Why not?! Australia is currently the third most popular country, behind the United States and the UK, for international students choosing a destination where to study. With globally recognised courses and institutions, spectacular scenery and great weather, Australia welcomed over half a million students from overseas in 2016 alone. It is easy to see why:
- Multiculturalism – Over 25% of Australians are born overseas. With more than 200 languages spoken here, it is by nature open to receive international people
- Laidback lifestyle – “No worries mate!” meaning ‘Don’t worry about that, it’s all fine’ is considered the national motto. Nothing is too much of a deal and you will rarely find an Aussie stressed
- Breath taking landscapes – From Uluru in the Red Centre of Australia to crystal clear waters and vibrant coral reef along the Coast, the country certainly does not fall short of magnificent selfie-worth sights!
- Environment and Living standards – Australia ranks in the top 20 list of safest countries to live in. It also enjoys having Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne in the “The Most Liveable Cities Index”, with the latter having come out as number one several years in a row
- High quality education and support – Australia is devoted to maintaining its reputation in the education sector and ensuring students, both domestic and international, receive the services and support they need to successfully complete their studies. Regulatory systems such as the AQF and the ESOS Act are in place to look after and protect the rights of students
Benefits of a student visa in Australia
No age limit
There is no age limit to apply for a student visa to study in Australia! Applicants need to be 6 years or older and welfare arrangements must be put in place for those under 18. Otherwise as long as you can meet the requirements, you can come to study in Australia at any age.
Can last up to five years in line with your enrolment
You can apply for separate courses and have them bundled up as a package for a period of up to five years. This means that if you wanted to, you could complete several courses such as an English course, a bachelor’s degree and a Masters in Australia.
You can bring family members with you
You may be able to add your partner or child as a dependent on your student visa so you don’t have to worry about them staying in your home country. They may be eligible to join and support you during your studies in Australia.
Can apply inside or outside of Australia
You can submit a student visa application while being inside or outside of Australia. If you are applying from outside, it is highly recommended that you check the Department of Home Affairs processing times and lodge your visa application in line with these guidelines. If you are applying onshore, it is important that you lodge your student visa application before your current visa expires.
May lead to a Temporary Graduate Visa
Depending on which course you study and at what level, you may be eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa which can allow you to live, work and study in Australia for a period of up to four years upon completion of your studies. This is a great opportunity to stay and enjoy Australia a bit longer without any restrictions.
Has work rights
Students are allowed to work while they study in Australia once their course has commenced. Generally students can work 40 hours per fortnight while their course is in session and unlimited hours during course breaks. Students enrolled in a Masters by Research or PhD can work unlimited hours during their degree. Family members included in your application that have come to Australia with you as a dependent are also granted permission to work. Similar work rights apply to that of the primary applicant – up to 40 hours per fortnight once the course has commenced, and unlimited hours if the course of study is a Masters or PhD.
Some universities may grant up to 20% discount in tuition fees for students from selected countries or that meet their current scholarship eligibility requirements. This can result in a substantial savings! Some VET providers also have promotions for packaged courses. Our education agents can advise you of the educational institutions providing such incentives and whether they think you meet the criteria to be granted a discount.
You can study at a registered Australian institution
Australia is home to some of the Top 100 universities in the world. Its degrees are globally recognised and its quality of education is second to none. Australia has its own Ivy League universities known as the Group of Eight – 8 prestigious research-intensive universities that are also some of the oldest in Australia.
You don’t need perfect English!
Most courses, if not all, require you to meet a minimum English language proficiency requirement. The most common English language test taken by international students is the IELTS test. Students using this test will generally need a score of 5.5 with no band lower than 5.0 for a VET course and 6.5 with no band lower than 6.0 for university courses (exceptions apply). Institutions accept other English language tests and will have equivalent pass marks for each test. The good news is that if you do not have the necessary English language test score to be accepted into the primary course, you may be able to package it with an English course and apply for only one student visa to cover all courses. Our education agents can help you understand how this pathway may work for you.
Student Visa Requirements
The student visa (Subclass 500) is for anyone who wishes to study full-time at an Australian institution. Before applying for this visa, you must be accepted into a CRICOS registered course. There are several requirements an applicant must be able to meet when applying for a student visa. These include:
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
International students are expected to explain why they are choosing to study in Australia and how it is going to benefit their future. You will need to write a statement showing that you have done research and are familiar with your choice of course and institution. You will need to also explain how your chosen course makes sense in regards to your existing qualifications and what you intend to do upon completion of your course. Basically the Department of Home Affairs needs to be convinced that you intend to enter Australia temporarily to be a genuine student and comply with your student visa conditions.
Evidence of genuine access to funds
When submitting a student visa application, you may be asked to provide documentation to prove you have sufficient funds to pay for your studies, your travel to (and from) Australia and also to cover your living costs.
- Students who will be in Australia for at least 12 months must be able to show they have access to at least $20,290. For students intending to be in Australia for less than 12 months, this figure will be adjusted on a pro-rata basis.
- An additional $7,100 if your partner is coming with you
- An additional $3,040 per child if you have children coming with you
- You may also be able to use parental income. For a single applicant at least $60,000 in the most recent completed financial year and where dependents are included this must be at least $70,000
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
Student visa applicants are required to hold a valid Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). This needs to be paid upfront. This must be active the day you enter Australia right up until your student visa expires. Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish students do not need OSHC because of agreements between our respective governments.
There are six approved health insurance providers for student visa purposes:
The policy price varies slightly depending on the provider you choose to take out your insurance with. You can see estimate costs for a single cover for different time periods below –
6 months – $225 – $265
12 months – $455 – $575
18 months – $690 – $805
The dates on your letter of offer will help determine the dates the insurance needs to cover. You can purchase your health insurance through the college itself, through you agent or directly with the provider. At EasiVisa, we work directly with AHM, Medibank and Allianz.
Confirmation of Enrolment (COE)
An enrolment is made up of three stages:
Part 1 – Submitting the application + supporting documents
Part 2 – Receiving and accepting a letter of offer
Part 3 – Making payment and receiving a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE)
A Confirmation of Enrolment contains your unique reference number and is issued by your education provider. This is also recorded in PRISMS, a system where providers communicate with the Department of Home Affairs and records each student’s enrolment details.
Generally, a student cannot apply for a student visa without a COE, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Other requirements include –
All student visa applicants must meet Australian health requirements. Some people will be asked to undergo visa medical and some won’t. It depends on several factors such as your country of origin, where you have lived, your travel history, your previous medical history etc.
If you are already in Australia and you need to do visa medicals, you will need to organise these with BUPA. If you are outside of Australia, we’ll let you know where the closest approved visa medical clinic is.
The Department of Home Affairs will request that you provide your biometrics if you are in a specified country at the time you lodge a student visa application. We can let you know before lodgement whether you will need to provide your biometrics.
You may need to provide documents to prove your English language skills if you enrol to study a Certificate/Diploma or at university.
You will need to translate any original documents by a certified NAATI translator. We work with Perth Translations and are happy to get a quote for you.
Additional things to consider:
- Do you have family members travelling with you?
- Are you under 18? Do you need a guardian to travel with you to Australia?
- Do you currently hold a visa? If so, which one and what conditions are on it?
Cost of a Student Visa
The Department of Immigration in Australia currently charges $620* (plus credit card surcharge) when you submit an application for a student visa, regardless of the length of your course. Additional charges apply for extra applicants such as partners or children. You can find the current visa pricing table here. *All $ figures are in AUD.
Length of a Student Visa
You must enrol to study in a course for a minimum of 12 weeks to be considered for a student visa.
The duration of your visa will be impacted by the duration of your course.
- If your course is longer than 10 months and finishes in November/December your visa will usually be granted until mid March the following year
- If your course is longer than 10 months, you will usually receive an additional 2 months at the end of your studies
- If your course is shorter than 10 months, you will usually receive 1 month at the end of your studies
Steps to study in Australia
- Get in touch! – send us a quick email or simply fill out our contact form explaining –
- Where you are from
- What you would like to study – course, area, city…
- Are you inside or outside of Australia? If you are in Australia, what visa do you hold and when does it expire?
- Book an appointment with us – this will enable our agents to go over the student visa requirements with you and assess whether we think you meet them.
- Course counselling – our agents will do their research and present you with options in line with the areas of study and qualifications you are interested in.
- Appoint us as your agent – if you would like our help to assist you with an enrolment and student visa application, we will send you an agreement and request for deposit (50% of our service fees). We will request the balance prior to lodging your student visa to the Department of Home Affairs.
- Gather your documents – you will receive access to your own EasiVisa online file. You will be able to access this with your unique username and password and will be able to monitor the progress made on your application. This online file will have a list of all the documents we need from you as well as a Messenger-like chat box where you can communicate with the agents assigned to handle your case.
- Submit your application to study – our education agents will advise you which documents we need to submit your application to study. We will fill out the necessary forms and liaise with the provider on your behalf to arrange the desired pathway(s). At this stage you can also decide how you would like to organise your health insurance.
- Receive your letter of offer – if the admissions team is satisfied that you meet their requirements, they will grant you a letter of offer with your course details (star/finish date, breaks, payment plan if applicable…).
- Accept your letter of offer and make payment of first instalment – if you are happy with the offer, you will need to accept it and pay the deposit. The deposit amount will vary depending on factors like where you intend to study (university vs. VET provider), where you are (inside or outside of Australia), etc.
- Receive your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) – This will be issued by your provider and has your unique reference number which needs to be provided in your student visa application.
- Check your student visa draft application – While our education agent is handling and finalising your enrolment, one of our registered migration agents will be simultaneously preparing your visa application. This includes reviewing your documents and GTE. We will send you a draft and advise of any additional information we may need to support your application.
- Submit your student visa application – Our agents will submit your application to the Department of Home Affairs and now all you have to do is wait! We will advise you if biometrics or medical examinations are required and how to go about organising them.