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Student Visa

1.  Who needs a Student Visa

Any person who intends to undertake full-time study in a registered course in Australia needs to obtain a Student Visa. A Student Visa permits the holder to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for the duration of the registered course of study. Overseas students cannot undertake part-time study in Australia and must leave Australia on completion of their course of study.

2.  Applying for a Student Visa

To be considered for a Student Visa, you must first complete an application form (157W) which is available free of charge either from the Australian High Commission or the official High Commission Website. The application form must be accompanied by the correct application fee, which should be in the form of a bank draft made payable to the Australian High Commission.

It is best to apply through a university representative as thr application procedure is quite long and cumbersome.

The application fee for a student (temporary) visa can be found from the official High Commission or consulate website. The fee is subject to change without notice. An application will not be accepted unless it is made in the prescribed form and with the correct fee.

The fee is an immigration service charge and is non refundable irrespective of the outcome of your visa application.

3.  Preliminary Visa Assessment (PVA)

Your application will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

 (a) Evidence of Enrolment

One of the important requirements for a student visa application is that you must be accepted for enrolment, to undertake a course, by a Government registered Australian education institution. This is verified by the advice of acceptance from the Australian institution (commonly known as Letter of Offer), which is issued to a student who has been offered enrolment in a full-time course. You should not pay any part of the course tuition fee prior to the outcome of the PVA. (see Section 4)

(b) Bona Fides

The bona fides assessment determines whether an applicant is a genuine student who intends to undertake studies in Australia, abide by visa conditions and depart on completion of the course. This involves examining the following:

  • academic performance of the applicant;
  • relevance of the proposed course of the applicant’s current academic and employment circumstances;
  • whether the applicant’s English language skills are adequate for the purposes of the proposed course;
  • applicant’s intention to comply with visa conditions and leave Australia at the end of the authorised period of stay

(c) Adequate Financial Resources

This involves an assessment of the applicant’s or his/her sponsor’s ability to finance all expenses pertaining to the applicant’s education in Australia. The factors that may be taken into account include:

  • Capacity to pay for course tuition fee, return air fares to home country and all expenses (including medical insurance) associated with his/her stay in Australia;
  • Applicant’s capacity to repay any loans taken to finance his/her study; and
  • if the applicant is married, his/her ability to support any financially-dependent family unit members for the duration of the course.

An overseas student is permitted to work for 20 hours a week when the course is in session. This is subject to obtaining a work permit at a fee of AIJD5O. Employment in Australia is not guaranteed. No work restrictions apply during vacations. Students should not expect to fund their studies and living costs in Australia through part-time employment. The approximate cost of living for a single person in Australia is between AUD 12,000 and AUD 14,000 per annum. This figure will be higher where dependent(s) intend to accompany the student.

4. Further Processing

If you are advised that you meet the PVA requirements, you will be asked to undergo further processing. This includes payment of course tuition fee to the Australian educational institution and a medical examination. It is essential that the student and the accompanying dependent(s) meet the Australian Health requirements before a visa may be granted. This involves a medical check and an x-ray for applicants over 16. Applicants will need to present an original valid passport to identify themselves to the Doctor and Radiologist. In some casesmedical results will be referred to Australia and as this process takes 3 4 weeks, applicants will need to allow additional time. Usually only medicals where the doctor or radiologist has detected an abnormality will be referred to Australia. Applicants need to take into account postage or courier times also.

5.  Total processing time

As a general rule, applicants should allow a four (4) to six (6) week timeframe for processing of applications.

Factors that may delay this processing time include:

  • Medical referral to Australia and the need for any subsequent medical tests;
  • Document verification including educational documents, employment references and bank statements; and
  • Applications which are incomplete and require the visa office to make contact with the applicant or the applicant’s agent.

It is compulsory for all international students to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for themselves and their dependents, where applicable, for the duration of the visa. The. premium for. OSHC is only to be paid once the PVA requirements have been met. The current premiums for OSHC are AUD274 for a single person and AIJD54S for a whole family.

7.   Members of the Family Unit

Dependent(s) of the student may accompany him/her to Australia. A member of the family unit includes spouse (including defacto spouse), unmarried dependant, children under the age of 18 and a fiance(e) intending to marry within 3 months of arrival.

A member of the family unit is considered in the same visa class as the student. The name(s) should be included in the same application as that of the student if applying at the same time. Most student dependents are allowed to work 20 hours a week (different conditions apply to spouses of post graduate students).

Members of the family unit cannot enter Australia as dependants if the duration of the proposed course is less than 12 months.

8.  Education of School Age Dependents in Australia

Students should be aware that if any of their children (over 5 years of age) intend to join them in Australia, they will be required to provide evidence of the child’s enrolment in an Australian school for the duration of the applicant’s course. The student is responsible for all expenses associated with their child’s education (including tuition fee) in Australia. Students should also check with the Education Authority in the State in which they intend to study for further information, including the cost of the schooling.

9.  Re-entry into Australia

All Student Visas have a multiple entry facility for the full period of the visa. Students who plan to travel out of, and return to, Australia at any time during their course are advised to check that their visa is valid for return to Australia.


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