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Australia is a favoured destination among global students, renowned for its excellent educational institutions, culturally diverse society, and vibrant lifestyle. The Australian education experience offers access to high-ranking universities, an extensive array of courses, and potential employment opportunities post-graduation.

The Australian Government welcomes Indian students to study in the country, but it necessitates obtaining an Australian student visa first for entry and commencement of studies. The type of visa you need hinges on your intended course level, type of study, and program duration. International students typically require a student visa (subclass 500), regardless of the chosen study field, the university you have applied to, or the tuition fees involved.

Student Visa (Subclass 500)

Implemented from July 1, 2016, the subclass 500 student visa permits you to reside in Australia for the length of your study program, typically up to five years and synchronized with your enrolment date. It is essential to maintain your visa’s validity by adhering to the conditions specified on your Australian student visa. Detailed information about this visa type can be found on the Department of Home Affairs’ official website of the Australian Government.

Purview of Your Subclass 500 Visa

  • Enables enrollment in the study program and university of your choice.
  • Allows you to bring along your family members to Australia.
  • Dependents can secure a dependent visa to get authorization to travel with the primary applicant.
  • Offers a straightforward and unified visa requirement for all students.
  • Permits visa application both in Australia and abroad via an online platform.

Preliminary Steps Before Applying for an Australian Student Visa:

  • Ensure you are enrolled in your chosen Australian study program.
  • Possess Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your program.
  • Be at least 6 years old.
  • If you are under 18 years of age, provide proof of arranged welfare provisions in Australia.

Necessities for an Australian Student Visa:

When applying to study in Australia with a student visa, you’ll typically need the following:

  • Proof of enrolment (your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment or eCOE)
  • A valid passport
  • Visa application fee
  • Your Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
  • Documents proving your academic background and work experience
  • Proof of your English language skills (such as IELTS test scores)
  • Proof of financial means to cover tuition fees, living costs, expenses for dependents, and return airfare
  • Details of your health insurance policy (OSHC)
  • Passport-size photographs
  • For applicants under 18 years of age, additional documents such as parental consent are required.

Procedure for Online Application of Australian Student Visa:

To apply for your Australian student visa, you’ll need to set up an account using the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) online application system, known as ImmiAccount. Through this account, you can complete, submit, and track the status of your visa application. Ideally, submit your application a minimum of six weeks, and no more than 12 weeks, before your course begins.

Fees for different categories of the Australian Student Visa:

Visa Subclass Base Application Fee Additional Charge for Applicants Aged 18 or Above Additional Charge for Applicants Under 18 Subsequent Temporary Application Fee
Student Visa (Subclass 500) AUD $630 AUD $460 AUD $150 AUD $700
Student Visa (Subclass 500) – Subsequent Entrant AUD $620 AUD $460 AUD $150 AUD $700
Student Visa (Subclass 500) – Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector No charge No charge No charge No charge
Student Visa (Subclass 500) – Postgraduate Research Sector AUD $620 No charge No charge No charge

As an international student, your visa fees will depend on which category you fit into.

English Proficiency Requirements for Australian Student Visa:

Acquiring an Australian student visa necessitates demonstrating proficiency in the English language, typically through the successful completion of a secure English language test to prove your communicative abilities.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most widely used English language proficiency test globally for study, work, and migration purposes. It boasts over three million test-takers in the previous year. More than 11,000 organizations worldwide across 140 countries, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations, and governments, recognize IELTS results.

Although the minimum IELTS score required for a student visa is 5.5, aspirants should aim for a higher score for admission to top-tier universities. Furthermore, IELTS score requirements may differ depending on the course. For instance, courses such as Business, IT, and Engineering often require an IELTS score of 6.5. Disciplines like Nursing, Physiotherapy, and Teaching necessitate a score of 7.0 or occasionally higher. Hence, it is beneficial to seek professional advice on the target score and preparation strategy.

Maintaining the Validity of Your Australian Student Visa:

Upon receiving your visa, certain steps must be taken to keep it valid:

  • Stay enrolled and ensure consistent progress and regular attendance in your course.
  • Share your Australian address with your university or college for communication purposes (notify them in case of relocation).
  • Sustain your financial independence throughout your stay in Australia.
  • Do not violate the work conditions associated with your visa.
  • In case you wish to alter your qualification level, it would necessitate the application for a new Australian student visa.

Frequently Asked Questions about Australia Student Visa

  1. What is a student visa in Australia?

A student visa in Australia, officially known as a Subclass 500 visa, permits international students to live in Australia and attend an educational institution for a specified duration of time.

  1. How do I apply for a student visa in Australia?

You can apply for a student visa online through the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website. You’ll need to prepare certain documents, including proof of enrolment (CoE), proof of financial capability, English proficiency test results, health and character documents, among others.

  1. How long does it take to process my student visa application?

The processing time varies depending on a number of factors including the completeness of the application and the time of the year. Generally, it may take from one month to four months. It’s recommended to apply at least six months before your course starts.

  1. How much does the Australian student visa cost?

As of my last update in September 2021, the visa application fee for the Student Visa (Subclass 500) is AUD 620 for the main applicant. However, the price may increase, so it’s advisable to check the Department of Home Affairs website for the most recent information.

  1. Can I work while studying on a student visa in Australia?

Yes, you can. Students holding a Subclass 500 visa are permitted to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and full-time during semester breaks. However, you cannot start working until your course has commenced.

  1. Can I bring my family with me to Australia on my student visa?

Yes, you can include family members when you lodge your visa application. For student visa purposes, family members include your spouse, and you or your spouse’s dependent children.

  1. How long can I stay in Australia with my student visa?

The length of stay will depend on the length of the course you are studying. Generally, your student visa is valid for the duration of your study program, up to five years, and it usually expires two months after your course ends.

  1. Can I extend my student visa?

Yes, if you wish to extend your studies in Australia, you will need to apply for a new Student Visa before your current one expires.

  1. What are the English language requirements for an Australian student visa?

The English language requirements vary based on the course and university you are applying to. You may need to take an English proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE, among others. It’s best to check the specific requirements of your chosen institution.

  1. What happens if my student visa gets refused?

If your visa application gets refused, you will receive a refusal letter that explains why it was refused. You might be able to apply for a review of the decision depending on the reasons listed. Otherwise, you can address the issues raised and re-apply.

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