Things international students need to know while on a student visa in Australia

This blog’s content is to help you understand and comply with your student visa conditions in Australia. Do not consider this a complete list for your visa conditions may vary. For more information on student visa conditions, visit Chhundu Enterprises ECPF, Global Reach, or check your visa grant notification.

What are the visa conditions?

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 Fulfil Australia student Visa conditions

Visa requirements are the guidelines laid down by the Australian Government regarding your student visa. You must understand your visa conditions because the Department of Home Affairs can cancel your visa if you violate them.

Complete your program within the expected duration

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Edith Cowan university-Ranked world’s top 100 universities

Completing your program within the planned time is a requirement of your student visa. The expected duration is a full-time study load of 18 units per semester and is reflected in your paper for Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). You would be at risk of not completing your studies by the end date of your CoE if you do not study according to your Program Structure or your Study Schedule.

Extending your program duration

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Choose an internally recognised program at Murdoch university

You will need to extend your CoE (Confirmation of Enrolment) and apply for a new student visa if you need more than expected time to complete your degree. Only in limited circumstances are applications for the extension of a CoE authorized, such as:

  • Medical grounds with evidence
  • If you fail in the final course(s) or fail once or twice in your courses during the entire program.
  • If you are given a reduced study load due to an intervention strategy
  • Approved leave of absence
  • Prerequisite course(s) not available

If you chose not to enroll under your program structure or your customized study plan, the CoE extension would not be approved.

You need to fill out a CoE request form and provide it to your Program Director for review to qualify for an extension of your CoE.

Maintain enrolment

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James Cook University-Your world class education begins here

You need to enroll in compliance with your program structure or your study plan to fulfill your visa status to maintain enrollment (generally, a full-time study load of 18 units per semester). If it is your final course, you must enroll in at least one internal (face to face) course per compulsory study period.

The University must refer you to the Department of Home Affairs if you fail to maintain enrollment, which will cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and can affect (i.e., cancel) your student visa.

You should contact your Program Director if you are confused about your registration. You can contact Campus Central if you need help with enrolment. 

The Department of Home Affairs expects you to enroll in a same or higher level than the registered course for which you were issued a visa. Visit the website of the Department of Home Affairs for more detail.

Meet satisfactory academic progress

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University of Western Australia-Leading Australian research university

You need to maintain adequate course progress to meet the student visa requirements.

The University measures the academic success of students and recognizes students who are at risk of academic progress being unsatisfactory.

The University will refer you to the Department of Home Affairs if you fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress criteria, which will cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and could affect (i.e. cancel) your student visa.

To help you with your research, the University offers study support services.

Notify change of address and contact details

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The university of Sydney-One of the best universities in Australia

You must contact the University within 7 days to ensure that you obtain relevant details from the Department of Home Affairs and to meet your student visa requirements:

  • Your current address when you first arrive in Australia
  • Notify if you change your address at any point during your registration
  • Any new contact information, including phone number, email address and details of emergency contacts.

If you do not change your address’s details and there is a visa issue, you will not be notified by the Department of Home Affairs, and your visa will be canceled.

If you need assistance, visit the website to update your address or contact Campus Central.

Changing to another education provider

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Queensland University of Technology- Explore study at QUT

For example if you have obtained your student visa to study at the University of South Australia and want to study with another provider of education, you need to contact a Student Advisor (International) and fill out the required form.

  • You need to request an application for release if you have completed fewer than six calendar months of your university program studies.
  • You can file a program withdrawal form when you complete more than six calendar months of studies in your university program.

If you have a package deal, the six calendar months of study will only be determined based on the studies done at the University. For a release from both providers, you need to request.

The Department of Home Affairs will be notified by the University that you have changed your studies if your request for release or withdrawal is accepted. You may usually need to apply for a new student visa if you are applying to a lower Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level (i.e. Master to Bachelor), check the website of the Department of Home Affairs.

Working while studying

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Employment consultant for part time job at Australia

Student visa holders can work 40 hours per fortnight (two weeks) while their program is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled break. The chance to work part-time enables you to earn, but to pay fees or other living expenses; you should not rely on these earnings.

Once you commence your university program, your dependent is allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight.

In order to ensure that students do not surpass the permissible hours, the Department of Home Affairs randomly checks workplaces and employers are legally required to provide the Department of Home Affairs with details.

In order to work in Australia, you must process a Tax File Number (TFN).

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students

Postgraduate Research visa (574) holders can work unlimited hours once your program commences. The Research Degrees Committee of the University, however, suggests that full-time research degree students seek paid employment for no more than 8 hours a week or for a total of 8 hours per week over a 12-month span. Job hours include labelling and planning relevant to part-time teaching duties.

If you plan to work while studying in Australia, please take note of the following:

  • Students of the research degree will need the approval of the University through their supervisor and the required Dean Research may also provide approval if hours exceed the prescribed 8 hours. 
  • The Graduate Research Centre (GRC) shall be informed by HDR students of any work undertaken and any improvement in the details of jobs.
  • Employment should not be a justification for a scholarship extension or an application to go overtime.
  • The University does not require HDR students to take up employment at the University.

HDR students’ family members are allowed to work unlimited hours.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

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Overseas Student Health Cover

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is to help foreign students meet the medical and hospital care expenses they will need while in Australia.

During your stay in Australia, the Department of Home Affairs allows student visa holders and their dependants to have health insurance (visa length health cover). 

The University will coordinate your OSHC on your behalf, or you can pick and organize your own OSHC. You will need extra cover prior to applying for a new student visa if you need to prolong your stay.

In addition to OSHC, you can arrange private health insurance since not all health benefits are provided (i.e. dental or physiotherapy). It is best to take out travel insurance to cover injuries, missing baggage or cancellation of travel, as OSHC does not cover travel to and from Australia.

External / Distance Study

You can study up to one third of your program via online and/or distance learning, given that you participate in at least one internal (face-to-face) course in each compulsory study period (unless it is your final course that is only accessible through distance/online mode).

You would be in violation of your student visa requirements if you surpass one third of your external enrollment in your program or do not enroll in at least one internal course per compulsory study period (unless it is your final course that is only available through distance/online mode). The University is expected to track the enrollment of a student and report violations to the Department of Home Affairs that may impact (i.e. cancel) your student visa by canceling your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

Leave of absence

During your studies, you may encounter an incident that prevents you from studying for a period of time. In that case you need to approach a Student Advisor (International) who can provide guidance and assistance if this happens.

You may be allowed to postpone your studies (e.g. take a leave of absence) for up to six months in limited compassionate or compelling circumstances (i.e. serious illness or disability, loss of near family members or a traumatic experience).

Withdrawal from program

You may withdraw or cancel your program by submitting a written notice to the University

Contact the Department of Home Affairs if you are a new student and quote your Applicant ID and the reasons for your submission. Fill out a Withdrawal Form for continuing students and lodge it with Campus Central. 

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Also read our blog on How affordable are the accommodations in Australia?

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