Australia is a highly sought-after destination for international students from all over the world. What is it that makes Australia such a popular choice for students from abroad? And the many reasons why Australia is best for international students? A top education system, multicultural and inclusive society with a rich and diverse culture, vast landscapes and natural wonders for you to explore, easy access to transport, and the opportunity to work and improve your English as a student visa holder are just some of the reasons why Australia is viewed as being such an attractive place to study for the many who arrive on its shores each year as they begin an exciting new chapter in their lives.
An international student visa in Australia provides you with the opportunity to not ony gain a highly valued and regarded qualification from one of an array of reputable education institutions, but also to experience the many other facets that Australia has to offer and that make it such a great place to explore.
As an international student visa holder in Australia, you can choose from a range of education sectors to complete your studies, including an English language course, vocational training, higher education or postgraduate research.
You can also work on a limited basis as an international student visa holder, and travel to and from Australia as many times as you like. Eligible family members can also accompany you to Australia as dependent visa holders.
And like the many students who do take advantage of this great opportunity to study in Australia, you may like it so much that you might be interested in an international student visa extension. Although technically you cannot extend a student visa (i.e. lengthen the visa term), you can explore further options post-student visa. Whether that be another student visa, or a different type of visa, such as a Temporary Graduate visa, a skilled or partner visa, for example. Any options that will be available to you will depend on your own personal circumstances, including your goals, wants and needs.
So, does an international student visa Australia sound like the right choice for you?
Read on to find out more about an international student visa Australia, including the key eligibility criteria to qualify for the visa, how to apply to Australian universities international students, how to apply for a student visa, options for an international student visa extension, and some of the many reasons why Australia is best for international students.
How To Qualify For A Student Visa To Australia
The key requirements to qualify for an international student visa include the following:
You must enrol in a full-time registered course and submit a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) as part of your student visa application.
To enrol in a course, you must meet the entry requirements as set by the education provider for your selected course. This can include having completed pre-requisite subjects or a qualification, work experience and/or an English language test.
You must have genuine access to sufficient funds to cover costs and expenses for yourself and for any accompanying family applicants for the duration of your intended stay in Australia, and you must declare in your application that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your entire stay in Australia. You should also provide evidence that you meet this requirement when submitting your application to the Department of Home Affairs (the Department).
Minimum financial thresholds apply in this case. Acceptable sources of funds are also prescribed for this purpose.
You must provide evidence to demonstrate that you meet the English language requirement in certain cases, unless you are exempt. In such cases, you will need to complete a prescribed English language test within a specified timeframe, and achieve a prescribed minimum test score to meet the student visa requirements.
One of the most popular English language tests used for migration purposes in Australia is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). See our articles on IELTS tips and IELTS Classes To Improve Your Score for more information.
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)
One of the most important aspects of a student visa application is the GTE requirement. You must demonstrate 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 also meet health and character criteria, and ensure you have adequate health insurance for you and your accompanying family members in Australia.
Further criteria also apply.
How To Apply For Admission Into A Course
As noted above, to qualify for an international student visa in Australia, you must enrol in a full-time registered course and submit a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) as part of your student visa application.
Lets now discuss how to apply for a course, including how to apply to Australian universities international students.
When applying to Australian institutions, it is important to leave yourself plenty of time to thoroughly research and plan, to ensure that you make the right decison for yourself. You can only do this by arming yourself with the information you need to make the right choice. Travelling to Australia to study is a big move to make for many people, and so you want to make sure that you are as prepared as you can be for this significant step in your life.
Also keep in mind that there is lots of help out there to assist you. You can seek advice from the institution you are applying to, or conduct online research. There is a plethora of information available at your fingertips as you embark on this journey.
We also highly recommend speaking with a registered migration agent if you are considering applying for an international student visa Australia. These trained professionals wil assess your circumstances and what you hope to achieve, and formulate a pathway for you to achieve your migration goals in Australia.
PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration service providing advice on student visas. It is a leading, award-winning immigration agency based in Adelaide, South Australia, which has worked closely with international students for the last 7 years and assisted hundreds of students with graduate and permanent visa pathways. Its directors are also active advocates for growing international students to Australia.
So how do you go about applying for admission into a course of study in Australia?
Select Your Course And Education Provider
You should carefully and thoroughly research courses, institutions and their locations. Consider the areas of specialisation offered through different courses and which specialisations will best suit your intended career path, and your goals and needs in the future.
Once you have decided on the best course for you, the next step is to find out which education providers offer it and which provider best suits your requirements. Other aspects to also consider include the size and location of the campus, the available facilities and support services that are offered for international students.
Apply For Your Selected Course
Once you have chosen your course and education provider, the next step is to apply to the insitutions for the course you are seeking to enrol in.
Before you apply, you should check the academic and English language entry requirements to ensure you are eligible. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you may need to consider a different course or to apply for a bridging or foundation course, which may enable you to gain entry to the course. Confirm with the education provider the application requirements and deadlines that apply to your chosen course (these will differ for each provider). You should also check the provider’s website and further information about your selected course and how to apply. Also note any important deadlines to ensure that you meet them.
Normally, you would need to apply directly to the education provider, by post or online. The application form will ask you which course/s you are applying for and will give you details of the documentation you need to provide with your application.
The type of information you will be asked to provide includes your personal details, evidence of your level of English language proficiency, details of your previous academic qualifications (e.g. academic transcripts, etc.), your course preferences (you will need to specify the course/s that you are applying for, and a summary of your employment experience (if applicable).
If the documents you provide are not in English, you will need to provide an official certified translation.
Also note that you may be charged an application fee, which would need to be included with your application (although this may be waived if you apply online).
If, at any time during the application process, you are unusure about how to proceed, contact the education provider, as they are there to help you.
Importantly, before you apply to the education provider, ensure that you have assessed your eligibility for a student visa. You wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation where you are approved for entry to the course, but you do not meet the student visa requirements.
Therefore, before you do anything else, you need to examine the student visa requirements (as discussed above) and whether you are eligible. As noted, we highly recommend that you seek expert advice from a migration professional in this regard, who can not only advise you of your eligibility for a student visa, but can also point you in the right direction as you search for an approriate course and education provider to meet your needs. Contact PAX Migration Australia for help with your visa application.
Await Application Processing
The education provider will assess your application once it is received, and will notify you of the result. It may take a few weeks for your application to be processed. You shoud factor this into your timeline to apply for a student visa.
Accept Your Offer
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of offer and an acceptance form.
Before accepting the offer, you should carefully read the letter of offer and check any conditions that may apply. You will need to meet these conditions before the education provider will issue a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). Note that you may also be required to pay tuition fees before your institution issues a CoE. The institution will advise you of its requirements.
Importantly, you will need the CoE to apply for a student visa.
Apply For A Student Visa
And now, armed with the CoE, you can proceed to apply for an international student visa Australia.
You will also need to organise your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) (unless you are subject to an exemption) and other documents to submit with your student visa application.
You can apply for a student visa either from within Australia or offshore (applications made in Australia are subject to additional requirements regarding the visa held at that time).
The application is to be lodged online (except in certain circumstances where a paper form is permitted), together with all required documents.
And Your Approved!
If you student visa application is sucessful, then you can really get excited about coming to Australia! Some important things to organise will be your plane tickets and your accomodation in Australia. See our article on Student Accomodation Tips for more advice.
The education provider may also send you an admissions package with information to help you to prepare for your trip to Australia. This may include information about your course and accommodation options, information about the location, financial information and details about orientation programs.
Extending A Student Visa
Australia is a popular destination for thousands of people each year who arrive on its shores, ready to enjoy its multitude of benefits. Whether that be for a holiday to see and experience its beautiful and unique attractions and experiences; for work, study or to join a partner or family member in Australia, there can be many reasons for seeking to extend your stay in Australia.
As a student visa holder in Australia, can you lengthen your stay with an international student visa extension?
Well, as noted in the introduction to this article, the answer is technically no. 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.
Having said that, there may still be options available to you to remain in Australia following your student visa expiry by applying for a new student visa, or for another type of visa, such as a temporary graduate visa. Whatever options may be open to you will depend on your individual circumstances, wants and needs. This includes the conditions that apply to your current student visa, which may prohibit you from being granted a substantive visa whilst you remain onshore (a substantive visa is any visa excluding a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa). Note that you may be able to apply to waive this condition in certain circumstances.
Importantly, your reasons for seeking a student visa extension will be a key factor in determining what options may be available to you.
Why Seek A Student Visa Extension?
Some reasons for seeking to extend your stay in Australia may include the following:
- to complete your current study (to attend a graduation ceremony, to re-sit an exam that you failed, or to complete extra work for a subject in which you are unable to re-enrol);
- to complete further study (to gain a higher qualification, for example);
- to remain in Australia for a further short-term stay to travel across the country; or
- for a longer term stay, whether that be further temporary residence, or permanent residence in Australia (this may be for work, or to live with your partner or spouse in Australia).
Please refer to our article on Extending Student Visa In Australia for further information about how you may apply for an international student visa extension.
Why Australia Is Best For International Students
Australia is often described as being the best place to be an international student. Here are some reasons why it is such an attractive option for many people across the globe, and why you might like to consider an international student visa to Australia.
Top Performing Education System
Providing its citizens with a high-quality education is a top priority for the Australian government. Millions of dollars are invested each year into the education system and great efforts are made to ensure that the system operates to world-class standards and is internationally competitive. Australian education institutions aim to attract the best students, both from Australia and abroad, and invest heavily in their faculties and facilities to ensure they deliver on this top priority.
You can choose from a wide range of courses and education institutions, including vocational, higher education and postgraduate research. A qualification from Australia will put you in good stead for securing employment opportunities and potentially improve your income-earning capacity once you complete your qualification.
Multicultural And Inclusive Society
Australia has a long and proud history of welcoming visitors and migrants from all over the world. Whether it be to travel and explore its unique and natural wonders and many landmarks, or to settle permanently and make this their home, Australia is a highly-sought after destination for people from every corner of the globe.
This has, in turn, led to a diverse and culturally rich society, made up of different languages, religions, and cultures all embedded into the community. Australia’s first peoples, the Indigenous Australians, also have a rich culture and history, with multiple native languages and sacred landmarks across Australia for you to learn about and discover.
Australians are friendly and welcoming people, and your campus is a great starting place for you to meet the locals as well as other international students with whom to share your experiences and form lifelong memories and friendships. Living in Australia for an extended temporary period enables you to really embed yourself in the community and get to know the locals, and thus have a truly authentic Australian experience.
Unique Landscapes, Landmarks And Natural Wonders
During semester breaks and weekends, you can take the opportunity to explore the beautiful coastlines, beaches, parks, flora and wildlife across the country. Vast landscapes and landmark sites are a unique feature of Australia, with many included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. There are also countless cultural experiences on offer, with restaurants, cafes, museums, art galleries, live music and entertainment being just some of the exciting things for you to explore and experience.
Efficient And Reliable Transport Make It Easy To Get Around
You will find an expansive network of transport options, with trains, buses, ferries, taxis and trams being the main ways to get around (depending on the State/Territory). Cycling is also becoming more popular, with dedicated cycleways in many areas.
Travelling interstate is also relatively seamless, with buses, trains, ferries and airline options readily available.
Opportunities To Work And Improve Your English
A student visa has the added benefit of allowing you to work in Australia (on a limited basis), which means you can earn extra money to help fund your stay and gain work experience. It can help you to improve your English and is also an opportunity to experience what it is like to work in Australia, if you are thinking about potentially settling in Australia over the longer-term.
To learn more about applying for a student visa in Australia, please refer to our articles below.
Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates and additional information.
Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about applying for a student visa, including how to apply to Australian universities international students and why Australia is best for international students.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
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 an international student visa including how to apply for an international student visa extension, how to apply to Australian universities international students and why Australia is best for international students, contact PAX Migration Australia, a leading immigration service providing advice on student visas.