Key criteria to quality for a Student Visa

Certification of Enrolment in full-time study

You must have a certificate of enrolment for full-time study in a registered course.

The type of course you enrol in will determine the visa subclass:

CategoryCourse TypeVisa
ELICOScourses that lead to a certificate I, II, III or IVcourses that result in no formal Australian award570
Schoola primary school coursea secondary school course, including junior and senior secondary oran approved secondary school exchange program571
Diploma / Trade Certificate (VET)a certificate I, II, III and IV (except ELICOS)a VET diploma or advanced diplomaa vocational graduate certificate or graduate diploma572
UniversityBachelor degreeAssociate degreeGraduate certificateGraduate diplomaMasters by courseworkHigher Education DiplomaHigher Education advanced diploma573
Masters/DoctorateMasters degree by research or a Doctoral degree in Australia574
Non Awarda non-award foundation studies courseother full-time course (or components of a course) that does not lead to an Australian award575
AusAidsponsored by AusAID or Defence to study a full-time course of any type in Australia576
Student GuardianFor parents or guardians of students under 18 years of age (or over 18 but there are exceptional circumstances), to accompany the student to provide accommodation support and general welfare.580

Genuine temporary entrant requirement

The case officer must be satisfied that you genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily.

Some of the aspects that your case officer will likely consider in making this determination are:

  • your personal circumstances in your home country;
  • incentives to return home;
  • the relationship of the course to your future plans;
  • your immigration history;
  • your study and employment history; and
  • any other matter that the case officer determines is relevant

Financial Requirements

The financial criteria are designed to ensure that students have enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for themselves and any partner and dependent children for the duration of the stay in Australia.

The level of funds required and the evidence required depends on theAssessment Level of the applicant and the type of course studied.

Students from higher assessment level countries and enrolling in non-streamlined processing courses will have to show evidence of funds.

Public Interest Criteria

Like almost all visas, student visas carry these general requirements for Health, Character, Health Insurance, Debts to the Commonwealth, and Australian Values Statement.

If you are unsure of meeting any of these criteria you should contact a professional to assess your ability to overcome any potential refusal on these grounds. Migration agents can prepare submissions on your behalf to give your application every opportunity for approval.

English language Requirement

Generally, your English language skill will need to be at the level required by the Education Institution that you will study at. In some cases, you may need a higher English language level depending on the visa subclass and your assessment level.

Applicants under the age of 18

Must demonstrate that they have:

  • parental permission to study in Australia; and
  • suitable arrangements for their accommodation, support and general welfare.

Period of Visa

Student visas are valid for the duration of your course and permit multiple entries to Australia.

The length of a visa depends on the duration of the course and when the course finishes. Visas for courses that are greater than 10 months generally are granted to 2-3 months after the end of the course, while courses less than 10 months are valid until 1 month after the end of the course.

Work Rights

No work is permitted until the course has started.

Once the course has started you and your family members can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight.

When the course is not in session (ie. during breaks between semesters and summer holidays) you and your family members can work unlimited hours.

A fortnight begins on any Monday and ends on the second following Sunday.

Students enrolled in Masters by research or a Doctoral degree (subclass 574) can work unlimited hours once the course has started. Family members of students enrolled in a Masters course (573 or 576) can work unlimited hours once the course is started.

The department considers your course to be ‘in session’:

  • for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held)
  • if you have completed your studies and your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is still in effect
  • if you are undertaking another course, during a break from your main course and the points will be credited to your main course

Key conditions for holders of student visas

Course enrolment, attendance and progress

You must remain enrolled in a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course as required by your education provider.

You must make satisfactory course progress for each study period.

Your education provider will advise the department if your attendance or course progress is not satisfactory. The definition of ‘satisfactory’ is determined by your education provider.

Providing your home address

You must advise your education provider of your home address within seven days of arriving in Australia. Also, if you change your address during your stay in Australia, you must advise your education provider within seven days.

‘No further stay’ condition

Some visas are issued with a ‘no further stay’ condition. This condition means that you cannot apply to stay in Australia beyond the date specified on your visa, except in very specific circumstances. A waiver of this condition is available if you can show compassionate and compelling circumstances.

School-age family members

Any family members of school age (between five and 18 years) living in Australia must attend school in Australia.

Health insurance

You must maintain health insurance Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for you and your family members while in Australia.

Family Member Obligations

All dependent family members must also abide by their visa conditions, which in most cases will be the same as the primary visa holder. A breach of these conditions may result in visa cancellation. It is the primary visa holder’s responsibility to ensure that family members abide by the conditions of their visa.

If you are still looking for more information or unclear about any of the information presented, you’re best talking to one of our migration experts and getting in touch with us, as this a delicate matter and very important to get right.