An Australian student visa permits the holder to live and study in Australia. Individuals who have already secured admission to a course in an Australian university or educational institution are required to apply for an Australian student visa. All Australian student visa applicants are referred to a case officer, who conducts a GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) assessment. On the basis of performance in this assessment, the applicant is issued a visa.
The assessment is conducted in the form of an interview, with sample questions and answers listed below.
What is the purpose of your trip?
The case officer is verifying the information submitted in the visa application form. State the purpose of your trip (for example, I plan on studying in Australia).
Why do you wish to study in Australia?
For this question, the case officer wants to know why you picked Australia over other choices. Provide a clear and well-thought out answer to the question, listing reasons why Australia appealed to you over other options.
Are you planning to live in Australia after your course ends?
For this question, the case officer is trying to verify if your main aim in settling in Australia. Make it clear that you will be returning home after your course and back it up with strong reasons.
Do you plan to continue studying in Australia after your present course ends?
Provide an honest answer to this question (for example, if you have not decided yet, communicate this through your answer).
What course have you applied for?
For this question, the case officer is seeking to verify the information submitted in the application form. Mention the name of the course you plan on pursuing (such as Masters in Geology/Bachelor’s in Chemistry).
Why have you chosen this particular course?
The case officer wants to know the reason behind your choice of course and whether you are serious about pursuing it or only using it as an excuse to move to Australia. Your answer should communicate your desire to pursue the course and the reason behind its choice.
Tell me a little about your course and subject.
Through this question, the case officer wants to test your interest and motives behind applying for the course. Provide a brief overview of your course and its structure.
Why have you picked an Australian college/university? Can’t you do this course in your home country?
The case officer wants to verify the reason provided to study in Australia and whether it is justified. Provide an answer that indicates your motivation behind choosing to study in Australia as well as why it is a better option.
How long will your course last?
Provide an honest answer (for example, it is a 2 year course/it is a 5 year program).
How will doing this course benefit you?
The case officer wants to know if you have done your research regarding the scope offered by the course. In brief, list the reasons you picked the course and how you require it for your future career prospects.
When will the course begin?
Provide an honest answer as the information can be verified.
How much does your course cost?
Provide an accurate figure of the total cost of the course.
How will you be paying for the course?
Provide a truthful answer as you could be asked follow-up questions (for example, I am taking a loan/I will be self-financing my course).
Where did you complete your education prior to applying in Australia?
This question is to verify the information as provided in the visa application form. Provide information on your academic qualifications as well the university/school you studied in.
Could you show me transcripts of your past academics?
Provide original documentation of your past academic history.
What subjects did you take in your undergraduate/graduate field of study?
The case officer is attempting to create a link to your present course through this question. Provide accurate details of your subjects and field of study.
What was your specialization in your undergraduate/graduate course?
Provide a brief description of your specialization.
I see that your current course is in a completely different field. Why is that?
The case officer wants to know the reason for the change in field/subject. Provide a clear and concise explanation for the change of field/subject, ensuring you are articulate and truthful.
How many universities did you apply to?
For this question, provide the information as requested, listing the universities you applied to in Australia.
How many universities did you receive acceptances from?
Provide an honest answer to this question as the information can be verified by the case officer.
Why have you chosen a particular university?
For this question, the case officer wants to know the reason behind your university choice. Provide a response that explains your choice and back it up with verifiable facts.
Could you tell me a little about the university you have chosen?
The case officer is checking to see if you have done your research regarding the university, which is an indicator of your interest in pursuing the course. Prepare an answer that mentions salient features of the university as well as what personally appealed to you.
How did you find out about this university and its courses?
Through this question, the case officer is attempting to verify the information already provided. Frame a response that is truthful and puts across how you found out about the institution (for example, a friend is currently studying and told me about it/I was researching courses teaching my chosen subject etc.).
Where is the university/college located?
Through this question, the case officer is verifying if you have done your research on the university and checking your level of interest in pursuing the course. Provide a brief description of the locality as well as any additional snippets you came across during your research. Keep your response brief and to the point.
Could you show me your TOEFL/IELTS results?
Provide the original transcript of the exam result.
Why is your TOEFL/IELTS score so low?
Provide an honest answer to this question. List the reasons you believe brought down your score and emphasise that you have worked at improving at them.
Could you tell me a little about your family background?
The case officer is verifying information provided in the visa application form through this question. Your response should contain a brief introduction of your immediate family only.
How many siblings do you have?
Provide an answer to this question as appropriate.
What do your siblings do? Do they live with you?
Provide a brief description of your siblings’ current occupations. Ensure your responses are brief and to the point. Answer in the affirmative or negative to the latter part of the question (for example, yes we live together/no, they are married and live elsewhere/are currently abroad etc.).
What do your parents do for a living?
Provide an accurate and honest answer to this question, ensuring your response explains your parents’ occupations in brief.
How much does your father earn annually?
Provide an accurate estimate of your father’s salary/earnings. Ensure you are truthful as the information can be verified.
Have any of your relatives/siblings studied at this university?
Provide an answer as appropriate to this question (yes/no). If yes, provide some information on the same.
Do you have any outstanding loans?
Provide an honest and accurate answer to this question as the information you provide can be verified. If yes, provide details of the amount and the type of loan.
Who is sponsoring your education and stay in Australia?
Provide an appropriate and verifiable response to this question (for example, my father/parents/ a relative is sponsoring my education and stay).
How many people are financially dependent on your sponsor?
Through this question, the case officer wants to know how many other individuals are financially reliant on your sponsor, which could inhibit his/her ability to continue funding your education and stay in Australia. Provide the necessary information, providing evidence that demonstrate your sponsor’s ability to meet all financial needs relating to your stay in Australia.
What are your sponsor’s source of income?
Provide an accurate response to this question, listing the various sources of revenue your sponsor has (for example, runs a family business/is self-employed/owns property etc.).
Do you have proof that your sponsor can bear the cost of your expenses in Australia?
Answer as appropriate and provide documents to support your statement (for example, bank account statements).
Why is your uncle/brother/other relative sponsoring you instead your parents?
Provide an honest and accurate reason for why the particular individual is sponsoring your education and stay in Australia. Ensure your response is not too long and do not provide unnecessary details.
How are you related to your sponsor?
Provide an accurate and concise response to this question. Ensure you are clear and do not provide unnecessary details in cases where the sponsor is not an immediate family member.
How will you finance your living expenses during the course of your study in Australia?
Provide a verifiable response to this question, providing documentary proof if available (such as bank statements, loan documents or any other as required).
What are your plans on completion of your degree/course of study in Australia?
Through this question, your case officer wants to know if you have a concrete plan for your future, and if it involves continuing to reside in Australia. As your visa does not permit this, provide a response that indicates your strong desire to return to your home country on completion of your degree/course of study.
What are your job prospects on completion of your chosen course of study?
Through this question, the case officer wants to know if your course will result in immediate gainful employment. Provide a verifiable response indicating your prospects in brief.
What will you do on returning to your home country?
Provide an honest response to this question which highlights how your recently completed course will aid you in pursuit of your goals.
How can you prove you will return to your home country after completing your course of study in Australia?
For this question, the case officer is expecting proof of your intention to return and not continue to reside or seek employment in Australia, which is in violation of your visa. Provide strong evidence indicating your desire or need to return to your home country.
Do you intend to work in Australia during or immediately after the completion of your course?
Through this question, the case officer is verifying if you plan on living in Australia beyond the duration of your course (which is in contravention of your visa provisions) or working while studying (a maximum of 20 hours a week is permitted). Provide an honest answer, mentioning you will be returning to your home country and seeking employment there. If you intend to work during your course, indicate the same.
Have you visited Australia before?
Provide an answer as appropriate. If yes, mention the reason for trip (business/vacation) and the year of the visit.
Will you be going home during the semester breaks?
Provide a truthful answer (yes/no/I don’t know yet).
Why should you be granted a student visa?
Provide a concise but well-articulated response to this question. Prepare a list of points in your favour that demonstrate why you should be granted a student visa and how beneficial it will be to you as well as the college/university (for example, in the form of research done during your course.
The above questions are sample questions that could be asked during an Australian student visa interview. The actual questions asked could be variations on the ones listed above or could differ, depending on each case. It should be kept in mind that answers provided must be honest and verifiable as much as possible.
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