A Student visa (subclass 500) is a visa that can be applied for by international students seeking to study in Australia for up to 5 years, subject to enrolment. A student visa allows you to study in Australia and grants you rights to work in the country to support yourself while you are here. This short guide is designed to assist you in making an application for a Student visa in Australia.
What is a Genuine Temporary Resident (GTE)?
In order to ensure that your intentions for applying for a student visa are solely for gaining a quality education in Australia, applicants are made to submit a Genuine Temporary Resident (GTE) Statement to confirm their intentions. A GTE statement is used by the Department of Home Affairs to determine that you do not intend to use your student visa as a means of obtaining permanent residency in Australia. A GTE statement will need to include the following information:● Previous Study – including reasons for gaps in previous study● Currently Employment● Ties to home country or country or residence – you need to demonstrate why there is reason for you to return home after your study● Your economic situation in home country or country of residence ● Employment in a third country The Department will assess your GTE and consider, among other things:● Why you were unable to undertake a similar course of study in your home country or country of residence ● Your previous immigration history in Australia ● If your proposed course of study is relevant to your current level of education
Student Visa Requirements for Australia
In order to apply for a Student Visa, you must be able to provide evidence that you are enrolled in a course of study registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) as well as being able to demonstrate that you hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).Ordinarily, individuals on student visas are limited to work 40 hours a fortnight but, due to workforce shortages brought on by COVID-19, this measure has temporarily been relaxed meaning there is no cap on hours you can work. Prospective applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they can support themselves throughout their stay. Applicant’s must be able to show they have the funds to support themselves on their own or prove that their partner or parent’s will supplement their stay in Australia. When applying for an Australian visa, prospective visa applicants will also be subject to meeting basic health and character requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs. These minimum requirements will ensure that Australia’s health guidelines are maintained and that Government is able to ensure that people entering Australia are of fit and proper character prior to entering the country.
How much is a Student Visa in Australia?
As of the time of writing, the Australian student visa fee is AUD$630.00
Choose a School/College/University in Australia
As mentioned above, in order to study in Australia you must study at an institution approved on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This however does not limit the choice you have when choosing an institution to study at with NSW having over 500 potential institutions to study in alone. The choice for which institution you attend depends entirely on you and what you want to study. Australia wide, there are thousands of institutions to choose from specialising in a range of different fields ranging from health to finance to the arts.
Check if you need a student visa for Australia
It is important to note that all foreign citizens wishing to study in Australia are required to obtain a valid student visa.
Student visa’s (subclass 500) are divided into seven (7) different streams:
● Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector● Postgraduate Research Sector ● Independent ELICOS Sector● Schools Sector● Vocational Education and Training Sector● Higher Education Sector● Non-Award Sector
In addition to the above, prospective applicants or their guardians may also be eligible for the following visas:● Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – if you hold or have held a student visa and completed specific qualifications in the last six months you may be eligible for this visa ● Recognition Graduate visa (subclass 476) – if you are a recent engineering graduate of a recognised institution you many be able to apply for this visa ● Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) – allows you bring a Guardian to Australia to support a child who holds a student visa
Language Requirements for Studying in Australia
In order to obtain a student visa, applicants must be able to meet English langue requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs. Prospective applicants must take an English language test from an approved provider in the 2 years before you apply for a student visa. Approved providers and the minimum result required for each provider is set out below.
English language test providers
Minimum score and at least 10 weeks English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
TOEFL internet-based test
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
Occupational English Test
B for each test component
Prospective applicants may be exempt from having to undergo an English language test. Amongst other exemptions, you are not required to undergo an English language test if you meet the following exceptions:● You are a citizen and hold a passport from UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland ● You are an applicant who is a Foreign Affairs or, Defence sponsored student or a Secondary Exchange student (AASES)● You are enrolled in a principal course of study that is a registered school course, a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), a course registered to be delivered in a language other than English, or a registered post-graduate research course● You have completed at least 5 years’ study in English in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland● In the 2 years before applying for the student visa, you completed, in Australia and in the English
Complete the Visa Application Online
It is recommended that you apply for your student visa at least 6 weeks prior to the start of your course. Prior to applying you will need to ensure you have all required documents to submit to the Department including:● Proof of identity● Proof of enrolment● Evidence that you can support yourself ● Proof of Overseas Student Health Cover● Genuine Temporary Entrant document ● Proof of English language requirements To apply for the visa, you must log in or create an ImmiAccount with the Department. Your ImmiAccount will be used to submit all required documents for your submission, including the visa application itself. After applying, the Department may be in contact to you. Following the lodgement of your application the Department may ask you for the following:● Submission of Health Exams● Submission of Biometrics● Further proof regarding elements of your application
Processing times for your visa may vary depending on the stream of your student visa.A list of processing times for your visa can be found here .
Travel to Australia
As of 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated international students are able to travel to Australia with needing to apply for a travel exemption.
The material included in this article is designed and intended to provide general information in summary on Student visa in Australia, which is current at the time of publication and is for general informational purposes only. The contents do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Migrating to Australia can be overwhelming for some. An experienced migration lawyer can assist and guide you to meet the legal requirements of studying in Australia. Contact our office to speak with one of our lawyers who can help guide you through the process and assist you with studying in Australia and help you maximise the prospects of your application being successful.