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Frequently Asked Questions 

Visa & Courses

Enrolling in a Course

How much does a Student Visa cost?


Please note these prices are valid until July 1, 2020. 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 or 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.




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 considerations including the 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 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 simply keeps your current visa legal. If you have work rights on your current visa, you will still have those work rates while you're on the bridging visa. For example, if you apply for a student visa while you hold a Working Holiday visa, you will be able to keep working on the bridging visa. However, the six-month employer rule still must be followed. If you apply for a student visa while you are on a visitor visa, you will 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.




How long does it take to get the visa 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 6 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 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 through this is part of our free service during the enrolment preparation. 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: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/web-evidentiary-tool Select your passport nationality & Education Provider, then click 'Display Evidence'.





Getting a Student (sublass 500) Visa

How much does a Student Visa cost?


Please note these prices are valid until July 1, 2020. 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 or 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.




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 considerations including the 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 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 simply keeps your current visa legal. If you have work rights on your current visa, you will still have those work rates while you're on the bridging visa. For example, if you apply for a student visa while you hold a Working Holiday visa, you will be able to keep working on the bridging visa. However, the six-month employer rule still must be followed. If you apply for a student visa while you are on a visitor visa, you will 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.




How long does it take to get the visa 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 6 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 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 through this is part of our free service during the enrolment preparation. 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: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/web-evidentiary-tool Select your passport nationality & Education Provider, then click 'Display Evidence'.





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.




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.




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 for the same employer indefinitely?


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?


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).




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:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/reciprocal-health-care-agreements/when-you-visit-australia




How much does it cost?


There are 6 providers in Australia. The average cost per year of study (depending on the insurance provider):

  • $430-$500 for a single applicant
  • $2,500-$3,100 for a couple
  • $5,000-$5,400 for 2 parents + 1 or more children




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 stop studying?


Yes. Once you provide the insurance company with proof that you are no longer on a student visa, or you have left the country permanently, you will be refunded for the period of cover you did not use.





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