If you want to study in Australia for more than three months, you need to get a Student Visa (Subclass 500). In this article, we try to answer the most common questions about this visa, its conditions and the application process.
Student Visa (Subclass 500)
This visa is for you if you want to study English, a vocational or higher education program in Australia. It is also suitable for children from 6 years of age who are going to study at Australian schools as international students. A student visa is granted for the period of your course, but up to five years. With this visa, you can:
- Study a full-time course, which is indicated in your visa (no less than 20 hours a week);
- Work part-time (no more than 40 hours a fortnight) during your study and full-time during the scheduled holidays;
- Bring the family with you. Family members are your partner and dependent children. You can include them in your student visa application, or they can apply for their own visas based on your student visa. However, you will have to show enough funds for all family members to live and study in Australia.
A student visa can also be issued to study packaged courses. The packaged courses are two or more subsequent courses of study where the last course is the main one. For example, an English language course + a master’s degree (for those who want to improve their English and pass IELTS to enrol in a master’s) or a foundation course + a bachelor’s degree (for secondary school graduates). To get a student visa for two courses, you need to have a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for each course and sufficient funds to pay for the tuition in full.
How can I apply for a student visa to Australia
Now you can apply online through the website of the Department of Home Affairs. It is necessary to create an ImmiAccount there, fill in the application form, upload all the required documents and pay the application fee (AUD 620) by credit or debit card.
Within 14 days after submitting your online application, you need to provide biometrics at the nearest Australian visa centre.
Then, you just need to wait for the decision on your application. Check your email regularly – sometimes officers request additional documents. Provide them as soon as possible within the time limit given in the request.
When your visa is granted, it will be issued online as a PDF document. We recommend printing it and keeping it with you when you travel to Australia.
What documents should I provide to apply for a student visa
With your online application, you should provide:
- Your identity documents.
- Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your education provider.
- Evidence of your English language skills – an IELTS certificate or another internationally recognised test.
- Insurance – it must be Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider. If you come to Australia with your family, it is better to get family insurance.
- Evidence of funds (depends on your country of origin and education provider) – you will have to prove that you have enough money in your bank accounts to pay for your course, accommodation and other expenses in Australia.
- Evidence that you are a genuine student. It means that you are going to Australia only to study and are planning to go back to your home country after completing the course. So, you need to prove that you have strong ties with your home country. It can be your job, property, or family members left at home, etc.
- Evidence of a good character.
- Health examination results.
You can see the entire list of documents on the Department of Home Affairs website.
If the student is under 18 years of age, what documents should they provide
For students under 18 years of age, there are some additional documents that they have to provide:
- Parental Consent – a special form where parents allow their child to apply for a visa.
- Welfare arrangements – a confirmation that appropriate accommodation is arranged for the student. Usually, your education provider is responsible for providing the student with a proper homestay.
However, welfare arrangements are not necessary if a student comes to Australia with a parent or relative who can get a Student Guardian Visa. This visa allows for accompanying the student under 18 years of age to support them and provide accommodation, welfare and care. The guardian cannot work but can stay with the student for the period of their course and learn English part-time for three months.
The process of applying for a student visa to Australia can be challenging as every case is different and full of nuances. Kiwi Education specialists can help you with the student visa application. We will guide you through the entire process from the course enrolment to the visa outcome and answer all your questions. In most cases, our service is free of charge as we get paid by education providers. Read about our work principles here.
Fill out our application form to start your visa process.