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Students & Trainees


Australia welcomes unprecedented numbers of international students.  New statistics show continuing growth in the number of international students being granted Student visas.

Almost 230,000 Student visas were granted in 2014/2015 (2.6% increase on the previous year).  Of this total, 21.9% were granted to Chinese students while grants to students from India also remained high and the number of grants to students from South Korea, Brazil and Thailand also increased from previous years.

International education was worth over $18 billion to the Australian economy in 2014/2015, making it our fourth largest export earner by value and a major job creator.

There are a number of visas available for people to study or undertake workplace based training and professional development programs.


Student visas

The Overseas Student Program allows people who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to study in Australia.  You can be granted a Student visa only if you wish to undertake a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis.

A registered course is an education or training course offered by an Australian education provider who is registered with the Australian Government (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students [CRICOS]) to offer courses to overseas students.

There is a range of Student visas available if you have been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia.


New Student Visa Framework

From 1 July 2016, the simplified Student visa framework (SSVF) came into effect.

Under the SSVF there will be only one Student visa available to study in Australia, regardless of field of study.   

Key changes:

•  all international Students will apply for a Student (Subclass 500) visa regardless of their chosen course    and must apply online

•  new immigration risk framework used to guide the evidence for English language and financial capacity

•  Student Guardians will apply for the Student Guardian (Subclass 590) visa  


Amendments relating to members of the family unit for Student visas

From 1 July 2014, an applicant for a Student visa must declare all family members in their application or before their Student visa is granted. If an undeclared family member applies for a Student visa on the basis of a family relationship with the student they will be ineligible for the grant of the visa. The exception is where the person became a family member after the student obtained their visa (for example, through marriage or birth).


Student Visa Living Costs and Evidence of Funds from 1 July 2012

From 1 July 2012, there will be new financial requirements for International students to demonstrate and/or declare that they have genuine access to sufficient funds to be granted a Student visa.

Student Expenses

•  Travel:

    - Applicant: Return airfare to Australia

    - Family Members: One return air fare to Australia per person

•  Tuition:

    - Applicant: Course fees

    - School-age children aged 5-18 (per person): A$8,000 per year

•  Living:

    - Applicant: A$18,610 per year

    - Partner: A$6,515 per year

    - First Child: A$3,720 per year

    - Each other child: A$2,790 per year

Student Guardians

•  Travel:

    - Applicant: Return air fare to Australia

    - Children aged under 6 years of age: One return air fare to Australia per person

•  Living:

    - Applicant: A$18,610 per year

    - First child aged under 6: A$3,720 per year

    - Each other child aged under 6: A$2,790 per year


Simplified Student Visa Process

On 16 June 2015, the Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, announced the introduction of a simplified international student visa framework (SSVF) to support Australia’s education services sector.

The changes will mean a reduction in the number of student visa subclasses (8 to 2) and the introduction of a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students.

The SSVF will replace both the Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) arrangements and the current Assessment Level Framework and will apply to all international students.

It will lay out a student’s financial and English language evidentiary requirements based on two things: immigration profile of the student’s country of citizenship and of their education provider.

A working group with international education sector stakeholders is being formed to guide implementation of the new framework on the expiry of SVP arrangements on 30 June 2016.


Immigration cancels 10,949 Student visas of non-genuine students

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection cancelled 10,949 student visas between July 2014 and June 2015, compared with 8,018 in the year ending June 2014 and 8,930 in the year ending June 2013.

The visa cancellation figures, show Chinese students had the biggest number of Student visa cancella­tions, with 1,793 cancelled.  More than 1,160 South Korean students had their visas cancelled, followed in number by India, Vietnam and Thailand. The total number of Student visas issued rose by 2%, from 292,060 to 299,540.


Sponsored Training and Professional Development visa

The following visa is for people who want to come to Australia to undertake workplace-based training or a professional development program.


Training and Research (Subclass 402) visa

The Training and Research (Subclass 402) visa is for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to participate in occupational training, observe or participate in research as a visiting academic, or participate in a professional development program.  This is not a work visa.

This visa has three streams:

  • Occupational Trainee stream: for people who need structured workplace-based training to enhance their skills in their current occupation, area of tertiary study, or field of expertise.
  • Professional Development stream: for professionals, managers or government officials invited to participate in a professional development training program in Australia. The program must have been arranged by an employer outside Australia and usually lasts up to 18 months.
  • Research stream: for professional academics invited to visit Australia to observe or participate in an Australian research project at an Australian tertiary or research institution.
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