Not everyone wants to study in the country they’ve grown up in. In fact, there are over 500.000 international students on student visas in Australia (as of April 2018)! Studying overseas allows you not only to gain valuable experience and a highly-regarded qualification but it also allows one to travel and see other parts of the world. But why isn’t combining travel and education as easy as it may sound?
When it comes to getting your student visa, the application progress is becoming stricter as the influx of international students has increased greatly in Australia over the years (by 12% this year alone!).
But in order to study in Australia you will need a visa. The case officers will either refuse or approve your student visa application based on how strong your student visa application on the following factors:
- Your financial status
- Your English proficiency (min. score of 5.5 in IELTS)
- Your Health status
- Your character status
Student Visas – Proof of financial funds
Financial status is quite important because the Department of Home Affairs wants to see that you (and any accompanying family members) will not be destitute for money while staying in Australia. (This also relieves a case officer’s mind with that you will not be forced to work more than is allowed in the work conditions to pay for schooling and amenities as you already have enough financial funds).
You can prove your financial capacity by supplying 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 (from $60.000)
- 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
Student Visas – Minimum English Test Score
English Proficiency is an absolute must with all student visa holders being required to pass the minimum score. The current minimum score is 5.5 in IELTS, 527 in TOEFL (paper based), 46 for TOEFL (internet based), 162 for CAE, 42 for PTE and an A/B on the OET. (If you’re not sure if you should take the PTE or IELTS for student visas, have a look here.)
[maxbutton id=”4″ url=”http://migrationcentreofaustralia.com.au/english-language-requirement/” text=”Scores for all tests” ]
What Health Insurance do you need?
Health Status Government needs to know that you are covered by a health insurance while you are in Australia. You can show this by obtaining an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
Evidence that you are of good character
Character Status is to ensure that no people are coming here that could potentially harm or commit illegal acts in Australia. They are looking for people of good character. Proving that requires police reports and character references from employers, friends and family.
Student Visas – FAQs
1) “How old do I have to be?”
You need to be at least 6 years of age to obtain this visa (though any student under the age of 18 will need welfare arrangements as set out by the government).
2) “Is this visa expensive to get?”
Well, the fee cost is from AUD $560 but I would recommend assuming that it will always cost more when you look into police checks, health checks, testing your English etc.
3) “Can I come here first and then find somewhere to study?”
No, you absolutely must have a recognised education institution in Australia that has accepted you to study with them before you can apply for a student visa.
4) “Can I study anywhere I want?”
Almost! The institute you apply at must be a recognised education institution. To check if your educational institute is on the list check the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Student (CRICOS).
5) “How long can I stay if it’s all approved?”
You can stay for a period of up to five years depending on how long your course of study is.
6) “Can I bring my Family?”
Yes, you and your family can either make a combined application or they can apply to join you later provided that they are declared in student visas applications beforehand or they become a member after your visa was granted (such as a newborn baby).
7) “Do I have to apply while I’m in Australia?”
You can apply while you are in Australia or outside Australia.
8) “Can I work while studying?”
You are allowed to work in Australia but only when your course officially commences, and then only 40 hours per fortnight as set out in the Work Conditions for student visa holders. Beware that this means that you can also work for example 30 hours in the week 1 and then only 10 hours in week 2. It’s important that you never work more than 40 hours per fortnight.
In the first month row, you are working 40 hours per fortnight and no fortnight crosses 40 hours.
In the second month, you are working 40 hours per fortnight in week 1 and week 2 but between week 2 and week 3 you are working in fact 50 hours per fortnight. This would be a breach of your visa condition!
9) “My student visa said I need to leave by a certain date but I want to stay longer!”
Your student visa is only valid until the date that it expires (check your Visa Grant Letter for that) but if you apply before the expiry date of your current visa, you can sometimes be allowed to stay further for
- Further study
- A Holiday
If not approved for further stay then sadly you will have to leave before the expiry date of your current visa.
10) “I don’t feel confident applying for this on my own!”
We completely understand, this can take a long period to be approved and the paperwork that can be required is exasperating to say the least. That is why people often choose to go with a reliable and professional Migration Agent. It takes the pressure off the student and will allow the agent to help you with any bumps you may hit.
Contact us today and we will get back to you within 24 hours!