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Old Apr 13th 2007, 11:50 am   #1
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Question Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

My OH (& Sponsor) has a student debt from 10 years ago from going to university in Australia - It was called HECS now called HELP (Higher Education Learning Payments)

We have made some payments to the debt but there is still a fairly large amount outstanding. Does anyone know if this will affect our application?

[Spouse Visa Applied for - OH is Aus Citizen - We live in UK at moment]

We havent submitted the forms yet but I read somewhere if you have a debt to the Australian Government then they will refuse the visa app
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Old Apr 13th 2007, 12:32 pm   #2
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Default Re: Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

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Originally Posted by ParkbenchUK View Post
My OH (& Sponsor) has a student debt from 10 years ago from going to university in Australia - It was called HECS now called HELP (Higher Education Learning Payments)

We have made some payments to the debt but there is still a fairly large amount outstanding. Does anyone know if this will affect our application?

[Spouse Visa Applied for - OH is Aus Citizen - We live in UK at moment]

We havent submitted the forms yet but I read somewhere if you have a debt to the Australian Government then they will refuse the visa app
I don't think it is a case of refusing but they may ask for an assurance of support to be provided for you. My partner owed $8000 to Centrelink in Youth allowance payments so he went in and paid them all off (before being asked) and before we applied. It was a real hassle paying back though, Centrelink don't seem to be set up for people walking in off the street and paying off the debt before they have been chased for it
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Old Apr 13th 2007, 12:45 pm   #3
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Default Re: Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

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Originally Posted by ParkbenchUK View Post
My OH (& Sponsor) has a student debt from 10 years ago from going to university in Australia - It was called HECS now called HELP (Higher Education Learning Payments)

We have made some payments to the debt but there is still a fairly large amount outstanding. Does anyone know if this will affect our application?

[Spouse Visa Applied for - OH is Aus Citizen - We live in UK at moment]

We havent submitted the forms yet but I read somewhere if you have a debt to the Australian Government then they will refuse the visa app
Short answer: No.

HECS (Now HELP) is different to a Centrelink debt. With a Centrelink debt, you are forced to repay it. However, your OH has done nothing wrong in not paying the money back - he only has to repay the money back when he earns over 35k AUD. Having a HECS 'debt' is treated differently - It won't effect your application.

However, Remember as soon as he earns over the 35K amount in AUD, he will have to start paying it back. (He pays it back through the tax system)

Last edited by googy; Apr 13th 2007 at 12:47 pm. Reason: ...
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Old Apr 14th 2007, 3:45 am   #4
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Default Re: Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

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Originally Posted by ParkbenchUK View Post
My OH (& Sponsor) has a student debt from 10 years ago from going to university in Australia - It was called HECS now called HELP (Higher Education Learning Payments)

We have made some payments to the debt but there is still a fairly large amount outstanding. Does anyone know if this will affect our application?

[Spouse Visa Applied for - OH is Aus Citizen - We live in UK at moment]

We havent submitted the forms yet but I read somewhere if you have a debt to the Australian Government then they will refuse the visa app
Correct - but your spouse (the sponsor) is the one with the debt, not you. I would suggest that you should get professional assistance as the chances of an assurance of support being requested are likely increased as a result.

Is your spouse interested in becoming a British citizen?
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Old Apr 15th 2007, 9:29 am   #5
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Default Re: Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

We dont want to have to get citizenship as she has a full residency to the UK and we plan to move, live and settle in Australia.

If there is a chance that the HECS debt will be a problem on her sponsor form for me then I imagine the best thing to do is to pay it off now and then we dont have to declare it.
Not my preference as we have to increase our UK debt before we leave.

If there is an alternative to paying it then I would be pleased!
Thanks for the advice
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Old Apr 15th 2007, 4:17 pm   #6
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Default Re: Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

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Originally Posted by ParkbenchUK View Post
We dont want to have to get citizenship as she has a full residency to the UK and we plan to move, live and settle in Australia.

If there is a chance that the HECS debt will be a problem on her sponsor form for me then I imagine the best thing to do is to pay it off now and then we dont have to declare it.
Not my preference as we have to increase our UK debt before we leave.

If there is an alternative to paying it then I would be pleased!
Thanks for the advice
Do as others do save up and delay things until debts are settled! I very much doubt Australia is going anywhere!
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Old Apr 15th 2007, 4:21 pm   #7
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Default Re: Student Debt in Australia (HECS)

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We dont want to have to get citizenship as she has a full residency to the UK and we plan to move, live and settle in Australia.
Do you realise she will lose her "full residency" in the UK (assuming you mean Indefinite Leave to Remain) if she abandons it without becoming a British citizen.

You never know - she might want to come back some day.
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