Australia Student Visa
Australia is one of the top destinations for international students from all over the globe who travel “down under” to this beautiful country for a variety of excellent educational opportunities.
Depending on a student’s preference and eligibility, they may select programs in Australia to improve their English language skills; attend primary school, junior high school or secondary/high school; learn a vocation/trade; earn an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree from a college or university; conduct post-graduate research; take courses that don’t lead to a degree; or enhance their knowledge-base through a special Defense-related program. With so many options to choose from, the dream of living, studying and working in Australia can truly become a reality!
Australian Student Visa allows you to study and work in Australia for a period equal to the duration of your Course plus one month (28 days after the last day of class). You must be over 16 to require this visa.
Student Visa can be associated to:
- Language Courses (e.g. General English, IELTS Preparation and Cambridge, etc.);
- Professional Courses(VET Courses, Vocational Education & Training);
- Undergraduate Courses (Bachelor degree, Master’s and PhD).
The student visa is approved only if combined with an accredited course provided by some Australia’s schools. Visa is associated to the confirmation of enrollment (COE = Confirmation of Enrolment), which identifies starting and ending date of the course.
You can combine multiple courses within the same visa, such as a language course and a vocational course.
The minimum duration of a related visa course is 12 weeks, maximum is 50 weeks.
There are several Australia student visa requirements that you must meet if you want to study abroad in this incredible country. As of March 24, 2012, the Australian government is evaluating applications for student visas based on five Assessment Levels (with Level 1 having the least stringent criteria applied and Level 5 having the most stringent criteria applied) that take into account two key factors:
- A student’s passport country
- A student’s main course of study
The Australian government will accordingly assess an application for a student visa using one of two main methods. One method is based on the five Assessment Levels (mentioned above) which evaluate a student based on their passport country AND main course of study. The second method is the “streamlined processing” procedure (if a student is eligible) which gives a student an Assessment Level of 1 (least strict criteria applied) regardless of their passport country/nationality. To be eligible for the “streamlined processing” procedure, an international student must provide the Australian government with confirmation of their full-time enrollment in an approved education course (e.g., bachelors, masters or doctorate program) at an authorized university when they submit their student visa application and, of course, meet other Australia student visa requirements.
The Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE)
The first requirement for a student visa to Australia is the Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE). Prior to applying for an Australian student visa, an individual must receive official confirmation of their full-time enrollment in an eligible educational program in Australia. This may involve an “Offer of Place” letter or an electronic “Confirmation of Enrollment” (CoE) certificate from an authorized educational institution that is accredited by and registered with Australia’s Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) confirming that the student has been accepted for full-time study in their program. For secondary school exchange students, an “Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student” (AAES) document must be filled out and submitted to the Australian government. An international student applying for the Subclass 576 AusAID and Defense Student Visa will be required to provide an official letter from the sponsoring agency confirming their support for the educational program in Australia.
There is also an English language requirement for most international students who apply for a student visa to Australia. Unless applying for the Subclass 570 Independent ELICOS Sector Student Visa (to study English in Australia), international students must prove that they possess at least the minimum proficiency level in the English language through assessment scores on the IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson (PTE), or Cambridge (CAE) tests.
Applicants for a student visa to Australia must provide proof that they have satisfactory health. On a related note, all international students (and all eligible family members who will join them in Australia) must maintain adequate health insurance from the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). In some cases, students may be able to pay the medical insurance premium to the school they are attending and then the school can pay the health insurance provider on behalf of the student.
Similarly, applicants for a student visa to Australia must provide proof of their ability to support themselves and all family members who will accompany them in Australia, including their capacity to pay for their educational program, living expenses, travel, etc. Additionally, in order to be approved for a student visa to Australia, an applicant must not have any unpaid debts owed to the Australian government (unless arrangements to repay outstanding debts have been made).
There are various other Australia student visa requirements that must be met, including: providing proof that one is a person of good character (a police certificate may be requested); paying the application fee for the Australian student visa; having appropriate living arrangements prepared for international students who are minors; possessing a secondary/senior high school diploma (if applying for an undergraduate university program); plus there may be prerequisites for particular Vocational Educational and Training (VET) programs. International students must also submit certified/notarized documentation in English (or with English translations attached) to support their application for a student visa to Australia and they must also note on their student visa application that they submitted the required documentation.
The GTE requirement
Finally, since November 5, 2011, applicants for a student visa to Australia must meet the “Genuine Temporary Entrant” (GTE) requirement. The GTE requirement was added to evaluate the likelihood of an international student’s temporary stay in Australia. Considerations include the situation in the home country of the applicant; the immigration history of the applicant; possible circumstances of the applicant while they are living in Australia; how beneficial the applicant’s education program will be for their future; plus other issues that may impact the motives of an international student to remain in Australia on a temporary basis.
How to appply
You can apply for your student visa only when you receive either a letter of offer from your education provider or an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). Please note that if you submit a letter of offer your visa will only be granted once the eCoE has been issued. You will need a student visa for the whole time that you study in Australia. You can apply for your student visa in person at your local Australian embassy, or by mail. All assessment level 1 students outside Australia can apply for their student visa online.
All international students in Australia are required to have an Australian student visa throughout the entire time that they are enrolled full-time in an authorized educational program in the country. An Australian student visa allows an international student to live, study and work in Australia as long as they are enrolled full-time in an approved educational program in Australia. This visa also allows them to come and go to and from Australia (for example, to visit family and friends in their home country).
It is important to note, however, that if an international student needs to renew their student visa, they should do so before leaving Australia because if their student visa expires while they are away, they will have to re-apply for the visa outside of Australia, pay new fees, etc.
A non-refundable visa application charge of AUD$450 applies to most visa applications, with the exception of secondary exchange students and students sponsored under Commonwealth approved programs. In addition, there may be other expenses associated with your visa application, such as costs for medical examinations, police checks and the translation of documents into English (if required).
Level 3 or 4