Registered Migration Australia

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Moving to Australia

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All Australian qualifications are globally recognised.

Graduating with an Australian qualification will give you a competitive edge. Other governments, international employers and institutions around the world recognise the value of an Australian qualification and the high quality of its education system.

There are several classes of student visas for study in Australia. The type of visa depends on the type of study you wish to undertake (eg: English language course, graduate degree, vocational training,higher education, etc.) you are planning to undertake. Student Visas can be a good way to experience short duration study and work experiences without necessarily requesting a Working Holiday Visa, which is only once in a lifetime.

Student visa (subclass 500)

If you intend to study in Australia, you will need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500).

You can apply for the following types of study on this visa:

  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
  • school – primary or secondary
  • secondary school exchange program
  • vocational Education and Training (VET) courses –a registered VET course or a registered course for the award of an advanced diploma
  • higher education courses –a bachelor or associate degree, a graduate certificate or graduate diploma, a masters degree by coursework or a higher education diploma or advanced diploma
  • postgraduate Research degrees –a masters degree by research or a doctoral degree
  • non-award courses – non-award foundation studies courses or components of a course that do not lead to an award
  • students sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs or Trade or the Department of Defence.

You may be able to package your courses if you would like to study more than one course. This is known as course packaging.

What this visa lets you do

  •     You can study a registered full-time course in Australia.
  •     Eligible family members can accompany you to Australia.
  •     You and your family members can generally work a specified number of hours.
  •     You can generally stay in Australia until your course is finished.

Institution type

There are basically 3 types of education institutions in Australia:

  • both large and small
  • Public and private
  • offer primary and secondary education
  • both large and small
  • public (TAFE) and private
  • normally with adult age students
  • offering English language courses, vocational (work-training) courses, university preparatory courses and some Bachelor degrees

Note:  Some colleges (both TAFE and Private) are part of a larger University and are located on university campuses

Universities and higher education
  • large
  • adult age students
  • most are public while few universities are private
  • offering academic and vocational courses

Entry requirements can vary between schools in Australia, depending on the state or territory you will be studying in. Academic performance and ability is considered during the selection process. Normally the entry requirement for Year 10 is completion of Year 9 equivalent in overseas country.

Vocational education and training:

Generally there are no other entrance exams for VET institutions. The entry requirement for most certificate course is Year 10 equivalent and diploma course is year 12 equivalent. However some courses may have specific pre-requisite subjects or work experience requirements.

To gain direct entry into an Australian undergraduate course you will need to have an Australia Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (please note that different states have different names for such certificate.

As well as the satisfactory completion of at least one degree at undergraduate level, your institution may take GPA of 1st degree or research ability or relevant work experience into consideration. The prestigious universities will normally require GPA of 2.5+ of 1st degree and most MBA courses will require work experience.

Further information on Australian educations institutions (opens in a new window)

Packaged Courses

If you have your main course of study packaged with a preliminary course, your student visa application will be evaluated under the visa subclass for the main course of study.

Note:  If you have recently completed a course of study in Australia and are seeking Australian permanent residency, you must apply for a visa within six months of the completion of your course.

Online Student Visa Applications

If you satisfy the following criteria, you may apply for a student visa online. You must:

  • be outside Australia;
  • be aged 18 years of age or over; and
  • be from an Assessment Level 1 country; and
  • have an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE) for the principal course you wish to undertake, and for any preliminary course(s) (unless you are an AusAID, Defence sponsored or secondary school exchange student); and
  • not apply more than 90 days prior to the commencement of your course(s); and
  • only make an application for yourself, i.e. you must provide information about family unit members in this application but you cannot use this application to apply for a visa for any family unit members.

Student Visa health insurance requirement

All students in Australia who have come from overseas must have a health insurance policy while they are here. It is very important you maintain this health insurance for the whole time you are on a student visa, not just while you are studying. Your insurance must commence from the date you arrive in Australia and remain in effect until you leave, or move to a different visa subclass.
Almost all student visa holders are required to maintain a specific type of health insurance known as Overseas Student Health Cover. The exceptions are for students from Sweden who have insurance provided by CSN International or Kammarkkollegiet, Norwegian students who are covered by the National Insurance Scheme and Belgian students. An Overseas Student Health Cover will cover you for some specialist services and medical emergencies. However, you may need to pay for certain treatments. You should understand the details of what your policy covers before travelling to Australia.

Financial Requirements

You must maintain enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for yourself, your partner and your dependent children for the duration of your stay in Australia.

Tuition fees

As an international student, you must pay your tuition fees up-front. Aside from tuition fees, some institutions may also charge for other student costs, such as library, laboratory or sports facility costs. Excursions, books and stationery are other costs to consider, and your course may also require specific essential materials, such as lab coats or photographic supplies.

Your institution will provide you with information on how and when to pay your tuition fees.

English Requirement

To be accepted to study on a student visa in Australia you will need to demonstrate a sufficient level of English language proficiency, and meet minimum academic requirements.Institutions set their own English language requirements for course entry, and the IELTS score needed for your course may be different to the score needed to secure your visa. For example, if you hold HK passport and wish to study diploma of IT at TAFE, DIBP doesn’t require IELTS but TAFE will normally require student to achieve IELTS 5.5 to get direct entry. You should check entry requirements with your institution.

Further information on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Student Protection

Your right to access a quality education is protected by Australian Government legislation. All Australian education institutions that enrol international students must be registered with the Australian Government and meet high standards of quality and ethical practice. These standards relate to curriculum, qualifications of teaching staff, facilities and specialist equipment. You can also be confident that the fees you pay for your course are protected. If an institution closes and the provider is unable to provide students with a refund or an alternative course, the government will place the student to a suitable alternative course in other institutions without paying further fee. If failing that, the student’s claim will be referred to the ESOS Assurance Fund.  The Fund Manager will attempt to place the student in a suitable alternative course, and, failing that, may provide the student with a refund, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Working on a Student Visa

It is possible to legally work part time (up to 40 hours every 2 weeks) during courses period and full time during course pauses. Part-time work in Australia (4-5 hours per day) is really well paid and available everywhere and the benefit is that you can cover costs of accommodation, food, transport and still save some money. School schedules will easily combine with your work. To work you must have a Tax File Number and a bank account for payment processing would be useful too.

Other Visa options

For shorter periods of study, you can apply for a Visitor or Working Holiday Maker Visa. There is also a visa option specifically for student guardians.

For more detail information on each these visas please visit the link (opens in a new window)

Universities in Australia

A list of accredited Australian Universities sorted by name (opens in a new window)

Review of the top 5 Universities

Australian Student Visa

Understanding the Options