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Are you looking at studying in Australia on a student visa? Do you know the obligations, responsibilities and guidelines you need to follow once you are granted a student visa? A visa is basically a legal contract between you and the Australian government and the Department of Home Affairs take the matter extremely seriously. 

Our team of friendly, professional and experienced lawyers are here to help you whenever you need. Contact us today for assistance with your application or as a sounding board for your questions and concerns. We are sure to provide you with accurate, informative and relevant information to help you navigate this tricky process. 

I Want To Apply For A Student Visa, What Do I Need To Know?

If you are applying for student visa, there are certain conditions and criteria that you need to meet. Before you can even apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a student visa, you need to be able to provide evidence of a confirmation of enrolment at a college, University or Educational Institution. This means that you need to apply for a placement and be accepted for that placement before you can actually apply for a student visa. 

In most circumstances, you will need to have been accepted as a full-time student to be eligible for a visa.

What Eligibility Criteria Do I Need To Consider?

If you are considering your eligibility for a student visa then you will need to consider the following: 

  1. Be enrolled in a course of study in Australia
  2. Hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall in one of the exemption categories
  3. Must be 6 years or older
  4. Prove you have a welfare arrangement, if you are under 18

We have already discussed the first point above, but it is essential you are enrolled in a course of study within Australia prior to being able to obtain a student visa. You also need to have organised overseas student health cover unless you fall within the exemption category. OSHC is a form of travel insurance that assists in the case of illness or emergency. International travelers have to pay significant costs for education and medical as they cannot easily access government benefits or other financial aid. OSHC acts as both travel insurance and health insurance to ensure that you can be appropriately cared for without incurring a significant medical bill.

There is an age requirement for a student visa which requires that the applicant be at least 6 years old. This criterion exists because any child younger than 6 years old is likely not to be in full-time schooling yet and therefore would not satisfy the first criteria on being enrolled in a course of study. 

If you are under the age of 18 then you need to be able to prove that there is an appropriate welfare arrangement in place for you. This is similar to the above criteria as international travelers are unable to access financial assistance or government benefits and the Australian government needs to be satisfied that the individual will be financially taken care of whilst in Australia. Your living costs need to be appropriately covered along with all of your tuition fees. In most circumstances, tuition fees are required upfront and cannot be paid off over time. 

If you are over the age of 18 then your visa may allow for some form of employment where you can earn money. This is something to consider when you apply for your visa. In any event, you will need to have sufficient funds available to you in the event that your study does not allow time for employment.

L1 I Want To Apply For A Student Visa, What Do I Need To Know?

If you are applying for student visa, there are certain conditions and criteria that you need to meet. Before you can even apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a student visa, you need to be able to provide evidence of a confirmation of enrolment at a college, University or Educational Institution. This means that you need to apply for a placement and be accepted for that placement before you can actually apply for a student visa. 

In most circumstances, you will need to have been accepted as a full-time student to be eligible for a visa.

What Visa Conditions Or Visa Requirements Might I Be Under?

It is always important to know what conditions are under any visa before you apply for one because a breach of conditions or a failure to comply with any of the conditions under your visa may mean that you are prevented from making further visa applications and could face deportation. 

Under a student visa, the first and foremost requirement is that you can provide confirmation of enrolment at a school or educational institution. Furthermore, you need to remain enrolled at that school or institution or provide confirmation that you have been accepted to or transferred to another institution. It is important that you are enrolled at all times to avoid any issues. You will need to be able to provide the letter of offer to the Department of Home Affairs upon request.

Your Visa will also provide which type of study load you are required to undertake, i.e. full-time or part-time. A part-time student engages in between 1-3 classes per semester and a full-time student engages in 4 classes per semester. Usually, a full-time load is required. 

There are also conditions attached to your visa which dictate whether you can gain employment, how many hours you can work, and how much money you can earn. This is usually quite minimal because it is expected that you will apply most of your time to your study. Usually, if you fail a class or course you can risk having your visa revoked. Obviously, individual circumstances are taken into account in these matters.

What Is The Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement (GTE)?

The GTE is a means of clarifying that an applicant is applying for a student visa for its intended purpose and not as a means of continuing to reside within Australia. There are other visas for that purpose. 

Applicants are required to submit a statement addressing the GTE requirement Your statement should optimally be written in English (or translated into English prior to submitting) and should be backed up by evidence of what you are saying. This evidence may be in the form of educational achievements, recommendation and character letters, etc. If you do not have any evidence to help support your personal statement then it will not be as strong or convincing as it should be.

What Is A Temporary Graduate Visa?

A Temporary Graduate Visa or as it is also known, a subclass 485 visa and is intended for those who have completed a CRICOS (explained below) approved course and who have held a student visa within the last 6 months. This type of visa allows the applicant to remain in Australia to either live, work, or study.

What Is A Subclass 500 Visa?

A subclass 500 visa is a visa that allows an applicant to remain in Australia for a period of up to 5 years for the purpose of full-time study. This type of application will allow you to include your partner and your family within the application and obtain visitor visas for them. As a student visa holder, however, you will still be subject to strict criteria and eligibility requirements as well as compliance obligations

Can I Enroll In Any Course Of Study?

Under a student visa, the main requirement is that you are enrolled in a course of study at an educational institution. A student visa application must include the name of the educational institution, the course of study you intend to take along with a copy of the letter of offer. Your course of study must comply with the Commonwealth Register Of Institutions And Courses For Overseas Students (CRICOS), which provides a list of approved courses for international students to undertake.

Will I Need To Be Proficient in English to Obtain A Visa?

English proficiency is a strict requirement for obtaining a student visa and an applicant must obtain a certain level to satisfy the criteria. The English proficiency required is specific to the individual visa you are applying for. You will most likely need to engage in an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).  

Each different state or education provider will provide different English language tests and English language intensive courses which range from individual tests to weeks-long courses. All international students are required to complete some level of testing to ensure that they can comply with their course and assignment requirements upon beginning education in Australia. 

In Australia, one of the most common and quickest testing you can complete for English proficiency is the IELTS test. This test is administered regularly and best of all, it only takes 2-5 days to receive your results.

Where Can I Go For More Information?

There are two ways in which you can gain further information about student visas. The easiest way to get preliminary information is to have a look at the Department of Home Affairs Website. The website will provide you with an overview of everything you need to know about the eligibility and criteria for a student visa or other type of visa. 

If you feel you need more in-depth information about whether you are eligible for a visa then you should consult an immigration lawyer for more specialized advice. Immigration lawyers are experts in this area and can help you with the process to ensure your compliance with the criteria.  

If you are seeking information regarding the types of approved courses you can enrol in then you need to consult the Commonwealth Register Of Institutions And Courses For Overseas Students (CRICOS).

If you have already registered for an immiaccount, this will give you live, up-to-date information currently regarding the global pandemic and the travel restrictions currently in place.

Disclaimer

The above is general legal information and should not be considered legal advice. You should speak with one of our migration lawyers for legal advice tailored to your specific legal matter. The courts and tribunals deal with matters on a case by case basis. It should also be noted that there may be delays due to COVID-19.

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Frequently Asked Questions.

To study in Australia, you need an Australian student visa. To obtain this, you will need to successfully complete an Australian student visa application form, pay the visa application fee, and possibly attend an interview. On your student visa application, you will need to prove that you meet the requirements for Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirements, Financial requirements, English proficiency requirements, and Health and character requirements.

Pricing for a Student Visa currently starts at AUD$630 within additional adult AUD$470, additional child AUD$155, and subsequent temporary application charge of AUD$700. 

These prices may change at any time without notice. Always check the Department of Home Affairs website for the latest Student Visa Pricing.

The maximum length of stay overall is generally 5 years. However this is often dependent on the course that you choose to do. Courses that are 10 months or longer, finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November to December) will usually receive a visa granted for a stay period to 15 March of the following year. Courses that are 10 months or longer, finishing from January until October will usually receive a visa granted for a stay period of 2 months longer than the course completion. Courses that are less than 10 months will usually receive a visa granted for a stay period 1 month longer than the course.

Working on a student visa is permissable, however there are strict rules surrounding the number of hours you can work during study and study breaks.

If you are on a student visa, you are usually limited to working up to 40 hours per fortnight. During study break/holidays, you can work unlimited hours. A fortnight is 14-days starting on a Monday. Some employers may ask you for proof that you are on study holidays/break. In such cases your university or college may be able to provide you with a letter.

When applying for your student visa for Australia, you will generally need:

  • Proof of enrolment (your electronic confirmation of enrolment)
  • A valid passport
    Your visa application fee
  • Your Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
  • Academic and work experience documents
  • Evidence of your English proficiency skills (such as IELTS test scores)
    Evidence of financial ability (tuition fees, living expenses, expenses for dependents, return airfare)
  • Details of your health insurance policy (Overseas Student Health Cover)
    Statement of purpose
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • If you are under 18 years of age, you will also need to provide additional documents such as parental consent.

Here’s a list of the essentials you will need to bring with you:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Offer letter
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) card
  • Cash $500AUD for emergencies if your cards don’t work etc
  • Clothes
  • Warm coat
  • Travel adaptors for your electrical items
  • Credit card or Debit card that works overseas
  • Souvenirs from your home country
  • Personal items such as photographs.

Request a consultation with a friendly immigration lawyer at Jameson Law. They will walk you through the process and refer you to the best options for study available to you.

The main condition for a student visa holder is to maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.

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