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

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.

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

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 workplace-based occupational training activities to improve job skills, area of tertiary study, field of expertise or in a professional development training program in Australia.

The Training (Subclass 407) visa allows holders to complete a workplace-based training (to improve skills for current occupation, area of tertiary study or field of expertise), or complete a professional development training program.  This is a temporary visa with a stay in Australia of up to 2 years.

There are 3 applications:

Step 1: Sponsorship Application

The business needs to be approved as a Temporary Activities Sponsor by lodging a Sponsorship application.

Step 2: Nomination Application

Nomination requirements are different depending on the purpose or type of training.  The sponsor must provide details about the nominee (intended trainee), the purpose or type of training and how and where the training will be provided.  The employer will need to submit a very detailed structured training plan.

There are 3 types of occupational training covered by this visa:

  • Occupational training required for registration
  • Occupational training to improve skills in an eligible occupation (must have recent and suitable prior experience which includes employment experience or study experience that is equivalent to 12 months full-time experience in the occupation in the last 2 years)
  • Occupational training for capacity building overseas (includes overseas qualification [currently enrolled in a foreign educational institution], government support or professional development [for overseas managerial/professional employee])

Step 3: Visa Application

The applicant must be over 18, demonstrate ‘functional’ English, have health insurance, genuinely intend to stay temporarily, have adequate means to support themselves and be sponsored by a Temporary Activities Sponsor.