Student Visa

Australia is one of the leading destination for international students because of its world class universities, vocational colleges, and outstanding English language schools. Student Visas allow international students to travel to and from Australia and live in Australia while they undertake a full-time course of study. There are many different courses an international student can enrol in and also international students have permission to work 40 hours per fortnight while studying. Also, you may include your partner and children as a dependent family member.

Student Visa requirements

    1. You must first enrol in a CRICOS-registered course.

    2. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE): You will need to show that you are a genuine student who will complete their studies in Australia, comply with visa conditions and in general return home after your studies. When applying for a student visa, your intention needs to be to complete a course of study then return to use the skills you’ve learned in your home country.

      The Minister for Immigration has laid out the factors that Department of Immigration case officers should consider are in a Ministerial Direction under Section 499 of the Migration Act. These are as follows:

        1. Circumstances in Your Home Country
        2. Your Potential Circumstances in Australia
        3. Value of the Course to Your Future
        4. Your Immigration History
        5. Intentions of the Parent, Legal Guardian or Spouse – where the Applicant is under 18
        6. Other Relevant Matters

      First One Education and Migration will go through each of these factors and some guidance on what matters might be relevant for each of them. This would generally involve demonstrating how the studies are relevant to your background, and how they will improve your employment prospects in your home country.

    3. Country and Provider Risk Model: Risk ratings apply to different education providers and to different passport countries. In other words, this is what we call ‘country level’ and ‘school level’.

      Depending on the combination of your passport country and the education provider you choose, you will either need to meet:

      • Regular Evidentiary Requirements: in this case you would need to provide evidence of English language ability and finances
      • Streamlined Evidentiary Requirements: evidence of English language ability or finances not generally required

    4. English Language Ability: If you are subject to “Regular Evidentiary Requirements”, you will need to provide evidence of your English language ability. This would generally require you to undertake English language testing – minimum scores would generally be as follows:

      • IELTS: 5.5 Average
      • TOEFL (Paper): 527
      • TOEFL iBT: 46
      • CAE (Cambridge): 162
      • PTE (Pearson): 42
      • OET (Occupational English Test): B Pass

      If you are completing ELICOS (English language) studies as part of a packaged course, the English scores are somewhat lower. You may be exempt from English language testing if:

      • You hold a passport from certain countries
      • You have previously studied in English medium or in Australia
      • You are enrolled in certain types of courses
    5. Financial Requirement: If required, you would need to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to undertake studies in Australia. This could be either of the following:

      • Evidence of funds to cover your studies for the first 12 months of your stay in Australia;
      • Evidence of funds can be from your Family/relatives who are willing to support you
    6. Overseas Student Health Cover: You must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. This is done by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance in Australia.

How can you apply?

You can either be in Australia (onshore) or overseas (offshore) when you apply for a student visa. If in Australia, you would generally need to hold a substantive visa which is not subject to a “no further stay” condition.

Student visa conditions

Your visa is generally approved for the duration of your studies plus 2 months. PhD and Masters by Research students will generally receive an additional 6 months to handle marking of their theses.

You are permitted to work in Australia on a student visa once you have commenced your studies. In general, you can work for up to 40 hours a fortnight whilst your course is in session, you can also work unlimited hours when you have a break for study.
You must maintain enrolment in an approved course whilst in Australia – you are not allowed to swap to a lower course, but can swap to a higher-level course whilst you are in Australia.

To obtain a student visa, you must provide evidence of adequate health insurance arrangements, and this is also an ongoing condition of your visa.

Pathways after your study complete

Australian qualifications can also give you more options in applying for longer-stay visas such as Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visas and General Skilled Migration