The student visa (subclass 500) lets you pursue full-time study at an accredited educational institution in Australia. Under this visa, one can stay in Australia for as long as the course program takes. When applying for the visa, the student must have a letter of offer or an active application status with an Australian education institution.
Benefits of Student Visa (Subclass 500)
Upon successful application, the student visa grants you the opportunity to:
- Pursue studies in any eligible courses in Australia
- Move to Australia with your family members under the same visa
- Work for 40 hours every fortnight in the course of your studies
Who Qualifies to Apply for the Student Visa?
- An applicant must meet the below criteria
- Be at least 6 years old
- Have proof of enrollment or application to a full time and eligible education program in Australia
- One must show proficient skills in the English language
- The applicant and dependents must acquire the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an Australian health insurance provider
- They must satisfy the health requirements for entry in Australia
- They must have enough money to fund for school fees and life in Australia
The Application Process
You can lodge your application within or outside of Australia.
If you are inside Australia, you must begin the application process before your current visa expires.
If you are overseas, you must lodge your application at least 6 weeks before the enrollment date.
To start the application, you must have a Confirmation of Enrollment into an Australian school for a full-time program. The education institution must be registered by the Commonwealth Register of Instituting of courses.
A deposit paid towards tuition fees or a letter of offer or acceptance from the institution can also be used in place of the CoE.
Before starting the application process, check to ensure that you have the below documents:
- A copy of your passport
- Financial statements
- Evidence of health insurance
- English proficiency test results
- Criminal background check results
- Four recent passport-size photos
Who Can You Include in the Student Visa Application?
You can include close family members and dependents in the visa application. These include your partner, your child, your partner’s child, or any other dependent child younger than 18 years.
Student Visa Requirements for those below 18 Years of Age
The applicant should appoint a guardian that is older than 21 years. The guardian can be a relative or parent with a legal visa that is valid for the entire duration of the applicant’s education program or until they turn 18.
Alternatively, underage applicants can provide a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) from the Australian school they intend to join.
Exchange students should obtain an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form and attach the CAAW to the visa application.
Foreign affairs and Defence students should obtain proof of welfare arrangements from the relevant sponsoring government agency.
How Long Does it Take?
The duration of your application, before you get results, depends on a wide range of factors. These include the application volume at the time and seasonal peaks.
And if you submit an incomplete application, you would be asked, after a few days, to complete it and provide all the required information. These factors can prolong the processing time for the visa.
Generally, however, most applications get processed in under 4 weeks.
Using the Student Visa (Subclass 500)
If you get the visa early, you will be allowed into Australia for up to 3 months before classes begin. Upon arrival, you must disclose to your education provider your place of residence. You are required to do the same every time you move.
You can pursue profitable work, provided that it doesn’t take more than 40 hours of your time in a time frame of 2 weeks. It is only possible to begin work under this visa after your course program starts.
Those pursuing research courses, Masters, and Ph.D. do not have work restrictions. You can also work for longer if it is a voluntary position with a non-profit or an unpaid internship.
Expiry and Renewal
Once granted, the student visa will be valid for the entire duration of your course. However, you and your dependents must comply with the visa conditions [https://www.easymigrate.com/visa-types/student-visas/] throughout that period, for example, by maintaining active health insurance.
Typically, the visa will be valid for about 2 months after the completion of your program. Within that period, you can make arrangements to travel back home or apply for another visa.
The English Proficiency Requirement
Applicants that speak English as a first language don’t need to fulfill this requirement. Applicants that have studied for five years or more in English-speaking countries are also exempt.
Anyone else must take and pass English proficiency tests such as TOEFL and IELTS. The required score depends on your level of education. Some low test scores may be allowed provided that the candidate shows proof of enrollment to an English language course in Australia at the time of the application. The test should have been taken not more than two years by the time you lodge your visa application.
Everyone who applies for the student visa must demonstrate the ability to fund tuition, travel, and living expenses. The minimum yearly living expenses (minus school fees) required is AU$ 20,290. The amount needed will be higher when you bring dependents.
An alternative involves proving that your parents or spouse can support you and that they earn more than AU$ 60,000 a year.
Exchange students do not need to demonstrate financial capability. In this case, what is needed is the Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES).
Applicants are also exempt from the financial requirement if they have proof of welfare support from the Australian Department of Defence or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Student Health Cover
Your visa application will not be complete without proof of student health cover. The Department of Home Affairs in Australia stipulates that all student visa applicants and their dependents must have a health cover from an authorized health insurance provider in Australia. You can obtain the cover independently or through your education provider.
Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement
The Australian government stipulates that all student visa applicants must have a GTE. This is simply proof that you plan to return to your country after completing your studies in Australia.
The Student Visa (Subclass 500) is a temporary stay visa. Applicants must make a statement that supports their intention to move back home after the visa expires. However, the GTE requirement doesn’t prohibit you from applying for another visa or permanent residence when you get to Australia.
The GTE statement should prove an applicant’s:
- Family or social ties to home country
- Financial or employment ties in the home country
- Previous education and previous visa applications
- Australian qualification and academic transcripts if applicable
- Employer endorsement that attests to the applicant’s need to pursue the program in Australia
During visa processing, these aspects of your GTE may limit your chances of success:
- You have ties to Australia that may make you want to want to stay there after your education
- The course you intend to study in Australia is not relevant to your past or future career plans in your country
- You have had previous visa cancellations
- You have no economic, social, or career ties to your home country
- Limited financial stability and unclear planned living arrangements
You can arrange to study for two or more courses under one student visa. This is allowed for courses that have a smooth progression from one to another. Course packaging saves students from the time and money required to get new student visas.
Typically, the last course of the package is used as your primary course. Visa requirements, such as financial capacity and English language proficiency, are based on this final course.
A single student visa is only issued for packaged courses if there is a guarantee of smooth progression. The interval between the courses should not be more than 4 months.
You will need a CoE for each course when applying for the visa. If one has no CoE for the successive courses in the package, they will need to apply for a new student visa each time they want to progress in the program.
Even for packaged courses, student visa duration remains to be 5 years.
Student Visa (Subclass 500) COVID-19 Considerations
- Applicants and visa holders should stay updated on travel restrictions
- Under the immigration law in Australia, one cannot extend their student visa.
- Visa holders that are unable to return to their home countries must apply for a new visa
- Student visa applications lodged from overseas are still getting processed.
- Applicants are allowed more time to get health checks and provide English language test results.
We Help People like You
At EasyMigrate, we’ve been helping students pursue educational opportunities in Australia for many years now. We have the immigration experience and expertise that will translate to better outcomes for you.
We represent many institutions of learning in Australia. Let’s help you choose the right course and the right learning institution. We will then help you through every step and requirement of the application process.