Australia Student Visa Guide

About an Australian Student Visa

An Australian student visa is an indispensable thing to study in Australia. An international student needs to apply for the Subclass 500 Student Visa to participate in an eligible course offered at Australian universities. The  Subclass 500 Student Visa not only gives permission to study in Australia but also allows them to travel in and out of the country. With a valid student visa, one can also work in Australia for up to 40 hours in a fortnight along with studies.

A student visa is a temporary visa to study in Australia and its validity is up to 5 years. The length of stay in Australia for an international student depends on the type of course and its length. International students must prove the eligibility to get a student visa for Australia and also complete the application process that involves a number of steps. To ensure that you get familiarised with the whole process and clear out all of your confusion here’s all you need to know about the Australian student visa process.

Australian Student Visa Rules & Regulations

When on a Subclass 500 Student visa in Australia, you will have to follow these rules and regulations as mentioned below:

Stay Limit:

  • You can stay in the country for up to five years.

  • The duration of your stay in Australia will depend on your enrollment.

Work Restriction:

  • You will be allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight. A fortnight refers to the period of 14 days starting from a Monday.

  • You should not work in Australia before your course of study begins.

  • In case you are not studying masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, you would not be allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight while the course is in session.

  • Work experience is counted in the work restriction of 40 hours per fortnight whether it is paid or unpaid.

  • You can work with more than one employer in Australia as long as work hours do not exceed 40 hours per fortnight.

  • You will be considered to have worked in the country only if you have attended a workplace for a period by a timesheet or roster (but not during unpaid breaks); been clocked on to an electronic system at your workplace; or if you have received payment for work and have proof of the same.

  • You can only over 40 hours per fortnight only if it is mandatory for the completion of your course, your postgraduate or doctoral degree has commenced, or your course is not in session.

Course Requirements:

  • You must be enrolled in the registered course, maintain enrollment in the course for which you were granted the student visa and maintain satisfactory attendance as specified by the course provider.

  • There should be no course gap of more than two months. However, it can be allowed if it is the end of the study break in the academic year, you are affected by education provider default, or you have completed your course and are applying for a new visa.

Limited Study Change:

  • You will not be allowed to change your course of study, research topic or thesis without the Minister’s approval for a graduate diploma, graduate certificate, master’s degree, doctorate or any bridging course.

  • The approval will be granted only after the Minister has received an assessment from Australian authorities that you are not likely to be a direct or indirect risk to the national security of Australia.

  • You must not be involved in activities that are considered disruptive to the Australian community.

  • You must continue to satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa.

  • In case you are no longer studying or attending classes, you must either apply for a new visa or make travel arrangements to leave Australia within 28 days of ceasing study.

Defer Your Studies:

  • The education provider may let you take a leave of absence for compelling or compassionate reasons

  • Your education provider may cancel your CoE and your visa may be cancelled if you submitted false documents to defer your course or the reason for deferring has passed and you have resumed your studies.

Health Insurance:

You are required to have and maintain adequate health insurance throughout your stay in Australia.

Dependants:

You should make sure that you maintain the required arrangements for the education of your school-age dependents who are staying in Australia for over 3 months as a dependant on your visa.

Eligibility Criteria to Apply for an Australian Student Visa

Every international student, including those from India must fulfil the following conditions to obtain an Australian student visa:

  • Must be enrolled in a full-time course of study registered on the  Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

  • Must provide a CoE or Letter of Offer for all intended courses.

  • Must meet English language requirements specified by the intended institution.

  • Must have adequate health insurance for the whole stay in Australia. The cover must start from the day you enter Australia.

  • Must have enough money to finance your stay in Australia.

  • Must be a genuine temporary resident who intends to return to your home country after completion of the course.

  • Must meet health and character requirements.

  • Must have read the Life in Australia booklet and signed an Australian Values Statement that confirms you will respect the way of like in Australia and obey their laws.

  • Must have paid back your debt to the Australian government, if applicable.

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for an Australian Student Visa

All student visa applications of international students in Australia are processed online. Here are the steps that you, as an international student, should follow to obtain an Australian student visa:

Step 1: Before you apply:

  • Organise health examinations if you need to have it. To check if you need to have health examinations, log in to ImmiAccount, go to your application and click on ‘View health assessment’. There will be a link called ‘Organise health examinations’ in case you need to have them. 

  • Have a valid passport.

Step 2: Have the Documents Ready

  • Provide accurate information in the application.

  • Make sure that you have all the documents required for an Australian Student Visa beforehand. Here is a list of Australian Student Visa documents that you must refer to:

    • Evidence of your identity

    • A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or Letter of Offer for all intended courses

    • Parental consent in case you are below 18 years of age

    • Evidence of adequate health insurance

    • Evidence that you meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirements. This may include proof of employment, academic transcripts, letter/statement from your foreign education provider

    • Certified copies of documents proving change of name, if applicable

    • Evidence of your relationship with your spouse/de facto partner, if applicable

    • Evidence of current or recent employment

    • A duly filled and signed Form 956 - Advice

    • A duly filled and signed Form 956A Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient

    • A copy of research thesis or project topic and CV/resume, if undertaking research in Australia

Step 3: Apply for the Visa

  • Log in to ImmiAccount

  • Attach documents

  • Pay the application fee using Credit Card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Diners Club, JCB or Debit MasterCard), PayPal, UnionPay or BPAY. Currently, the application fee is AUD 620.

Step 4: Post-Application

  • Wait for the application to be processed. Usually, 75% of the higher education applications are processed within 72 days of submission and 90% of applications are processed in 5 months.

  • The application may take longer to be processed in case you have not filled it properly, the submitted documents have issues, or the authority needs more time to process.

  • You might have to provide biometric information. Request for the same will be added to your ImmiAccount.

  • In case you did not attract all the required documents, attach them as soon as possible.

Step 6: Visa Decision

  • The visa outcome will be notified to you in writing. 

  • The same will include your visa grant number, expiration date and visa conditions.

  • Keep a copy of the same when in Australia.

  • Application fee will not be refunded if the application is rejected.

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