Non Award Sector

Non Award Sector: temporary Visa (Subclass 575) – Assessment Level 2

This visa is designed for international students who want to study the following courses in Australia:

  • a non-award foundation studies course
  • other full-time course (or components of a course) that does not lead to an Australian award.

Exception: If you are studying a non-award course as a pre-requisite to another course, you must apply for the visa appropriate for your main course of study. If you are studying several courses, the main course is the higher level course.

Example: If you plan to complete a three-month non-award foundation studies course before starting a Bachelor of Arts degree, you must apply for the Higher Education Sector visa.

This visa is for you if you want to do one of the following:

  • apply for your first student visa
  • renew your student visa
  • apply to join a family member who is in Australia on a student visa

You must pay a non-refundable visa application charge when you lodge your visa application.

With this visa:

  • you can study in Australia
  • eligible dependant family members can accompany you to Australia
  • when you have commenced your course of study in Australia, you can work up to 20 hours per week while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks
  • your family members can work up to 20 hours per week provided you have commenced your course of study in Australia
    Note: If you have been granted Student visa before 26 April 2008 you and your dependent family members may need to apply separately for Permission to Work.
  • your spouse can study in Australia for up to three months
    Note: If your spouse wants to study for more than three months they must apply for their own student visa. The application can be made in Australia.

Your assessment level is determined by your nationality and course of study. For more information about assessment levels, please read the information form Overseas Student Program – Assessment Levels.

Before you apply for this visa, you must have applied for and been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia.

Length of stay

This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course. It permits multiple entries to Australia. Dependent family members who come with you to Australia are usually able to stay the same length of time as you, but they cannot stay once you have left the country.

The table below outlines the usual duration for a student visa.

Duration of Course Duration of Visa

10 months or less

Your visa will usually be granted for one month longer than the end date of your course.

Longer than 10 months

Your visa will usually be granted for two months longer than the end date of your course, if your course ends before November.
Note: If your course ends in November or December, your visa will usually cease on March 15 of the following year.

Note: If your student visa expires before your graduation, you can apply for a Visitor visa. You will need a letter from your education provider which states the date of your graduation.

Working while studying

If you have been granted a Student visa on or after 26 April 2008, you and your dependent family members will already have Permission to Work automatically included with your visa. Further information on the conditions that apply to working while studying is available.

If you were granted a student visa before 26 April 2008 and have not yet applied for Permission to Work, you and your dependent family members may only apply for Permission to Work after you have started your course in Australia.

The table below outlines the work entitlements for you and your dependent family members if you have Permission to Work.

Type of Applicant Work Entitlement

Students with Permission to Work

You can work a maximum of 20 hours per week when your course is in session and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.

You cannot undertake work until you have started your course in Australia.
Note: Work that is a formal registered part of your course is not included in the limit of 20 hours per week.
If you are doing voluntary or unpaid work you must apply for permission to work. It is included in the limit of 20 hours per week. A week begins on Monday and ends on the following Sunday.

Dependent family members with Permission to Work

  • students enrolled in Masters by coursework (visa 573)
  • students enrolled in Masters by research or Doctoral degree (visa 574)
  • students studying a Masters by coursework, Masters by research or Doctoral degree, sponsored by AusAID or Defence (visa 576).

You cannot undertake work until the primary student visa holder has started their course in Australia.

Important: You must also comply with the State and Territory laws of Australia. Under all State and Territory laws, you cannot work during school hours if you are under the school leaving age, which in most states is 15 years.
The department considers your course to be in session’:

  • for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held)
  • if you have completed your studies and your Confirmation of Enrolment is still in effect
  • if you are undertaking another course, during a break from your main course and the points will be credited to your main course.

Student visa definitions

Eligible family members
Your spouse and your spouse’s dependent children.

Spouse
The person you are married to, or in a de facto (common law) relationship with. You are in a de facto relationship if you have been living with a person of the opposite sex for at least 12 months and you have a genuine and exclusive relationship with them.

Dependent child
The natural or adopted child, or step-child of yourself or your spouse who has not turned 18 and is not married or engaged to be married or in a de facto relationship.

Fully funded student
A student whose travel, tuition and living expenses are paid by one of the following:

  • the Australian Government or an Australian State or Territory government
  • the government of a foreign country
  • a provincial or state government of a foreign country (with the written support of the national government)
  • a multilateral agency
    Examples: United Nations, World Bank or Asian Development Bank or an organisation gazetted by the Minister

Eligibility

Student Eligibility

You must meet the following specific requirements to be eligible for this visa.

Accepted in full-time study

You must be accepted for full-time study in a registered course or part of a registered course to be eligible for this visa.

Note: A registered course is an education or training course offered by an Australian education provider registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Lodgement Method Proof of Acceptance

Online

You must provide the code from your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment.
You can provide a copy of one of the following:

Post or in person

  • your Confirmation of Enrolment
  • your Letter of Offer

Financial requirements

You must have enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for yourself, your spouse and your dependent children for the duration of your stay in Australia. You must also have enough money to support your spouse and dependent children, even if they do not travel with you to Australia.

Note: Specific financial requirements apply to fully funded students.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements and may need to undergo a health examination. The requirements vary based on:

  • your length of stay in Australia
  • other health risks in your home country or countries you have visited for more than three months within the last five years

Health examinations can be completed before you lodge your visa application, but no more than six months before your course starts.

Health insurance

You must have health insurance while in Australia. Health insurance can be provided by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance.

You can ask your education provider to organise OSHC for you, or you can select an approved OSHC provider yourself and pay the insurance.

Exceptions: You do not need OSHC if you are:

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet

Proof of insurance: When you lodge your application, you must provide a receipt or other proof of your OSHC payment. The OSHC should commence when you arrive in Australia.

English language skills

Contact your Australian education provider who will advise you about the level of English you need and the evidence you must provide.

Academic record and history

Your Australian education provider will advise you of the academic results you need and the evidence you must provide.

Character requirements

You must be of good character to enter Australia. The information you provide on the Character Declaration’ section of your application will be used to assess your character.

Debts to the Australian Government

To enter Australia you must:

  • – have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government
    or
  • – have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government

Students under 18 years of age

You must meet all the above, and the additional eligibility requirements.

Australian Values Statement

If you are aged 18 years or over, you must declare that you will respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia. For this visa, the values statement is included in the general declaration section of the application form. When you sign the application form it means you will also be signing the values statement. You will not be required to have read the Life in Australia book, but may do so if you wish.

You are also encouraged to gain an understanding of Australia, its people and their way of life, before applying for this visa.

Obligations

Family Member Obligation

You must declare all family members on your application, even if they do not plan to travel with you to Australia. If not they will not be eligible to come as dependants after you have arrived in Australia.

You must also provide proof of your relationship to them, in the form of officially issued birth and marriage certificates.

Your dependant family members must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this visa.

Financial requirements

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have enough money to support your family members while they are in Australia.

Health requirements

Your dependant family members must meet certain health requirements and may need to undergo a health examination. The requirements vary based on:

  • length of stay in Australia
  • other health risks in home country or countries visited for more than three (3) months within the last five (5) years

Note: Health examinations can be completed before you lodge your visa application, but no more than six (6) months before your course starts.

Health insurance

Your family members must have health insurance while in Australia. You can include them in your Overseas Student Health Cover, which provides medical and hospital insurance.

Proof of insurance: When you lodge your application, you must provide a receipt or other proof of your health insurance payment covering your family members.

Character requirements

Your family members must be of good character to enter Australia. The information provided on the Character Declaration section of your application, will be used to assess the character of your family members.

Australian Values Statement

All visa applicants aged 18 years or over, must declare that they will respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia. For applicants of this visa, the values statement is included in the general declaration section of the application form. By signing the form applicants will also be signing the values statement. Applicants for this visa will not be required to have read the Life in Australia book, but may do so if they wish.

Visa applicants are also encouraged to gain an understanding of Australia, its people and their way of life, before applying for this visa.

Student Obligations

You must uphold your visa conditions while studying and living in Australia or your visa may be cancelled and you may have to leave Australia.

Course enrolment, attendance and progress

You must remain enrolled in a course registered on CRICOS.

You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course as required by your education provider.

You must make satisfactory course progress for each study period.

Your education provider will advise the department if your attendance or course progress is not satisfactory. The definition of ‘satisfactory’ is determined by your education provider.

Changing your education provider

From 1 July 2007 the no change of provider’ condition (8206), which restricted student visa holders from changing education provider within the first 12 months of their main course of study ceased to have effect.

If you want to change your level of qualification, you will need to apply for a new student visa because your visa subclass will change.

Example: You want to change from a Diploma to a PhD degree.

Providing your home address

You must advise your education provider of your home address within seven days of arriving in Australia. Also, if you change your address during your stay in Australia, you must advise your education provider within seven days.

Note: Your education provider needs your home address so they can contact you if you do not satisfy the requirements of your course. If they cannot contact you, this could result in your student visa being cancelled.

No further stay’ condition

Some visas are issued with a no further stay’ condition. This condition means that you cannot apply to stay in Australia beyond the date specified on your visa, except in extremely limited circumstances.

Limited circumstances may include students who want to apply for:

  • a student visa with permission to work
  • a student visa that is supported by a sponsoring government agency
  • a Graduate Temporary Entry – Skilled visa
  • a visa to engage Australia’s obligations under the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees

Students Under 18 Years of Age

If you are under 18 years of age you must maintain your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements for the duration of your visa or until you turn 18.

If your welfare arrangements are approved by your education provider you cannot travel to Australia until your welfare arrangements commence. The date your welfare arrangements commence is the welfare start date that your education provider has nominated on the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation/Welfare Arrangements (CAAW) letter.

If your welfare arrangements change after your visa has been granted you must inform the department of these changes.

If your parents/legal custodian approved your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements for you to stay with a relative in Australia, you must have their written approval to change these arrangements.

If your education provider approved your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements, you must have the education provider’s written approval to change these arrangements.

Financial Capacity

You must maintain enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for yourself, your spouse and your dependent children for the duration of your stay in Australia.

School age family members

Any family members of school age (between 5 and 18 years) living in Australia must attend school in Australia.

Health Insurance

You must maintain health insurance for you and your family members while in Australia. Health insurance can be provided by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance.

Family Member Obligations

Your dependant family members must maintain their visa conditions. A breach of these conditions may result in your visa being cancelled and you may have to leave Australia.

Your family members must:

  • remain a member of your family for the duration of their stay in Australia
  • have adequate financial support
  • maintain adequate health cover
  • work no more than 20 hours per week
  • attend school if they are of school age.

Important: It is your responsibility to ensure that your family members meet the above conditions.

No further stay’ condition

Some visas are issued with a no further stay’ condition. If this condition applies to any of your family members, it means they cannot stay in Australia beyond the date specified on their visa, except in extremely limited circumstances.

Limited circumstances may include family members who want to apply for:

  • a student visa with permission to work
  • a student visa that is supported by a sponsoring government agency
  • a Graduate Temporary Entry – Skilled visa
  • a visa to engage Australia’s obligations under the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees

Nil fee applies to students sponsored under Commonwealth approved programs and secondary exchange students.

The Student visa application charge includes an International Education Contribution of $115. This contributes to Australian Government initiatives to support international education through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Charge Type Charge Amount

Visa Application Charge

$540

Permission to Work

Note: If you were granted a Student visa on or after 26 April 2008, you will already have Permission to Work automatically included with your visa.

If you were granted a Student visa before 26 April 2008 and have not yet applied for Permission to Work, you and your dependent family members may only apply for Permission to Work after you have started your course in Australia.

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In Australia, only people registered as migration agents can give immigration assistance to people who want to enter or stay in Australia.

It is a criminal offence for an unregistered person to provide immigration assistance or to advertise migration services. Penalties include fines and imprisonment.

If you choose to use the services of a migration agent make sure they are registered by visiting www.mara.com.au or phoning 1300 22 62 72.

What are the dangers of using an unregistered person?

Unregistered people could:

  • be unaware of current legislation and procedures
  • provide incorrect advice
  • take advantage of clients
  • make false claims regarding your chance of success
  • be breaking the law by providing immigration assistance.

What are the benefits of using a registered migration agent?

Registered migration agents are required to:

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  • have appropriate insurance
  • pass character tests—including criminal history checks
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Reporting unregistered people

If you make a report about an unregistered person, this will not affect your visa application in any way. Any information will be treated in confidence.

You can make a report by phoning the department free of charge on 1800 009 623

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