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Student Visa

Living in Australia

• What is so good about Australian education and training compared to other countries?

Australia is an internationally recognized source of high quality education as well as research excellence. Our universities, vocational and technical education colleges and schools are world-class. And Australia is a world leader in English language courses for international students.
Australian Government legislation requires quality assurance agencies and codes of conduct to be in place so that international students in Australia and their parents enjoy a level of service and financial protection that is unrivalled.
Multicultural Australia is a safe, friendly, sophisticated and harmonious society in which students can learn and travel in an English speaking country. Australia also offers excellent value for money and a high standard of living.

• Are Australian qualifications recognized in my home country?

Australian qualifications are respected internationally when seeking employment or further study at leading international universities. Distinguishing Australia from many other countries is the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) which is a national system of learning pathways recognized throughout Australia and by other countries.

• Where are other students from my country enrolled?

More than 280,000 international students from about 195 countries study in Australia each year. You should visit Study in Australia websites in your local language for country-specific student statistics.

• How do I apply to study in Australia and enroll in a course?

You can use the Study Wizard on this website to guide you through the process of applying and enrolling in courses offered by registered Australian institutions. You will need an electronic confirmation of enrolment letter and you must also apply for a study visa. Even without creating your personal profile in the Study Wizard you can browse through the steps to help you plan and apply for your studies in Australia.

• Do I need a visa to study in Australia?

Yes. To be granted a student visa you must complete a visa application form, lodge it with the evidence required, pay the application charge and satisfy the student visa requirements. You can be granted a student visa only if you intend to study a registered course on a full-time basis and comply with a number of visa conditions after you have entered Australia.

• How much does it cost to study in Australia?

An Australian Government survey showed that in terms of total costs—including tuition fees and living expenses—Australia was consistently less expensive than the USA and UK. Tuition fees will vary depending on the course or institution this website provides average costs as a guide. Living costs too will vary by location, course and lifestyle.

• Are scholarships available?

Yes. Scholarships available for international students however most are offered for postgraduate study in universities. The majority of international students in Australia are full-fee paying students and are not awarded scholarships.

• Can I work in Australia while I study?

Yes. International students in Australia on a student visa can apply for permission to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during course time and full-time during vacation periods. For further information on working while studying in Australia go to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website frequently asked questions page.

• What are the entry requirements to study at Australian institutions?

Students must meet minimum academic requirements and need a sufficient level of English language proficiency for entry to Australian education and training institutions. Institutions will assess whether you meet the selection criteria set for your proposed course of study. They will look at the level and content of the study you have completed in Australia or your home country.

• What if I don't meet the entry requirements?

If you do not meet the entry requirements for further study you can enroll in secondary school in Australia. If you do not meet undergraduate course entry requirements you may be able to enroll in Foundation Studies which prepare you for further study in Australia and reserve a provisional place in your proposed course. Bridging courses, such as a Master Qualifying program, are also offered. There are also many English language courses with starting dates throughout the year to prepare you for further study in Australia. It is recommended that you seek advice from the institution about meeting their entry requirements before applying for admission into your selected courses.

How long will I need to study to reach adequate English language levels?

There are six major categories of English language courses catering for all levels of proficiency from beginner to advance. Full-time course duration generally ranges from four to 48 weeks and students can enroll at any time during the year.

• How do I find out which institution offers courses I am interested in?

On this website you can search an Australian Government register for information on all registered institutions and courses available to international students in Australia. We have also provided direct links to Australian universities and many other institutions offering courses to international students. An illustrated map of Australia will help you locate these institutions.

• How are Australian institutions ranked?

Australian institutions are not officially ranked. However, there are some commercial publications available that compare achievements of universities and institutions in meeting certain criteria such as use of technology or student support services.
All of Australia's education and training institutions offer high quality, internationally relevant courses because Australian Government legislation requires them to be registered and meet quality assurance measures. Excellence in teaching, research, facilities and support services is found across Australia's diversified education and training system. Prospective students should focus on finding institutions that offer the course most suited to their particular needs and aspirations.

• Do Australian institutions have campuses in my own country?

A variety of Australian education and training programs are offered offshore. These programs allow you to obtain Australian qualifications in your own country or to combine study at home with study in Australia. You will need to check directly with institutions about what courses are offered in your country.

• Can I study for an Australian qualification by distance or on-line?

Distance education courses are offered by Australian universities and vocational and technical education institutions. You will need to check directly with the institution about what courses are offered in distance mode.

• Do Australian universities undertake research?

Australian universities have a very important role in research and development, accounting for about one-quarter of Australia's research and development activity and 60 per cent of Australia's basic research effort. There are 35 special Research Centers and Key Centers of Teaching and Research based at Australian universities and another 74 Cooperative Research Centers.

• What is vocational and technical education?

Australia's Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) system is often referred to as Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) in other countries. It delivers training that is both practical and career-oriented and includes courses in computing, business studies, marketing, tourism and hospitality. VTE is also available in Australian schools.

• Can international students attend schools in Australia?

Yes. All government and non-government schools accept international students and must meet special requirements under Australian Government legislation.

• Are there any special support services for international students?

Yes. Australia is an international leader in safeguards and support services for international students.

• What can I do in my spare time?

Institutions offer access to a vast range of extra curricula activities, both on campus and within the community. These activities include music, drama, sports and outdoor activities. Many different social activities are also organised. Campuses are centrally located for students to experience the sophistication and excitement of our cities and entertainment facilities. On regional campuses you can explore the lifestyle and experience the sense of community of our towns and regional centres. During semester breaks you can travel further afield to experience more of Australia's spectacular natural environment and great physical beauty.

• What is the weather like in Australia?

Australia is diverse in its geography and climate. Being in the southern hemisphere Australia's summer starts in December and winter in June. Nearly a third of Australia is in the tropics where the average temperatures are in the mid 20 degrees Celsius. The southern areas are in a temperate zone.

• Where can I find more information?

The Australian Government has an extensive network of Education and Training Counselors and education advisers around the world providing reliable and impartial advice on study opportunities in Australia. The latest information on the Australian education and training system, costs of study and living, application and enrolment procedures and the Australian way of life is also available from reference sites set up in local institutions and libraries around the world. You should also visit your Study in Australia local language website for country-specific information.

• Can I convert my tourist or business class visa to a student visa while I am in Australia?

Students from Assessment Level 1 countries may be permitted to convert to student visa within Australia. Please contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to determine your eligibility to submit an application in Australia.

Students from Assessment Level 2, 3 and 4 countries will need to apply for a student visa from outside Australia. Students who are permitted to apply for a student visa onshore are those who have special circumstances. For more information contact DIAC.

• Will the Australian Embassy/High Commission accept an emailed or faxed copy of my electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)?

Yes, the eCoE is issued electronically via the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS). Australian Diplomatic Posts can access this electronic copy.

• When do I need to provide my residential address to my education provider?

Condition 8533 of the student visa requires students to notify Curtin of their local residential address within seven days of their arrival. Students are also required to notify Curtin within seven days of any change in their address.

• Who do I notify when I change my address?

Students are required to logon to OASIS and update their address/personal details within seven days of any change in their residential address.

• Do I need to have Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC)?

International students and their dependants are required (as a condition of their student visa) to maintain adequate health insurance arrangements, approved by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, for the duration of their program. Students are responsible for maintaining a valid OSHC cover at all times.

• Can I change my program/course of study after I have enrolled at Curtin?

If a student visa is subject to Condition 8203, the student must not change their course of study, thesis or research topic without prior approval by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). If this condition is not stated on the student visa, a change of program/course of study shall be subject to the approval from the relevant Head of Department/School or Nominee.

If the new program is shorter than the program for which the student visa was granted, the student does not need to apply for a new student visa. However, the student will be required to depart Australia on completion of the program or notify DIAC if they intend to continue with further study. The student visa may be subject to cancellation if the student does not leave Australia or notify DIAC.

If the new program will take longer to complete than the one for which the student visa was granted, the student must apply for a new visa before the existing student visa expires.

If the student changes educational sector, for example from a bachelor degree (subclass 573) to a master by research (subclass 574), the student will be required to submit a new student visa application.

• Can I change to another education provider within the first six calendar months of my program?

International students on student visas are to remain with the education provider with whom they originally enrolled for the first six calendar months of their course, or if the course is less than six months, for the duration of the course. If a student is undertaking a pre-requisite course, they are to remain with the provider of the pre-requisite course for the length of that course, and then with the education provider providing the principal course of study for the first six calendar months.

If a student intends to change education provider before completing six calendar months of their principal course as described above, they must seek approval from their current education provider by obtaining a Letter of Release. For students who have not commenced their principal course of study at Curtin, this will be from the International Office and students who have commenced their principal course should contact Student Central.

If after arrival in Australia a student wishes to study a new principal course, in a different education sector to their current principal course, they must apply for a new student visa using Form 157A.

For accurate visa application charges, please check the Fees and Charges section on the DIAC website.

• What is a 'full time program of study'?

International students on a student visa are required to maintain a full time enrolment at all times to ensure their degree is completed in the minimum time. With the exception of a small number of courses, the full time enrolment is 100 credits. Students who fail to maintain a full time enrolment will be in breach of their student visa conditions.

In some circumstances, students may be permitted to enrol in a study load of less than 100 credits in any semester/trimester. A 'Request to Enrol in less than 100 Credits in the Current Semester'form must be completed and approved each semester/trimester where an international student does not intend to enrol in full-time study.

• What academic progress must I make to meet student visa requirements?

Student visa condition 8202 states students must maintain satisfactory course progress for each study period for the duration of the course. At the end of each study period (or semester), a student's academic status is determined as either Good Standing, Conditional or Terminated. Students who are Terminated are deemed as not achieving satisfactory course progress and will be reported to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for breach of student visa conditions. This leads to visa cancellation.

International students are expected to progress through their studies at a pace that will ensure completion within the normal duration of a program for which a student visa is granted. For example, if the program requires three years of full-time study, the student visa will have been granted for three academic years and students will be expected to complete the program within this time period.

If the student requires additional time to complete the course (due to availability of units, failed units or pre-requisites), the student will need to renew their student visa approximately one month before their existing student visa expires. Please contact the International Student Visa Officer, located in Building 101 for more information.

• What should I do if I have been terminated from my course/program?

Terminated students are not allowed to re-enrol into the course. International students are strongly advised to submit a written appeal against their academic status of Terminated. For further information, please visit the Current Students website. Students can also contact the International Student Advisers for further assistance.

Can I renew my student visa in Australia?

While students are currently enrolled in full-time study, they may renew their student visa in Australia as long as their current student visa is not subject to Condition 8534 'no further stay'. It is recommended that steps are taken to renew a student visa approximately one month before the existing student visa expires.
Please refer to the student visa renewal website for further information on obtaining a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).

• What do I do if my application for renewing my student visa is unsuccessful?

If a student applies for a student visa in Australia and they are refused, they may apply for a review of the decision. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will notify the student of their review rights in writing and time limits for lodging such an appeal.

Please note: There are no review rights for decisions to refuse a student visa where the application is made outside Australia.

• What supporting documents do I need to submit to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) when renewing my student visa?

The supporting documents required vary according to visa subclass and country assessment level. Please refer to Visa Information and Document checklists on the DIAC website.

Students are required to bring supportive documentation to their appointment with DIAC. If a student is unable to submit the required documentation at the appointment, on approval from DIAC, they may be permitted a short duration to produce this documentation for it to be considered for the student visa application.

• Can I apply for a leave of absence?

International students on student visas may be permitted to take a formal Leave of Absence for limited circumstances for up to 6 months (or one semester). Students can seek approval where they can demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances have impacted on their course progress or wellbeing. In these circumstances, international students may be permitted to suspend their studies and avoid visa cancellation. Students must contact the International Student Visa Officer for further advice regarding their circumstances and how taking leave will affect their student visa.

If a break in study is intended and students do not meet the grounds for formal Leave of Absence, then students are required to withdraw from their course/program and re-apply for admission through the International Office. This will lead to student visa cancellation and students will be required to apply for a new student visa once they are ready to re-commence studies.

The University is obligated to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) of any changes in enrolment of all international students on student visas.

• If I cancel/withdraw from a semester or my course of study/program at Curtin, am I able to remain in Australia?

Students must contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to determine their eligibility to remain in Australia. The University is obligated to notify DIAC of all international students who are not enrolled in the current study period.

• Am I permitted to remain in Australia for the duration of my student visa if I complete my program one or more semesters before it expires?

No. If students wish to remain in Australia they must contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to determine their eligibility for another visa type in order to remain lawfully in Australia.

The University is obligated to notify DIAC of the early course completion of all international students.

• Can I apply for a tourist/visitors visa after completing my program?

Students must contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to determine their eligibility for a tourist/visitor visa.

• Can I work in Australia while I'm studying?

International students who hold a student visa with work rights are permitted to work up to 40 hours per fortnight while study is in session. During recognised vacation periods offered by the education provider, they are permitted to work unlimited hours. Students are not permitted to work until they have commenced their studies.

Students enrolled in master by research or doctorate courses (subclass 574 student visa holders) are permitted to work unlimited hours only after they have commenced the course. Should they undertake a preliminary course such as an English language course, they are limited to 40 hours per fortnight during that course.

As of 26 April 2008, all new student visas granted receive Permission to Work with the visa. Students are not permitted to work until they have commenced their studies.

Students issued visas prior to 26th April 2008 may apply for a permission to work visa via Form 157Pafter they have arrived in Australia and are able to show that they have commenced their course of study. Before submitting their application for a permission to work visa, the University must notify DIAC of their course commencement. Students may request this notification to be sent by contactingStudent Central.

For accurate application charges, please check the Fees and Charges section of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website.

Please note: The limit on work hours is strictly enforced by DIAC.

• Can my dependants work while I am studying in Australia?

After a student has commenced study, their dependants may also work or apply for a permission to work visa, via Form 157P. Dependants are permitted to work up to 40 hours per fortnight, with exception of the dependants of the following, who may work unlimited hours:

- Students enrolled in a master by coursework (subclass 573)
- Students enrolled in a master by research or doctoral degree (subclass 574)
- Students sponsored by AusAID or Defence (subclass 576).

• Can I apply for Australian citizenship after completing my studies?

You may want to extend your stay in Australia for further study, graduation, a holiday, work or migration. You should be able to obtain a new visa to enable you to stay on and even work towards permanent residence and citizenship if you are eligible, provided you do not have a 'No Further Stay' condition on your current student visa. Please visit the DIAC website to obtain more information on the types of visas available and the application procedure.

• How can I obtain more information on Australian Government regulations relating to international students?

The Australian Government's legal requirements of education providers and international students are contained in two key documents:

The Education Services for Overseas Student (ESOS) Act 2000
The National Code of Practice.

More information is also available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)


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