From top-quality universities to plenty of work opportunities, education in Australia comes with many perks and positives. And the steadily growing number of international students in Australia is a testament to it.
Despite the blow that the pandemic dealt along with the rising cost of living, international student mobility continues to be on the rise in Australia. The ratio of international students in Australia in 2023 is around 448,274, which is a dramatic increase from the year 2000 when it was only 188,277.
So, it’s safe to say that if you’re planning to continue your higher education in Australia, you’re on the right track. And if you’re wondering where to start your research on studying in Australia, this article will serve as a helpful guide for you.
Keep reading to learn all about student visas in Australia, their application processes, fees, and more key details.
Types of Student Visas in Australia
Whether you wish to study abroad, accompany a student, or receive workplace-based training in Australia, you must know about three visa types. Here’s an overview of all these types and what they entail.
Student Visa Subclass 500
The subclass 500 visa is an ideal option for students who wish to enrol in a course of study in a recognized educational institution in Australia. It is available to anyone above six years of age and allows the holder to travel in and out of Australia for their visa validity period.
The subclass 500 visa holder is also free to work for up to 48 hours while their course of study is in session.
While this visa is available to students above 6 years of age, a welfare arrangement and proof are required for those under 18 years.
A subclass 500 visa holder can stay in Australia for up to 5 years, in line with the enrolment date. This means that those enrolled in courses running for 10 months or less get a visa validity equal to their course duration plus one month. Applicants with courses running longer than 10 months that end between January and October get a visa that’s valid for their course duration plus 2 more months. And those with courses running longer than 10 months ending in November/December get a visa valid for the course’s duration plus 2.5 months.
Training Visa Subclass 407
The subclass 407 visa is offered to anyone wishing to participate in workplace-based occupational training activities or professional training programs in Australia.
It is a temporary visa that allows the holder to stay in Australia for up to 2 years. The holders are also free to work during their visa term for a set number of hours, provided the work is related to their training.
The only condition for this visa is that the applicant needs to have a sponsorship, nomination, or invitation to participate in workplace-based training.
Student Guardian Visa Subclass 590
The subclass 590 visa is offered to those accompanying student visa holders under 18 years to provide them with care and support while they complete their education. It is also offered to student visa holders above 18 years of age under special circumstances.
Typically, the subclass 590 visa holder’s stay limit and age determine their stay limit.
The main condition for this visa is that the holder must be the student’s parent, relative, or custodian and be at least 21 years or older. They must also have enough money to support themselves and the student throughout their stay.
Application Process for Australian Student Visas
You can start applying for a student visa after you’ve been accepted into your choice of institution. However, you should apply 3-4 months before the commencement of your course to ensure your application gets processed in time.
Here are the steps involved in the application procedure for an Australian student visa:
Gather Your Documents
The documents required for a student visa in Australia will differ based on your country of passport and education provider. You can check the exact documents you’ll be required to attach from the Document Checklist Tool.
Some of the common documents you’ll be required to gather include:
- Valid passport
- Prrof of a Bonafide Student
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Letter of offer
- Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
- Proof of English proficiency
- Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
- Health requirement
- Character requirement
Keep in mind that gathering all the documents might take longer than you expect. So, make sure you go through the list carefully when applying. Documents to prove language skills might require you to submit test scores, which may take longer.
You may also be required to get some documents translated, photocopied, and certified.
Additionally, make sure your passport is valid for a longer duration than the duration of the program. You may be able to apply if it’s valid for at least six months, but make sure to get your passport renewed right away.
Note that the document list changes twice a year, on 31 March and 30 September. So check the recently updated list when applying.
If you plan to bring your dependents or family members to Australia during your study or later on, you’ll need to mention them in your application. Family members that weren’t mentioned on the application form won’t be eligible for dependent visas to join you in Australia.
Dependent visa holders are eligible to stay in Australia and work (with a work permit) for the same duration as the primary applicant.
Dependent visa applicants can be immediate family members such as spouses (de facto partners) or children under 18 years old.
You can apply for a visa by creating an account on the ImmiAccount portal
and submitting all the necessary documents.
If you’re also securing a loan for your studies abroad, you want to start applying for it around this time.
Pay the Application Fee
The application fee must be paid when you submit your application form. You’ll have to pay the fee for yourself and any accompanying family members.
If you’re exempt from paying the fee, ensure you provide proof of exemption and keep the documents ready.
Post Application Process
Most post-application processes involve regularly logging into your ImmiAccount to check and respond to messages. Respond promptly when you’re requested to submit information or documents.
Some of the common things you’ll be asked to submit at this stage include biometrics or health examination results. You must also submit notices if you’ve made mistakes on your application or changed your phone number, address, passport, etc.
Waiting for the Outcome
Your visa decision can arrive anytime during the processing period, including your visa grant number, expiry date, and visa conditions.
Even if you’re refused a visa, you will still get a response with the reasons for refusal.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for Student Visas in Australia?
The exact amount of the student visa fee you’re supposed to pay will differ based on the type of student visa you’re applying for. Here are the rates for the various Australian student visas we’ve discussed above:
- Student Visa Subclass 500: AUD 710.00
- Training Visa Subclass 407: AUD 405.00
- Student Guardian Visa Subclass 590: AUD 710.00
Student Visa FAQs:
Getting a student visa to study in Australia is easy if you prepare well in advance, submit all the right documents, and follow the right steps. We hope this guide has helped you get a better idea of what the entire process entails.