Careful! Don’t Take a Student Visa for Granted.

Careful! Don’t Take a Student Visa for Granted.

Published on 19 August 2021
Last updated on 14 March 2024

Australia has long been one of the top three most popular countries for international students looking to study abroad. Graduates from Australian universities are highly recognised all over the world due to the outstanding reputation of the Australian education system. As an international student, you will need to obtain a valid visa, in most cases a student visa, to live and study in Australia. Many students thought that getting a student visa is easy as long as they have an offer from an educational institution in Australia. However, it is important to know that a student visa may also be refused or cancelled even if you hold a valid offer. This blog will give you some information about the student visa in Australia.


1. Will a student visa be refused? What are the common reasons for refusal?

Yes, a student visa application can be refused.

There are a number of reasons, such as

  • failure to obtain valid health insurance
  • insufficient funding to support living and tuition fees in Australia and
  • not submitting required materials in a timely manner

The most common reason for student visa refusal is failure to prove that the applicant is coming to Australia temporarily to study. This is the Genuine Temporary Entrant (‘GTE’) requirement.

This requirement is not intended to exclude students who, after studying in Australia, develop skills Australia needs and then go on to apply for permanent residence. However, when assessing applications, the Department of Home Affairs must be satisfied that applicants are not using the student visa program for motives other than gaining quality education. You can find out how the Department will assess the GTE requirement here.


2. What are the considerations for GTE requirement?

There are 4 considerations as listed below:

1) Your immigration history

The Department will consider:

  1. your previous visa applications for Australia and other countries
  2. and whether you have had visa refusals or cancellations

2) If you are a minor

The Department will consider the intentions of your parent, legal guardian, or spouse

3) Your situation

The Department will consider:

  • previous study and qualifications
  • your reason for not studying in your home country or region if a similar course is available there
  • ties to your home country that support an intention to return after study is finished
  • economic situation
  • financial stability
  • ties to Australia that present a strong incentive to stay in Australia

4) Value of the course to your future

The Department will consider:

  • if the course is consistent with your current level of education
  • if the course is relevant to past or proposed future employment in your home country or a third country

expected salary and other benefits in your home country or a third country obtained with your qualifications from the proposed course of studyThe Department will consider:

  • if the course is consistent with your current level of education
  • if the course is relevant to past or proposed future employment in your home country or a third country
  • expected salary and other benefits in your home country or a third country obtained with your qualifications from the proposed course of study

The Department will consider all documents that you submit when you apply for a visa. As such you should ensure that you engage our experienced immigration lawyer to prepare an adequate statement to address and fulfil your GTE requirement.


3. What are the common conditions attached to student visa?

Your visa grant will clearly state the conditions that must be abided by while you are on your visa. You can use the Visa Entitlement Online system (VEVO) to check your visa conditions.

The following are common student visa conditions:

1) Work restrictions:

  1. Must not work in Australia before your course of study commences
  2. Must not work more than 40 hours a fortnight.
  3. Exceptions:
    • work experience that is a mandatory component in your course
    • volunteer work
  4. No work restriction when course is not in session (i.e. school holiday)

2) Meet course requirements, maintain full-time enrolment and satisfactory attendance

3) Maintain adequate health insurance for your whole stay in Australia

4) Continue to satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa

5) If you are under the age of 18, you must have accommodation and support, and your general welfare must be maintained for the duration. You must stay in Australia with

  • your parent or legal custodian or
  • a relative who has been nominated by your parents or custodians who is aged over 21 and is of good character or
  • have accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements in place that have been approved by your education provider.

6) As the Department will contact you through your education provider, you must do the following:

    1. If you were outside Australia when your visa was granted, you must inform your education provider of your residential address within 7 days of arriving in Australia
    2. If your residential address changes, you must, within 7 days of the change, inform your education provider
    3. You must also let your current education provider know you have changed your education provider within 7 days of receiving:
      • a confirmation of enrolment from your new education provider, or
      • evidence you have been enrolled by the new education provider

Please note that if the Department finds that you have violated any of your visa conditions, your visa may be cancelled.


4. I have completed my studies early and my visa is still valid. Can I wait for my student visa to expire before leaving the country?

The length of stay on your student visa is based on the course you intend to study or your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (‘eCOE’). However, it is possible that you complete your studies before the expiry of your visa.

Please note that once you have completed your course, you will no longer be registered as a student with your education provider. Your education provider will usually inform the Department when this has happened.

Generally, your student visa will be valid for 3 months after your graduation. Within these 3 months, you can either prepare for your departure or apply for a new visa to continue your stay in Australia. If you have not applied for a new visa, the Department has the right to cancel your current visa.

If you are planning to remain in Australia, do not hesitate to contact Ascent Lawyers to advise you of the visa that will best suit you.


5. My student visa has been cancelled. What should I do?

You will have no opportunity to appeal your student visa cancellation if you are not in Australia.

However, if you are in Australia, the Department will not automatically cancel your visa. The Department will first send you a “Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation” which sets out the timeline to respond and argue your case as to why your visa should not be cancelled.

It is highly recommended that once you receive this Notice, to contact Ascent Lawyers immediately  so that we can assist you in preparing necessary documents and statements to prevent you visa from being cancelled.

  • If successful, your student visa will remain valid and you will not have a record of visa cancellation.
  • If unsuccessful, your visa will be cancelled. At this stage, experienced immigration lawyers at Ascent Lawyers can assist you to appeal the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (“AAT”).

It is possible for the decision to be overturned at the AAT. Despite so, we recommend that you engage an experienced and qualified professional to assist you to respond to any Notice you received to boost your success rate from the beginning.

Don’t let yourself suffer from unnecessary stress, trouble, and financial loss. Let Ascent Lawyers be your worry-free legal solution.

Disclaimer: Ascent Lawyers owns all copyright in the text. This article is of a general nature and should not be regarded as legal advice or relied on for assistance in any particular circumstance or emergency situation. To obtain legal advice in relation to your own circumstances, please contact us for consultation.

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