Student Visa Requirements for International Students in Australia

Student Visas are your gateways to successfully applying for education in foreign countries.

Different countries have different requirements for student visas, but one thing is certain that you need to apply for it at the right time.

You will have to apply for a student visa around the same time you apply for your studentship at the university. Most countries, including Australia, have a narrow time frame before classes begin. So they allow international students to enter on a student visa. However, you will need to time your student visa application just right to get in.

Documents Required For Australian Student Visa

The Australian student visa, also known as the Student Visa (Subclass 500). The DHA (Department of Home Affairs) asks for the following documents from anybody who applies for this visa:

  1. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement
  2. Proof of Financial Capacity
  3. Proof of English Proficiency
  4. Health and character certificates

All the above-mentioned documents will need to be submitted with the online visa application and the fees. The DHA website has all the additional details for the step-by-step process you will need to follow.

The Genuine Temporary Entrant

The GTE is a requirement that has been in use since November 2011. It states that the visa applicant must display a genuine & legal intention to stay in Australia. It may be to study or to accompany a student as a dependent (spouse/ child) or a guardian.

The DHA takes the following factors into consideration:

  1. Circumstances in the applicant’s home country
  2. Potential situations for the applicant in Australia
  3. Value of the chosen career
  4. Immigration history of the applicant

To decide whether an applicant fulfills this criterion, he or she may need to attend an interview at the Australian High Commission in Dhaka. Some applicants, on the other hand, will simply need to fill out an online application form.

Requirements Students Must Consider Before Applying

Students will need to get a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and an Offer Letter that confirms the acceptance into a course registered under CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses) before applying for the Australian Student Visa.

The CoE is an online code that has to be entered into the online visa application form. To get it, students must submit the term/ semester fee upfront.

If anybody wishes to transfer courses to study in Australia at the same or a higher level, they can do so after getting the visa. However, for transfer to lower-level courses on the AQF (Australian Qualification Framework) or a non-AQF level course, students will need to apply for a new visa.

This rule applies to everyone, with the exception only to Ph.D. students who want to transfer to Masters degrees. Students could package their education by studying two or more courses on their Student Visa (Subclass 500); especially, where there is a clear advancement from one course to the next.

Required Documents for Online Application

You need to submit the following documents to complete your online application:

1. Financial Statements

The statements will be addressed as proof of the applicant’s solvency to cover tuition fees, allowances for travel and accommodation.

For students with dependents (such as children or a spouse), an alternative method would be to show that the student’s spouse or parents would support them and earn at least 60,000 AUD a year.

2. Certification of English proficiency

Students from non-English-speaking countries (who did not complete at least 5 years of study in an English-speaking country) must show proper certification that states that they can speak English on par with the required level.

The eligible tests & certification the DHA accepts are:

  • IELTS
  • TOEFL
  • PTE

The score needed will correlate with whether you want to begin a full degree, do a foundation course, or enroll in a preliminary English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

3. Character Certificate

The applicants for the Student Visa (Subclass 500) will need to give a disclaimer of not having any legal actions going against them as per the country’s laws and are obtaining a reputation. The papers include:

  • Criminal Record Check (to make sure you have no criminal record)
  • Police Certificate/ Police Statement or a Penal Clearance Certificate (required only in certain cases)

Applicants of this visa might also be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration alongside their online visa application form. Besides fulfilling the above criteria, students must also buy an OSHC that meets their needs (for any exemptions to this rule, check the website of the DHA)

An Overview of The Required Documents

Here is a checklist for all the documents you need to submit, along with your online visa application form:

  1. Completed Australian Student Visa Application form (157A)
  2. Paid Visa Application fee (currently 620 AUD approx.)
  3. Copy of all pages of the passport (some may need to provide their physical passports). This includes all passports held by the applicant (valid, invalid, old, and current)
  4. CoE and Offer Letter from University
  5. Proof of sufficient funds
  6. Proof of healthcare cover (OSHC)
  7. Test results of English proficiency
  8. Results of criminal record check

Once the documents have all been scanned and gathered, you will need to create an account and apply through the Immi Account online application platform.

Visa Processing Time Period

For most visas, the processing time is around four weeks. If the course you enrolled in has a duration of over 10 months and is likely to end mid-December, then your visa duration will be for 15th March of the next year.

However, if your course is longer than 10 months and is scheduled to end between January and October, your visa will last for two months post-course completion. In that case, check the website of DHA to see if you can apply for an extended student visa.

Additional Pointers to Guide You Along the Way

The world-class universities in Australia make you work-ready to succeed in the global workforce. An Australian qualification is highly valued anywhere in the world and makes you attractive to potential employers.

The Great Australian Outdoors

Australia allows international students with student visas (Subclass 500) to enter the country 90 days prior to the commencement of classes. That is why it is important to plan your departure before you have even submitted your visa to avoid any last-minute hassles.

Within 7 days of your arrival, you MUST inform your educational provider/ institution about your residence address. If you decide to move to a different location, you will again have to notify them of the address 7 days before you move out.

Work Hours & Regulations for Students

The Student Visa (Subclass 500) allows 40 hours of work per fortnight and full-time during holidays. This visa is issued with an automatic work permit, but you may NOT begin work until the course has begun.

In this case, you should not rely solely on your work to support you and/or your family while studying in Australia.
For students of Masters by research or PhDs, there are no work restrictions. Any work mandated as part of the course is not included within the given limit.

Voluntary/ unpaid employment is outside the 40-hour limit if it fulfills the following conditions:

  1. The work must be voluntary
  2. It must be for a non-profit organization
  3. It must benefit the community

Mandatory Obligations for Students to Follow

The successful applicants who hold an Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500) need to fulfill the following obligations:

  1. MUST remain enrolled in a CRICOS-registered course
  2. MUST attend classes regularly
  3. MUST make acceptable progress in the course
  4. MUST maintain OSHC health cover

If all this information has been overwhelming, then get in touch with us at PFEC Global. We strive to make this entire process very easy and convenient and guide you to successfully getting your Australian student visa at the earliest notice, so you can pursue a prestigious education in Australia.

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