AUSTRALIAN STUDY VISA
Australian student visa was previously separated into several categories depending on the education level that the international student applies for. Later, on 1st July 2016, the nation has abridged the visa subclasses and introduced a simplified student visa framework (SSVF). As per the new SSVF, all the study visas came under a single platform or a class (subclass 500).The new SSVF means that the international students are no longer assigned an immigration risk assessment level since the same framework is valid to all the students.
APPLYING FOR AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION VISA
You can apply for your student visa using your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or admission confirmation letter provided by the university or the intuition registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS).The international students can apply for their Visa either by creating an online account on ImmiAccount in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) or by visiting the nearest Australian visa office. To know what are the necessary documents that you must need to submit along with your application, then check the document checklist tool on the DIBP website.
Essential documents required for Australian study visa for Indian Students are:
- A valid passport
- Your completely filled Australian student visa application form (157A)
- 4 recent passport-sized photographs
- Statement of purpose (SOP)
- English proficiency requirement: IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test score are valid. It depends on the University, which test they consider as the English proficiency test as the essential criteria for the admission and the minimum score essential depends on the course. Mostly, universities consider IELTS.
- Receipt of the Application fees paid
- Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) [Application/admission confirmation letter] from the applied university/institution.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC): All the international students must have covered health insurance before applying for Australian study visa. The country generally accepts OSHC, which can either be obtained from the applied university or else you can directly procure it from the 5 OSHC providers approved by the Australian immigration department (BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Australian Health Management, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC). The cost of the OSHC does vary depending on the provider and it also depends on the duration of the cover you apply for.
- Police clearance certificate/character verification certificate, showing no criminal records. Some students may be even asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form.
- All your academic documents and work experience certificate
- Proof of financial ability to meet the cost of living (tuition fees, travel, living expenses and your return air ticket) which is around AU$19,830 (~US$15,170) for a year. If your dependents (spouse and children) also accompany you, then you need to show the proof of covering their cost of living too, for this you must have at least AU$60,000 (~US$45,850) a year.
- Health/Medical Certificate: International student must submit medical and/or radiological check-up records from a doctor who is approved by the Australian immigration department.
- Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement: It was introduced in November 2011 to state the actual intention of the international student to stay in Australia for their studies and some students have to attend an interview at the nearest Australian embassy. The managerial team at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) consider the factors like applicant’s history of immigration, the value of the course the applicant has applied for, considering their future career objective, the potential circumstances for the applicant in Australia and any other relevant matters.
If you have managed all the necessary document according to the Australian student visa requirements, then apply with the online ‘ImmiAccount’ application system. You are supposed to apply for the Visa at least 12 weeks before your institution’s orientation date.
STUDY ABROAD AUSTRALIAN VISA: ASSESSMENT LEVELS
Currently, there are 5 Assessment levels in the visa application process and these levels are based on the country of origin, the field of study, the university you are studying at, and the study level [based on the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) standards]. If the applicant is placed in the higher assessment level then the person has to submit more documents before obtaining an Australian student visa. The assessment level generally depends upon past compliance with immigration standards and other parameters that determine the immigration risk.Your Australian student visa application will be assigned a Transaction Reference Number (TRN) by the Australian Government.
VISA PROCESSING TIME AND VALIDITY
Usually, it takes 4-5 weeks to process the application once it was filed. If the duration of the course you have applied is more than 10 months and completes by mid of the December (Australian academic year), then your visa will expire on 15th of March of the corresponding year. However, if the extent of your course is more than 10 months and finishes in between January and October, then your visa will be valid for 2 months following the completion of the applied course.
WORK PERMITS IN AUSTRALIA
Once you get your student visa, you can arrive Australia up to 90 days before your orientation date. You need to inform your university/institution about your residential address in Australia within 7 days of arrival and also inform them if there is any change in your previously mentioned residential address.
Australian student Visa is involuntarily issued with the work permit. An International student can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during their term duration, and full-time during their off-days and should not rely only on the work in order to support the cost of living in Australia. There is no restriction of work if you are pursuing a master’s by research or a doctoral. Voluntary work/part of training in the course is not considered in this 40-hour limit. An international student has to fulfill certain obligations that are: the course applied must be a CRICOS-registered course; the course must be full-time that is the student has to attend the classes on regular basis, should have satisfactory progress while pursuing the studies and maintain their OSHC health insurance. If the student breaches any of the visa conditions, then it may lead to the cancellation of the visa.
POST-STUDY WORK VISA IN AUSTRALIA
The international student can apply for Post-study work visa in Australia after completing the higher studies [Masters (MS, MBA etc.), Bachelors or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree].
Eligibility for Post-study work rights:
- The university must be accredited by CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students).
- The student has a visa and must be above 18 years and below 50 years of age and at least 2-years of academic study in Australia on a valid student visa.
- Diploma courses are NOT eligible for the post study work visa.
Post study work rights duration:
- Eligible International student who graduates with a Bachelors/Masters degree gets a 2-year post study work permit.
- Eligible International student who graduates with a Masters by Research degree gets a 3-year post study work permit.
- Eligible International student who graduates with a Doctoral degree (or Ph.D.) gets a 4-year post study work permit.
WHAT IF YOUR STUDY DURATION IS LESS THAN 2 YEARS?
There is the special subclass of visa called Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485), international students are eligible for this visa if the duration, of course, is less than 2 years or the qualification is below that of a bachelor degree (diploma/trade-level certificate).
The essential requirements/work rights included are:
- Students can work in Australia for a period of 18 months and up to 4 years, depending on their qualification.
- It does not confine the number of hours of work.
- The applicant must have a valid student visa in the last 6 months and should fulfill all the requirements like Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), English proficiency and study in Australia.
- The qualification of the applicant must be in the field which is in demand since the country has a dearth of skilled employees in various fields listed on the Skilled Occupation like teachers, engineer, doctors, and scientists. To qualify for this visa the applicant has to qualify the skill assessment in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.
Visa application requirements are subject to change with time, to get latest updates and for further information on work rights in Australia, you can visit the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.