Courses & Student Visas
Enroling in a Course
What can I study on a student visa?
International students can only study CRICOS-approved courses - this means the courses have been registered with the immigration department, and are eligible for a student visa (subclass 500).
Therefore, not all institutions or courses are available to you. However, there is a huge selection of programs, at all levels of education, available across the country.
Can I take an online course for my student visa?
No, you cannot take 'online-only' courses. To qualify for a student visa, you must attend face-to-face classes.
However, by visa rules, 25% of your course content can be delivered online.
How long does it take to enrol in a course?
We can generally have your enrolled within 1-2 weeks, depending on the institution.
Do I have to pay all the tuition fees at one time?
No, you can pay your tuition in instalments – usually every 3 to 6 months depending on the institution.
The exception is for English courses, where you must pay the first 3 months right away.
What documents do I need for the enrolment?
This depends on your passport nationality, and the institution you are applying to.
Every student will need a to provide a colour scan/photo of their passport information page, and evidence of their highest level of education. This evidence must be translated into English, by an accredited translation company.
Some passport nationalities are required to show further evidence including funds to live on for a year, and the result of a formal English test.
We will guide you through this process.
How much do courses cost?
Courses range in price from:
$200-$350 a week for English courses
$6,000-$10,000 a year for a certificate or diploma
$15,000-$35,000 a year for a Bachelor or Masters
How often will I have to go to class?
It depends on your program:
1-2 days for a private college (certificates & diplomas)
2-3 days for university
3-4 days for TAFE
4 days English courses
What if I have a lower level of English?
There are many options if your English is not strong.
Don't worry, you are able to apply for a certificate, diploma, bachelor, or masters, But you may have to study some English beforehand.
You can put multiple courses on the same visa.
With the education provider, we will work out the best plan to help you satisfy the English requirement, but also help you enrol in the course that you really want to study.
Student Visa Application
How much does the visa cost?
Please note these prices are valid until July 1, 2021.
If you are applying offshore (outside Australia), a student visa will cost AU$620.
If you are applying onshore (in Australia):
- if this is the first time you are applying onshore for a visa, the fee will be AU$620
- if you have already applied onshore for a visa, expect to pay an additional $700 surcharge
If you have a partner also applying (dependant), his/her fee will be AU$460.Anyone under the age of 18 will be charged AU$150
Any dependants will also have to pay the $700 surcharge if this is the second (or more) application onshore.
All credit card payments will incur a small service charge.
How long does it take for the visa to be granted?
The length of time will depend on various things, including where you are located, how busy it is at that time of year, and your passport nationality.
Generally speaking, the lower your passport risk level, the quicker the visa could be granted.
If you hold a higher risk passport, you have to show more evidence, thus it may take more time.
On average, you should allow 4 to 8 weeks to get the visa granted.
If you are already in Australia, you must begin class even if you are still on a bridging visa.
What is a risk rating?
For each passport nationality, the immigration department assigns a 'risk rating'.
1 is lowest risk, while 3 is highest risk.
The risk rating is based on different considerationssuch as past behaviour of student visa holders from that country, fraudulent documentation received in the past, and the economic/political situation in that country.
The risk rating will dictate what evidence you are required to provide with your visa application.
What evidence will I need to show for my visa application?
The documentation for the enrolment will be the same documentation you need to include in the visa application.
Guidance throughout the preparation your visa application is part of our free consulting service.
The immigration department provides a Document Checklist to make it clear what evidence you will need to shell for your student visa.
This is the link to the tool:
Select your passport nationality & Education Provider, then click 'Display Evidence'.
What is a Bridging Visa?
If you apply for your student visa onshore, if you need more time on your current visa for the decision to be made, immigration will provide you with a bridging visa.
A bridging visa keeps you legally in Australia while you are waiting for the visa decision (outcome). The bridging visas are BVA, BVB, BVC, BVD, and BVE. Generally, as a student visa applicant you will be granted a BVA.
If you have work rights on your current visa, you may still have those work rights while you're on the bridging visa. This will be stated in the conditions of your bridging visa.
For example, if you apply for a student visa while you hold a Working Holiday visa, you will generally be able to keep working on the bridging visa. However, the 6-month employer rule still must be followed. If you apply for a student visa while you are on a visitor visa, you will likely not have any work rights while you are waiting.
You cannot leave the country if you are on a bridging visa, nor can you apply for any further visas if you hold a bridging visa.
Work Rights on a Student Visa
How many hours can I work?
While on your student visa, almost all students will have the following work rights. Work rights begin the day the course commences as stated in the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
While classes in session: You are allowed to work 40 hours a fortnight (a fortnight is 14 days and starts on a Monday). It is up to you how you use those hours. For example, you can work 30 hours one week, in 10 hours the following week.
While class is not in session: If you are on official school holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc), you are allowed to work full time - unlimited hours. Just keep in mind that school is in session even through the exam period. Even though you might have finished your exams, the course may still be considered in progress. Also note that public holidays do not fall into this category.
If you are studying a Masters by Research or a PhD, you will have unlimited work rights.
What are the work rights for a dependent on a 500 visa?
If the principal visa holder (the student) is studying a Masters or PhD, the dependent has full work rights.
For all other courses, the dependent can only ever work 40 hours a fortnight (a fortnight is 14 days and starts on a Monday). It is up to you how you use those hours. For example, you can work 30 hours one week, in 10 hours the following week.
Can I work on an ABN while on a student visa?
Yes, you can work under an Australian Business Number (ABN) for your own company or as a contractor.
However, you still have to honour the prescribed work rights hours & have a tax file number.
Can I work for the same employer definitely?
Yes, you are able to work for the same employer for as much time as you like. Unlike a Working Holiday visa which only allows 6 months per employer, there are no restrictions while on a Student Visa.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
What is OSHC?
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a mandatory requirement of your student visa. You must be covered for the entire time you are studying in Australia. It must be paid in full for the entire time your will have the visa.
You will purchase your OSHC just before you apply for your student visa. You have to pay for it all upfront (no partial payments).
How much does it cost?
There are 6 OSHC providers in Australia.
The average cost per year of study (depending on the insurance provider):
- $460-$500 for a single applicant
- $2,900-$3,300 for a couple (please note that the yearly cost is higher in the second and third years of the visa - for example: $2,900 for 1 year, but $6,200 for 2 years. The longer the visa, the higher the yearly cost.
- $5,000-$5,600 for 2 parents + 1 or more children (again, the same applies as above for longer visas)
Can I get Medicare on a student visa?
Some passport holders get lucky and do have Medicare while on a student visa, including the UK and Italy.
However, even if you qualify for Medicare, you still need to purchase OSHC.
Learn more here:
Why do I need OSHC if I have travel insurance?
OSHC is an unavoidable requirement for the student visa. It ensures all students have the same level of medical cover.
You will have to cancel any other insurance cover policy you have and apply for OSHC, before you can submit your visa application.
Will my OSHC be refunded if I stopped studying?
Yes. If you leave Australia before completing your studies (and cancel your student visa) OR have evidence that you have been granted another subclass of visa (ie 482), the portion of your OSHC that you have not used will be refunded. You will never lose that money.