Current Student Visa requirements

Friday 25 February 2022
Here’s the latest information on international student visa requirements to study in Australia.
Current Student Visa requirements

Choosing to study in Australia is an exciting step into a bright future as you’ll be learning new skills and likely do some work experience which will add to your skill base. Before you can take this step, you need to finalise some important details. One of the most important things is a student visa, specifically the Student visa subclass 500 which you’ll need to enter Australia.

But let’s talk about what you need to lodge with Immigration for a successful visa application. So what are the Australian student visa requirements, associated fees and your COVID-19 vaccination requirements for entry into Australia.

Obtaining a student visa is an important step in your journey towards Studying in Australia. Even if you’re starting your studies online, obtaining a student visa before you start your program will help you make the transition to studying on campus and open up eligibility for post-study work visa subclass 485.

To get a visa, you’ll need to have successfully applied to an Australian education provider and have received an offer letter. At Study in Australia TV we can help you with this process. 

Some of the documents you’ll need to provide include:

  • Academic certificates that show your previous studies and qualifications
  • Evidence of your English language proficiency
  • Evidence of your previous work experience if this is required for entry into the program or if you’d like to apply for advanced standing 

all documents must be translated into English.

What about the student visa subclass 500 details?

The student visa subclass 500 allows you to live, work and study in Australia for a maximum of five years on each instance in line with your program requirements. On this visa, you’re normally allowed to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during term time and unlimited hours during study breaks. However, on the 19th of January 2021 the Australian Government announced that student visa holders can also temporarily work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight during term time across all sectors of the economy as a result of COVID19. 

Students can work immediately upon arrival in Australia, and do not need to wait until their program commences. 

In Australia, student visa fees at present are AUD$630 per visa application unless you have an exemption. It’s also important to note that Australian student visa processing times vary from person to person. At present, according to the immigration website stats, 75 per cent of applications are processed within 29 days and 90 per cent are processed within 42 days. So, it’s a good idea to start your application process at least 3-6 months prior to your program start date. 

On the 19th January 2022, the Australian Government announced that student visa holders, including dependents, who are currently offshore and need to travel to Australia between the 19th January and 19th March 2022 will be eligible for a refund of their Visa Application Charge. You will be able to apply for a refund up until the 31st of December 2022.

Now, let’s break down the Australian student visa requirements you’ll need to meet to ensure your application gets approved.

Letter of Offer

If your program application is successful, you will receive a Letter of Offer from your chosen institution.

You should read your Letter of Offer carefully before you accept it. It will include your program details, enrolment conditions, immediately payable fees, and ongoing fees throughout your program.

It’s also important to understand the institution’s policy on refund arrangements, privacy policy, and what you need to do to maintain your enrolment with the institution.

If you’re happy with all the details on your Offer Letter and decide to proceed and accept the offer the institution will issue a Confirmation of Enrolment, also known as a CoE.

The CoE is a document that will be issued by your institution that verifies your acceptance and enrolment in the program of study. 

The CoE will be sent to you after you have accepted your offer and paid your deposit. You must include this document in your visa application so that immigration has proof that you are registered in your declared program.

English proficiency

If you’re not a native English speaker, you’ll need to verify your English proficiency via a certificate from an English language test because Australian educational courses are taught in English. This certificate will prove to the Australian Government that you meet the minimum English proficiency levels needed to succeed in your given program. 

There are certain English tests you can take that will be accepted by the Australian Government. The most common tests are IELTS, Pearsons and TOEFL. You can sit these in your home country, or you can study English in Australia at an English Language College prior to commencing in your program. Our counsellors can help you to arrange this. Some Colleges have an online English test that you can do so that you know how many weeks of English, also known as ELICOS you need to study prior to your program.

There are varying minimum requirements for each education level, and also different programs require different English levels. 

What about the Academic requirements for your chosen program?

The academic requirements you need vary depending on the level of program you want to study. Education providers also have different entry requirements, we can advise you on this as well, as it can be complicated depending on your academic background. 

Now let’s talk about the Australian Government’s Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement, also known as GTE.

It’s another Australian student visa requirement which you need to meet. To do this you must write a statement that addresses two criteria:

  • that you are genuinely coming to Australia to study and not for any other reason
  • that you will only be residing in Australia temporarily, so not overstaying your visa

In your statement, you can include details about your ties to your home country, such as your family and friends, or a job that you must return to, as well as the value of the program to your future career or academic goals. Doing this will prove both your intention to return to your home country at the end of your study visa and your true intention to study in Australia.

There is also a requirement to prove that you have sufficient funds to pay for your study and living expenses.

To receive an Australian student visa, you must prove that you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay. You have two options for this requirement of your application:

Firstly, prove that you have enough money to cover all your costs and expenses throughout your program, such as travel, program fees and rent. You can provide bank statements that prove you have the entire amount.

Or secondly you can supply proof of your parents’ or partner’s annual income, which at present must be more than AUD$62,222 in the year immediately before you apply. If you bring family members, the annual income must be at least AUD$72,592.

As an international student in Australia, you must have Overseas Student Health Cover, also known as OSHC for the duration of your stay. If you don’t provide proof that you have bought this insurance, your student visa application will be denied. At Study in Australia TV we have partnered with Alliance Insurance and can arrange your OSHC or you may choose a different provider on the recommendation of your Institution.

OSHC will help you pay for medical or hospital care while studying in Australia, pay for most prescription medicines, and provide you with ambulance cover in the case of an emergency.

You will receive an OSHC card for use at doctor appointments while you're living in Australia. 

There are also some Health requirements before your visa is confirmed.

The Australian Government requires all international students to be in good health before entering the country. As a result, you need to undergo a health examination and provide a medical certificate confirming that you meet these health requirements.

There’s also a Character requirement that you need to meet. In your visa application, you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your character and past conduct. In some cases, you may even need to provide a police background check depending on the program you intend to study, Education for instance.

What about COVID-19 and the changes in the last 2 years for international students wanting to study in Australia.

Many Australian education providers are offering bridging and online courses for international students to start studying offshore. To make sure your study outside Australia is counted towards your degree or study program, you’ll still need to have a student visa. 

Existing and new student visa holders who undertake online study outside of Australia because of COVID-19 will be able to count this study towards their Australian Study Requirement if they have a visa while studying remotely. 

You must also be fully vaccinated before you’re able to arrive in Australia. Currently fully vaccinated means having had two full doses at least 14 days apart and must have completed your course of vaccination at least seven days before arriving in Australia.

The vaccines currently approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration or TGA are:

Pfizer

AstraZeneca

Moderna

Johnson & Johnson

Sinovac

Sinopharm

And Bharat Biotech

There are different arrangements in place for different Australian states regarding your isolation requirements. You need to check these before landing in Australia but generally the requirements are now being eased in most Australian states.

So that’s the latest information from the Australian Government on the requirements for applying for an international student visa, it sounds complicated but we can help make it easier for you.

Please let us know if you need help with choosing the right program to suit your career goals or if you’d like Study in Australia TV to process your application with any of the programs detailed on our website.

If you have any questions just let us know 😊 

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