International Student Visa Requirements

Making the choice to study in Australia can be the most rewarding thing you will do in your life. There are many aspects of Australian life that are very attractive – such as beautiful nature and beaches, interesting wildlife, wide open spaces and clean environment.

Some of the worlds best universities are Australian, and overall Australia has one of the best education infrastructures in the world.

The study year in Australia is commonly split in half – the first half being March – July and the second half being August – December. There are usually summer breaks over December – February.

Course fees for studying in Australia can vary, so if cost is an important factor for you it pays to shop around. Navigating the tertiary education system can be daunting since Australia’s education structure is split up by State. This means you need to apply separately using different systems depending on what state your institution is in. What courses you are keen for and the eligibility of enrollment also vary from university to university. We offer our best advice for any question you might have for course selection, trends, benefits and other requirements associated.

At PAX Migration we provide a full-service case management for student visa applicants. We ensure our clients make a strong case for visa grant, including paying careful attention to demonstrating that you are a genuine student and genuine temporary entrant, that any previous immigration history does not interfere with visa grant, that all family members are included correctly (this can have an impact later if done incorrectly) and ensuring you meet all criteria including financial evidence.

Some of the things we do when we handle your student visa for you:

  • We ensure your eligibility for a graduate visa at the end of your studies (if applicable)
  • We help you with your GTE statement – a critical component of any student visa application and an area where the most time should be spent.
  • Tailored guidance on how to obtain the documentary evidence to support your GTE statement (critical)
  • A complete analysis of your eligibility for a student visa and ensuring you have the right evidence
  • Guidance on bridging visas (for our onshore clients) and work conditions on visas
  • Lodgement of your application on time and complete before any deadline
  • Deal with the Department of Immigration on your behalf

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 the passport country of the applicant and the institution providing the course. A matrix determines whether an applicant belongs to the streamlined or regular category based on their country of passport and the rating of the institution they choose to study with. This matrix determines what type of evidence needs to be  provided, ie whether they must evidence English and what financial documentation is required at the time of application.

Student Visa 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 can work unlimited hours once the course has started. Family members of students enrolled in a Masters or doctoral degree 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

The key condition 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.

Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation for your student visa!

Contact us to find out more about student visas


We are experienced in Student, Graduate and Occupational Training Visas.

Graduate Visas

The graduate visa is often the most important visa in the migration strategy for international students. The visa enables graduating students to :

  • Obtain the necessary work experience to qualify for a positive skills assessment;
  • Obtain the required time to apply and obtain a positive skills assessment or for state sponsorship;
  • Obtain extra time to continue to develop English skills for additional points for General Skilled Migration; and
  • Develop the necessary rapport with an employer to encourage them to sponsor the migrant.

Are you (or will you be) eligible for a graduate visa?


Meet the Australian Study Requirement

  • Studied and completed a course for at least two academic years
  • Completed the course in at least 16 calendar months


Achieve Competent English overall

  • IELTS 6.0 overall; OET B; PTE 50 overall; Cambridge 169 Overall


Determine which stream…


Post Study Work Stream
  • 1st student visa applied for after November 2011
  • Have completed a bachelor degree or higher


Graduate Work Stream
  • Obtain a positive skills assessment in an occupation on the MLTSSL


Visa Duration

For Bachelor degree and above – 2 years

For Masters by Research – 3 years

For Doctorates – 4 years

For all Graduate Work Stream applicants – 18 months


For complete advice on your eligibility for a graduate visa, either now or in the future, contact us and book your personal consultation today.

Case Study

Waiving a three year ban

Juile was on a student visa, studying at university, in her second year of study, Julie’s father became unwell and she was unable to study and complete all of her subjects that year. As she had been unable to study the way she had planned, she would now not be finishing her course by the end date specified in her Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and as a result her student visa would be ending prior to her completing her course.

Julie did the right thing and attained a new CoE (with an extended end date) and provided this to the Department of Home Affairs and then continued with her studies, believing she had now done all that was needed in order to continue studying and also believe that by providing the new CoE to the Department that she would automatically be granted a new student visa. However, this was actually not correct, a new CoE does not constitute a new student visa or ‘student visa extension’ as some individuals like to call it (please note, there is no such thing as a visa extension, you merely apply for and attain a new visa once your visa ends). What does that now mean for Julie? Find out by by reading the full case study.