Six Australian universities are included in the top 100 while 23 universities are placed among the top 500 universities in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). Australia is a great place to live, and its universities are the dream of every student across the world. People says it’s hard to gain admission to these facilities and even harder to get the study visa that allows one to enrol in such prestigious institutions. Well! It’s hard, yes, but a proper understanding of the visa process can make it much easier.
If you are planning to come to visit and study in Australia, the Student Visa (subclass 500) should be your first and foremost choice. This visa allows you to study in a registered full-time course in Australia and return to your country once you have completed your desired course. If you want to achieve academic excellence by being part of an Australian institution and later utilise those skills for your country, Student Visa 500 is ideal for you. If you want to extend your stay in Australia, you can do so by lodging an application for any other visa. You just need to pay full attention to the details which we have simplified for you. Trust me, by the time you finish reading this article you will be ready to lodge your visa application. I advise you to read the full article in one go first; then when you start applying, follow every step and re-check it for the third and last time. We want you to lodge a sound application with no chance of cancellation so that you can take every step towards your success and dream.
What do you get under the Student Visa?
To get the Student Visa subclass 500, you must first know what this visa offers you:
- Live and Study in Australia: You get a chance to live and study in Australia until the course in which you have enrolled is completed. Your visa will expire once you complete your degree, but don’t worry; you will be allowed to live here for an extra one month or two so that you can plan your next move;
- Bring Your Family Member: You can bring a family member with you. If you are prone to homesickness and cannot live alone, I recommend that you bring along an eligible family member. Your family member is allowed to live here for three months; if he/she wants to stay longer, he/she should apply for a separate visa;
- Work: You are also allowed to work under this visa. However, because this visa is intended to enable you to complete your studies in the most efficient way, you can work for specific hours according to the law of the territory or state in which you live. You can work 40 hours in two weeks, while during semester breaks you can work unlimited hours. As this is a study visa, your working hours are not designed to support you or your family, so you should make sure you have enough finances to cover your expenses;
- Extend the Visa: If you want to live in Australia longer, you can apply for another visa before your student visa expires;
- School Students: School students can also apply for this visa for admission into any faculty of Australia. Don’t forget to check the age requirements for school admission.
Requirements of the Student Visa
This visa requires you to fulfil certain conditions. In July 2016, certain changes were made to this visa, including a Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF), which we’re going to cover. We have created a step-by-step process for your convenience; just follow each step and you will find it easy to understand and apply.
Step 1: Enrol in a Registered Institution
It goes without saying that if you want to study in Australia, you must first gain admission to an Australian institution listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Don’t worry; this requirement shouldn’t stop you from applying, as most colleges and universities are registered with CRICOS. While applying to an institution, quickly check on their website whether they are listed in CRICOS. Under the new law, you must also remain enrolled in the registered course until you complete it; otherwise, you will be held accountable.
Step 2: Confirm Enrolment
Once you gain admission, you must get the Confirmation of Enrolment (COE), as you will have to submit it along with your application. The COE is not an offer letter; it’s a letter issued to international students when they submit their tuition fees and gain admission to a university. In specific cases in which you are sponsored by an institution of the Australian government, like Defense and Foreign Affairs, you don’t need Confirmation of Enrolment. If you are going for a PhD and want to stay for your thesis, you need a letter from your education provider. If you go for course packaging, i.e., you want to study more than one course in a series, you will need to provide a COE for each class separately.
Step 3: Genuine Entry Requirement
No matter how confusing this term may sound, it is quite easy to understand and follow. It is a part of new changes made by the Australian government and is designed to check the authenticity of your application for the Student Visa subclass 500. Your intention in acquiring this visa should be to gain a quality education and not acquire residency in Australia. Your application will be evaluated by your individual situation, your record of immigration and other related information. If you are under 18 years of age, the intent of your guardian or eligible family member will also be considered. Don’t forget that if you are under 18, you will be required to show that you are going to live and support yourself in Australia. If you are under 18 and if you don’t have any relatives in Australia, I recommend that you take an eligible family member with you. Your intention is to study in Australia, though you can extend your stay later, so you should not be worried about this condition.
Step 4: Brush up on Your English Language Skills
Whether you like it or not, the language of instruction is English. With that in mind, if English is not your primary language, you need to provide evidence of your proficiency in the English language. There are various tests that you can take to prove your proficiency, like IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge, Pearson and Occupational Test. You can choose any test based on convenience and the target for the acceptable test score required to get the student visa.
Step 5: Financial Evidence
Student Visa 500 requires you to declare that you can support yourself and your family member, if one is joining you, during your stay in Australia. Following are the different options, one of which you can use to provide documentary evidence of your financial situation:
- You can provide evidence of your 12-month-expense-bearing source. It can be a scholarship, government funding or any other source. I highly recommend that you avail yourself of this option; if you are going to apply for scholarships, this should be your final resort.
- You can also use your annual income as evidence. An AUD 60,000 annual income can be included for only you; if your family member is accompanying you, your annual income must be around AUD 70,000. Annual income must also cover the living cost of your dependent relation in Australia, like a spouse or child. You would also have to show that these funds are accessible to you and your family member.
- In some cases, if you are supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade or Defense or if you are packed Secondary Exchange Students you would have to provide the relevant evidence.
Step 6: Other Requirements
There are a few other trivial conditions that we have combined into one place, as they are less complicated and are easier to understand:
- Get health insurance for yourself; otherwise, you will find yourself stuck paying hefty medical bills. The most suitable one is Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which you can get yourself or which can be arranged by your education provider. Try to read the policy instructions to save yourself from any future problems. If you are a national of Norway, Belgium or Sweden, here is good news: you are not obligated to get this if you have your country’s student medical insurance;
- You must be healthy enough to stay and study in Australia. You may be asked to undergo some health tests while your application is assessed;
- Do have good character? Prove that. You may be asked to provide character or police certificates under certain circumstances.
Step 7: Apply
Finally, you have reached the final stage. Apply online. Before applying, check that you have all the documents by using a Document Checklist Tool on the website mentioned above. If you have followed our seven-step process, you will not be missing anything, but it is advisable to double check. Just make sure all your documents are originally in English or have been translated into English. Scan all your documents and attach them to the application; then lodge your application after paying the visa fee of AUD 550. Try to keep track of your application and keep updating it if any circumstances change.
Student Visa 500 is your chance to fulfil your dream of studying at a top-notch Australian university and becoming part of a diverse and overwhelming Australian society.
Go! Make Your Dream Come True.