Are you thinking about studying in Australia? A Student Visa can be a great option if you would like to gain a world-class qualification from one of a number of leading education insitutions that are renouned around the world. Not only will you be armed with a reputable qualification as you take the next step in your career, but you will also have the opportunity to combine your study with travel around Australia. Explore the amazing sights and sounds on offer, and meet new people along the way! Plus, you will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to live in Australia, and get involved in the local community. And another benefit? You can work in Australia on a limited basis to help fun your trip.
If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, then a student visa could be the right option for you. Before you move forward, though, there are a number of factors to consider before you apply for a student visa. Having a good understanding of the Australia student visa requirements is important, to give yourself the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your application, and avoiding the lost time and money that come with a visa refusal, as well as potentially more serious ramifications that could affect your ability to qualify for a further visa to Australia later down the track.
Have A Plan
Once you have completed your student visa, you may even consider what you can do next in Australia, whether that be to continue studying, such as a higher qualification level, or you might progress to a Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa, which is a common pathway for student visa holders to take as a next step in Australia. You could even potentially look at a Skilled visa, depending on your eligibility, later down the track. Whatever pathway you take will depend on your individual circumstances, goals and needs. Even though this may all occur sometime in the future, it is important to consider these issues upfront before you begin the process, as things that you do now could have an impact on what you can do in the future in regards to your visa. That’s why it is prudent to plan ahead, and be fully informed from the start. This ensures that you know exactly where you are heading, with a plan on how to get there.
It is important, however, to be flexible and prepared if things do change as you move forward along your plan. Either you may decide to make a change and take a different path, or the migration laws and regulations could change. Migration itself is an everchanging landscape, which is why it is vital to keep abreast of all the latest updates, to ensure that you proceed on the basis of the migration law as it stands at that time, and to be prepared to adapt to changing cirumstances along the way.
Australian Study Requirement
One such consideration is the Australian study requirement. This criterion is concerned with ensuring that an applicant has obtained an appropriate Australian qualification as required by the Migration legislation for the purposes of a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa or the Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa.
To be eligible for a subclass 485 visa, you need to meet the Australian study requirement.
The Australian study requirement operates differently when it comes to the GSM visas. In this instance, the Australian study requirement applies when allocating points in the Migration Points Test for the followng skilled visas:
- Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa;
- Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa; and
- Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa.
Although the Australian study requirement is not applicable to a student visa application, it is still nevertheless important to be aware that it this a requirement that you may need to meet later down the track if you decide to proceed to apply for one of the visa subclasses listed above.
If you are thinking about applying for a student visa to gain a university qualification in Australia, you also need to be aware of the Australia university admission requirements, which is an important step in the process before you can apply for a student visa.
In this article, we delve deeper into study in Australia for international students requirements, including the Australian student visa new rules, the types of Australia university admission requirements that may apply to your chosen course in Australia, as well as the student visa extension requirements Australia, if you are thinking about the next steps after completing your initial qualification as a student visa holder in Australia.
But we start our discussion by taking a closer look at the Australian study requirement.
What Is The Australian Study Requirement?
To meet the Australian study requirement, you must have completed one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications, that are awarded by an Australian educational institution as a result of a course/s that meet the following:
- are registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS);
- were completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months;
- were completed as a result of a total of at least 2 academic years of study (a minimum period of 92 weeks as registered under CRICOS);
- all instruction was conducted in English; and
- that you undertook whilst in Australia as the holder of a visa which authorised you to study (e.g. a Student visa).
The Australian study requirement does not require you to have completed a single course of study of two academic years’ duration. You can use study that is undertaken to complete more than one degree, diploma or trade qualification to meet the Australian study requirement.
This means that you need to complete either:
- a single eligible qualification that requires at least two academic years of study; or
- more than one qualification that results in a total of at least two academic years of study resulting in an eligible qualification.
Temporary Graduate Visa
Completion Date Within Six Months of Application Lodgement
An additional requirement applies in the case of a subclass 485 visa, whereby you must have completed your study in the six months immediately before making the visa application. The date of course completion is the date when you first meet the academic requirements for the award or your degree, diploma or trade qualification and are advised in writing by letter, email, newspaper, internet or bulletin board at the education institution.
The completion date is different to the date of conferral of the award. The date of conferral is the date when you actually receive your qualification, for example, at a graduation ceremony.
Graduate Work Stream
And it goes further if you are applying for a subclass 485 visa under the Graduate Work stream, in which case each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to satisfy the Australian study requirement must be closely related to your nominated skilled occupation.
GSM Visas And The Points Test
As noted earlier in this article, the Australian study requirement operates differently when assessing your eligibility for a GSM visa. In this case, rather than the Australian study requirement being stipulated as a visa grant requirement, as applies in the case of a subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa, when it comes to a GSM, the Australian study requirement comes into play when applying the Migration Points Test. To be able to apply for a GSM visa, you need to meet a minimum number of points in the points test, which is currently set at 65 points (note that you first need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI); only upon receipt of an invitation from the Department can you then proceed to apply for the visa. Also be mindful that achieving the baseline minimum points score does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa. The process of allocating invitations is a competitive process. Maximising your score will improve your chances of receiving an invitation). The following three components of the points test refer to the Australian study requirement:
Australian Study Qualifications
At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, you must have met the Australian study requirement to obtain 5 points in the points test.
Study In A Designated Regional Area Qualification
At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, you must satisfy the following:
- have met the Australian study requirement;
- the location of the campus/s where study was undertaken is in a designated regional area;
- whilst you undertook the course of study, you lived in a designated regional area; and
- none of the study undertaken constituted distance education.
Satisfying all of the above requirements will result in 5 points being awarded to you in the points test.
As you can see from the above discussion, although the Australian study requirement does not apply when it comes to applying for a Student visa, it is relevant if you are looking at options further down the track post-student visa, whereby your study may have an impact on qualifying for a subsequent visa in future. It is important to be mindful of this. In particular, the timing of your course completion date will be an important consideration if you are seeking to apply for a Temporary Graduate visa as a next step after your student visa; remember, you must apply for the visa within 6 months of your course completion date. Be aware that there are exceptions to the 6 month requirement in certain circumstances due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Lets now move on to take a look at the key Australia student visa requirements that you will need to meet in order to qualify for a student visa.
Student Visa Requirements
The Australian student visa new rules to be eligible for a student visa include:
Enrol In A Course
One study in Australia for international students requirement is to enrol in a full-time registered course. There are a wide range of courses and education providers available for you to choose from, in a range of education sectors, including English language courses, vocational and tertiary education courses. You should thoroughly research your options to ensure that your maximise your study experience in Australia.
As part of your course research, ensure that you clearly understand the entry requirements that have been set by the course provider. You may need to have completed specified pre-requisites, have employment experience and/or complete an English test.
How Do You Choose A Course?
Choosing the right education provider to study your chosen course can be confusing. If you have more than one offer for a university, then congratulations! You are off to a great start.
To help you to decide which university to study your course, here are some helpful things to look out for:
- Is the course CRICOS registered (important for visa purposes)
- Does the course meet the Australian Study Requirement (important for graduate and General Skilled Migration visa purposes, as discussed above)
- How much are the fees?
- How quickly can you complete the course? (some universities are faster than others)
- Do you want to live in the location of the university?
- Do you want to gain bonus points for regional study to be eligible for a future General Skilled Migration visa?
- Do you have friends or family in that location?
- How well is the institution regarded by employers?
- How have other students ranked their experience with that university?
Once you have enrolled in a course, you will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), which you will need to submit as part of your student visa application.
Have Sufficient Funds
You also need to have genuine access to sufficient funds to cover costs and expenses for yourself and for your accompanying dependents for the length of your intended stay in Australia. You must declare in your application that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your entire stay in Australia.
Gather supporting evidence to demonstrate that you have the minimum funds required, in line with the minimum financial thresholds that apply. Acceptable sources of funds are prescribed.
See our article on the Australian Student Visa Financial Requirements for further information about this Australia student visa requirement.
Unless you are exempt, you will need to provide evidence to demonstrate that you meet the English language requirement in certain cases. This will require you to complete a prescribed English language test within a specified timeframe, and achieve a prescribed minimum test result to meet the Australia student visa requirements.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most widely used English language tests for migration purposes in Australia. We recommend that you refer to our articles on IELTS tips and IELTS Classes To Improve Your Score for further details.
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)
The GTE requirement is one of the most important aspects of a student visa application. To meet this study in australia for international students requirement, you must demonstrate, with supporting evidence, that your intention as an international student visa holder is to reside temporarily in Australia, and to comply with your Student Visa conditions, having regard to:
- the circumstances in your home country;
- your potential circumstances in Australia;
- the value of the course to your future;
- your immigration history; and
- other relevant matters.
You must provide a statement in your student visa application which addresses the above. In particular, you should provide details of the following aspects:
Provide details of any previous study that you have undertaken, and submit academic transcripts that show your qualifications, the name of your education provider/s, the length of study as well as any certificates of attainment.
If there are any gaps in your previous study, provide reasons for this.
Explain your current employment situation, including details of your current employer, their company address, your period of employment, the details of your position, and the name and contact details for someone who can confirm the circumstances of your employment.
Ties To Your Home Country
Provide details of your financial, family and social ties that have significant incentives for you to return to your home country, or your country of residence.
Economic Circumstances In Your Home Country
Provide information and supporting documents that show your employment or business activities for the 12 month period before lodgement of your student visa application.
Also include details about any potential employment offers, including salary and other benefits, after you complete your selected course in Australia.
In addition, provide tax return/s and bank statement/s.
Employment Opportunities In A Third Country
Provide details of any potential job offers following the completion of the course, including salary/wages and other benefits.
You also need to meet health and character criteria, and ensure that you have adequate health insurance for you and your dependents in Australia.
Further Australia student visa requirements also apply.
Now that we have discussed the study in Australia for international students requirements, what Australia university admission requirements do you need to meet in order to enrol in a course?
University Admission Requirements
It is important to be aware that the requirements that are set by each education provider are different, and so you should throughly research and if needed, contact your selected institution to learn what their particular requirements are. It is important to check the academic and English language entry requirements to ensure you are eligible. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you might need to consider a different course, or a bridging or foundation course, which may allow you to gain entry to the course.
Also ensure that you check any deadlines that apply to your chosen course. The university’s website can be a good place to start your research, usually being a great source of information about the course and how to apply. Follow up with an email or telephone call if you are unsure about the requirements and need further clarification. Also ensure that you note down any important adminission deadlines that apply.
Once you have confirmed that you meet the Australia university admission requirements for your selected course, you are ready to apply. Follow the instructions provided by the education provider and ensure that you supply complete and correct information, as well as any supporting documents that are required.
If your application for the course is accepted, you will receive a letter of offer and an acceptance form. Carefully read the letter and check any conditions that apply. You must meet these conditions before the education provider will issue a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). You might also be required to pay tuition fees before your institution issues a CoE. The institution will notify you of its requirements.
Once you have received the CoE, you can then proceed to apply for the student visa.
Extend Your Student Visa
After having completed your course, you may find that you would like to extend your stay in Australia. You are not alone! This is a common experience, given the many benefits that Australia has to offer. It is a popular destination with many thousands travelling to its shores each year, whether that be for a temporary stay, or as a permanent resident, and for a multitude of reasons, such as study, work, tourism, or to live with your Australian spouse or de facto partner. Beauty, opportunity, lifestyle, high standard of living, peace and harmony; these are just some of the many facets of life that Australia has to offer, and why it is such an appealing option for travellers and migrants each year.
So, what are the student visa extension requirements Australia?
Well technically, you cannot extend a student visa, that is, you cannot lengthen the term of your student visa. Once you reach the visa expiry date, that is the end of the visa term and you cannot apply for an extension.
There may, however be options available to you to remain in Australia following your student visa term. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to apply for a new student visa, or apply for another visa type, most commonly for student visa holders is a temporary graduate visa. Any potential options that you may have will depend on your individual situation, your wants and needs. The most important factor here will be your reasons for seeking a student visa extension; this will determine what options you may have.
Why Extend A Student Visa?
You may like to extend your stay in Australia, following your studies for some of the reasons listed below:
- to complete your current study (so that you can attend a graduation ceremony, re-sit an exam, to complete extra work for a subject that you are cannot re-enrol in);
- for further study (to, for example, gain a higher qualification);
- to remain in Australia for a further short-term stay for travel/tourism; or
- for a longer term stay as a temporary resident, or permanent residence (this may be for work, or to live with your partner or spouse in Australia).
Please see our article on Extending Student Visa In Australia for more information about extending your stay in Australia as a next step following your student visa.
Get More Information
To learn more about applying for a student visa in Australia and the Australian student visa new rules, please refer to our articles below.
Temporary Graduate Visa
To learn more about applying for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa, please see the following articles:
General Skilled Migration Visa
To learn more about applying for a General Skilled Migration visa, please see the following articles:
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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about applying for a student visa, including the study in Australia for international students requirements, and the student visa extension requirements Australia if you are thinking about your next steps after completing your course. Importantly, the Australian study requirement if you are seeking to apply for a Temporary Graduate visa and/or GSM visa later down the track.
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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in applying for a student visa in Australia, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this.
For up to date advice on applying for a student visa including the Australian student visa new rules, student visa extension requirements Australia, and the Australian study requirement for a further visa, contact PAX Migration Australia, a leading immigration service providing advice on a range of visas including student, temporary graduate and GSM visas. Contact us for a no obligation discussion on how we may be able to assist you in your study goals in Australia.
Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and citizenship – Visas – Getting a visa – List of all visas – Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Meeting the Australian study requirement