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Student Visas Australia

Many students find the visa processing to be a little complex and difficult to undertake and track from outside of Australia. Degrees Plus Australia will undertake this application process for all of our student clients. You can be assured of professional and speedy attention to your application process by Degrees Plus Australia staff.

International students require a Student Visa Sub Class 500 in order to study in a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) institution.

Before you can apply for your student Visa you must have a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) from a University or other Education provider. The COE confirms that you have accepted a place in a course and have paid your tuition fees and that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

In order to apply for a Student Visa, you will need to meet the following requirements.

  • Confirmation Of Enrolment
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant
  • Financial requirements
  • English Proficiency Requirement
  • Australian Health Requirement
  • Australian Character Requirement
  • Overseas Student Health Cover

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Student Visa in Australia cost?

The current fee for a Student Visa (Subclass 500) is AUD $560.

It does not matter how long your visa is for, the price is always the same.

Can I Renew my Student Visa in Australia?

When you have been issued a Student Visa it can be renewed again as long as you are enrolled in a course approved by CRICOS. The Government will always check your circumstances and may question the genuineness of your application if you have had multiple student visas in the past.

How long does a Student Visa in Australia last?

The length of your student visa depends on the program you choose:

  • In order to be eligible for a Student Visa your course of study must be between 12 and 52 weeks

Extensions will be added to your Visa depending on the length of your course and completion of your course, your visa will be issued with the following additional times once you finish your studies:

  • For courses below 10 months of duration, you will be given an additional 1 month extra.
  • For courses over the 10-month threshold, you will be given an additional 2 extra months.
  • For courses over 10 months in which the term end date is December, you will be given 3 extra months.

What is a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE)?

A Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) is an official document issued to international students by the university or another education provider where you are studying in Australia. The COE is required by the Department of Home Affairs for the purpose of applying for a student visa. It confirms that you have accepted a place in a course and have paid your tuition fees and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

The course you select must be registered under CRICOS framework (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students).

Degrees Plus Australia will help you submit your application with an approved college so you can get your COE.

What is a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)?

The Government will check to see if you are a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE). This is to ensure that the student visa is used for study only and not as a way for international students to live permanently in Australia.

To assess this the Department of Home Affairs will look at:

  • Your personal circumstances and the circumstances in your home country
  • The potential circumstances for you in Australia
  • How your chosen course will benefit you in your future
  • Your immigration history
  • if you are under 18 years old, the Department will look at the future intentions of your parent, legal guardian or partner
  • any other relevant matter.

In order to determine whether you meet the GTE requirement, you may be asked to attend an interview at your nearest Australian embassy or consulate. Some applicants will only need to fill in a visa application form.

The GTE requirement is not designed to exclude students from developing skills required by the Australian labour market or to stop you from applying to become permanent residents.

What Financial requirements do I need to apply for a Student Visa?

The Government will want to check that you have enough funds to look after yourself and your dependant whilst you are studying and that you can pay your tuition fees. In order to do this, when you apply for your student Visa you may be asked to show evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, travel expenses and living costs for the intended period of stay. The amount of funds required vary depending on which country you are from and which institution you will be studying at. You can find out if you are likely to need to provide this evidence by using the Department of Home Affairs Document Checklist Tool.

In most cases, the amount to be considered as enough funds will depend on the length of the course and its tuition fees. For example, the financial capacity of a student who would like to pursue a 3 year Bachelor course will be different from those students who are seeking a 12-month English course.

From 1 February 2018, the 12-month living cost is:

  • student/guardian AUD20,290
  • partner/spouse AUD7,100
  • child AUD3,040.

This process can be complex and confusing, so our experienced counsellors at Degrees Plus Australia can help explain this essential part of obtaining an Australian Student Visa.

What evidence of my English Proficiency do I need to provide?

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to provide an up-to-date certificate of an English language test as part of the Student Visa application. This will depend on what course you wish to study.

If you are from USA, Canada, New Zealand, UK and Republic of Ireland you will be exempt from this language requirement.

Both the University and the Department of Home affairs will need to be satisfied of your English language proficiency. The Department of Home Affairs English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements for student visa applications are shown in the table below.

English language provider test Minimum test score Minimum test score when combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS Minimum test score when combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS
International English Language Testing System 5.5 5 4.5
*Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper based 527 500 450
TOEFL internet based test 46 35 32
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English) 162 154 147
Pearson Test of English Academic 42 36 30
Occupational English Test** Pass Pass Pass

If you are required to show evidence of an acceptable language test score Degrees Plus Australia can help you find the right English Language course for you.

Do I need a Health Check?

When you apply for an Australian Student Visa, you must undergo a medical health examination. This will depend on a number of factors:

  • the type of visa that you are applying for
  • the length of your intended stay in Australia
  • your country’s level of tuberculosis risk
  • your intended activities in Australia
  • any special circumstances that may be applicable
  • the presence of any significant medical conditions

The costs related to the medical examination are your responsibility and if after your medical examination your visa application is not approved you will not be eligible for a refund of any costs you may have incurred.

For further information to know what type of medical examinations are required for a Student Visa application, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website or send us an email and we can advise you.

What is Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

Every Student Visa Applicant must register with an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance provider for the duration of their time as a student in Australia. This health insurance policy is mandatory for all the applicants who wish to study in Australia.

OSHC is a special health insurance scheme designed for international students that will help you cover any potential medical or hospital expenses that you may incur during your stay in Australia. It will also cover a certain amount of pharmaceuticals and ambulance services.


What is Character Assessment?

Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed by the Australian Government against the specified character requirements. As part of your visa application, you might be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements.

Some reasons why you will not pass the character test are:

  • you have a substantial criminal record
  • you have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention, or convicted for an offence that you committed whilst in
  • immigration detention
  • your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character
  • you have been convicted of, or found guilty of sexually based offences involving a child.

Can I work whilst I am studying?

Yes you can work whilst you are studying in Australia, but there are a few rules.

You cannot work until you have started your course in Australia. Once your course has started you are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and when your course is not in session you can work as many hours as you want.

If you do work that is a registered part of your course is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight.

If you do voluntary, unpaid work, it is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight if it:

  • is of benefit to the community
  • is for a non-profit organisation
  • is genuinely voluntary (that is, you are not paid either in cash or other—board and lodging is acceptable).

If the voluntary work could have been undertaken by an Australian resident who would have received a wage, then this is included in the 40 hours.

As a postgraduate research student, you can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during any preliminary courses you undertake. If you have commenced your masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there is no limit on the number of hours you may work.

Can my family work whilst I am studying?

Yes. Good news! Family members can work whilst you are study.

However they:

  • must not start work until the primary visa holder has commenced their course in Australia.
  • Can work up to 40 hours per fortnight at all times unless the primary visa holder has commenced a course towards a masters or doctoral degree and holds a Student visa (subclass 500). In this case there is no limit on the number of hours a family member might work.