Do you want to study in Australia? What are your options?

If you’re looking at studying in Australia, there are a number of visa options available. There are currently 8 subclasses of student visas. The subclass that you should apply for depends on the education sector of your main course of study.

Subclasses available for people wishing to study

Independent English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) – Subclass 570

  • This visa applies to stand-alone English language courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III or IV, or that result in no formal Australian award.
  • Students undertaking ELICOS because it is a pre-requisite for their main course must apply for the visa for the main course.

Primary or secondary school course – Subclass 571

  • If you or your child is still in school, they will be looking at the subclass 571 visa. It applies to primary, junior secondary or senior secondary school courses and approved secondary school exchange programs.

Vocational education and training (VET) – Subclass 572

  • If you’re looking at studying a Certificate I, II, III and IV; VET diploma; VET advanced diploma this visa is for you.

Higher education – Subclass 573

  • This visa is for you if you’re planning on undertaking a bachelor degree, associate degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, higher education diploma, higher education advances diploma or masters by coursework.

Postgraduate research – Subclass 574

  • If you’re looking at postgraduate research courses including Masters by research or a doctoral degree, you should consider this visa.

Non-award – Subclass 575

  • This applies to non-award foundation studies, or other full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian award.

AusAID and Defence – Subclass 576

  • If you’re sponsored by AusAID or Defence for your full time study course, this visa is for you.

Student Guardians – Subclass 580

  • If you are a parent or relative to a student in Australia, you can apply for this visa to stay in Australia as the guardian of that student.

Package courses

If you wish to apply for a package of courses that comprises of an enabling course (e.g. a prerequisite English language course) which on completion will be followed by a main course (e.g. a bachelor degree) you should apply for a visa for the main course. You will be required to provide evidence of your enrolment in the enabling course including letters of offer from the education providers. You will be granted a student visa covering the whole package only if you provide confirmation of enrollment in all the courses.
Some key requirements that you must meet are:

  • You must study full-time in a registered course or part of a registered course
  • You must meet the genuine temporary entrant requirements.
  • You must prove your financial capacity
  • You must meet the English language proficiency
  • Meet the character requirement
  • Have sound heath
  • Have acceptable health insurance through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Have no outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia
  • If under 18 years of age, have acceptable arrangements for your accommodation, support and general welfare in place

Common student visa conditions

Attendance – You must attend your course.

Work conditions – You and your members of your family unit must not work unless you have been grant work rights. From April 2008, all student Subclass 570-576 visas include permission to work as part of the initial student visa grant. If you have been granted permission to work, you will be allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight once your course has commenced. No work restrictions apply during recognized periods of vacation offered by your education provider. These time limits are strictly enforced.

Health insurance – You must maintain your approved Overseas Student Health Cover while you are in Australia
‘No further stay’ condition – Some students (but not all) will be subject to a ‘no further stay’ condition. In most cases this will mean that after entering Australia, you may not be granted any other visa while you remain in Australia other than other student visas. This is often imposed on student visas where the intended period of study is 10 months of less, but it can be imposed in other circumstances. It is important that you check to see if this condition will be or is attached to your student visa.

Breach – Any breach of a student visa condition may result in your visa being cancelled!

Need help?

Our Migration Team can help students apply for their first student visa and those who have already undertaken study in Australia and wish to undertake further study or enter the Australia workforce. We can help you to get your application right the first time and thus avoid delays in processing and ensure that you are in the best position possible to get your application approved.

If you have any Australia visa questions or wish to begin your visa application, please contact us today.

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