Student Visa Information

Student Visa Information – Subclass 500

Student Visa Information

Since the 1st of July 2016, a new Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) has come into effect, allowing international students to apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study.

Under the new rules, the student’s Risk Rating will be determined by the student’s chosen education provider and the country of citizenship held. This will then determine the level of English language and financial capacity requirements that the student must comply with at the time of their visa application.

As per their risk rating, international students must;

  • Be enrolled at an eligible education provider
  • Genuinely intend to study in Australia on a temporary basis
  • Meet the English language proficiency requirements unless exempt
  • Be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the period of the intended stay in Australia
  • Have genuine access to sufficient funds to cover return airfares, full tuition fees and the cost of living in Australia. You must also be able to cover the costs associated with any dependent applicants included in the student visa application.

Risk Rating

All Australian education providers are given a Risk Rating of 1 – 3. This risk rating, along with your country of passport, will determine how strict the requirements of your application will be. There will only be two types of student visa assessment: Streamlined or Regular.

Students applying to study with an institution that has a risk rating of 1, regardless of the country of passport, will have their application assessed as Streamlined. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will not require any evidence of minimum English language levels, and will only require a declaration of financial capacity at the time of application. It is the college or university’s intention to only accept students that come to Australia with the genuine intention of study. Therefore, education providers may still require you to provide financial and/or proficient English evidence before they offer you with a place at their institution.

If an international student intends to enrol with a provider of a risk rating 2, their visa application may still be Streamlined, meaning they will be assessed similarly to Risk Rating 1 applicants. Here however, both the Risk Rating of the provider AND the country of passport will be taken into account. Certain passport holders of countries considered high risk will have their applications treated as Regular. When these circumstances apply, applicants will be required to show evidence of sufficient English as well as access to genuine fund at the time of application.

If the student wishes to study at a college holding a Risk Rating of 3, then the majority of passport holders will apply through the Regular application process. This means they will be requested to show access to funds and have the required minimum English level.

Genuine Temporary Entrant Criteria

To be granted a Student Visa Subclass 500, all applicants, regardless of their Risk Rating, must be a genuine temporary entrant. This means that the applicant must have a genuine intention to reside in Australia on a temporary basis only. It is intended as an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa holders come to Australia with the intention of genuine study only, instead of a way of maintaining ongoing residency.

Evidence of meeting the genuineness requirement should be supplied at the time of application in the form of a written statement, previous studies, and evidence of current employment. Further evidence may be requested after lodgement at DIBP’s discretion. During the assessment, Immigration will assess;

  • The applicant’s personal circumstances in their home country
  • The applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia
  • The value of the course to the applicant’s future
  • Does the course match the applicant’s employment and education history
  • The applicant’s migration history
  • The applicant’s future intentions

How we can help

This is Australia will make the application process a lot smoother and easier from the very start. Our experts will work closely with you to complete and fast track both the enrolment with the education provider of your choice, as well as the Student Visa application. Studying in Australia is a life-changing experience, and we will guide you through the visa application process from start to finish. Remember that the exact English and Financial requirements of the visa application will depend on your chosen education provider, the nationality of your passport and other personal factors.

Future options

At the end of your studies, you may be eligible for a Graduate Skilled Post Study Work Visa (subclass 485 / 476). The Graduate Skilled Visa (subclass 485) allows eligible international students to temporarily live and work in Australia after completion of their Australian studies. It will allow you to gain valuable Australian work experience and can be granted up to 4 years depending on the qualification studied. This visa does not restrict the number of hours you are allowed to work, nor the type of work you decide to pursue.

More information can be found here.