Student Visa

VISA INFORMATION

If you intend to study in Australia, you will need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500).

You can apply for the following types of study on this visa:

  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
  • school – primary or secondary
  • secondary school exchange program
  • vocational Education and Training (VET) courses –a registered VET course or a registered course for the award of an advanced diploma
  • higher education courses –a bachelor or associate degree, a graduate certificate or graduate diploma, a masters degree by coursework or a higher education diploma or advanced diploma
  • postgraduate Research degrees –a masters degree by research or a doctoral degree
  • non-award courses – non-award foundation studies courses or components of a course that do not lead to an award
  • students sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs or Trade or the Department of Defence.

You may be able to package your courses if you would like to study more than one course. This is known as course packaging.

Genuine Temporary Entrant

The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa programme is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.

The GTE requirement applies to all student visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will and consider whether the individual circumstances of the student indicates that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia.

You must satisfy us that you have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily.
When assessing the GTE requirement, we will consider the requirements set out in direction number 69.
To assess this, we will consider:
your circumstances
your immigration history
if you are under 18 years old, the intention of your parent, legal guardian or partner
any other relevant matter.

The GTE requirement provides a useful way to help identify those applicants who are using the student visa programme for motives other than gaining a quality education. The requirement is not designed to exclude students who, after studying in Australia, go on to develop the skills required by the Australian labour market and apply to become permanent residents.

English Language Requirements

You might need to provide evidence of your English language skills with your visa application. Check the Document Checklist Tool below to find out the evidence you need to provide. You might also be exempt from providing evidence.

If you do not provide evidence of your English language skills with your application or when asked by an officer, your visa could be refused.
If you do not need to provide evidence with your application, we can ask you for this during the application process.

If one of the following applies, you do not need to provide evidence of an English test score with your visa application:
– you are enrolled in full-time school studies as a principal course including in a secondary exchange programme, a postgraduate research course, a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), and Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored students
– you have completed at least five years’ study in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland
– you are a citizen and hold a passport from UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland

in the two years before applying for the student visa, you completed, in Australia and in the English language, either the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a substantial component of a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV or higher level, while you held a student visa.

Financial Capacity Requirements

You need to have enough money that is genuinely available to you, to pay for your course fees, and travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia.

You might need to provide evidence of your financial capacity with your visa application. Check the Document Checklist Tool below to find out what evidence you need to provide.
If you do not provide this evidence with your application or when asked by an officer, your visa application could be refused.
If you do not need to provide evidence with your application, we have discretion to ask you for this during the application process.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF FINANCIAL CAPACITY

If you need to provide evidence of financial capacity, you will be able to demonstrate this by providing one of the following:

– evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
evidence that you meet the annual income requirement
– an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only)
– a letter of support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.
*Twelve months’ funds option*
Evidence of funds can include money deposits, financial institution or government loans, scholarships or sponsorships.
*Annual income option*
The annual income option requires a student to provide evidence of personal annual income of at least AUD 60,000. For students accompanied by family members, the requirement is at least AUD 70,000.
The income demonstrated must be the personal income of your spouse (who is not coming with you) or parents. Where both of your parents are working, their combined income can be considered for this requirement. Evidence must be in the form of official government documents such as tax assessments. Evidence in the form of bank statements or information directly from an employer is not acceptable.

Living costs
From 1 July 2016, the 12 month living cost is:
student or guardian – AUD 19,830
partner or spouse – AUD 6,940
child – AUD 2,970.
Schooling costs
Where school aged children are included in your student visa application, schooling costs of at least AUD 8,000 per year for each child will need to be added to the amount of funds required. You are responsible for researching schooling costs, which vary between states, territories and schools in Australia.

You do not have to provide evidence of schooling costs if you are:
– a PhD student and can show you have enrolled your child in an Australian government school where the fees have been waived
received an Australian Commonwealth Government scholarship, including Foreign Affairs and Defence sponsored students, and you can show you have enrolled your child in a government school where the fees have been waived.

*Genuine access to funds*
You and your accompanying family members must be able to access the funds shown while you are in Australia.

When considering whether the funds will be genuinely available, we will take into account:
– the nature of the relationship between you and the person who is providing the funds, where applicable
– your income, assets and employment or those of the person providing the funds
– your previous visa history and that of the person providing the funds.

Health Requirements

You must meet the health requirements.

You might need to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process.
The health assessment process can take several weeks to complete. To help avoid delays, you can choose to undertake your health examination prior to lodging your visa application.
More information is available about My health declarations.

Pre-qualifying Visa

If you are applying in Australia, you must hold a current temporary substantive visa, but not any one of the following:

– Domestic Worker (Temporary) Diplomatic and Consular visa (subclass 426)
– Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) in the Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or consular) stream
Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) – primary visa holder only. This means a family member of a Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) can apply for a Student visa in Australia.
– Transit visa (subclass 771)
– Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the Sponsored Family stream or in the Approved Destination Status stream.
A substantive temporary visa is any visa other than a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa, which allows the visa holder to remain temporarily in Australia.
In limited circumstances, if your student visa has expired within the last 28 days, you might be able to apply for your new student visa in Australia. You must not have been previously granted a visa on the basis of an application made when you did not hold a substantive visa.

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