Monday, January 20, 2020

The End-to-end Process for Prospective International Students


For non-Australians to come to Australia to study in any of its education providers, one must be enrolled as a student in an education provider (EP) and should hold a valid student visa (SV). In brief, therefore, there are two fundamental requirements for international students: a current enrollment and a valid visa. Below is your quick three-step process guide.

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp from Pexels

Step 1 - Enroll in a School

Enrollment is proven by a certificate of enrollment (COE). An EP issues the COE if one has paid the minimum fee payable. You can pay the minimum fee payable if you have been admitted to a course of study in the EP.

To be admitted to a course of study, you must apply for admission to the EP and when the EP deems your application to be of merit, it makes an offer of placement usually through an offer letter which contains details of the course of study, particularly the fees to be paid and the period of study (otherwise you will receive a notice of rejection in which case your application will not progress anymore).

If an offer is made, you either decline the offer or accept it. To decline an offer, you can simply ignore it or you can send a formal rejection of the offer. The latter, in my opinion, is the better option. On the other hand, to accept an offer, you do not just formally inform the EP of your acceptance—you also pay the minimum amount payable and take out an overseas health cover (OSHC).

The OSHC is basically a medical insurance which international students are required to have and it should cover the period of study indicated in the letter of offer. The OSHC is proven by a certificate of cover, which together with your proof of payment, you send to the EP as part of your acceptance of the offer.

The EP will then issue the COE.

If you need help in the application, offer and enrollment process, or if you need advise in choosing the right course for you, click here to get in touch with your independent international education counselor.

Step 2 - Apply for a Visa

Once you already have the COE, you apply for a student visa. This is best done online by creating an account at https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login and thereafter apply for a student visa (subclass 500). All information about the SV can be found at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website.

Click here for information on eligibility, i.e. get to know what will qualify you for a student visa or what the requirements are for a student visa.

Click here for the documents checklist, a handy tool provided by the DHA to help you identify what documents you need to have in preparation for your application for SV.

And if you need a step-by-step guide to the student visa application process, click here for the DHA Step-by-Step Guide. If you have engaged the services of an agent, usually your agent will apply for the visa on your behalf, so you do not need to worry about the process. You need, however, to understand what documents you need to prepare.

All too much for you to absorb? Click here to get help from your independent international education counselor fill out forms and attach your documents.

Step 3 - Act on Visa Outcome

The DHA recommends that you apply for your student visa at least six (6) weeks before classes start (see Step 1 in the Step-by-step Guide). According to the Global Visa Processing Times section of the DHA website, 75% of applications from the VET (vocational education and training) sector are processed in 46 days, or 90% in 67 days. Higher education is a bit better with 75% of applications processed in 32 days, or 90% in 53 days. If you are in the unlucky 10%, it may take more than two months to process your visa. So do not fret, wait for the decision.

The visa outcome is either a grant or a refusal. If your visa is refused, do not think of appealing. On one hand, the decision will indicate that the decision cannot be appealed and on the other, the appeals process will be more expensive. Nothing prevents you from re-applying again in case your visa is refused.

If your visa gets approved, pack your bags and say goodbye to family and friends.

Do you need help with any of these? Still confused or are you not confident that you should do-it-yourself? Help is available from your independent international education counselor, just click here.

3:51 AMManny Diaz