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Australian Student Visa: Procedure, Cost, and Requirements

ACAlpina ChariFeb 7, 2024

Australia is a popular destination for international students pursuing quality education in a diverse and multicultural environment. According to the QS World University Rankings, Australia has seven out of the top 100 universities in the world, offering a wide range of courses and degrees that are recognized globally. Australia also offers a high standard of living, with modern facilities, advanced healthcare, and a dynamic public transport system. Moreover, Australia has a friendly and welcoming culture, with a rich history and heritage, and a vibrant student life. Additionally, Australia provides opportunities for students to work and travel after graduation, as international students can apply for a post-study work visa that allows them to stay and work in Australia for up to four years. However, studying in Australia also requires obtaining a valid Australian student visa that allows you to enter and stay in the country for the duration of your course. Depending on the type and level of study, students may need to apply for different subclasses of student visas, such as the Student Visa (Subclass 500), the Student Guardian Visa (Subclass 590), or the Training Visa (Subclass 407).

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the Australian student visa – its procedures, types, cost, and so on. 

Types of Australian Student Visas 

Student visa (subclass 500): This is the main visa for international students who want to study full-time in Australia. You can apply for this visa if you are enrolled in a registered course of study, such as a school, vocational, or higher education program. You can also include your family members in your application. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to five years, depending on your course length. You can also work part-time (up to 38 hours per fortnight) while studying, and full-time during scheduled breaks. 

Visa conditions: Once you are granted the Student Visa (subclass 500), you must comply with certain conditions while you are in Australia: 

  • You must remain enrolled in a registered course of study that is the same level or higher than the course you were granted the visa. 
  • You must maintain satisfactory attendance and course progress, and notify your education provider of any changes in your enrolment or contact details. 
  • You must limit your work hours to 38 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. You cannot work until your course has commenced. 
  • You must also follow the Australian workplace laws and regulations, and pay taxes on your income. 
  • You must maintain your health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia. 
  • You must not have any outstanding debts to the Australian government or have arrangements to repay them. 
  • You must abide by the Australian laws and respect the Australian values. 
  • You must not engage in any criminal or disruptive activities that may jeopardize your visa status or the safety of others.

Some other types of visas related to student activity include: 

Student Guardian visa (subclass 590): This visa is for parents or legal guardians who want to accompany and provide care for a student under 18 years of age who holds a student visa. You can apply for this visa if you are at least 21 years old, have enough funds to support yourself and the student and meet the health and character requirements. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the same duration as the student’s visa, or until the student turns 18. You can also study in Australia for up to three months, or longer if you enroll in an English language course. 

Training visa (subclass 407): This visa is for people who want to participate in workplace-based training or professional development activities in Australia. You can apply for this visa if you are sponsored by an approved temporary activities sponsor, have an invitation or nomination from your sponsor, have the required skills and qualifications for the training, and meet the English language, health, and character requirements. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to two years, and work for your sponsor or a related entity while undertaking the training.

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Australian Student Visa: Eligibility 

To apply for the Student Visa (subclass 500), you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You must have a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from an Australian education provider for a registered course of study. The course must be full-time and at least 12 weeks long.
  • You must have enough funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs, and health insurance for yourself and your family members. You may need to provide evidence of your financial capacity, such as bank statements, tax returns, or scholarship letters.
  • You must have a valid passport and meet the health and character requirements. You may need to undergo a medical examination and provide police certificates from your home country and any other country you have lived in for more than 12 months in the past 10 years.
  • You must have a minimum English language proficiency level unless you are exempt. You may need to take an English test, such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or OET, and achieve a certain score.
  • You must have adequate health insurance for your stay in Australia. You can purchase an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy from an approved provider, or prove that you have an alternative arrangement, such as a reciprocal health care agreement with your home country.
  • You must meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, which means that you have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily for study or training. 
  • You should provide a statement of purpose, explaining your reasons for choosing Australia, your course, and your plans.

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Australian Student Visa: Application Process and Cost 

Fill out the online visa application form. On the Department of Home Affairs website, you will need to create an ImmiAccount and upload your supporting documents, including your CoE, proof of English proficiency, GTE statement, and passport details.

  • To create an ImmiAccount, you will need to provide your email address, password, and security questions. You can also link your existing social media accounts to your ImmiAccount for easier access.
  • You will need to provide your personal details, contact details, education history, employment history, health history, and travel history. You will also need to answer some questions about your intended study and stay in Australia, such as the course name, start and end dates, education provider, and accommodation arrangements.

Pay the visa application fee. The cost of the visa is 650 AUD unless you are exempt. You may be exempt from paying the visa application fee if you are sponsored by the Australian Government, a foreign government, or a regional authority. You will need to provide evidence of your sponsorship with your visa application.

Attend an interview or provide biometric data if requested. You may be asked to attend an interview at an Australian embassy or consulate or provide your photo and fingerprints at a nominated biometric collection center. You will need to do this as soon as possible to avoid delays in your visa processing.

  • In the interview, you may be asked questions about your study plans, financial situation, family ties, and travel history. You should answer the questions honestly and confidently, and provide any additional documents if requested.
  • You may be asked to provide biometric data if you are applying from a country that is part of the Australian Government’s biometrics program. You will need to bring your passport and a copy of your visa application receipt. You will have your photo taken and your fingerprints scanned by a trained staff member. The process is quick and secure, and your biometric data will be stored and used for identity verification purposes.

Wait for the visa decision. The processing time for the visa varies depending on your country of origin, the type of course you are studying, and the completeness of your application. According to the Department of Home Affairs website, the average processing time for an Australian Student visa (subclass 500) is currently around 4-6 weeks.

  • You can check the status of your visa application online using your ImmiAccount. You will receive an email or a letter with the outcome of your visa application, whether it is granted, refused, or withdrawn. You will also receive information about the visa conditions, such as the validity period, work rights, and study requirements.
  • If your visa is granted, you will receive a visa grant number and a visa grant notice. You will need to keep these documents for your records and future reference. You will not receive a visa label or sticker on your passport. Your visa details will be linked to your passport electronically and accessible by Australian border authorities.
  • If your visa is refused, you will receive a visa refusal letter with the reasons for the refusal and information about your review rights. You may be able to apply for a review of the decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within a specified time limit. You will need to pay a fee for the review and provide additional evidence to support your case.
  • If your visa is withdrawn, you will receive a visa withdrawal letter with the reasons for the withdrawal and information about your departure arrangements. You may have to leave Australia within a specified time limit or face removal by the Australian authorities. You may also face a ban on applying for another visa for a certain period.

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Australian Student Visa: Documents Required 

Here is a list of the documents required for an Australian student visa:

  • A valid passport
  • A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with the correct start date for the course you have selected
  • Academic transcripts and certificates of previous education
  • A CV or resume if you have any work experience
  • Evidence of your English language ability, such as a satisfactory test score in an approved English language test or an exemption category
  • Evidence of your financial capacity, such as bank statements, income tax returns, or a letter of support from your spouse or parents
  • Evidence of adequate health insurance, such as Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) or a reciprocal health care agreement with your country
  • A health assessment, if requested by us, to ensure you meet Australia’s health requirements
  • Biometric data, such as a photo and fingerprints, if requested by us
  • If you are under 18 years old, you also need to provide:
  • Details of documentation showing your parent/s or guardian consent to you coming to Australia to study
  • Information about the arrangements that have been made for your welfare in Australia, such as living and guardianship arrangements
  • Details and documents that identify your parents or legal guardians, such as your birth certificate or proof of guardianship.

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What to Do if Your Visa Application is Rejected?

Review the Rejection Letter: Carefully read the letter from the Department of Home Affairs explaining the reasons for the rejection. Understanding the grounds on which your visa application was denied is crucial for determining your next course of action.

Consult with Your Educational Institution: Reach out to your chosen educational institution in Australia. They often have experienced staff or advisors who can provide guidance and support in navigating the visa application process. They may also be able to offer alternative solutions or assistance in reapplying.

Seek Professional Advice: Consider seeking advice from a migration agent or immigration lawyer who specializes in Australian visa matters. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual circumstances, review your application, and offer insights on how to strengthen your case for a successful reapplication.

Review and Address Concerns: If your visa was rejected due to specific issues or discrepancies in your application, take steps to rectify them. This may involve providing additional documentation, clarifying information, or addressing any concerns raised by the immigration authorities.

Reapply if Eligible: If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria for an Australian student visa and have addressed any issues identified in the rejection letter, you may choose to reapply. Ensure that your new application is thoroughly prepared and includes all required documents to support your case.

Consider Alternative Options: If reapplying for a student visa is not feasible or if you prefer exploring alternative pathways, discuss options such as deferring your studies, applying for a different type of visa, or exploring educational opportunities in other countries.

Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about any changes to visa policies, requirements, or procedures that may impact your situation. Government websites, official announcements, and reputable immigration sources are valuable resources for staying updated.

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In conclusion, an Australian student visa is crucial for anyone who wants to pursue their education in Australia. However, obtaining a student visa is not a simple process and requires careful planning and preparation. To avoid any delays or rejections, applicants should follow the guidelines and requirements of the student visa application process. These include providing complete and accurate documentation, demonstrating sufficient financial resources, showing genuine intent to study, meeting health and security standards, and having adequate academic qualifications. By planning ahead and following the guidelines, applicants can increase their chances of securing a student visa and fulfilling their educational aspirations in Australia. For more guidance and assistance in the Australian student visa application process, contact our admission experts at Gyanberry. Book your free video call appointment now!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The duration of an Australian Student Visa depends on the length of the course you are enrolled in. Typically, it allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course, with an additional buffer period for completion or graduation. 

Yes, you can extend your Australian Student Visa if you need more time to complete your studies. However, you must apply for an extension before your current visa expires and meet certain eligibility criteria, including maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

To obtain an Australian Student Visa, you need to demonstrate that you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and any other expenses related to your studies and stay in Australia. This can be evidenced through bank statements, sponsorship, or government loans.

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