Australia is a country where international students who speak English could settle to study the course of their choice without the fear of language barriers or experiencing culture shock.
When Australia comes to mind, so does unique flora and fauna. However, Australia holds much more attraction for a person studying there. The country promises a friendly environment, a high standard of living, and a top-notch educational system.
This article gives prospective international students a walkthrough of the Australian study visa, touching on all areas that concern migrating as a student, including the steps you need to take, which the article will explore extensively.
- Why Study In Australia?
- Does Australia’s Healthcare System Cover International Students?
- Can I Stay in Australia After I Graduate?
- What is the Eligibility Criteria for Australian Student VISA?
- What English Exams Are Required for Australian Student VISA?
- What is a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)?
- Australian Study Permit Requirements and Regulations for International Students
- What is the Process and Procedure of Study Permit Application for Australia?
- Which Australian University is Right for You?
- How To Get Work Authorization For Student Visa In Australia?
- What is the Cost of Studying in Australia?
- How to Avoid Common Problems and Pitfalls When Applying for Australian Student VISA?
- Additional FAQs About Australian Study VISA
Why Study In Australia?
The educational system in Australia is very favorable to international students. The country ranks at number three among the destinations for international students. Being an international student in Australia means you will be exposed to the cultural diversity, cordial nature of locals, and the high quality of education.
The other benefits of making Australia your one choice for international studies include:
1. High-Quality Education
Australia has highly reliable higher institutions regularly touted as some of the best globally by recognized institutions. Effective results in past years also show that degrees obtained in Australian universities are acceptable anywhere globally.
The universities are mainly known for their expertise in the areas of research. If interning is something you wish to do in the process of study, Australian universities cover this area. To intern, reach out to your chosen institution and make an adequate inquiry.
2. Great Learning Environment
Australia is home to diverse flora and fauna and rich culture, making it an ideal study location for zoologists and anthropologists. Students can benefit from beautiful cultural icons like the Sydney opera house and the native wildlife.
3. An Exhaustive List of Majors
Because the Australian educational system recognizes the large concentration of diversity among their universities.
The curriculum has been extended to accommodate various majors for degrees, including course combinations. With over forty universities in the country, you need not fret about their degree choice because there’s always an institution that fits. The wide range of majors also extends to the advanced levels of education like doctorate and masters.
4. Scholarship Opportunities
The expenses of studying abroad can get overwhelming, but aspiring students need not fret because the Australian Government has a provision for this.
A whopping sum estimated above AUD 200 million goes into education every year. This money covers scholarship provision for international students. The scholarship is based on merit and being up to date with the requirements.
5. Australia Offers Favorable Work Opportunities
Being a student and working is not a strange phenomenon, and Australia has a provision for that. This will be discussed better in the next part of this article, but know that there are work opportunities, including the Professional Year Program (PYP), which allows graduates of accounting, technology, and engineering to gain experience and seek mentoring.
6. Tourist-friendly Terrain
Apart from the educational value of the native flora and fauna, the vast expanse of nature serves as a tourist attraction. As an international student, there is an opportunity for you to explore the relaxing areas and the soothing touch of nature. The beauty of Australia includes global attractions like Queensland’s Great Barrier reef, lush rainforest, and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
7. The Cities Boast Endless Possibilities For Fun
Australia has some of the most livable cities globally. If exploring nature is not your turf, the towns offer a range of relaxation centers where students can unwind, let their hair down, and soak up all the enjoyment ranging from intricate delicacies and fun activities like snorkeling and surfing.
Does Australia’s Healthcare System Cover International Students?
Individuals, who are bonafide holders of Student Visa In Australia, are strongly advised by the Department of Home Affairs to have healthcare insurance for the totality of their stay in the country. One thing to note is that the Australian healthcare system includes private and public care.
The predominant health care system is Medicare, which combines private health practices and systems. Medicare falls under government provision, and it caters to permanent Australian residents. It covers both free and low-cost health services.
In essence, international students cannot access Medicare, except for Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy, Malta, and Norway. This is due to the Australian Government’s relations and agreement with those countries.
However, a health provision for all that fall in the Student visa in Australia category is called the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). As the name implies, OSHC was explicitly created to provide healthcare for international students, and it covers all forms of medical treatment.
The steps for obtaining a student visa in Australia include the OSHC requirement, which means You must set aside insurance for your medical bills. There are certified insurers that extend OSHC, and these comprise BUPA Australia, Nib, AHM Health Insurance, Allianz Global Assistance, and Medibank private.
OSHC insurers can make provisions for a range of health products and services, including ambulance attention, specific hospital treatment and pharmaceuticals, Coronavirus-related illnesses, and dialysis for Kidney complications. However, there are limits to OSHC, and it can also be upgraded when the user goes from the student visa level to either a resident’s cover to Overseas Visitors Health Cover.
Can I Stay in Australia After I Graduate?
Once an international student has obtained Australia (Subclass 500) student visa and has completed the duration of the study, what’s left to do is that you either return to your home country or other countries, possibly for more exploration.
However, if an ex-student wants to stay in Australia, there is a provision. International students who elect to stay back in Australia are eligible for an eighteen-month to four-year stay after graduation, and this also depends on their qualifications. For this to happen, the international graduate would proceed to get the Graduate Temporary Skilled Visa, also known as Subclass 485.
The eligibility for the graduate visa is on the condition that the skill you acquired is in demand. One can deduce this factor by looking at the Skilled Occupation List. The graduate temporary visa also requires that the applicant not seek work outside their certified skill. It has to be within that jurisdiction or something related to it.
Having noted that, the Graduate Temporary Skilled Visa is classified into two types; the Post-Study Work Stream Visa and the Graduate Work Stream Visa. These terms might look similar, but they have diverse requirements and varying benefits:
1. Post Study Work Stream Visa
The Post Study Work Stream Visa allows a graduate to work and live in Australia for two to four years. They are also allowed to study and travel within that time frame. The length of stay varies according to the level of education obtained in the country.
A Bachelor’s degree holder can stay for two years, while a master’s degree holder can stay for two to three years. An international student with a doctorate can continue living in Australia for four years. However, any qualification, like diploma certificate III or graduate diploma, below a bachelor’s degree is not eligible for the temporary graduate visa.
2. Graduate Work Stream Visa
This visa type allows skilled workers with certifications lower than a bachelor’s degree to work. Those who apply for this visa can stay with their family members, who can also work provided they studied within the Australian education system within the past six months.
The duration is 18 months, and for applicants to qualify for the Graduate Work Stream Visa type, they must ace a skills test done on an occupation outlined on the Occupation List.
Generally, qualifying for the Temporary Graduate visas requires the applicant to meet the following requirements:
- Be physically sound, and be in good health.
- Be below 50.
- Be competent in English and have a certification to show.
3. Australia (Subclass 500) Student Visa
Through the build-up of this article, there have been a few mentions of Australia (subclass 500) Student VISA, and it is the desired result of all the travel processes before the applicant can move to Australia.
The Australia (subclass) Student Visa allows applicants and potential students to travel to and stay in Australia for five years, pending the duration of the study. It also covers the full-time study at the chosen institution, including the period of the course of study.
The subclass 500 visa provides applicants to include family members like their partners, or dependent children, to enroll for and study an eligible course and a work permit that covers a total of 40 hours.
The 40 hours work permit is sectioned into every two weeks once the international student starts attending classes.
It is noteworthy that the Australia Student Visa has eight subclasses. These range between subclass 570 to 580. These subclasses point to the level of education the applicant is aiming for. These include vocational training, higher education, postgraduate research, and student guardian visa, among others.
What is the Eligibility Criteria for Australian Student VISA?
There are guidelines and necessary documentation required by the immigration office that precludes an applicant’s eligibility. In addition, the following needs to be adequately adhered to avoid complications.
- The age limit for applicants is six. This means anyone below six is considered not eligible to move to Australia.
- The applicant and family members looking to travel with them must make sure the OSHC has been insured, and they should bring the evidence forward to the proper authorities.
- Show Evidence of English language mastery.
- The applicant must be up-to-date concerning the health and character requirement.
- Have enough money to sustain living in Australia and show the evidence through bank statements.
- There must be evidence of Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) obtained through a full-time course. This closure must be registered on the Commonwealth Register for Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, CRICOS.
- Applicants who are not at least 18 years of age are required to have sufficient welfare provision, enough to care for the whole of their stay in Australia.
Besides this list that certifies eligibility, there are documents required to back an applicant’s claims, and an example is a proficiency in English language documents. It is safe to say that many students will need to ace the test, but some do not need to present evidence.
This category covers the following students:
- Foreign affairs or students sponsored via defense.
- Passport holders, citizens, and students completed at least five years of study in countries like the United States, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, South Africa, and New Zealand.
- Applicants who completed the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, Certificate IV, or higher study level in Australia were eligible for a student visa within two years.
- Exchange students and those enrolled for full-time majors, postgraduate or ELICOS programs.
What English Exams Are Required for Australian Student VISA?
The category of students not mentioned in the above outline requires and will be evaluated according to the evidence of their English proficiency documents. There are specific documents and test certificates accepted for the student visa for Australia. There are also four English language proficiency tests that international students can tender. The following includes the test and the pass scores required by the Department of Home Affairs:
IELTS, meaning International English Language Testing System, is the most widely-known and most accepted English language skill test for higher education and applicants seeking immigration. The acceptable IELTS score for an Australian student visa is to get at least 4.5 on each of the tests, which consist of four parts.
2. TOEFL iBT
This is known as a Test of English as a Foreign Language, and it is an internet-based test. The test also includes four parts, namely writing, reading, speaking, and listening. The Australian authority requires a total score of 32, encompassing all of these categories.
3. Pearson Test Of English (PTE)
PTE is also a computer-based test showing English competency and registered in certified PTE centers. For an Australian Student Visa, a candidate’s PTE score has to be 50 points for each part of the examination.
4. (CAE) Cambridge English: Advanced Level
A candidate who submits a Cambridge English certification must score high-grade points that surmount at least a B. This is the least grade point accepted for all parts of the CAE test.
One shared similarity among the English skill test is the expiration date. All the listed tests above have a date limit to their validation, and the expiration is effective after three years.
What is a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)?
A Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) is another crucial assessment that requires the country of destination to test the applicant’s integrity. This means the credibility of an applicant’s intentions concerning their temporary stay in the country.
For Australia Student Visa applicants, their GTE states that they would be going into the country temporarily to acquire quality education and not for ulterior motives. An ulterior motive could mean applying for a student visa to facilitate permanent residency.
Your GTE as an international student aiming to study in Australia plays a massive role in seeing your application’s success. Therefore, it should contain clear and concise statements describing your situation, and it should be written in English, with emphasis on English, because it also helps prove your proficiency.
Your written statements need proof that would bolster the authenticity of your GTE. Ideally, there should be enough evidence for all the statements outlined because any information without evidence would not be considered in the GTE assessment.
Here are some proven and useful tips For GTE Writing:
- Be honest about your intentions and pen them accordingly. Writing one’s GTE statement is better than copying it elsewhere because everyone’s situation is different.
- Explain why you chose Australia amongst the wide range of countries that accommodate international students. You should do this with the knowledge from adequate research.
- Provide details of your partner if they would be going with you and the living environment, mainly if you live with them.
- State your reason to want to return to your home country. These reasons, often considered by the Department of Home Affairs, included the economic situation of the applicant’s country, one’s military commitment, and political reasons.
- Write on the focus of your study, the level, and other circumstances involved. This means you could be looking to extend your stay because of medical issues or renew the student visa to retake a course.
Australian Study Permit Requirements and Regulations for International Students
Some of the study permit requirements have been mentioned earlier, but here is a wholesome collation of all the regulations and requirements for student visas in Australia.
When applying for a student visa, questions often vary according to nationality, but in a general sense, the requirements include:
- A valid passport
- Visa application fee
- The health insurance provider can either be Medicare (for those eligible) or the OSHC.
- Your GTE statement
- Proof of enrolment, which is also the Electronic Confirmation of enrolment
- Evidence of English proficiency
- Statement of Purpose
- Evidence of financial stability is that the student can cover daily living expenses and those of the dependent.
- Academic and work experience
- Passport-sizes photographs
Regulations about the study permit for student visas in Australia are outlined thus:
- Would-be students must channel a course of study approved by the Australian Government and stay true to it.
- Students must comply with the time, attendance, and duration assigned to the study program they enrolled for.
- All the requirements for the course of study have to be up-to-date and duly provided.
- Students must maintain their Overseas Student Health Cover.
What is the Process and Procedure of Study Permit Application for Australia?
After applicants provide the authentic version of all the above-listed requirements, the next step is to begin and follow up with the process and procedure of the study permit.
1. The Process Of Study Permit For Student Visa In Australia.
Applicants should be prepared for 6 to 11 weeks when their student visa is processed. However, applicants have to settle their admission process with the chosen institution in Australia before the application process. Applications must also begin six months ahead of the institution’s resumption.
Where To Apply
- Applicants should start the student visa in Australia process by applying online. This should follow creating an account on the application website.
- Enter the requirements
- Pay the Australian student visa application fee. This can be done via credit and debit MasterCard, VISA cards that are not debit cards, Union Pay, Paypal, China Union Pay, Prepaid credit cards, and American Express.
2. Student Visa For Australia: Processing Time
A recurrent time factor for visa processing is one month. However, it can take up to ten months, which is the maximum. It is safe to say the ten months duration is the worst-case scenario because the Australian Government put in place a streamlined process called the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF).
Dependents have to be declared in the principal applicant’s form this way; they will be eligible to travel either with the principal applicant or after the applicant travels.
3. Student Visa Application Fee For Australia
The visa fee for the Australia Student (subclass 500) visa is estimated at AUD 630. It, however, varies according to additional applicants. For example, when an applicant is above 18, the visa fee is AUD 460, and if the applicant is younger, the cost is AUD 150.
Visa Decision/ Outcome
The visa decision takes a few weeks, after which the applicant receives a written decision made by the authorities in charge. If the decision indicates acceptance, the applicant will find their visa grant and expiry date for the visa.
Travel To Australia
Once the visa is ready, applicants are advised not to delay their traveling to their institution or course commencement.
International students are advised to travel 90 days ahead of course resumption. If the school does not provide accommodation, students are advised to contact the school authority and share their address within a few days of arriving in the country.
Which Australian University is Right for You?
Undoubtedly, Australian universities are ideal for international students because of the high standard of living, quality education, cultural diversity, and the homely terrain. And the facts do speak for the institutions as the country is currently known for its significant acceptance of international students.
However, before taking the bold step of picking a university outside your terrain as an international student, it is vital to carry out proper research on the universities to see which suits your course of study, as well as other programs that you might be looking to enroll for. Here’s a quick list of some Australian schools that have ranked high in world university rankings and offer appropriate resources for international students:
1. Australian National University (ANU)
Australian National University, located in Canberra, the capital of Australia, is a public research university comprising seven teaching and research institutions. According to the QS World University ranking, it is ranked 27th globally and the best in the country. The cost overview for ANU ranges from AUD 36,400 to AUD 43,680 annually.
ANU boasts a vast population of scholars with significant international students.
As an international student, whether you are looking to gain financial support for your studies or need help for relocation, Australian National University has provision for scholarship opportunities that cater to these needs.
2. University Of Sydney
The university was established in 1850 and is located according to its name. The institution is regarded as one of Australia’s six sandstone institutions, and it was the first university built in the country. The University of Sydney ranked second in Australia and 38 in the world. The school offers scholarship opportunities for both national and international students.
3. University Of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is among the best-suited universities for international students because it boasts student support, language learning facilities, and housing and social connections. The university’s main campus has seven teaching colleges, research departments, and national academies. Each program in the school’s curriculum has hundreds of scholarship programs for all students.
4. University Of New South Wales (UNSW)
UNSW, based in Sydney, is one of the coalitions of eight leading institutes highly involved in research regarding learning. The university boasts over 50,000 students from countries numbering up to 130 and includes international exchange and partnership on research across universities globally.
University of New South Wales offers the UNSW Global Academic Award; a scholarship offers to International students beginning studies at the institution during the first three terms,
5. Swinburne University Of Technology
The Swinburne University of Technology was founded in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in 1908. The public research institution has its main campus in Hawthorn, with other Sydney, Croydon, Wantirna, and Malaysia. Swinburne offers scholarships up to 75% of tuition fees. While some of the scholarships are awarded according to grade points, some are issued according to requirements from each course of study.
6. Western Sydney University
Western Sydney University, located in the Greater Western Region of Sydney, comprises the Hawkesbury Agricultural College and Nepean College of Advanced Education.
Applications for the scholarships in Western Sydney University are open to all students, and international students are automatically considered without a separate requirement. However, this means all international students must have been registered under the Australian Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
7. University Of Southern Queensland
The University of Southern Queensland is based in Toowoomba and offers degrees across the arts, health, business, the sciences, and medicine. Its other campuses are in Ipswich and Springfield. In addition, the university has seven research centers and three research institutes and is notable in its quest to prevent violence against women.
The scholarship opportunities offered by the University of Southern Queensland accommodate international students as long as they meet the requirements or ace the pass mark for the programs applied for. The scholarship is a 25% reduction in tuition fees.
8. Victoria University
Victoria University is a dual-sector university located in Melbourne. It is dual-sector because it awards degrees in higher education, further education, and technical school. The school has six colleges, research institutes, centers, and a polytechnic. VU’s campuses are spread across the Melbourne central district and Sydney.
VU’s scholarship scheme is according to the level of study: postgraduate, Vocational Education and Training (VET), and Undergraduate studies. The scholarship price ranges from AUD 750 to AUD 6,000.
9. Deakin University
Deakin University is a public institute in Victoria, Australia. It has an online learning facility known as cloud campus and campuses spread across Geelong Waurn Ponds, Geelong. Deakin’s scholarship scheme is open to all students with requirements stating that the applicant must be enrolling for coursework in the institution.
The applicant must also be eligible and have gotten at least 85% in previous academics. Anyone applying for a scholarship at Deakin University should submit their applications before resuming their course of study. The scholarship covers 50% of the tuition if it is the Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship.
10. Murdoch University
Murdoch University is a public institution of learning situated in Perth. The main campus is on South Street, while the school’s subsidiaries are in Dubai, Myanmar, and Singapore.
Murdoch University’s International Welcome Scholarship has its goal etched in its name. The scholarship scheme is specifically designated to cater to international students. A requirement is being an international student. The International Welcome Scholarship helps reduce tuition fees partially, so the amount awarded depends on degrees’ duration.
How To Get Work Authorization For Student Visa In Australia?
As of 2008, the Australian mmigration policy switched such that applicants of student visas automatically have work authorization or permission once their visa is granted. Before this time, a student visa did not guarantee work permission, as applicants still have to apply for this separately.
The automatic work authorization clause attached to student visas for Australia has since saved international students time and money. It is also essential to state that the work permit is also granted to the principal applicant’s family members.
A great plus to obtaining a student visa for Australia is the academic and work experience students are open to, and this opportunity includes foreign scholars. However, there are rules guiding how an international student can get a job, work at the job and combine their time with attending classes. The work permission rules are pretty strict, and it is noteworthy that a failure to follow the rules could lead to a student visa getting revoked.
Working In Australia With Your Student Visa
After securing the student visa for Australia, students have the grace of traveling 90 days ahead, pending the time the institution of choice resumes the academic session. However, the 90-day period does not include work permission. Students are not allowed to work within this period. However, they can use this time to get acquainted with the new environment and way of life.
Work permission only becomes effective after studies have commenced. The family members of students are also not allowed to work until the student has started their academic year. Students and their family members can work for 40 hours fortnightly. This means the time allowed for work covers fourteen days per month, from Monday to Sunday.
However, the 40-hour time constraint becomes unlimited during holidays. Students can work as much as they desire once school is not in session. On the flip side, their family members are still constrained within the 40-hour work time, except if the student applied for a master’s degree.
Here are the necessary steps to get started with your Australian Student VISA:
- Inform Your Education Provider: As an international student, you have to contact their education provider electronically to inform them that you have resumed school. The education provider then gives a pass for work permission. The education provider either signs to stamp the front of a Form 157P of a student visa. They can also give you a letter confirming that your studies have commenced.
- Get Tax File Number: Once a student visa for Australia has been granted, the applicant, employers, and immigration authorities have access to the online information of the visa. An employer can view an international student’s tax file and status. An international student must get a Tax File Number (TFN) to work or get a bank account. This is issued once in a lifetime and can be obtained at the Australian tax office.
- Getting A Job: After the TFN and education provider parts have been sorted, international students can begin applying for jobs. While at it, one must remember that the positions must align with after-school hours. Which means most jobs have to be on night shifts.
What is the Cost of Studying in Australia?
The cost of studying in Australia covers the cost of tuition, accommodation, feeding, transportation, and living expenses as a whole. As a student, your education takes the largest percentage of your expenditure, depending on the institution’s course of study. However, an overview of tuition costs ranges between AUD 20,000 to AUD 30,000 per annum.
After tuition is sorted, one can then sort other living expenses.
How to Avoid Common Problems and Pitfalls When Applying for Australian Student VISA?
One can encounter challenges right from the application stage, and a thorough approach to visa applications can always save the day. Here are some tips to avoid pitfalls while on your student visa for an Australian application.
- Be careful of fraudulent education agents. When commencing a student visa for an Australian application, an international student must first contact an education agent that facilitates getting admitted into your school of choice. Applicants must be sure that the institution approves the agent.
- Be sure to understand the Student Visa (Subclass 500) in Australia. This entails being conversant with its requirements and making sure you are up to date.
- The GTE statement is also a crucial area. International students must make sure their GTE includes vital information like previous academic experience, employment (current and past), proof of lasting ties to your home country (this could be your family and assets), and immigration history.
- Except for the categories left out for English language requirements, international students must make sure they meet or exceed the pass mark required for a student visa for Australia.
- If funds are insufficient, this could hinder the success of the visa application. You must prove that your finances can sustain your studies in Australia. Your evidence is credible documents outlining your finances.
- Applicants should provide credible health insurance, and the one highly recommended by Australia is OSHC. Health checks are also catalysts for student visas for Australia.
Additional FAQs About Australian Study VISA
How Can I Get a Student Visa for Australia?
When applying for a student visa to Australia, the first step should be applying for admissions at an institution and getting Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
This document is quite important in the student Visa for Australia application.
Next is to create an account with the Australian immigration authorities and do a checklist of your documents that will be digitally outlined. Make sure to conclude the visa application online, pay the visa fee, and obtain a TRN number.
How Much is a Student Visa for Australia?
After the application has been completed, the visa fee follows, and it currently costs AUD 575. It is ideal and relatively easy to make payments via credit cards.
How Many Years of Visa Does Australia Give for Students?
Authorities in charge stipulate five years on the Subclass500 visa type, the Student Visa for Australia. The five-year duration is according to an applicant’s primary goal: studying.
Is it Easy to Get a Student Visa for Australia?
Getting a student visa for Australia is relatively straightforward. As an applicant, you need not fret once all the required documents are provided.
Also, the step-by-step outline given in this article will ensure you stay on track with the requirements.
Additional Reading: Student Visas (Study Abroad)