proficiency?

In Bhutan, we only have test centers for IELTS. However, you can also provide TOEFL, PTE and CAE.

Normally, you need IELTS overall score of 5.5 with no band less than 5.0 for diploma courses, Overall score of 6.0 to 6.5 with no band less than 5.5 to 6.0 for undergraduate courses and Overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 for Postgraduate courses.

Some select courses require higher score and your Agent will tell you if you need a higher score to enroll in your chosen study program.

Where can I do my IELTS test?

As of now, the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) and Institute of Management Services (IMS) are the only providers of IELTS test in the country. Many Bhutanese find it convenient to do IELTS in India. If you are in the EAST, Guwahati in Assam might be a more convenient option. Likewise, those in the southern region might find Siliguri in West Bengal more convenient.

Will my spouse be allowed to work full time while I am studying?

Only dependents of postgraduate students can work full time. The dependents of students who are enrolled in diploma and undergraduate students can work 40hours a fortnight.

I am about to turn 18. Am I eligible to study in Australia?

If you are not 18, you need to make adequate welfare arrangements to live in Australia with a parent, legal custodian or close relatives until you turn 18. The person providing care must be over 21years of age. Alternately, the education provider can make arrangements for the care which might involve extra cost.

How much fund do I need to provide to apply for student visa?

The total access to fund will differ based on various factors such as tuition fee, duration, if you are married, whether your spouse will accompany you etc. Generally, you need to demonstrate access to funds to live and pay for your studies for at least one year.

Alternately you can choose the annual income option which can be the total income of you and your spouse. You need to demonstrate annual income of AU$ 60,000.00 or if you intend to take your partner, you need AU$ 70,000.00. The combined income of your parents can also be shown as evidence to meet this requirement. Your agent will advise you of the kind of documents that can be shown as evidence.

What are the acceptable means of finance?

You may arrange funds from personal savings held in savings and term deposit accounts, your parents and close relations can also sponsor you.

Will I receive refund of visa application fees if my visa is not approved

Generally visa application fees are not refunded regardless of the outcome of visa application. There are very limited conditions for refund of a visa application fee.

Will I receive refund of the tuition fee that is paid upfront if visa is not approved

Every offer letter of Australian education provider includes a refund policy. Under normal circumstances, an amount of AU$ 250 to AU$ 500 is deducted to meet administrative cost and the rest is refunded. But there are also conditions under which you might not receive any refund. It is important to read the policy carefully as the policy can differ between education providers.

What are the options of Post study work visa

You might be eligible to two stream of post study work visa :

  1. Graduate Work stream is applicable to those who studied Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Bachelor.  Under this stream you might be granted visa upto maximum of 18months
  2. Post-study Work stream is applicable to those who studied Bachelor program and higher. Under this stream the duration of visa can range from 2 years to 4 years.

In both cases, the study program should be completed over two academic year and your age should be less than 50.

Can education agent advise on immigration options to Australia

Education agents have limited knowledge on immigration regulations and laws. One should contact Registered Migration Agent (RMA) who are certified to legally represent clients on matters relating to immigration.