Australia Migration: Getting a Student Visa

The educational system in Australia is very highly regarded around the world, offering a wide range of internationally recognised courses. The universities in particular have a very high academic standard and a reputation for excellence especially in research-intensive fields. There are many opportunities for sports and extra-curricular activities, all within beautifully designed campuses conducive to higher learning.

It is no wonder thousands of international students wish to study in Australia, especially since a student visa to Australia carries with it an increased chance of being granted permanent residency later on if and when the student decides to remain in the country.

If planning to study in Australia……

If you or your child/children intend to study in Australia, a licensed Migration agent can make an initial assessment of your visa options; most migration agents do this for free. To give you an idea, below is the list with a brief description of available student visa sub-classes for which foreign nationals like you may apply.

Student Visa Subclasses

• Subclass 570-English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

Applies to stand-alone English language courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III, or IV, or that result in no formal Australian award.

• Subclass 571-Primary or Secondary School Course

Applies to Primary, Junior or Senior Secondary School Courses and Approved Secondary School Exchange Programs.

• Subclass 572-Vocational Education and Training

Applies to Certificate I, II, III or IV (except ELICOS), Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Vocational Graduate Certificate or Vocational Graduate Diploma Courses.

• Subclass 573-Higher education

Applies to a Bachelor Degree, Associate Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or Masters by Coursework.

• Subclass 574-Postgraduate Research

Applies to Masters by research or a doctoral degree.

• Subclass 575-Non-award

Applies to Non-Award Foundation Studies or full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian Award

• Subclass 576-AusAID and Defense

Applies to students sponsored by AusAID or the Australia Department of Defense undertaking full-time courses of any type.

• Subclass 580-Student Guardians

Parents or relatives can apply for a visa to stay in Australia as the guardian of a student who is studying in Australia.

Qualifying for migration to Australia under any of the above student visa subclasses depends primarily on the student’s acceptance to an Australian university or educational institution and the duration of the course. Some licensed migration agents’ services include enrolling you into any university anywhere in Australia for a bachelor or master degree, diploma or trade courses.

There are many other important considerations that a migration agent will outline to you in detail after the initial assessment, but for now let’s emphasize that the next most important consideration is proof of your financial capability to support the cost of your study and all related expenses whilst in Australia, including housing and health insurance.

If already studying in Australia…..

If you are currently studying in Australia and are planning to find work here upon graduation, a qualified migration agent for Australia will assess your eligibility to stay under the skilled migration category. This will depend upon what qualification you earned and whether it is in demand or not.

You may also be eligible for a Skilled Graduate visa, which will allow you to temporarily remain in Australia for 18 months, within which time you will gain relevant skilled work experience. You can later on apply for permanent residency under the general skilled migration program.

Most of the Migration lawyers for Australia will give you a FREE assessment of your eligibility to stay in Australia after your Australian studies. Based on this assessment, if they believe you are qualified to apply for a visa under the skilled migration program, and should you decide to stay, their regular visa processing fees will apply.

Reminders to Foreign Students

As an Australian student visa holder, you must meet certain conditions in order to stay in Australia. If any of these conditions are not met, your visa may be cancelled:

• You are required to attend at least 80% of your classes and achieve satisfactory academic results.

• You are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week.

• You must stay with the school to which you enrolled for the first 12 months of the course.

• You must notify your school of your residential address (and any changes thereof) within 7 days of arrival in Australia (or of any move).

Cost Estimates

Different schools and universities follow their own tuition rates, but on the average:

• Undergraduate degree in the arts, business or law – from A$12000 to A$19000/yr

• Undergraduate degrees in the sciences – from A$15,000 to A$25,000 /yr

• Graduate certificate or diploma – from A$9,000 to A$18,000/yr

• Master and PhD courses – from A$16,000 to A$26,000.

Cost of living for an international student will be approximately A$230/week. This includes food, housing, clothing, transportation and incidentals. This is just an average figure and will vary according to location.

These are just a few of the things that need to be considered carefully when planning to migrate to Australia under a student visa. All the minute details will be discussed with you by a licensed migration agent.

If you are a parent sending your child off to the world, you can rest easy if you hire a licensed migration lawyer. The migration lawyer can make all the arrangements for your child’s Australian education, from suggesting the most suitable schools and universities in the location of your choice, to enrolling your child with the chosen Australian institution, to finding safe accommodation for your child.

If you are an adult migrating to Australia for higher studies, a licensed migration agent can do all the above for you as well, perhaps with a little less of the indulgent-foster parent tone.