An integral part of getting the wheels in motion for your foreign education is securing a student’s visa for the country of your choice. If that country for you is Australia, this article will be able to answer just about every question you have.
The first step in this process is for you to prove to the Department of Home Affairs of Australia that you meet the key requirements for an Australian student visa. These requirements are:
- Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement
- Financial requirements
- English fluency requirements
- Health requirements
- Character requirements
The additional aspects are the obvious ones, such as filling a student visa application form, paying the application fee, and attending an interview.
To ensure that you are prepared before time, here’s everything you need to know about an Australian student visa.
What is a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)?
The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement is a process to state that the visa applicant displays an intention to stay in Australia only temporarily for education. For a GTE, the Department of Home Affairs considers the following:
- Circumstances in the applicant’s home country
- Potential circumstances for the applicant in Australia
- Value of the chosen course to the applicant’s future
- Applicant’s travel and immigration history
In order to ensure that you meet the GTE requirements, you may be asked to attend an interview at an Australian embassy. However, there are cases where some applicants only need to fill an application form.
Completing a Student Visa Application Form
If you are serious about a foreign education, then you already know that all international students need to apply for a student visa online. However, before you apply for a visa, you need to obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) or an Offer Letter that confirms you have been accepted for a course that is registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS). The COE will be in the form of a code that you will have to enter in the visa application. At this point, you may also have to pay a deposit towards your tuition fees.
Later on you will have the choice to change the course at the same or a higher study level. However, you will have to apply again for a new visa if you choose to change the course of a lower level on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) or a non-AQF level course (unless the change is from a PhD to a Master’s). You can also plan your education trip where you can study two or more courses and there is a clear progression from the first course to the second course.
Student Visa Requirements
Before you get down to filling your visa application form online, you will need to be ready with proof of the following:
- Financial requirements: Evidence of funds to cover your tuition, living and travel costs. If you are traveling with dependents, you also need to prove the ability to cover their living costs as well. Alternatively, you can prove that your dependent can support you financially.
- English fluency requirement: If you are not from an English-speaking country or have not completed at least five years of studies in an English-speaking country, you will need to prove that you can speak English to an acceptable level. The Department of Home Affairs website lists the eligible tests you can take.
- Health requirements: Students are sometimes asked to undergo a medical and/or a radiological check-up to ensure that they are healthy. If you are asked to undergo this test, you need to get an appointment with an Australian immigration department approved doctor. Students must also purchase an Overseas Student Health Cover through their university or from an approved provider. The cost varies from provider to provider and the period of cover.
- Character requirements: An Australian student visa stipulates that the applicant must be of good character. This includes a record check to ensure that the applicant does not have a criminal record. In some cases, the applicant may need to present a penal clearance certificate or a police certificate and may be requested to fill a Character Statutory Declaration Form.
Student Visa Documents
The Department of Home Affairs website carries a document checklist that provides a list of documents needed. While this list may differ in certain circumstances, in a normal case scenario, a student needs to submit the following:
- Completed Australian student visa application form (157A)
- Paid visa application fee
- Passport or a copy of the passport
- Certificate of Enrolment or Offer Letter
- Evidence of funds
- Evidence of health insurance cover
- English proficiency test results
- Criminal record check results
- Recent passport-sized photographs
After you have collected and scanned all the required documents, you need to create an account and apply online with the ImmiAccount application system.
On an average, visa applications take about four weeks to process. In terms of validity, if you will be studying in Australia for a course that will take longer than 10 months and ends at the end of the Australian academic year, your visa will usually be valid until 15th March of the following year. If your course duration is more than 10 months and ends sometime between January and October, your visa will probably be valid for two months after the completion of the course. Under some special circumstances, it is possible to apply for an extension of visa at the end of the course.
Using your Visa Appropriately
Once your visa is secured, you can arrive in Australia up to 90 days before your course actually starts. Once there, you must inform your education provider of your address within seven days, and again within seven days if you change the address.
With a student visa, you are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term, and full-time during holidays. The visa comes with a permission to work, although you cannot start working until your course has started. Also the work must only be for additional income and not the only source of income to support yourself or your dependents. However, any work required as part of the course you are studying for is not included in the work limit. Voluntary or unpaid work is not included in the 40-hour limit as well.
While on a student visa, you also have certain obligations to fulfil, such as: staying enrolled in a CRICOS-registered course, regularly attending classes, making satisfactory progress and maintaining health insurance. There are also a number of conditions you and your dependents need to comply with. Breach of a visa condition can result in cancellation of visa and deportation.
While these things may seem a bit intimidating at first, trust us when we say that it’s all quite easy to deal with. While most of the requirements can be met with relative ease, you need to ensure that your student loan partner is an expert on foreign education loan to ensure your visa process is as smooth as possible. And that’s why you need to pick Auxilo, because when it comes to student loans, why choose a good loan when you can go with the best. https://www.auxilo.com/readyfortheworld/