If students are taking a short program, of a maximum of 12 weeks they can use a tourist visa in Australia. If they have a Working Holiday visa they are allowed to study for 16 weeks. For university studies and all longer programs, they will need to apply for a student visa. Here is the visa application process step by step.
- Acceptance of the university’s offer letter and get a CoE - Students should accept the university’s offer in writing, and pay their tuition deposit. Then the school will send a CoE, Confirmation of Enrolment. Students will need this document to begin their visa application. If they are willing to take several programs, they will need one CoE for each program.
- Create an account with the Australian immigration authorities - Students can apply online for Australian visas. Before starting the visa application they have to create an account at https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register.They will ask students to submit their name, phone number, and e-mail address. Then they get to create a password and accept their conditions.
Submit application documents - To apply for a student visa students will need the following documents:
- Their CoE
- OSHC health insurance.
- A passport that preferably should be valid for the whole stay in Australia.
- Proof of temporary stay: on the application, students will have to certify that they only plan to stay temporarily in Australia. They can support this claim by attaching proof of employment or a letter from their school in their home country or similar documents.
Depending on where students are applying from and where they will study additional documents will be needed. Some common documents might need are:
- Additional ID documents such as a birth certificate
- Proof that they can finance their studies, such as a bank statement.
- Proof that they have enough knowledge to pass their intended studies, such as certified grade reports and IELTS-test results.
- Proof of previous employment such as an employment contract, paychecks, etc.
- Documentation of criminal records.
All documents should be translated to English by a certified translator. To apply online all documents should be uploaded in a digital format. So all the documents must be scanned and kept ready.
- Complete the visa application online - Students should apply for a student visa subclass 500. The application can be made at the earliest 124 days before their course starts (according to the date on their CoE). Students can apply online. On the first page, they need to fill in their nationality and their CoE code(s). They should also choose their Education sector. Thereafter they will be asked to submit personal details, family details, answer questions about their previous education and work experience, and submit details about their health and criminal record.
- Pay the visa fee and get a TRN-number - When students have completed the application they should pay the application fee which currently is 575 AUD. When the application and payment are done they will get a receipt with a TRN-number (Transaction Reference Number). Students should make sure to save it so they can check the status of their application.
- Possible health checkup and interview - Depending on where they will study and where they live they might also need to do a health checkup and/or a visa interview. They will receive this information about this when they complete the application above if it applies to them.
- Get the visa decision - Students usually will get their decision within one or a couple of weeks once their application is complete. They can check the status of their application by logging in to the immigration website and if needed enter their TNR number. Normally the Australian authorities will notify the student by email once their visa decision is ready.
Students should Make sure their visa remains valid
Once students get his/her visa, there are several things they need to do to ensure it remains valid, including:
- Remain enrolled and maintain satisfactory course progress and attendance
- Provide Australian address to their university or college so they can contact the student
- Continue to be able to financially support while in Australia
- Don't breach the working conditions that apply to the visa.
If the student wants to change their qualification level, they will need to apply for a new student visa.
- Work in Australia on Student Visa
While on a student visa, international students may work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time, and full-time in the holidays. The visa is automatically issued with permission to work, although they are not allowed to begin working until their course has started.