What is a Student Visa?

A student visa is a visa specifically for the students willing to go abroad for higher education. They are issued for the duration of the academic course of study.

Australia is a favorite hub among the students when it comes to education and adventure; you would not want to miss out on its impressive higher education system. Once you have been accepted into your course, the next step is to arrange for a Student Visa. Getting a Visa might seem a lengthy process, but it is quite easy.

Australia’s student visa program includes six student visa subclasses and a student guardian visa. In order to study in Australia, you will need to obtain an Australian student visa. There are several classes of student visas for Australia that depends on the type of study. You need a student visa for Australia if:

  • If you want to study here for more than 3 months
  • You would like to work while studying

There are several conditions of the Visa

  • You cannot work more than 20 hours per week while studying
  • During school holidays, you can work as many hours as you wish
  • You cannot start working before your course starts
  • You must maintain good attendance, academic record and English language proficiency
  • You must have health insurance during your stay

The application of the student visa depends on your nationality and the type of course you will study. The general requirements are sound health, good character, Overseas Student Health Cover for self and your family and no debts in Australia.

The different Visas descriptions are


Effective from 1st July 2016, international students who want to come to Australia to study full-time at a registered educational institution must apply for a Student visa (subclass 500). A new immigration risk framework, simplified student visa framework (SSVF) has been implemented to assess Student visa applications. The applicant will be assessed as regular or streamlined based on the provider and country of passport.
If the visa applicant falls under regular category, it is mandatory to satisfy English language and financial capacity requirements in addition to the general requirements. If the visa applicant falls under streamlined category, it is not mandatory to provide the evidence of English language and financial capacity.
General requirements


The visa applicant must provide evidence of enrolment at the time of application lodgement.

  • If applied outside Australia, Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for all intended courses.
  • If applied inside Australia, Letter of offer or CoE for all intended courses. However, CoE(s) must be provided before the visa can be granted.

2. Health, character and insurance

    Visa applicant(s) must meet the health requirements. Visa applicant(s) might need to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process and can choose to undertake them prior to lodging the visa application.

  • Visa applicant(s) must satisfy character requirements.
  • Visa applicant(s) must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. It can be only meet by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), unless exempted.

3. Genuine temporary entrant

The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa programme is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.
The GTE requirement applies to all visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will take into account whether the individual circumstances indicate an intention for a temporary stay in Australia.

4. Qualification and employment history

The visa applicant(s) should provide evidence of current or most recent employment and academic qualification(s)/study, as applicable.

5. Parental consent and welfare arrangements

  • If a child under the age of 18 is included in the visa application and one or both parents (or legal guardians) are not applying for an Australian visa, both parents will need to complete and sign the form 1229 – Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years.
  • For student applicants who are under 18 years of age, evidence of accommodation and welfare arrangements in Australia must be provided at the time of visa application lodgement.

6. Dependent school enrolment

If any dependent applicant(s) is 5 – 17 years of age, evidence of enrolment in an Australian school is required.
Additional requirements for regular applicants

    • English language requirements

The main applicant needs to provide evidence of English language skills as part of the visa application. It is usually fulfilled by a satisfactory test score in an approved English language test, unless exempted. The following English language test providers such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, CAE, OET scores are acceptable for visa purpose.

  • Financial capacity requirements

The visa applicant needs to have enough money that is genuinely available to pay for all cost associated with the study in Australia. Evidence of financial capacity can be demonstrated from either of the following:

  • sufficient funds to cover travel costs to Australia and 12 months’ tuition, living and schooling costs (for school aged dependents, if applicable) for the main visa applicant and accompanying family members, or
  • evidence that the spouse or parents of the main applicant are providing financial support and they have an annual income of at least AUD 60,000 for a single student visa application or at least AUD 70,000 for a visa application that includes accompanying family members
  • an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form for secondary exchange students only
  • a letter of support from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or Department of Defence
    Family members applying to join the main visa applicant
  • Dependent family member(s) can make a combined Student visa application along with the main applicant or they can apply for Student visa, as subsequent entrant(s), to join the main visa holder later, provided the main visa holder has declared them in the visa application or they became a dependent family member after the grant of the visa (such as a newborn baby).
  • The main applicant must have adequate funds to support self and all accompanying family members, as determined by the financial capacity requirements.

Visa obligations

Visa holder(s) must abide by the visa conditions as indicated in the visa grant letter and comply with the state and territory laws of Australia. Different visa conditions may apply to the main visa holder and dependent visa holder(s). Visa holder(s) must maintain the following visa conditions in addition to other visa conditions, as applicable.
Main visa holders can generally work up to 40 hours per fortnight when the course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Students pursuing master’s degree by research or doctoral degree do not have work restrictions.
Accompanying family members can generally work up to 40 hours per fortnight. If the main visa holder is doing a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, family members can work unlimited hours, unless restricted by state and territory laws.
Visa holder(s) must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance (generally Overseas Student Health Cover) while in Australia, unless exempted.
Accompanying family members aged 18 years or older can study in Australia only for up to three months. If they want to study for more than three months, they must apply for their own student visa.

  • Work Conditions
  • Health Insurance
  • Study Restriction for Dependents

Visa entitlements

  • Main visa holder can study registered full-time course(s) in Australia.
  • Visa holder(s) can generally work a specified number of hours.
  • Visa holder(s) can generally stay in Australia until the course is finished.

Be careful that you submit all your details correctly and neatly so you must take plenty of time for the application process. You should apply as early as possible.

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