Knowledge on student visa immigration can come in handy when you’re planning to study in Australia. International students often want to study in Australia because the country has one of the best higher and tertiary education systems in the world and six of the world’s top 100 universities.
Australia also has outstanding English schools to support international students and one can consider studying with an Australian education provider. One can even engage in different student exchange programs and be a secondary exchange student.
Migration Law regulates who has a right to enter and remain in Australia. Under the Migration Act and Regulations, people who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents can get a visa to study in Australia.
While the idea of studying in Australia may sound exciting, international students need to be aware of the requirements to obtain visas. There are a range of conditions on student visas, such as work limits, and performance and attendance requirements.
This article will discuss important matters relating to student visa immigration and student visa application.
Student Visa (500)
This visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 5 years. With this visa, you can:
- participate in an eligible course of study
- bring family members to Australia with you
- apply for a visa online in or outside Australia
- work up to 20 hours per week or 40 hours every 2-week period once your course starts.
Generally speaking, to obtain a valid student immigration visa you will need to provide proof that:
- you are currently enrolled in a course of study;
- you are a genuine temporary entrant intending to return home after studying in Australia;
- you have a sufficient level of English and English language skills;
- you have adequate health insurance such as an overseas student health cover;
- financial capacity and that you have sufficient funds for your stay; and
- you pass relevant health and character criteria.
You will be notified in writing about your visa application. You will be provided with your visa grant number, when your visa expires, and your visa conditions.
Under student visa immigration, family members such as your partner or your partner’s dependent child who is unmarried and has not turned 18 years of age may be included for student visas.
Even if they don’t have any plans to travel with you to Australia, you must declare them in your visa application. However, if you don’t declare them and they need to join you in Australia later, you’ll need to apply for a new student visa to include them.
You will need to state personal details and personal circumstances demonstrating why you did not include them in your previous application. This is not necessary if they became your family member after you got your student visa, and before you made a subsequent application.
Furthermore, you can also travel outside Australia and return as many times as you want with a valid visa.
Work Rules for International Students
A common question asked regarding student visa immigration is if the student may be able to work, and if unlimited hours are permissible. Many international students will want to work during their time spent studying in Australia. Working while studying can help with living costs and further provide enough money for course fees in Australia. It is important to be aware of the rules under your student visa when it comes to work.
The Australian government allows you to work up to 20 hours per week or 40 hours fortnightly. You can start your part-time work once the course starts.
It is crucial to note that rules on student working hours tend to change from time to time. It has been announced that up until 30 June 2023, all ongoing international students as well as new student arrivals in Australia will be able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy and work before their course of study commences. From 1 July 2023, students on visas can work 48 hours per fortnight.
A work week in Australia is considered to be Monday through the following Sunday. Although international students can arrive in Australia up to 90 days before their course begins, students cannot start working until after their courses commences.
There is no limit on the number of hours an international student can work during recognised school vacations. The hour limit also does not extend to any work the student is required to undertake as a component of his or her studies or training.
If an international student works more than the Australian restrictions allow, the visa may be cancelled. Hence, it is best to stay updated on the current foreign affairs or recent updates regarding working hours.
What If I Want to Stay Longer?
For student visa immigration, to continue studying in Australia, you must apply for a new visa. If your student visa will expire before your graduation you might be eligible for a Visitor Visa (subclass 600). You will need a letter from your education provider with the date of your graduation.
If you hold or held a student visa and completed specific qualifications in Australia in the last six months, you may be eligible for a Temporary Graduate Visa (485).
A Temporary Graduate Visa (485) allows international students to live, study and work after you have finished your studies. This visa does not restrict the type of work you may do or the number of hours you may work.
To apply for this visa, you will usually need to provide evidence:
- that you are in Australia and that you hold an eligible student visa in the last 6 months;
- you are under the age of 50;
- you must meet Australian study, English language proficiency, health insurance, health requirement and character requirements.
- you must meet the specific requirements of the stream in which you are applying for this visa.
- meet the Australian study requirement
- meet the English language requirement
- have recently graduated with either an eligible qualification or with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations.
Student Visa Cancellation
Another area of concern on student visa applications is the cancellation of student visas. This is often due to the work limits imposed on student visas.
The Student Visa (500) allows you to work up to 20 hours per week or 40 hours fortnightly. A student must not work for more than 20 hours a week during any week when their course is in session. If an international student works more than the Australian restrictions allow, the visa may be cancelled.
Another concern is a breach of ‘Condition 8202’, which requires visa holders to satisfy certain enrolment, attendance and course requirements (such as academic results). However, the Migration Regulations were amended on 8 October 2005 to allow for ‘exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control to be taken into consideration prior to cancelling a student visa for a breach of condition.
Breaches of these conditions are grounds for mandatory cancellation of a student’s visa. If the grounds for cancellation are established, the visa is cancelled.
Why You Should Seek Legal Advice
There are many legalities involved when applying for a student visa. At times, requirements may seem to not have been satisfied which could lead to disapproval of your application. Perhaps you are wondering if a student visa immigration can lead to permanent residence. Or maybe you are facing a case of cancellation of your current visa.
JB Solicitors will ensure that you are thoroughly informed about all details of student visa immigration laws and the application process leading to a successful application. Australian visa lawyers can also help students migrate to Australia in order to enrol in their preferred universities/schools. We can also help with cancellation cases.
With extensive experience with immigration law, we will be able to assist you with all issues relating to visa applications, pathways to permanent residence, reviews of unsuccessful applications, and student visa cancellation.
If you need help regarding student visa immigration, talk to us today.