SOP for Australian Student Visa: Requirements and Guidelines for International Students
SOP for Australian student visa, also referred to as Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Statement, is required as a part of student visa (subclass 500). International students interested in studying a full-time program at Australian universities must have this visa. SOP plays a major role in its selection or rejection.
Statement of Purpose should be written by the international student to the immigration officer of Australia with the purpose of convincing the authorities that he/she is worthy of studying in the country. They should also provide sufficient proof of their ties to the domestic country as the Australian student visa is a temporary entrant visa.
Requirements for Statement of Purpose for Australian Visa
Mentioned below are the specifications of the word limit, language, structure etc for writing an SOP for Australian student visa:
Length: The Immigrations Office of Australia does not specify any word limit for the SOP. However, most of the universities of Australia advise international students to limit the essay to 2 to 3 pages.
Language: SOP for Australia must be written in English. The language used in the statement should match the international student’s proficiency in the language.
Supporting Documents: The Immigration Office recommends students to provide sufficient proof of any claims or achievements mentioned in the SOP for Australian student visa. Unsupported claims and generic statements might lead to a rejection of the application.
Note: SOPs should be written only by the visa applicant. Any SOP written by a family member, agent etc is liable to be rejected.
What to Include in SOP for Australian Student Visa
Student visas are granted on the basis of a student's merit as well as evidence of their GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) status. While writing an SOP, students should include the following information backed up with adequate evidence wherever possible:
- Academic & Employment History: Include a brief account of your academic and employment background and how it is relevant to the program being applied to.
- Present Financial Situation: Students should provide details of their financial assets and liabilities. They should mention if they have any dependents relying on them financially in Australia. The annual family income should also be mentioned.
- Details of Program: Students should discuss the program they intend to study in Australia and also include details of their course curriculum.
- Reasons for choosing to study in Australia: The immigration office might often be interested to know why a student would choose to study in Australia especially if the same courses are available in their home country. Students should explain their motivations along with details of how they reached that conclusion.
- Reasons for Choosing the University: International students should explain what inspired them to pursue an education at a particular university of Australia. Also, what makes it a better option for them as compared to other institutes of their home country or any other country across the world should also be discussed.
- Details of Accommodation in Australia: Applicants have to provide details of their plans for accommodation during the stay in Australia. This might include payment details of any university accommodation, homestay, rental accommodation etc. If students intend to stay with family/ relatives, they should mention that too in the SOP for Australian student visa.
- Ties to Home Country: International students should be able to convince the immigration authorities of Australia about their intention of traveling back to their home country after completion of course. This can include any future job prospects, family ties, economic assets etc in their home country.
Besides this, relevant information regarding the applicant’s immigration history, study/work gaps longer than 6 months, future plans etc should also be included.
Evidence to Support SOP for Australian Student Visa
The Immigration Office of Australia advises international students to submit the following documents to back up the authenticity of their SOP for Australian student visa:
- For Academic History:
- Official transcripts of previous academic history
- Certificate of completion of a degree or course
- English translation of non-English documents
- For Employment History:
- Name & address of the current place of employment
- Details regarding the period & nature of employment
- Contact details of an authorized person who will confirm the applicant’s employment situation
- For Economic/ Financial Situation:
- Bank Statement/ Income Tax Return
- Legal Documents of Financial Assets
- Documents of Financial activities for 1 year before applying for the visa
- Potential Job Offers
It is advisable to include as much relevant information & their proof in the SOP for Australian Student visa as possible to give the authorities a complete view of international student’s current situation. Insufficient information might lead to a delay or rejection of the application.
Guidelines for Writing an SOP for Australian Student Visa
SOP for Australian student visa is an essential element of the application. Thus, international students should bear the following points in mind while writing one:
- Be brief and to the point. Rambling essays with generic statements will be rejected.
- Should be self-written and original.
- Free of grammatical and spelling errors.
- Be factual and backed up with verifiable evidence wherever possible.
- Clearly show how the program being applied to will benefit the applicant in future and that he/ she intends to reside in Australia only for the period of study.
Watch the video below for more information on how to write SOP for Australian Student Visa.
SOP for Australian student visa should be submitted as part of the visa application package. International students can apply for a visa as soon as they have acquired a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) & an OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover) from one of the universities of Australia. They can begin the visa application process by creating an Immi-Account here.
The visa SOP is a written statement required by the Immigrations Office of Australia to determine if a student is eligible to study in Australia on a GTE visa. Therefore the overall focus should be on both the student’s academics/extracurricular and whether they have sufficient reason to return home after completing their studies.
It is assumed that students will return to their home country after completing their program. The GTE requirement does not, however, prevent students from applying for permanent residence after completing their studies. Students should remember the SOP for Australian student visa is not the same as an SOP for any particular university.
Australian student visa processing time varies however most decisions are released within 42 days.