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Want to join Australia’s thriving community of international students? You’ll need visa from the Australian Government.
Having a visa is your ticket to more exciting opportunities in Australia. In most cases, international students will need a student visa. Others will be issued a temporary visa instead. Ready to learn the ins and outs of visa application? Read on.
FAQs About Visa Application
What must I do prior to the visa application process?
Before applying for a student visa, ensure that you have:
- Accepted the offer to study from one of ECA’s campuses.
- Received the corresponding Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).
If you are below 18 years old during the visa application period, make sure that you have:
- Prepared adequate welfare arrangements during your stay.
Am I eligible for a student visa?
To be eligible for a student visa, you must:
- Satisfy the requirement for a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE).
- Be proficient with the English language.
You may need to present evidence of your English language proficiency.
- Prove your financial capacity.
Provide financial documents that show your capacity to pay for tuition fees and living expenses.
- Be in good health condition.
A medical examination may be required.
- Have a health insurance
Your health insurance must be from an approved Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) provider.
- Be of good character.
What are the program requirements for student visa application?
To study in Australia with a student visa, your chosen course must:
- Be part of the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
- Be a full-time course of study.
- Not have distance or online learning components that exceed 25% of the total program.
All of ECA’s course offerings for international students are recognized and approved by Australian regulatory bodies.
Are packaged courses available?
Yes. There are course packaging options if you want to study two or more programs that have a clear progression. Check out the Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (DIBP)’s requirements for more details.
How do I apply for a student visa?
A comprehensive overview of the visa application process is available on DIBP’s website.
What are the required documents for a student visa application?
Document requirements vary in every country. You may use for an initial list of evidence to be provided.
Where do I seek advice on my student visa?
ECA offers a complete range of professional educational services to guide you through the visa application process—including assessment, counseling, and course recommendation.
For more details on your student visa, you may also:
- Visit the DIBP website.
- Reach out to the Australian Embassy, High Commission, Consular Office in your locality. Click here to search for your local diplomatic office.
- Consult with an education or migration agent who is recognized by the Migration Agent Registration Authority (MARA).
How much does the student visa application cost?
The cost of an Australian student visa varies from time to time. For a complete and updated list of fees and charges, visit DIBP’s website.
You must also take other costs into consideration—including insurance coverage and other related tests or certificates.
How long is the visa application process?
The processing time of student visa application varies in every country. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as three months prior to the start date of the program.
To have an idea of the usual processing period, check out DIBP’s estimated time frame.
What do I do if my student visa is behind schedule?
Contact ECA immediately to determine possible options if:
- There are delays in the processing of your student visa.
- You won’t be able to arrive within the scheduled registration or enrollment period.
Can I apply for a family visa?
Yes. Eligible members of your family—including the parents, children or partner—must be declared in the student visa application if they will:
- Come with you to Australia.
- Join as a subsequent entrant after your visa has been granted.
Visit the DIBP website for further details on how to apply for a family visa.
What if I need to renew or extend my student visa?
Visit the visa renewal page for more details on how to extend or renew your visa.
What are other kinds of visas?
You will be considered as a local student if you are a:
- Permanent resident or citizen of Australia
- Citizen of New Zealand
- Holder of a Temporary Protection Visa
If you become a permanent resident during the course of your study, you will not be considered as an international student anymore.
Various conditions can make or break the validity of your student visa. It pays to be in the know!
You are responsible for maintaining the validity of the student visa. Breaching corresponding conditions may lead to the cancellation of your visa. Here’s an overview to keep you on track:
Study Load and Program Completion
In compliance with visa conditions, you must:
- Enrol in a full-time program that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
- Complete your studies within the expected duration of your Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).
Usually, you will need to maintain a full-time load each semester (in order to finish the program within the expected period). If you don’t have a full-time load and fail to complete the program within the designated period, you may not be qualified for a new eCoE, which is required when extending the visa.
You may enrol in a reduced study load if you:
- Are involved in a documented academic performance improvement plan, which is authorized by the Dean (Learning and Teaching).
- Were given approval by the school due to compelling circumstances.
- Have already taken extra courses (like summer programs).
- Only have a few courses remaining, which are not enough for a full-time load.
- Received credit for previous studies, which reduced the number of courses that you must finish.
Online and Distance Learning
You may enrol in online or distance learning courses as long as they are part of CRICOS-registered programs. But take note of the following restrictions:
- Online or distance courses must not exceed 25% of your total program.
- In every compulsory semester, make sure that at least one of the units is delivered face-to-face.
- In case of a non-compulsory semester (like summer school), you may enrol in online/distance courses. Note that these courses will be counted towards the 25% limit.
Maximum Program Gap
At most, international students on a visa are allowed to have an eight-week break in between programs. If you complete your pathway program with a gap of more than eight weeks, you must leave Australia or enrol in alternative study during the interval.
As a student visa holder, you need to achieve a satisfactory academic progress. Failure to do so will lead to you being “at risk” and may cause exclusion from your program.
Don’t fret! ECA offers free educational services to keep you ahead of the pack:
- Free workshops to aid in casual employment
- Free internship for a genuine Australian workplace experience (worth $1,390)
- Free additional English language programs to improve employment opportunities
Certain programs may have attendance requirements. For instance, you are required to have at least 80% attendance rate in Foundation Studies and Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) programs.
Modifications on Your Study Plans
Several changes to your study plans may affect your visa. These include, but are not limited to:
- Program changes
- Leave of absence
- Early or late completion
To discuss the appropriate course of action, contact ECA and your campus immediately.
Always keep your contact details up to date. Make sure to inform the education provider of your home address within seven days of your arrival in Australia. Likewise, your contact details must also be updated within seven days of changing your address while living in Australia.
Students Under 18 Years Old
If you are under 18 years old and the campus approved your accommodation and welfare arrangements, you need the written approval of your education provider before:
- Changing welfare arrangements that have already been approved.
- Joining short term activities away from your arrangements (such as travel).
Health Insurance Coverage
You and your family members (if they are with you) must have a valid Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) while staying in Australia. If you prefer, your education provider may also arrange your health coverage in the beginning of your program.
Visa Conditions for Your Family
Your family members must comply with crucial visa conditions. Visit DIBP’s website for a complete list of these conditions.
It is your responsibility to provide education arrangements for school-age children who are under your custody.
If you are an international postgraduate research student, you don’t have to pay for the educational fees of children who are going to a public school. Contact ECA for more details about support services for international students.
As a student visa holder, there are limitations to the number of working hours while you study—even if you are permitted to work. Understanding work restrictions and other visa conditions are crucial.
Your Rights as an International Student
In Australia, legislative standards and requirements promote quality and consumer protection for international students. These laws are collectively known as the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework. It includes:
- Your rights and responsibilities as an international student.
- Services that Australian education institutions must provide to international students.
Knowing your rights can make all the difference! Click here for an overview of the ESOS framework.
Submission of Appeals
Feel free to submit an appeal to your campus if you are not satisfied with the outcome of:
- Release letters
- Attendance requirements
- Leave of absence
Once you have submitted an appeal, you must attend all classes and remain enrolled until the result is available. Timelines may vary. Contact your education provider for any clarifications.
Do you need to extend your student visa? Stay on top of the visa renewal process.
Spare yourself from the complications of an expired student visa. Check out these options if you need extra time to attend graduation, finish your postgraduate research or complete your current program:
- Attending Your Graduation Ceremony
If your student visa will expire before graduation, you may apply for a new visa prior to the expiration of your current visa. Contact the Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (DIBP) to explore your options.
- Completing Your Current Program
If your student visa will expire before the completion of your current program, you need to renew your visa. It is recommended to wait for the results before you process the renewal of your student visa.
- Extending for Postgraduate Research
If your postgraduate thesis is still being marked, you may apply to extend your visa for up to six months. Please note, however, that you will not receive an eCoE and must not be enrolled during this period. Coordinate with your campus to ask for a letter that must be submitted to the DIBP.
FAQs About Visa Renewal
When must I apply for a new visa?
Many steps are involved in renewing a visa. That’s why you are recommended to start applying for visa renewal at least six weeks before the current visa is due to expire.
Make sure to lodge your student visa application (1) prior to the expiration of the current visa and (2) before the start date of the new program that is indicated on your eCoE.
Remember that international students who have failed to renew or extend the visa may be required to leave the country.
How can I renew or extend my visa?
To proceed with the visa renewal process, you may be required to:
- Submit a new eCoE (minimum of 10 working days to process and send the confirmation via email).
- Submit evidence of your English language proficiency (roughly four to six weeks for the booking confirmation).
- Submit evidence that you have access to sufficient funds.
- Undergo a medical exam.
- Submit a police clearance.
- Renew your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSCH) to include the updated duration of your new visa.
You will need to lodge your visa application through DIBP’s website.
What if my visa has already expired for over 28 days?
You may not be able to return to Australia for three years. Contact the DIBP as soon as possible if your visa expires.
What if my visa has a ‘no further stay’ condition?
If you intend to extend your visa or stay in Australia after completing the program, connect with DIBP to discuss your options.
What if I have an invalid eCoE?
If you applied for a visa and your eCoE turned out to be invalid, contact ECA immediately. Once we have double-checked the correct details, you must apply for a new eCoE.
Where can I get help to renew my visa?