Australia Student Visa Guide

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Sristy Sharma
Updated on Feb 17, 2022 8:04 PM IST

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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.

See What Documents You Need for an Australian Student Visa!

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.

Check Your Eligibility for an Australian Student Visa Here

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.

Here are the Tips and Tricks to Clear Student Visa Interviews!

FAQs on Australia Student Visa Guide in 2022

Can enrollment in online courses be used to get an Australian Student Visa?

No, enrollment in online courses cannot be used to get an Australian Student Visa. Full online courses are not valid and recognised courses to get student visa applications approved. 75% or more of the enrolled course should be delivered offline and in-person for it to be considered a valid course for student visa rights in Australia.

When is the ideal time to apply for an Australian Student Visa?

The ideal time to apply for an Australian Student Visa would depend on the fact that a student visa usually gets approved within 3-4 weeks. Still, it is recommended that application must be made at least 5-6 months before the planned travel week. This is because the student visa process is highly sensitive to not only national but also global circumstances which might lead to delay in visa processing.

How long does it take for an Australian Student Visa to get processed?

An Australian Student Visa will get processed anywhere around 3 weeks to 3 months after application. While in most of the cases, it is the document screening process which takes time, there might also arise certain special circumstances which might cause an unexpected delay in the whole process.

Is health insurance necessary to get an Australian Student Visa?

Yes. It is necessary to apply for health insurance to get an Australian student visa. Health insurance to study in Australia should ideally cover all health-related contingencies of the student visa holder while they stay in the country. Moreover, it is required that the health insurance commences as the student visa holder arrives in Australia. There are various specific health insurance programs provided specifically for studying in Australia.

What is BVA in Australia?

Bridging Visa A or BVA in Australia is a provisional visa issued to the student visa holder who has applied for a new visa in order to get an extension on it. BVA continues to be valid during the period while the new visa is in process. It grants legal immigration rights to the holder present on-shore during the waiting period.

How much money do I need to show to get a student visa application approved?

The amount of money do I need to show to get a student visa application approved is around AUD 20,290 depending on the educational and living expenses in Australia.. So, once the applicant is able to submit their proof of funds for an Australian student visa, they can easily get an approval. This limit was introduced in 2018.

What is the approval rate of applications for Australian Student Visa?

The approval rate of applications for Australian Student Visa currently is 96%. The rate has risen over the years because of the country's support for various international students programs. Moreover, the Australian government is keen to diversify the workforce as it has proven a great growth factor for the economy. Hence, more and more student visa applications are being accepted in Australia.

What is the most common reason behind rejection of student visa applications in Australia?

Majority of the student visa applications in Australi are rejected due to failure of applicants to prove financial competency to afford educational and living economic costs. Apart from that, most Australian student visa applications are rejected because of false or improper documentation submitted. While a document might not be entirely false but a likely representation can also lead to rejection.

Is it hard to get an Australian Student Visa?

In comparison to other countries such as the US, UK and Canada, it is easier to get approval for an Australian Student Visa. The country’s immigration rules are simple and logical and mostly easy to follow up on. Except for the weekly part-time work hours cap, there is hardly any rule that is debated upon.

What is the Stay Back Period on an Australian Student Visa after course completion?

The stay back period on an Australian Student Visa is a period of three months on completion of their enrolled course. After the completion of the course, stay in Australia with a student visa expires and so do the rights of immigration attached to it. This stay back period in Australia is standard and differs on the basis of course enrolled in as well as the education level.

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