Australia is among the most popular destinations for people who want to pursue further studies. The country is home to many internationally renowned educational institutions that welcome students who wish to take up another degree or a diploma course. Any person who graduates from a school in Australia is bound to have a great career ahead of them. However, before that could happen, they need to secure a student visa first.
If you have a student visa for Australia, you can study with us here at South Sydney College. Our institution offers different courses that international students may want to enrol in. Check out the programs that we offer, and feel free to get in touch with us for more information.
What Is a Student Visa, and Why Is It Needed?
When you wish to travel to a foreign land, you need to secure a passport, which is issued by your home country to prove that you are living there. You sometimes need a visa, too. This document is given by the nation you want to visit, which indicates that you are granted temporary permission to enter their territory.
There are four basic kinds of visas, and you need to secure one that is intended for the purpose of your travel. Those who simply want to explore the place and go sightseeing need a tourist visa. Meanwhile, professionals who want to work in a foreign country for a long period are required to have a work visa. People who want to immigrate need to secure an immigration visa. Finally, those who wish to study need a student visa.
Student visas are required by foreign governments to ensure that you have a genuine intention to temporarily stay in the country for the purpose of your studies. If you wish to get an education from a school in Australia, you must first apply for a subclass 500 visa.
If you already have a subclass 500 student visa, you can attend any school that accepts you as a student. South Sydney College has plenty of diploma and certification courses to offer to international students coming from different parts of the world. Be sure to check them out to see if any of there are any programs that you might be interested to enrol in.
The subclass 500 student visa is needed by students if they want to pursue higher education in Australia. However, aside from being allowed to study, this visa also grants its holders permission to:
Stay in the country for up to five years.
Travel in and out of the country.
Work for up to 40 hours every two weeks.
How Can You Get a Student Visa for Australia?
Those who want to get an education in Australia need to be prepared for the lengthy process of securing a student visa. There are many steps to take, but the first thing that you need to do is to obtain a copy of all the necessary documents.
Furnish All of the Necessary Documents
To apply for a subclass 500 student visa, you first need to get a certificate of enrolment (COE) from the school of your choice. In the absence of a COE, you can instead secure an offer letter from the institution. However, you need to ensure that the program you want to enrol in is approved by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Schools have different processes on how to get you enroled, but in most cases, you need to apply for a course that you want first. The school will evaluate your application, and if you pass, you will receive an acceptance letter, which might also detail how to proceed with the process. You will then be asked to pay the tuition, and once you have cleared that step, you will receive your COE.
Aside from your COE, you also need to furnish evidence of your current financial status. This document is needed for you to prove that you have enough financial support for yourself while staying in Australia. If you are under a scholarship program, you may submit files that prove that you are being sponsored by a certain organisation.
Other financial documents may also count as evidence of your financial capability. It is possible to attach your bank statements or even payslips for the last few months. These records show that you are consistently earning and have enough savings to support your travel.
For your visa application, you may also be asked to provide a criminal record certificate. This document serves as proof that you are of good character and does not have a “substantial criminal record.”
There are quite a lot of papers that you must furnish to complete your visa application. All in all, the necessary documents that you need are:
Filled-out visa application form (Form 157A)
Copy of your passport
Copy of other valid government-issued IDs (e.g., driver’s license)
Copy of your birth certificate
COE or offer letter
Evidence of your financial capacity
Proof of criminal records
English Test Scores
Pass an English Proficiency Exam
If English is not your first language, then it will be mandatory for you to prove that you are proficient enough in using it. You may take one of the standard tests, such as:
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
This system ranks your English language proficiency using scores from 0 to 9. Getting a score of 9 means that you are an “expert user,” but some schools will not require you to achieve that level.
Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
This standardised exam is usually composed of multiple-choice questions. The test is often divided into four parts: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In most schools, you need to get a high overall score. There are some institutions, though, that implement stricter guidelines, so you might need to obtain a passing mark in each section.
Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE Academic)
This one is the newest among the three standardised exams, and it uses artificial intelligence to assess your English proficiency. Since it is a computer-based test, the results are usually released after just 48 hours.
The English proficiency requirements for each school varies. Some institutions will accept any of the three tests, but there are universities and colleges that are less lenient. Be sure to check out which of the tests are accepted by the school you are applying for.
Create an Immi Account
You can apply for a student visa for Australia at the comfort of your own home. To do that, you need to create an Immi Account first. This is a short online form that you need to fill out with personal information, including your full name, your phone number, and your email address.
Be sure to remember your account credentials. You need to log back in when you are submitting documents, completing your application, and paying the fee. The results of your visa application will also be posted on your Immi Account.
Pay the Application Fee
Once you have already submitted the necessary documents, you will be asked to pay your application fee. The cost varies if you are an individual applicant or if you have family members included. Thankfully, the Australian government provided this visa pricing estimator. It is a very handy online tool, which helps you get an idea of how much you need to pay.
When paying, you can use your online bank account or even a credit card. After your payment is received, you will be given a transaction reference number (TRN), along with a receipt. Your TRN is needed for your health checkup and for getting the results of your visa application.
Prepare for a Health Checkup and Possible Interview
You will likely be required to undergo a health checkup before you can secure a student visa. In many cases, a simple medical examination from an accredited hospital will suffice, but additional tests may be needed if you plan to stay for more than two years.
You may have to be interviewed, as well. In most cases, you will just be asked questions about your application, like why you want to study in Australia, what specific program you are taking, and what you plan to do once you have completed the course. Be sure that your answers in the interview are consistent with the information you have provided through the documents that you have previously submitted.
Wait for the Results of Your Visa Application
You will be notified via email if the result of your visa application is finally released. However, if you do not receive anything, it is a good idea to check your Immi account one to two weeks after submitting your requirements.
If you have furnished everything, you will most likely be granted a visa. Otherwise, you may be asked to provide more documents. Be sure to keep in touch with authorities if you have any questions about your application. They will walk you through the whole process and help you with your requirements.
These are the steps that you should follow when trying to secure a student visa for Australia. If you are still looking for schools that you can enroll in, feel free to check out South Sydney College. We offer various diploma and certificate courses that might pique your interest. Contact us today for more information.
What Will Happen If Your Student Visa Expires?
Once you have secured your visa, you can now explore all various options for accommodations. You can board in a dorm inside your school, rent an apartment, or even ask relatives or friends to let you stay in their house. After you have everything secured, you can then travel to Australia and start your new academic life.
There are certain things you should remember, though. Keep in mind that a student visa for Australia expires after a certain period. When this happens while you are still in the country, you can face some repercussions because of overstaying. To prevent any problems, be sure to speak with authorities a few weeks before your visa becomes invalid. You may be presented with at least three options:
Leave the Country
Authorities have the right to ask you to leave. In this situation, you will need to secure a bridging visa E, so you can be considered legally staying for a few more days or weeks while you prepare to return to your home country.
Apply for a Tourist Visa
If you still have not finished your course due to unforeseen circumstances, you may be asked to secure a tourist visa so that you can extend your stay for a few more weeks. During this time, you have to complete your studies and do all necessary preparations to leave the country.
Get a New Student Visa
It should be noted that your student visa cannot be renewed. However, you can still apply for a new one if you need more than three months to finish your current course. There is also a high possibility of being granted a new student visa if you apply to another degree program. You need to secure another COE and pass all other necessary documents, though.
In a nutshell, a student visa for Australia is an official document, which indicates that its holder is permitted to enter the country for academic purposes. The process of securing one can be quite lengthy, but you have to go through it if you really want to get a new degree from a college or university in Australia. The visa expires after a certain period, so be sure to speak with authorities if you wish to extend your stay in the country.
If by any chance, you are still looking for schools where you can study, South Sydney College might be a good option. We offer several certificate and diploma programs that you can take to improve your skills in a particular field. Contact us today if you wish to learn more about the programs that we offer.