STUDENT VISAS IN AUSTRALIA

In 2016, there were 712,884 enrolments generated by 554,179 full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa.
Would you like to take advantage of Australia’s world class educational system? Whether it is studying English language or gaining valuable skills and experience, studying in Australia could change your life forever.
A student visa grants the visa holder rights to live In Australia while they complete their specified education. If granted, a student visa will allow the visa holder to remain in Australia for the duration of the course and most will let you work up to 40 hours per fortnight.

500 - STUDENT VISA

The new streamlined Student Visa subclass 500 has replaced the old student visa system on 1 July 2016 and is designed to make student visa applications more straightforward. Generally, the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP) assesses applications on the basis of the education provider and the intended course of study, as well as country of passport. This assessment replaces the previous assessment level system.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT VISA

1. Enrolment

  • The visa applicant must provide evidence of enrolment at the time of application lodgement.
  • If applied outside Australia, Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for all intended courses.
  • If applied inside Australia, Letter of offer or CoE for all intended courses. However, CoE(s) must be provided before the visa can be granted.

2. Health, character and insurance

  • Visa applicant(s) must meet the health requirements. Visa applicant(s) might need to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process and can choose to undertake them prior to lodging the visa application.
  • Visa applicant(s) must satisfy character requirements.
  • Visa applicant(s) must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. It can be only meet by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), unless exempted.

3. Genuine temporary entrant

  • The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa program is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.
  • The GTE requirement applies to all visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will take into account whether the individual circumstances indicate an intention for a temporary stay in Australia.

4. Qualification and employment history

  • The visa applicant(s) should provide evidence of current or most recent employment and academic qualification(s)/study, as applicable.

5. Parental consent and welfare arrangements

  • If a child under the age of 18 is included in the visa application and one or both parents (or legal guardians) are not applying for an Australian visa, both parents will need to complete and sign the form 1229 – Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years.
  • For student applicants who are under 18 years of age, evidence of accommodation and welfare arrangements in Australia must be provided at the time of visa application lodgement.

6. Dependent school enrolment

  • If any dependent applicant(s) is 5 – 17 years of age, evidence of enrolment in an Australian school is required.

7. Financial capacity requirements

  • The visa applicant needs to have enough money that is genuinely available to pay for all cost associated with the study in Australia. Evidence of financial capacity can be demonstrated from either of the following:
  • sufficient funds to cover travel costs to Australia and 12 months’ tuition, living and schooling costs (for school aged dependents, if applicable) for the main visa applicant and accompanying family members, or
  • evidence that the spouse or parents of the main applicant are providing financial support and they have an annual income of at least AUD 60,000 for a single student visa application or at least AUD 70,000 for a visa application that includes accompanying family members
  • an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form for secondary exchange students only
  • a letter of support from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or Department of Defence

485 - GRADUATE VISA

The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) lets you live, study and work in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies. Students are only able to access the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) once as a primary applicant.

This visa has two streams:

  • Graduate Work stream – for international students with an eligible qualification who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months from the date of grant.
  • Post-Study Work stream – for international students who graduate with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider, regardless of their field of study. This stream is only available to students who applied for, and were granted, their first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011. A visa in this stream can be granted for up to four years from the date the visa is granted, depending on the visa applicant’s qualification.

If you are applying as the main applicant, you and anybody else covered by the application must be in Australia when you apply for this visa and when your visa is decided.

Family members who apply for this visa after the main applicant has been granted the visa may be in or outside Australia when they apply, but must not be in immigration clearance.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATE VISA FOR BOTH STREAMS

1. Eligibility

  • be under 50 years of age
  • hold an eligible visa
  • be in Australia
  • meet the 2-year Australian study requirement
  • hold adequate health insurance
  • meet health and character requirements
  • meet English language requirements
  • meet specific requirements of the stream

2. The Australian study requirement

In the six months before you apply, you must meet the Australian study requirement. You meet this requirement if you can satisfy us that you have completed one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications for award by an Australian educational institution as a result of a course(s):

  • that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
  • for which all instruction was conducted in English
  • that were completed as a result of total of at least two academic years (92 weeks) study
  • that were completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months
  • that have been undertaken while you were in Australia as the holder of a visa authorising you to study.

English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.

3. English requirements

The visa applicant must satisfy the English language requirement with either of the following test formats:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – an overall score of at least 6 with a minimum score of 5 in each of the four test components
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic – an overall score at least 50 with a minimum score of 36 each in each of the four test components
  • Occupational English Test (OET) – a score of at least B in each of the four test components
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) – an overall score of at least 64 with 4 for listening, 4 for reading, 14 for Writing and 14 for speaking
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) – an overall test score of at least 169 with a minimum score of at least 154 in each of the four test components
  • The visa applicant must have sat the English language test in the three years before applying and the results should be provided with the visa application.

4. Health, character and insurance requirements

  • The visa applicant and dependant family members included in the application must meet health requirements by completing the required health examinations as part of the visa application process.
  • All visa applicants who are in Australia and 16 years of age or older must satisfy character requirements. S/he must provide evidence of clearance or should have applied for an Australian Federal Police check, in the 12 months prior to application date.
  • All visa applicants must have adequate health insurance.

5. Specific requirements – Graduate Work and Post-Study Work streams

Graduate Work stream

Requirements for this visa include:

  • you nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List
  • your visa application included evidence that you had applied for a skills assessment for your nominated skilled occupation by a relevant assessing authority
  • your skills have been assessed by a relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated skilled occupation (‘suitable skills assessment’)
  • if your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia while you held a student visa, the qualification must have been obtained as a result of studying a CRICOS-registered course
  • you have met the Australian study requirement in the past six months
  • each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to meet the Australian study requirement is closely related to your nominated skilled occupation.

What does closely related mean?

For your qualification to be considered to be closely related to your nominated occupation, the skills underpinning the qualification must be directly transferable to that occupation. This applies to both the subject matter and the level of the qualification. For example, if you nominate ‘physiotherapist’ as your occupation, a degree in physiotherapy would meet this requirement, but a degree in commerce would not.

Nominated skilled occupation

You must nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL): Schedule 1. You can nominate only one occupation and you cannot change that occupation after you apply.

Skills assessment

It is your responsibility to arrange for the skills assessment. Contact the relevant assessing authority well before you apply for this visa, because each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.

Contact details for Assessing Authorities are listed on the department’s website.

  • You must apply to the relevant assessing authority to obtain a suitable skills assessment prior to lodging your application.
  • If your nominated occupation is ‘medical practitioner’, evidence of your full medical registration is accepted as evidence of a skills assessment. Further information can be found on migration of medical practitioners under the general skilled migration program.
  • If your nominated occupation is a Nurse, you must obtain a skills assessment from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) even if currently registered to work as a nurse in an Australian state or territory.
  • A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or for a period of three years from the assessment’s date of issue.

Post-Study Work stream

Requirements for this visa include:

  • you applied for, and were granted, your first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011
  • you hold an eligible qualification
  • your qualification was conferred or awarded by an Australian university or non-university education provider that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Courses and Institutions for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and that provider offers courses at degree level and above
  • your study for the qualification(s) satisfied the Australian study requirement in the past six months.

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