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There are approximately 130 types of visas available which are grouped under classes and subclasses and directly relate to the purpose of the applicant's stay in Australia.

Australia welcomes people who have a genuine interest in studying full time in a registered course under its Overseas Student Program.

Courses are only available through Australian education providers who are registered to offer courses of study to overseas students through the Australian Government. You must have been accepted for full time study in a registered course or part of a course before you can apply.

There are a number of visa subclasses which relate directly to the principal course of study being undertaken:-

  • English Language Intensive Course for overseas students (ELICOS);
  • Schools Sector;
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET);
  • Higher Education;
  • Masters and Doctorates;
  • Non-Award foundation / other;
  • AUSAID or Defence.

Each subclass of visa has an assessment level applicable to it (5 separate levels'1/lowest 5/highest) which is determined by the applicant's nationality and sector of education in which they are intending to study. The higher the level, the more evidence required to support the Application. At present, no country has an evidence assessment level 5.

Evidence is required to accompany your application to prove that you have the financial backing to be able to support yourself whilst studying. These costs may include living expenses, airfares, tuition fees, English language courses etc

Every applicant must be of sound health and good character before any visa will be approved.

Strict conditions are applied to student visas which must be adhered to.These may include but are not limited to:-

No further stay No work rights

Restricted work rights No change of education provider

Change of address Restriction on family members

Breach of visa conditions can result in visa cancellation. Some breaches by law require mandatory cancellation of a student visa.


Australia's migration programs and laws are complex and are frequently changing. As your representative a migration agent is up to date with the latest criteria, charges, processing times, necessary supporting documentation and review processes and is therefore better able to maximise your chances of a successful application.

An agent can provide you with advice in relation to a specific question,handle your application from beginning to end, provide the necessary support and representation in any decision review process or provide general guidance should you decide to prepare and lodge your application personally.

All agents are obligated to maintain and demonstrate an up-to-date and accurate knowledge of current immigration laws in order to retain their registration. They are also governed by a strict code of conduct which dictates,amongst other things, how they are to deal with clients and handle client funds.


This Information Outline is provided courtesy of Hall Payne Lawyers who are experienced in this area of law. They are located at Level 9, 344 Queen Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000 or call them on (07) 3221-2044 if you would like more information on this legal topic, or you wish to obtain formal advice regarding your situation.

Hall Payne Lawyers are an established Queensland firm practicing in the areas of employment law (unfair dismissal etc), accident compensation (WorkCover,motor vehicle accident, personal injuries), anti-discrimination &harassment, consumer law, family law, wills & estates, criminal law and conveyancing. Hall Payne Lawyers are a founding member of the Australia-wide PeopleLaw group.

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