This post was most recently updated on November 11th, 2018
There are various visas that you can apply for depending on your plans in Australia. To visit Australia, you may apply for a visitor’s visa (Subclass 600). This visa lets you visit Australia- to visit or for business visitor purposes for up to three, six or 12 months. Note that you are not permitted to work in Australia on this visa.
If you intend to study in Australia, you will need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500).
There is more information for students including genuine temporary entrant requirements, health insurance, English language requirements, financial capacity requirements and changing courses, on the Australian Home Office’s website.
Can I study on a Tourist Visa?
If you plan to study a short course for less than 3 months, then you may do so on a Tourist visa. Tourist visas generally support short-term study.
Can I Change my visitor’s visa to a student visa?
The short answer is no, however there are exceptions. A visa cannot be changed, but anyone can make an application for a student visa, or any other visa. You probably will have to exit Australia and make your fresh application from your home country. Be sure to go through all the relevant requirements for your study visa before applying. This visa must be applied for using the online system at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.
What is a ‘No further Stay’ condition?
If your visitor visa has a “No Further Stay” condition, then you cannot apply for any other visa whilst in Australia on that visa. You would need to leave Australia and then apply when you are back home. However, if there is no such condition, then you can make an application for a student visa, if you satisfy the required conditions. Note that this is not a change of visa, it is a new and separate application.
You may have to leave Australia first before you will be able to stay on the student visa. This is due to the length of time it takes to issue a student visa. You should contact Australian Immigration as soon as possible to let them know of your intent to study. They will give you further directives as to what options are available to you.
In exceptional cases, certain requirements must be met, depending on which country your passport was issued in. The Australian Government has different levels of assessment for people from different countries, depending on which level of study they want to undertake.
For example, students from certain countries may undertake a maximum period of English study of 60 weeks, while for others it is 40 weeks. Additionally, you may also have to show evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover both your living costs and your tuition costs. Other factors that may be considered are whether you have previously been in Australia and whether you have held a student visa before.
What do I need for an Australian study visa?
Your nationality (according to your passport) and your chosen Australian university will determine what documents you need to show for your visa application. Please use the document checklist tool at www.homeaffairs.gov.au to cross-check before making your application. You will also need your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), the application fee, your passport number, and evidence you have paid for appropriate Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance.
For more information, visit the Australian Home Office’s website (Australia Department of Home Affairs) https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/student. You may also visit the Australian immigration website at http://www.immi.gov.au/.