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Student Visas Australia (Subclass 500)

September 5, 2023
Myer Lipschitz

Australia is a popular destination for international students seeking a world-class education. One of the key steps in pursuing your studies in the land down under is obtaining a valid student visa. Understanding the application process and requirements for an Australian student visa will help you navigate this crucial step with ease.

The Student Visa (Subclass 500) allows you to live, work, and study in the country for up to five years, depending on the duration of your course. This visa type also permits you to work a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight during term time and unlimited hours during study breaks, allowing you to gain work experience and support your living expenses throughout your stay.

studying with a Student Visa Australia

Why Study in Australia?

Australia is a popular destination for international students, and for good reason. When you study in Australia, you’ll gain access to a high-quality education system that is recognised globally. The country’s innovative teaching methods and strong research capabilities create a unique learning environment that encourages your personal and professional growth.

In addition to academic excellence, Australia offers a diverse and inclusive society. With students from virtually every country joining the Australian student community, you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in a vibrant and multicultural environment. This exposure to many different cultures and nationalities will not only enrich your educational experience but also broaden your global perspective.

Living in Australia offers another significant advantage – the opportunity to explore the country’s stunning natural beauty. The nation’s vast landscapes, unique wildlife, and pristine beaches provide countless possibilities for adventure and relaxation during your study breaks. You’ll quickly realise the value of striking a balance between work and play in maintaining your overall well-being.

Financially, pursuing an education in Australia can be a smart choice. The Australian government offers various scholarships, making it more accessible for international students. Moreover, with an Australian Student Visa, you can supplement your income by working part-time during your studies. This not only helps with your living costs, but also allows you to gain valuable work experience in your chosen field.

Obtaining an Australian student visa can be a stepping stone towards your long-term career goals. If you decide to stay in the country after completing your studies, there are a number of work visas, allowing you to work and gain further experience within the Australian market.

Taking all these factors into consideration, it’s easy to see why studying in Australia can be the right choice for you.

Planning for Student Visa Australia Application

Student Visa Requirements in Australia

Student Visa Australia Age Limit

There is no specific age limit for applying for a student visa in Australia. However, if you are under 18 years old, you must provide details or documentation showing your parent(s) or guardian consent to come to Australia to study as part of your student visa application process.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Enrolment in a Course: Before applying for a visa, students must first be enrolled in a course of study in Australia.
  • Financial Requirements: Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel, and living costs.
  • English Proficiency: Depending on the course, a level of English proficiency may be required.
  • Health Insurance: Must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Step-by-step Process

  1. Confirmation of Enrolment: Once you’ve been accepted into a course, you will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
  2. Create an ImmiAccount: This is the online system through which you can apply for a visa.
  3. Prepare Documentation: This usually includes:
    • CoE
    • Passport
    • Proof of sufficient funds
    • English proficiency test scores (if required)
    • Health insurance (OSHC)
    • Health and character requirements (which may include medical exams and police checks)
  4. Visa Application: The primary visa for international students is the Student Visa (subclass 500). The application is done online through your ImmiAccount.
  5. Interview and Biometrics: Depending on your location and the specifics of your application, you may be required to attend an interview or provide biometric data.
  6. Application Fee: Pay the application fee which varies depending on the visa subclass.
  7. Wait for Decision: After submission, you can track your application status through your ImmiAccount. The processing time can vary.
  8. Visa Outcome: If approved, you will receive your visa details, and if not, you will be informed of the reasons for the denial.

Student Visa Conditions

In Australia, student visas come with a set of conditions that must be met for the duration of your stay in the country. Failure to comply with these conditions can result in the visa being cancelled, so it’s crucial to understand and follow the rules.

  • Maintain Enrolment: You must remain enrolled in a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)-registered course and attend classes regularly.
  • Course Progress and Attendance: Visa holders are expected to make satisfactory course progress and attendance. Institutions are obliged to report students who fail to do so.
  • Change of Course: If you wish to change your course, it must be of the same or a higher Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level as your original course.
  • No Lower-Level Course: You cannot switch to a course at a lower AQF level unless you obtain a new student visa.
  • Health Insurance: You must maintain adequate health insurance, usually Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), for the duration of your stay.
  • Inform Address Changes: You must notify your education provider of your Australian address within seven days of arrival and inform them of any changes within seven days.
  • Work Limitations: While your course is in session, you’re generally allowed to work up to 48 hours per fortnight. Some exceptions may apply for postgraduate research students or if you’re completing work-based training as part of your course.
  • Visa Expiry: You are expected to leave Australia before your visa expires, or apply for a new visa to extend your stay.
  • No Criminal Record: You must not engage in any activities that lead to a criminal record.

By ensuring you meet these requirements and conditions, you can confidently apply for your student visa and take the next step towards starting your education in Australia. You may also seek assistance from immigration lawyers who can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the student visa application process. Their expertise ensures that you navigate the intricacies of the process adeptly, thus setting the stage for a successful educational journey in Australia.

Student Visa Australia Processing Time

When applying for a Student visa (subclass 500) in Australia, it’s essential to be aware of the processing times. Processing times can vary depending on several factors, including the specific visa subclass, your country of origin, and the season when you apply. However usually it takes between 4 – 6 weeks to process Australian student visas.

To get an idea of current visa processing times, you can check the Immigration and citizenship Website. Keep in mind that these times are aggregate calculations for each visa category and may not precisely represent the processing time for your specific application.

To ensure a smooth application process, make sure to submit all required documents, such as the Confirmation of Enrolment with the correct start date and any other supporting materials required for your specific visa subclass. You can find more information about applying for a student visa on the Applying for a student visa section of the Immigration and citizenship Website.

Remember, the time it takes for your Student visa to be processed can also be affected by your compliance with Australia immigration requirements. So, be sure to thoroughly read and understand the eligibility criteria and any additional guidelines provided by the Australian government.

Student Visa Extension Australia

In Australia, there is no automatic extension for a student visa. However, if your visa is expiring and you can’t return to your home country or your course has been extended, you’ll need to find a solution to legally stay in the country. Your options will depend on your situation, which may differ for each individual.

First, if your current student visa is about to expire before the completion of your course, you can apply for a new one. Ensure that you attach a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with the correct start date when applying for the new visa.

In case you have completed your course and wish to stay longer for work experience, you might be eligible for certain post-graduate work visas.

Remember, maintaining a valid visa during your stay in Australia is crucial to avoid legal issues or jeopardising your studies. Continuously monitor the status of your student visa and take prompt action when necessary to ensure a smooth experience as an international student.

Student Visa Work Restrictions

As a student visa holder in Australia, it’s important for you to be aware of the work restrictions that apply to your visa. These restrictions are designed to ensure that you can focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification, while also being able to gain valuable work experience and contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government temporarily relaxed student visa work restrictions, allowing student visa holders to work over the usual limit of 48 hours per fortnight. This temporary arrangement came to an end on 30 June 2023.

From 1 July 2023, the work restrictions for student visa holders have been re-introduced. You are now allowed to work up to 48 hours per fortnight during study terms and semesters.

Remember that these restrictions only apply to the hours you work during study terms and semesters. When your course of study or training is not in session, you are not subject to any work restrictions. To ensure you stay compliant with your visa conditions, make sure to carefully monitor the hours you work during your study term.



Myer Lipschitz

Myer Lipschitz was born in Johannesburg and is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1985 he was conferred the degree Bachelor of Laws. Myer completed his Articles of Clerkship with Ivor Trackman, Attorneys and was admitted as an Attorney to the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1988. Myer immigrated to New Zealand in 1989 and was admitted to practice law in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand...

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