Hello, in order not to make this article too lengthy, I will break it up into parts to inform you about all you need to know about student visas. This part is for Australia, so, if Australia is your dream study location, the information in this post will be greatly beneficial to you.
What is a student visa?
A student visa is an approval that is appended to a government passport that is provided to students who are enrolled in approved foreign educational institutions. Student visas are non-immigrant visas that do not require the holder to become a citizen of the country in which they are issued. Any student who wishes to pursue higher education in another country must first get a student visa from the country in question. To allow international students to attend school within their borders, most countries will issue student visas. In most situations, however, the student must first enroll in a tertiary institution before they can apply for a student visa.
When to Apply for a Student Visa
Studying abroad necessitates meticulous planning. You should always plan your admissions/application process, keeping in mind university deadlines. According to most universities’ regulations, students must take English eligibility tests and have all essential documentation on hand in order for their application to be processed smoothly. As a result, you are recommended to apply three to four months in advance to prevent a last-minute rush. Candidates who are applying for financial aid, scholarships, or education loans may add a few more months to their timeline because these applications take longer.
How Many Kinds of Student Visas are there?
Student visas are frequently divided into two categories based on two broad differences.
- Student Visas based on Program
Countries frequently separate student visas into Short Term Student Visas and Long-Term Student Visas based on the duration of the program the applicant intends to pursue. Short-term visas are frequently issued to students who intend to pursue a language course or a diploma certificate course for a period of fewer than 90 days (3 months). Long-term visas, on the other hand, are granted to students who intend to enroll in degree programs that last more than three months. Internships and 6-month certificate programs, for example, are examples of this. This broad categorization is common among European Union countries.
- Student Visas According to the type of Program
Some nations classify student visas based on the type of student, regardless of the length of the course. This could be the degree level sought (undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate), an exchange student, or a student seeking a vocational or certificate course. In general, because these visas are dependent on the type of visa the student is asking for, they are tied to the tenure. The first point of distinction in these groups, however, is not the duration of the program. If you’re an exchange student, for example, you may be there for three months or three years; the category would still be determined by the type of student, not the length of stay.
Required Documents to Apply for a Student Visa
Every country has a different list of documents depending on its immigration laws. However, there are some documents that you will undoubtedly need to present. They are:
- Valid Travel Passport
This is the most important requirement. While you will need a valid passport, you should be aware that the passport validity requirements for different nations may differ. Some nations require that your passport be valid until the completion of your term, even if you are seeking a student visa. Others, on the other hand, may allow you to apply if you have a valid passport that extends beyond your intended stay in the country. You should also make sure that your passport has at least two blank pages for visa stamping. It’s crucial to note that if you have any expired passports, you’ll still need to submit a duplicate of each of them.
- Evidence of Admission
If you are applying for a Student Visa in any category, you must be able to demonstrate that you are a genuine student, regardless of the nation you are applying to. This is frequently accomplished by presenting evidence of admittance from a country’s educational institution.
- Financial Proof
Most nations will want you to demonstrate that you are not only capable of paying for your tuition and educational expenditures, but also that you have the financial means to stay in the country for the duration of your studies. While many countries have a specific amount of money they need, others have more expansive guidelines. For example, many European countries (such as Germany, the Netherlands, and others) have a government-mandated minimum living cost. Accordingly, students applying for student visas in these countries must show proof that the required sum is readily available in cash.
- Proof of Language Proficiency
Another item that may be necessary for different nations is proof of your ability to converse in the language that will be your medium of instruction. Because the majority of students intend to study in English-speaking countries, you will be expected to give proof that you can converse in English, both written and verbally. A minimal score criterion for various English Language Tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, and/or PTE is frequently used to accomplish this. As a result, if you want to attend a language course in another language (say, German), you’ll need to provide certification for that language based on the CEFR Certified Levels. Note that, while institutions may accept any or all of the above-mentioned tests, the prerequisites for Visas are sometimes defined. For example, the United Kingdom does not accept TOEFL for visa purposes. As a result, it is critical that a student check whether or not the country’s immigration department recognizes an English Language Test before taking it. Furthermore, Visa Guidelines for various countries usually stipulate a minimum score. While universities may accept applicants with a lower score, visas will be denied until the minimum requirement is fulfilled. Although some institutions grant admissions without any of the above-mentioned exams, some proof is always required.
Processes of Applying for a Student Visa
Your university will issue a letter of admission, which will initiate the process of applying for a student visa. Students who have received their admission letter are required to start the Visa Application Process as soon as possible. There are two ways for applicants to apply for a visa:
- Online Visa Application Process: Candidates can apply for a student visa online by simply creating a student profile, which is the more convenient of the two options. All of the paperwork is available online, and the student must complete them accurately. You may download the Australian Student Visa Application form here.
- Offline Visa Application Process: Candidates must download the application form, fill in the relevant information, and submit it to the appropriate embassy in order to apply for a student visa.
How long does a student visa last?
Student visas are valid for up to five years, depending on the duration of your course of study. Because a visa is only valid for a certain amount of time, if your study permit expires before you complete your studies (program), you must apply for a study permit renewal. You should submit your application at least 30 days before your current permission expires. Candidates can send in their applications by mail or submit them online.
Student visa in Australia
Since July 1, 2016, forward, the visa criteria for a visa to study in Australia have been modified, and a Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) has been implemented. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s new visa criteria, all students wishing to study in Australia must apply for a Visa under Subclass 500.
From December 1, 2021, the Australian government will open its borders to international students. Eligible visa holders (including overseas students) who are fully vaccinated are not need to request
a travel exemption. Students with valid visas must show proof of immunization (they must have been immunized with an approved vaccine) and a negative Covid-19 PCR test report within three days of departure. Covishield and Covaxin, both made in India, have been licensed in Australia. Travelers must also adhere to the quarantine rules of the state or territory in which they arrive.
Cost of Student Visa in Australia
The Base Application Charge for a Student Visa (subclass 500) is AUD 630 + AUD 470 (if 18 or older) or + AUD 155. (if under 18). You do not need a visa sticker in your passport to travel, enter, or stay in Australia, according to the Australian government. All online services and applications are priced in Australian dollars.
MasterCard, VISA, and American Express are all accepted credit cards. When purchasing with an Australian dollar credit card, you may be charged banking and currency translation fees, and you must accept the risk of exchange rates.
Eligible Candidates for Student Visa in Australia
The following is a list of the numerous sectors/categories that have been grouped together to form Subclass 500. Students who apply for and are accepted into one of the following programs are eligible to apply for an Australian student visa.
- Independent ELICOS Sector
Students can take a short-term English language course in Australia. The English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students, or ELICOS, is a series of courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III, or IV. The length of the courses frequently varies.
- Vocational Education and Training Sector
Sector of Vocational Education and Training This subclass of visa is for students enrolled in a registered Vocational Education and Training Course (VET) at a TAFE institute or a private institute.
- Higher Education Sector
Students enrolled in a full-time higher education course at a university, college, or institute are considered to be in the higher education sector. This visa category allows you to take the following courses: Courses at a university’s undergraduate level (Bachelor’s/Degree) Associate’s Postgraduate university courses (master’s degree through coursework, such as MBA, MS, etc.) PGDBM, for example, are postgraduate courses that provide a higher education diploma or advanced diploma. In essence, these are courses that last longer than a year. They can, however, be of a shorter length.
- Sector of Postgraduate Research
Students enrolled in this sector are those who are pursuing a Doctoral degree with a master’s degree in research
*The validity of a student visa in Australia is determined by the duration of the course in which the student is enrolled.
Basic Australian Student Visa Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for a Student Visa for Australia, a student must meet some fundamental requirements in order to apply for a Student Visa in Australia.
- Full-time Student
Only students engaged in a full-time study program can apply for a Student Visa under Subclass 500. Part-time and remote learning programs are not eligible.
- Entrant who is a genuine temporary entrant (GTE)
In order to obtain an Australian Student Visa, the student must be able to demonstrate that he or she is a Genuine Temporary Entrant. That is to say, you must be able to persuade them that you are only visiting Australia to study and will return to your own country at the end of the course or after a few years of experience. Your visa applications are evaluated based on a number of variables, including your current situation in your own nation, including your financial situation, possible circumstances/opportunities in Australia for you, the importance of your chosen course of study, and your immigration background.
- Health Report and Insurance
In order to be granted a student visa in Australia, you must demonstrate that you are in excellent health. You can do so by presenting a health certificate. Only the impaneled doctors can deliver the health checkup and certificate. You can schedule an appointment with the one who is nearest to you. In India, eMedical Facilities are available, and data are frequently updated on the spot. You’ll be given a HAP id, which you’ll need to enter when filling out the application. In addition, because India is a high-risk country, Indian students must present a Chest X-Ray to demonstrate that they are free of tuberculosis. You can get a medical examination either before or after you start your visa application. Getting it ahead of time, on the other hand, would ensure faster processing. You’ll also need Health Insurance or an OSHC in addition to a health checkup (Overseas Students Health Cover). You must have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your visa at the time of application. Your visa tenure will be determined by the length of your health insurance, so be sure it covers the duration of your study. For a single student, the average cost of OSHC for a year is AUS$438.
- Good BehaviorStudents must submit proof of good character, which implies that you have no criminal charges pending against you and/or that you have never been deported from Australia. On many forms, a simple declaration of the same is accepted.
Required Documents to Apply for Student Visa in Australia
Because the application is only available online, students must verify that they have scanned copies of all of the required papers before beginning their application. In addition to the general requirements listed above, here is a list of other required documents for an Australian student visa.
- Valid Passport (valid for at least six months beyond your stay in Australia)
- Non-Immigrant Visa Application
- Non-Immigrant Visa Application Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) form (You must be fully enrolled in an Australian university)
- Acceptance letter from your host university.
- Receipt for international medical insurance (OSHC)
- Digital images taken recently
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from all of the schools you’ve attended
- English Proficiency Test Scores
- A Statement of Purpose Statement (SOP)
- Financial Capability Proof
English Proficiency Test Score Requirement for Australian Student Visa
For postgraduate programs, candidates must have an overall band score of 6.5 with no component band score below 6, and for undergraduate programs, candidates must have an overall band score of 6.5 with no component band score below 6. Some programs, such as law, laboratory, and nursing, have higher IELTS band requirements. Candidates should be aware that the IELTS Band score is simply a guide; the actual value may vary based on the university of their choosing. However, your IELTS score has no bearing on your eligibility for an Australian student visa.
Note: Students with Visa Subclass 500 can work for up to 40 hours per week while the course is in session and for an unlimited amount of time while the course is not in session (during breaks). The sole stipulation is that the student cannot begin working before the course begins.