Student Visas

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) maintains assessment levels per country that help the department determine visa requirements and set standards to enable consistency in decision making. So, while each student visa application is assessed on its own merits, DIBP officers use assessment levels as well to decide on whether to approve a visa application.

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Student Visas
Posted on February 27, 2015 | Australia

Immigration risks, posed by applicants from some countries studying in a particular sector - affect the assessment level.  Compliance with visa conditions plays a huge role when calculating immigration risks.  There are several assessment levels in the student visa program and - the higher the assessment level, the higher the immigration risk. 

This is important because:

  • The higher the assessment level, the greater the evidence an applicant is required to provide to support their claims for the approval of a student visa application especially for financial capacity and understanding of the English language;
  • Your assessment level will dictate the assessment level of family members who might be eligible to apply for a visa to accompany you;
  • At most assessment levels, you can only apply for a student visa when you are outside Australia.  This means that you won't be able to change status unless your assessment level is low.

Streamlined student visa processing

 Under the streamlined student visa processing arrangements, eligible student visa applicants  from participating education providers are not assigned an assessment level. If you are  eligible for streamlined visa processing you will generally have reduced evidentiary  requirements, similar to those that apply under Assessment Level 1, regardless of your  country of origin.

Selection of study program

 In Australia, the course/study program you enroll in and work opportunities are directly linked.   This is important because some programs offer direct pathways to onshore (in Australia) skilled visa options. 

When you apply for your student visa, you will have to submit documentary requirements.  Some of these would prove that:

  • The program you propose to enroll in is consistent with your current level of education;
  • Your proposed program is appropriate in the context of your career or work history and academic background;
  • You have an immigration history (when applicable) showing that you have complied with immigration laws;
  • You have the financial capacity to bear the cost of air fares, tuition and other fees, living expense for the duration of your stay in Australia;
  • You have the financial capacity to bear the cost of air fares and living expense for the duration of your family members' stay in Australia whether they accompany you or not;
  • Your level of English Language Proficiency is sufficient to meet the requirement for your education sector of study and assessment level.
  • You meet Australian health and character requirements

Student Visa Conditions

You must comply with the visa conditions for attendance and academic performance  after you have entered Australia or risk cancellation of your visa.   These are:

  • Do not enter employment unless you have been granted permission to do so
  • Satisfy attendance and course requirements and maintain a valid enrolment for your course
  • Maintain your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) while in Australia for yourself and family unit members accompanying you
  • Leave Australia before your visa expires
  • Remain with the education provider you originally enrolled with for the first 6 months of your course or, if the course is less than 6 months, for the duration of your course
  • Inform your education provider of your residential address within 7 days of your arrival in Australia. Communicate any changes in address within 7 days
  • If you change your education provider, you must inform your current education provider within 7 days of issue of an Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
  • If you are an unaccompanied student applicant under 18 years of age, you must acquire written approval of your education provider before you change your address, support and welfare arrangements in Australia

What happens when you graduate?

You may want to extend your stay in Australia once you've completed your program in any of the following visa options:

  • Apply for a Graduate Temporary Visa for full work rights in Australia for 18 months or more.  This will give you additional  migration points should you wish to adjust status later for skilled migration;
  • Apply for General Skilled Migration.  Having an Australian qualification makes it easier to pass the skills assessment and get additional points for studies in Australia;
  • We assume you've networked while you were studying. If you have a job offer with an Australian firm, they may want to sponsor you for either temporary or permanent residency;
  • If you married an Australian Citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen,  chances are, they'll want to sponsor you for permanent residence.

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