Depending on your educational needs, Australia offers a number of student visa options. Student visas are for individuals who wish to study in the country at one of their prestigious universities. They are issued for 2 to 5 years depending on the type of course or training you plan to undertake. Most student visas can be acquired through a travel agency or the Australian visa office and can be applied from within or outside of Australia. Once approved, the visitor visa is linked to your passport so that any airline or government employee can view.
All visas require an individual to hold a valid passport. Applicants can include family members when lodging the visa application. The government issued guideline suggests applying for a visa 4-6 months prior to your required presence in Australia. All visa conditions and laws should be complied with.
General Eligibility Criteria for All Applicants:
- Must be a certain age
- Must be enrolled in a course of study
- Make welfare arrangements
- Have not held a certain visa
- Must meet the English language requirement
- Must meet the health requirement
- Must meet the character requirement
- Pay your debt, if any to the Australian Government
- Have adequate health insurance
- Students under the age of 18 must meet specific eligibility requirements
- Have the intent to stay temporarily and obey all conditions attached to your visa
General Activities Permitted While On A Student Visa:
- Participate in an eligible course of study
- Work up to 20 hours every week once your course starts
- Travel in and out of Australia
- Bring family members with you to Australia
Australian Student Visa Subclass
The Australian student visa system currently has 8 subclasses.
Subclass 570- Independent ELICOS Visa
International students can enter Australia on this student visa to study on an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course.
Subclass 571- School Sector Visa
International students can enter Australia on this student visa to study at a primary or secondary school, including as part of a secondary school exchange program.
Subclass 572- Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa
International students can enter Australia on this student visa to study on a vocation or training course which leads to one of the following awards:
- Certificate I, II, III, or IV (not including ELICOS)
- VET Diploma
- Advanced VET Diploma
- Vocational Graduate Certificate
- Vocational Graduate Diploma
Subclass 573- Higher Education Sector Visa
International students can enter Australia on this student visa to study at an Australian university. Only those applicants that have a confirmed place in a course at an Australian university which would confer the below can apply:
- Associate’s degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Graduate certificate
- Graduate diploma
- Master’s degree
- Higher Education diploma
- Advanced diploma
Subclass 574- Postgraduate Research Sector Visa
International students can enter Australia on this visa to work towards a research-based Master’s degree or a PhD/Doctoral degree. On this visa, once your research officially begins you are allowed to work for an unlimited number of hours per week.
Subclass 576- Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector Visa
Immigrants sponsored by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Australia’s Department of Defense can enter Australia on this visa to study on any type of full-time course including award courses, non-award courses or vocational/training programs.
Subclass 580- Student Guardian Visa
In order to provide accommodation, welfare and financial support to international students of less than 18 years of age, the Student Guardian Visa is granted to their parents or legal guardians to enter Australia with them. Exceptions are made for students of age 18 and above who require the support of a guardian due to certain physical or mental health conditions.
Eligibility criteria to apply for a Student Guardian Visa
Besides meeting the general eligibility criteria, to apply for a Student Guardian Visa you must
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a parent or legal guardian of an Australian student visa holder
- Be a relative of an Australian student visa holder and are nominated as a custodian by the student’s parent or legal guardian
- Have the means to provide accommodation, welfare and financial support to the student while s/he studies in Australia
- Plan to live at the same address in Australia as the student visa holder
As a Student Guardian Visa holder, you are not permitted to work unless you have a separate work permit, but you can study on the following courses:
- An ELICOS course for up to 20 hours a week
- A non-ELICOS course for 3 months or less