Studying in Australia can be great for work opportunities or simply to extend your stay Down Under after a Working Holiday Visa or a tourist visa. The country is home to some of the best schools and faculties in the world, all accessible to foreign students. In fact, anyone, regardless of their age, can start studies in Australia. However, it is necessary to have a visa. So here is all the information you need on the student visa for Australia.
Table of Contents
If you want to study in Australia, you have different options:
- Student Visa – you can study for a minimum of 3 months;
- Tourist Visa – you are allowed to study for a maximum of 3 months;
- Working Holiday Visa– allows you to study for a maximum of 4 months.
A Student Visa can be granted at any age. The advantage of a student visa is that it allows you to work during your studies for up to 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited hours during school breaks.
If you only want to study for a few weeks, you have the option of doing so while you are on a different type of visa (WHV, tourist). However, for all studies lasting longer than 90 days, you must obtain a student visa. This applies to all studies (universities or TAFE, high school, college, etc.).
Student Visa for Australia
Prior 2016, several student visas existed (Vocational Subclass 572, Subclass 570, Subclass 573 etc) depending on your course. However, since July 2016, the student visa process has been simplified and only one type of subclass exists for all courses, Student Visa – Subclass 500. However, there are some student visas for specific situations that we will briefly discuss.
Student Visa – Subclass 500
Since 2016, you can apply for the Student Visa – subclass 500 for all courses:
- University to graduate with a Bachelor Degree, Associate Degree, Graduate Certificate, Higher Education Diploma and Master Degree (undergraduate ou postgraduate).
- TAFE (Technical And Further Education) for Vocational Education and Training (Certificates I, II, III ou IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Vocational Graduate Certificate ou Diploma).
- English language courses
- Postgraduate Research to graduate with a Master’s Degree by research, Doctoral Degree
Other student visas available
For specific situations, you can apply for the following Student Visas:
Student Guardian Visa – Subclass 590
This visa applies if you plan to come to Australia to provide care to a student under 18 years.
Temporary Graduate Visa – Subclass 485
If you have finished your studies and wish to work in Australia temporarily, you may be eligible for the post-study work visa.
Training and Research Visa – Subclass 402
You may be eligible for this visa for training and research opportunities which allows you to take part of a structured workplace-based training.
What this visa allows you to do
A student visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your studies and 90 days after the end of your studies. You can travel in and out of Australia as you wish for the duration of your visa.
The advantage of the student visa is that it allows you to work at the same time as you are studying. You can indeed work up to 40 hours every 2-week period once your course starts. There is no limitation during school holidays.
Important Note: To address workforce shortages, student visa work hours restrictions have been temporarily relaxed. Until 30 June 2023, all ongoing students as well as new student arrivals and secondary applicants are able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy and work before their course of study commences.
How to apply for a student visa
Before you apply for a subclass 500, you must have:
- been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia.
As an international student on a student visa, you must be enrolled in a course of study that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
- organised appropriate welfare arrangements for the duration of your stay in Australia. The average cost of OSHC is $500 for 12 months.
Step 1 – Enrol in a course of study
Before applying for a subclass 500 you need to choose a course and an institution and apply for it. Once your application has been approved, you will receive an ‘Overseas Student Confirmation-of-Enrolment (CoE)’. The number in this letter is necessary to apply for your student visa.
Step 2 – Apply for your student Visa
Visa Application must be done on the government immigration website: www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Stud
Go on Student Visa – Subclass 500 and fill in the form. Once completed you will receive a Transaction Reference Number that will allow you to track and manage your application.
You can apply IN or OUT of Australia. Which means that you can go on a student visa after a WHV for example. The processing time varies depending on your situation. However, most applications will take about four weeks to be processed. Once your visa has been approved, you will receive a Notification of Grant Letter via email. This is actually your visa, so make sure you print a copy, just in case!
Cost of a Student Visa
Student visa costs 650$ (July 2022).
This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course and up to 2 months after it. During your visa, you are free to enter and exit the territory as much as you want.
You are allowed to work up to 40 hours fortnight and unlimited hours during school holidays. You won’t be able to work before the beginning of your course.
Good to know:
A student visa usually allows you to bring your partner as dependent on your visa. You will need to prove you have been living with him / her for at least 12 months. The work rights granted for your partner will depend on the course of study you are enrolled in. Therefore, it can be up to 40 hours per fortnight or full and unlimited work rights depending on the course.
Budget for a Student Visa
Before coming to Australia
For a student visa, already count several expenses before even leaving your home country! Indeed, first of all, it will be necessary to pay the first semester fees of the chosen school / university. To this also add the registration fees. If you want to study at a university, you will need to show that you’ve got a working knowledge of the English language. You will have to take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test (around $ 395).
Australia’s universities are world renowned and tuition fees are very high. If you want to enter one of the most reputable universities (Group of 8) the registration fee is generally around $25,000 per year. For some universities, the first courses start from $10,000 per year. If you want to do vocational training (TAFE) the fees will be quite similar, around $10,000 per school year. Finally for language courses, marketing or business school, the prices are lower, around $1,500 / $2,000 per term. You will find all the registration fees on the websites of the schools and universities.
Also consider the cost of compulsory student health insurance (around $ 400) as well as the cost of a private health insurance. OSHC only offers minimum coverage so full student insurance is highly recommended. Finally, add the cost of the visa (650 $).
Expenses once in Australia
Once landed, some expenses will be inevitable! We are talking about expenses for accommodation, food, public transports etc.
For accommodation , you can choose to share an apartment, get a room in a student residence or even a host family. The rates vary according to the city, the type of accommodation but on average count $200 per week. Regarding the food, plan on around $50 per week. This is of course an estimate and may be higher depending on your meals and expectations.
Public transport in the city are expensive. You will need to allocate a budget of $25 to $30 for public transportation.
To this add the costs related to your studies such as books, copies, supplies etc. To reduce your costs, borrow books from your uni’s library, or buy them second-hand. Count around $ 200 to $ 300 per semester. Finally, even if you are there to study, you must still enjoy your stay! So plan a small budget for nights out, visits, excursions etc.
In summary, you will need an average budget of $400 to $450 per week once in Australia.
Read also : Cost of living in Australia
Updated on 06/12/2022
Source : Australian Immigration Website