Australian Student Visa FAQs (US Students)
What’s a genuine student?
To meet this criterion, you need to show that you have a valid interest in undertaking studies, you need to have enough language skills to manage the education, and you need to have the right educational background for the studies you intend to take part of.
You also need to have your finances in order. Furthermore you must have an intention to comply with the visa rules.
What’s a genuine temporary entrant?
A genuine temporary entrant is a person that intends to enter Australia temporarily for the purpose of study (or be a guardian to a student), and then return back to their home country.
There are a number of factors to consider when making this evaluation:
- The country you live in. Is there something to prevent you from going back?
- Will the studies in Australia really be beneficial to you in the future?
- Your immigration history.
- Other matters that are of interest
If there is any doubt, you might be required to do an interview in person at your nearest Australian embassy. Most applications will however only need to fill in the online application form.
What is good character?
Basically, you should not be a criminal and you should not have spent longer time in prison. If you have been in prison, your visa might be refused because of that reason. In some cases you will be required to submit a criminal clearance certificate or police certificate.
What are the health requirements?
You need to be healthy. You might need to do a medical examination and/or an x-ray to prove it. If that is a requirement for you, you will need to use a doctor that has been appointed by the Australian Immigration.
The student visa does not include medical coverage. Every student except those from Norway and Belgium need to buy a health insurance called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You can purchase this from your university, or from other companies that sell it. Swedish student only need to do that if they have not already bought insurance from CSN International or Kammarkollegiet.
Is there any age limit?
No, there isn’t. Student visa does not have any age limit as long as you get accepted by a university or school. It’s different from example a Working Holiday visa which is limited to applicants 18-31 years old.
Can my family follow if I have a student visa?
Yes, they can follow you to Australia.
If you are under 18 you need to have a guardian. Your parents or relatives can apply a student guardian visa and follow you on the trip to Australia. Their visa will get the same validity as your student visa.
Am I allowed to work on a student visa?
Yes, a student visa will allow limited work, at most 40 hours in a 2 week period. On holidays you are allowed to work full time.
Part time work can be a good way to pay for accommodation and give you some extra money. However, before you can start working you will need a Tax File Number and a bank account in an Australian bank.
Remember that you are not allowed to work at all before you course starts, in case you arrive early.
The right to work also applies to accompanying family members (spouses and children). Family members can however not exceed 20 hours per week even during holiday periods.
Can I study part time and work part time?
No, you should attend full time studies to be considered a student visa. If you want to study less than full time, you should look for other visa options. Working Holiday visa might be a better solution in those cases.
What kind of course can I attend?
Any kind of course as long as it is approved by the Australian government for overseas students.
I don’t have an acceptance letter (CoE), can I still apply?
No, you must get a CoE before you can submit the application. The visa application is one of the last steps in the process of going to Australia to study. First, you must apply to, and be accepted by a university or school in Australia. You also need to confirm in writing, and pay the tuition fee deposit. Only after you have received the Confirmation of Enrolment from the university, you can apply for the visa.
I’m already in Australia on another visa, can I still apply student visa?
Yes, you can apply a student visa to Australia while inside Australia, in most cases. If your visa has a “No further stay” condition in it, you can’t apply while inside Australia. If so, you must leave the country before you can apply.
I already had a Work and Holiday visa; can I still get a student visa?
Yes, that does not affect the decision at all. It is also possible to get a new student visa if you already had one before, as long as you get a new CoE from a university or school.
What’s the processing time?
Commonly 1-3 weeks under normal circumstances. The processing time can also be longer in case you need to complete your application with more documents. Please make sure to apply well in advance of your intended date of travel.