General Visa Conditions

All international students intending to enter Australia to study must apply for a student visa (an exception may be for students offered a program, such as an English language course, of less than three months). Details of the Australian Diplomatic Offices around the world where applications for a student visa can be lodged are available at the following website: http://www.immi.gov.au/students/index.htm

International students must normally obtain a student visa before they travel to Australia. However, students from selected countries may apply for a student visa after arrival in Australia on a temporary entry visa. Again, details may be obtained from the nearest Australian Diplomatic Office. 

Student visas are issued for full-time study. International students cannot study part-time. Students must provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to cover their tuition fees and living expenses whilst in Australia. Once enrolled, students must complete 6 calendar months of study of their program before they can change to another education institution in Australia, unless special permission is obtained. If a student is not satisfying program and/or visa requirements (including attending the program and making satisfactory academic progress) IIBIT by law must notify the relevant Commonwealth and State authorities and the student visa may be cancelled.

Visa Application Procedures

All international students must have applied for and have been accepted for full-time study in a registered program, or part of a program, by IIBIT before they can apply for a student visa. An electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) form issued by IIBIT offering a place in a program is proof of acceptance for visa purposes. Students wishing to undertake a package of programs (e.g. English language followed by a VET course and an university degree program) must apply and be accepted into each program in the 'package'. Students offered a 'package' program must apply for the visa subclass applicable to the principal program of the 'package'. 

Student visas are divided into seven subclasses. Each Subclass is based on the education sector of level of the principal course of study (e.g. Higher Education; Masters and Doctorates; Vocational Education and Training Sector; ELICOS; Foundation Program).The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will assess student visa applicants who lodge their applications on or after 24 March 2012, with a Confirmation of Enrolment from a participating university in Australia at Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree level as though they were a lower migration risk (similar to the current Assessment Level 1), regardless of their country of origin. The assessment factors for each level include financial ability. English language proficiency, likely compliance with the conditions of the student’s visa and other matters considered relevant to assessing each visa application. International students must meet the assessment factors applicable to all student visa applicants.

The general requirements include being of good character and sound health, having acceptable health insurance for the period of time in Australia and having no outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia. Details of the student visa subclasses and related conditions are available at the following website: http://www.immi.gov.au/students/index.htm

Enrolment Status

It is a condition of enrolment that international students abide by the Australian student visa regulations. IIBIT monitors student enrolments and visa status and will advise students if visa requirements are not being met. The Student Services Department at IBIT must approve all international student enrolments in advance. Students amending their enrolments without this authority may have their enrolment cancelled or modified appropriately.

Work Rights

International students are able to work after they arrive in Australia and have commenced their program of study. All student visas granted on or after 26 April 2008 will receive permission to work automatically. This will apply to both the primary student and any family members travelling with them on their student visa. Students can work up to 40 hours a fortnight while their course is in session and they can work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Family members of students are not allowed to work until the student begins their course and they are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight at all times. Dependents of Subclass 574 Master’s and Doctorate students have unlimited work rights after the principal student visa holder has commenced his or her program in Australia.


Students should check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in Australia for the latest requirements (http://www.immi.gov.au) as requirements can vary. Students should also consult the department’s booklet ‘General Skilled Migration’ for current details of migration requirements for skilled migrants, including a list of skilled occupations in demand in Australia.

ESOS Frame work

Training Organisations who appear on the CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutes and Courses for Overseas Students) Register are governed by the ESOS (Education Services for Overseas Students) Framework which consists of a number of pieces of legislation including the ESOS Act 2000 and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students. These laws are in place to protect overseas students and to uphold high quality standards of education within Australian Education Institutes.

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