Are you planning to apply for a student visa for Australia (Subclass 500)? There are different eligibility requirements for international students that you will have to keep in mind before you start your application process. A student visa can only be obtained based on revised authority guidelines with the SSVF (Simplified Student Visa Framework) being implemented from July 1, 2016. All students will thus have to apply for their Subclass 500 visas accordingly.
An Australian study visa will help you remain in Australia and pursue your study. This visa also allows you to bring your family members to the country.
Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500) – Processing Timelines
The processing time for obtaining an Australian Student Visa would depend on the sector to which you apply. The visa applications of students applying from outside Australia are generally prioritized and are processed faster than those applying from Australia itself.
One must also keep in mind that visa processing may take longer if the information provided by the applicant is missing/ incomplete or is found malicious/ faulty.
Have a look at the prevailing Australia study visa processing time for different sectors:
Timeline for finalization 75% of visas
Timeline for finalization 90% of visas
Timeline for international students (as per August 2022 data for 75% of applications)
Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector
Postgraduate Research Sector
Independent ELICOS Sector
Vocational Education and Training Sector
Higher Education Sector
Australian Student Visa Requirements & Highlights
Wondering how to get a student visa for Australia? Mentioned below are several crucial application-related aspects that you should keep in mind.
The visa will allow you to stay up to 5 years in Australia, depending upon your course duration. This implies that if your course is for 6 months, your visa will be valid for 6 months, if it’s a 2 year program, the visa validity duration will be 2 years.
b. Eligibility Guidelines-
Only students who have enrolled in full-time courses can apply under Subclass 500. Those enrolled in distance learning/part-time courses will not qualify to apply for this student visa.
c. GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) –
Getting an Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500) will require students to prove they are GTEs. This means that you should prove that you wish to visit Australia temporarily only for educational purposes and will return to your own country after completing the course or gaining some experience.
To complete the GTE requirement in the application form, you must include a statement addressing your personal reasons for pursuing a course in Australia. You should take care of the fact that generic statements which are unsupported by evidence are not valued much in the GTE assessment process.
d. Health Check-up & Insurance-
Another crucial requirement for an Australian study visa is proof of good health. All applicants must meet the set minimum health standards to get the visa. The temporary requirement of undertaking medical examinations and chest x-rays has been uplifted for maximum applicants. You will only have to take these examinations if you do not fall under the exempted category.
Along with the health check-ups, it is mandatory to have OSHC, i.e., Overseas Student Health Cover. The average cost is AUD 438 per person for 12 months.
It is to be ensured that you and your family member/s have the OSHC when you arrive in Australia and maintain it for your entire stay. The cover must start from the day you are in Australia and not from when the course begins. When applying for a student visa, you must know vital details like the health service provider’s name, policy number, start and finish date of the policy, etc.
e. Language Requirements-
If you do not fall under the exempt category, you must obtain a satisfactory score in the accepted English language exam to prove your proficiency. The acceptable tests include IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, CAE, and occupation English test (generally for the healthcare sector). Also, these tests should have been taken in the 2 years preceding your visa application date.
English Language Test
Minimum Score Requirement
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)
Occupational English Test
B for each test component
If you have a lower score (than the minimum required score for each test), you can pursue a 10 or 20-weeks ELICOS training course to meet the language requirements. It is to be taken into account that whether you go for a 10-week course or a 20-week training, there still is a minimum score requirement set for each category that you will have to meet.
f. Age Limit
There is no prescribed maximum age limit to apply for a student visa in Australia. Although the country accepts an application even if the aspirant is over 40 years of age, it might be difficult for the applicant to justify their reasons for studying).
If the applicant is under 18 years, special conditions may apply, and you may have to make adequate welfare arrangements accordingly.
g. Financial Requirements
You will have to show evidence of your financial capacity to cover all your expenses during your intended stay. This includes your travel cost, tuition fees, living costs, travel expenses, etc. The minimum financial capacity may differ for each applicant, depending on factors like your stay duration, tuition fees, which country you are from, etc.
There are two ways to meet the financial capacity requirements. First, you can opt for a 12-month funds option, showing you have sufficient money to cover traveling to Australia and living there for 12 months for yourself and the accompanying family members. This can be shown through money deposits from a financial institution, government loans or loans from a financial institution, or any scholarships or similar financial support.
Second, you can demonstrate a sufficient annual income of your parents or partner in the 12 months preceding your visa application date. The annual income to show is equal to AUD 62,222 for a single applicant and AUD 72,592 if you wish to bring your family members. In any case, the annual income must be supported by official government documentation, viz., tax assessment. Bank statements or proofs from employers are not acceptable.
Along with financial capacity, you must also prove that you have genuine access to these funds.
h. Character Certificate
All students must furnish proof of their good character. This means that they should have no criminal records, no suspects of being involved in any illegal conduct, and should have never been deported earlier from Australia.
i. Other Criteria
Visa applications are also assessed based on significant criteria like your home country’s circumstances, economic scenario, the value of your chosen future course, potential opportunities for you in Australia, immigration track record, and other relevant aspects.
A student visa in Australia costs AUD 650 for international students. However, there are additional costs that one may have to pay. This includes costs for health checks, biometrics, police certificates, etc.
If you are under the age of 18, your total Australia student visa fees will be AUD 650 + AUD 160.
If you are above 18 years of age: AUD 650 + AUD 485 would be the total Australia student visa fees.
MasterCard, VISA, and American Express are the only accepted credit cards. You may be charged banking and currency conversion fees if you pay by credit card in Australian dollars. Furthermore, fluctuations in currency might affect the total fee.
With your student visa, you can take your immediate family members (called dependents) along. The family members can be included in your original student visa application or join you later as subsequent entrants once you begin your studies in Australia. You must remember to declare all your family members in your initial student visa application if you want them to accompany you or join any time later in the country.
Applicants who include their dependent family members in their original student visa application should fill out form 157A with all the details. The student visa holder must have a visa valid for at least 12 months, sufficient finances, and insurance to cover expenditures during the stay.
Dependent Family Members on Student Visa
On a student visa, you are allowed to bring the following immediate family members as dependents:
Your spouse or partner who you have been living with for the past 12 months
Your children under the age of 18 or who are still in education (studying A-levels)
Also, the dependent partner’s job rights will vary depending on the course you are taking:
The dependent partner may work up to 40 hours per week if you are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program.
Your partner has complete and unrestricted work rights if you are pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate.
Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500) – Documents Needed
Students should keep the following documents ready when applying for an Australian student visa:
Passport- There should be a valid passport with a duration being 6 months beyond the course tenure.
Payment receipt for the application fee.
Non-immigrant application for the visa.
COE (Confirmation of Enrollment Form), issued by the institution where you will be studying.
Acceptance letter from the university, including a proposed plan of study.
Students with Subclass 500 visas can work part-time for up to 40 hours every fortnight in any sector of the economy. Currently, the government has lifted the cap of 40 hours due to workforce shortage, allowing students to work for unrestricted hours till June 30, 2023.
Students are allowed to work for unrestricted hours during breaks or holidays. However, they can only start work once the course begins. Casework is sometimes a part of the course; the limit will not apply in such cases. Students in the Postgraduate Research Sector may work unlimited hours at the beginning of their doctoral thesis or research assignment. Those completing study requirements in Australia may apply for their post-study work permits under the stream-Graduate. ELICOS students are not eligible to apply for the post-study work permit.
If you are outside Australia, you must apply for your visa at least 8 weeks before your course commences. You may visit Australia around 90 days (maximum) prior to the beginning of the course. The application procedure is as follows:
Create your ImmiAccount and log in to the same.
You should fill up the application form as per the subclass.
You will have to track your application after logging into ImmiAccount. You can use this account to attach all documents, update your passport details, change your address and email address, and check your application status.
The TRN (Transaction Reference Number) is a unique number given to every application made online. This will be required for managing and tracking your application and identifying scenarios where you must communicate with your visa center. You can also use this for checking entitlements under your visa.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can one bring dependents on a student visa?
Under the dependent visa program, international students and professionals can call their families to Australia. You can either include them in your original student visa application or apply for their visas once you have begun your studies in Australia and they can join you later. Dependent visas are available for spouses, partners, and unmarried children under the age of 18.
What are the English language requirements to study in Australia?
If you aren’t from an English-speaking nation or have not studied for at least five years in one, you will need to show proof that you can communicate in the language at the required level. You will be required to submit the results of English language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. The score required in these tests varies depending on the course you will be taking.
What is the GTE statement?
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) is one of the most important requirements for your Australian student visa application. It demonstrates that your objective is merely to study in Australia and not to stay there permanently.
Can I do business on a student visa in Australia?
No. You can’t do business on a student visa or be self-employed, though part-time work can be undertaken. Until further notice, these temporary measures remain in place.
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