Visas and entry requirements for internationals aiming to study in Australia might take some time, however, it will all be worth it! Studying in Australia might just be one of the most wonderful experiences in a student’s life. Studying in the country where the majority of the population live near the coast is surely an experience to be remembered; and the degrees Australian universities offer are exceptional. Moreover, seven universities in Australia are ranked among the top 100 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
However, to get to Australia and start your studies, first you have to follow the visas and entry requirements thoroughly, in order to obtain a Student Visa. So, let’s get to the Student Visa essentials step-by-step.
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When Should I Apply for a Student Visa?
You need a Student Visa if you’re going to be studying English Courses, Vocational Courses, or University Courses.
- English Courses: These courses include General English, IELTS, Cambridge, Business English, Academic English, TESOL-CELTA, and more.
- Vocational Courses: Vocational courses include Business, Marketing, Hospitalities, Food & Culinary Art, IT Computing, Sport & Fitness, Tourism, etc.
- University Courses: By University courses we mean if you want to get to Australia to study for your Bachelor’s Degree, Masters, or PhD.
What are the requirements of an Australian Student Visa?
Just like any other type of visa, even the Student Visa has a number of requirements you should follow to be eligible to apply. Here’s what you need to apply for a Student Visa in Australia:
1. Confirmation of Enrolment (COE)
One of the first Student Visa requirements is your Confirmation of Enrolment. You need to provide your COE or Letter of Offer that has been issued by the higher education institution you have chosen and have been admitted to. It’s important to know, however, that the course you have chosen must be under the CRICOS framework. CRICOS is an abbreviation for Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
2. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)
You should give the proper evidence that your stay in Australia is temporary, meaning you will be there for the amount of time you need to finish your studies. You will be asked to provide a written statement that proves your compliance with the integrity measure of the Australian Student Visa program. The case officer will analyze the document and decide whether it meets the GTE requirement.
3. Financial Requirements
You will be asked to provide information on how you’re planning on covering the costs of living in Australia, tuition fees, and travel expenses. However, these financial requirements will depend on the length of your intended stay in Australia as well as the country you’re from and the institution you have enrolled in.
4. Health Requirement
An Australian Health Requirement will also be needed for you to successfully submit your application. More specifically, you will have to go through a medical examination that will depend on a variety of factors such as the type of visa you’re applying for, the length of your stay, the level of tuberculosis risk in your country, as well as any other circumstances that might be relevant at the time of application.
5. Character Requirement
Australia has a few character requirements you should meet in order to be able to obtain a Student Visa and enter the country. Entering temporarily, they will ask you to provide the police certificates since turning 16 years old, for each country you have lived in.
6. English Proficiency
Proving your English proficiency will also be a requirement. The documentation you will need to submit should be an up-to-date certificate of an English language test. However, students who are passport-holders of English-speaking countries such as the USA, New Zealand, UK and Ireland will not need to provide the aforementioned English certificate.
7. Health Insurance Requirement (Overseas Student Health Cover – OSHC)
Visa applicants should be registered with an OSHC insurance provider for as long as they will be staying in Australia. OSHC is designed for international students and it will help you cover any potential medical or hospital expenses you might need during your stay.
8. Additional documents
You will also be asked to provide additional documents such as your ID documents, as well as your passport (which should be valid for your whole stay in Australia). Other documents will depend on where you apply from and where you will be studying.
What’s the Duration of my Student Visa?
The duration of your Student Visa depends on the duration of your studies in Australia. That is, if you are going for a 6-month program, you will be given a Student Visa with a 6-month validity. Nevertheless, for courses below 10 months, you will be given one extra month; meanwhile for courses lasting more than 10 months, you will be given two extra months. In addition, if your course is 10 months or longer, finishing at the end of the Australian academic year, then the visa will usually be valid up until the 15th of March, the following year.
It’s important to note that you can renew your Student Visa for as many times as it will be necessary. However, it is recommended that you apply for a renewal at least three months before the current visa expires.
The maximum length of stay for a Student Visa is generally not more than 5 years.
Can I Work with a Student Visa?
Yes, you are allowed to work for 40 hours per two weeks, meaning part-time, during your studies; and full-time during your school breaks.
Higher degree by research students on a Postgraduate Research, however, are allowed to work unlimited hours once they begin their Masters or PhD course.
Can I Travel while on my Student Visa?
You are allowed to travel outside of Australia while you are on your Student Visa. Although you should keep in mind that the validity of your visa will not be extended for the period of time you spend outside of Australia. For more questions about visa requirements or updates, check with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship information page, as well as the Australian Embassy in your country.