Student Visa Information

RENEWING YOUR STUDENT VISA

The information below is for current students who already have a valid student visa and wish to renew or extend their visa. There are two sections outlined below:

  1. Renewing your student visa
  2. Understanding your student visa conditions

Student visa information

It is important to always be aware of the expiry date of your visa, and that you must hold a valid student visa at all times while studying in Australia.

You will need to renew your visa if:

  • Your current visa expires before you can complete your course (failed subjects, reduced study load, or leave of absence).
  • Your research candidature has been extended.
  • Your postgraduate research thesis has been submitted for marking, but your current student visa expires before thesis marking can be finalised.

The following provides you with some important steps and information to ensure your student visa remains valid for the entirety of your course.

Part A. Steps to renew your student visa

Part B. What do you need to consider as a cost for your visa?

Part C. When should you renew your visa?

Part D. Visa extension due to COVID-19 (Form 1545)

Part A. Steps to renew your student visa

Step 1. Extend Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

The first thing you will need to do is to get an extension of your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

The CoE is the primary document you will need to attach to your new student visa application.

For current students needing a CoE extension, please submit the CoE extension application found here.

Step 2: Health examination and overseas student health cover (OSHC)

If your health cover is expiring, you will need to book a health examination and purchase overseas student health cover (OSHC) long enough to cover the duration of your expected new visa length. For more information on the required health examination please consult your GP.

If the Department of Home Affairs grants you additional time in Australia at the end of your course, you should ensure that your OSHC policy covers this extra period. As a minimum, OSHC must cover the length of your course. The Department of Home Affairs states that to be granted a student visa to cover the additional time, students must have OSHC in place for the same period. For example, if your course is a year in length ending 30 August, you will be eligible for a student visa to 30 October, provided you have OSHC to that date. Please check more details on the Department of Home Affairs website at length of stay for student visas (homeaffairs.gov.au).

Step 3: Submit your student visa application

A student visa application can be lodged online via your ImmiAccount. You can submit an application yourself or use a registered migration agent.

If you are not using the services of a migration agent, further information about applying for a new student visa can be found on the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration & Citizenship) website.

Tel: 131 881

Website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Part B. What do you need to consider as a cost for your visa?

  • Enrolment and tuition fee
  • Renewal of OSHC (payment for full period of your visa)
  • Health examination fee
  • Student visa application fee

Part C. When should I renew my visa?

To allow for enough time for processing, you should apply 2 to 3 months before your current visa expires. Please keep in mind that changing your level of study may require an immediate visa application. Your visa is linked to the course of study in which you enrolled when applying for a visa.

Part D. Visa extension due to COVID-19 (Form 1545)

The Department of Home Affairs may waive your student visa (subclass 500) application fee if you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and your visa extension is due to the impact of COVID-19. Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website for further information. To apply for the fee waiver, you will need to fill out Form 1545.

Excelsia College will provide you with Form 1545 if you:

  • held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and were going to complete within your original Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) end date, and
  • took approved leave of absence due to COVID-19 and were unable to enter Australia due to travel restrictions, or
  • were forced to reduce your study load because Excelsia College was unable to offer a required or core course due to COVID-19, or
  • need to complete essential industrial training and placements.

Please note:

  1. Excelsia College can only provide you with Form 1545 if the reason for your approved leave of absence or reduced study load was due to the impacts of COVID-19 and
  2. Your CoE end date is within 3 months of your current visa expiry date.

How do I get Form 1545 from Excelsia College?

The College fills out the form on behalf of the student. The process is documented below.

  1. Submit your CoE extension.
  2. Student Services will process your CoE extension and Form 1545 (if eligible) at the same time.
  3. Student Services will send your new CoE and the completed Form 1545 to your email account.

This measure is not intended for students who are applying for a new student visa due to ordinary reasons (including if you have failed a course or a unit of study, deferred for personal reasons or voluntarily reduced your study load).

While you are studying in Australia, you need to be aware of your student visa requirements. Variations to your enrolment or changes to the length of your stay in Australia will affect your visa.

There are strict conditions attached to Australian student visas. The information contained in this page is to help you understand and comply with your student visa conditions. It is not a complete list, and your visa conditions may vary. For a full list of student visa conditions go to the Department of Home Affairs website or check your visa grant notification.

This section covers the following about visa conditions:

  1. What are visa conditions?
  2. Maintain enrolment
  3. Notify change of address and contact details
  4. Complete your program within the expected duration
  5. Extending your program duration
  6. Meet satisfactory academic progress
  7. Pay tuition fees on time
  8. Changing to another education provider
  9. Working while studying
  10. Overseas student health cover (OSHC)
  11. Suspension of your studies
  12. Special conditions (Covid-19)

a. What are visa conditions?

Visa conditions are the rules of your visa that are set by the Australian Government. It is important that you understand your visa conditions as the Department of Home Affairs may cancel your visa if you breach them.

 

b. Maintain enrolment

To satisfy your visa condition of maintaining enrolment you need to remain enrolled in a course (full-time study load). You are required to be enrolled in at least one internal (face-to-face) course per compulsory study period, unless it is your final course, and it is only available in an external or online mode, or any exception granted by the government.

You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course and course progress for each study period as required by the College and Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework.

If you fail to maintain enrolment the College is required to report you to the Department of Home Affairs which will cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and may affect (i.e. cancel) your student visa.

If you are unsure about your enrolment or need assistance enrolling, please contact the College's Student Services.

In case of a change of course or provider, you must maintain enrolment in a registered course that is the same or higher AQF level as the registered course for which you were granted a visa.

 

c. Notify change of address and contact details

For student visa holders it is a requirement that you inform the College of your residential address in Australia at all times whilst studying.

You must inform the College:

  • of your new address when you first arrive in Australia
  • if you change your address at any time
  • of any new contact details, including phone number, email address and emergency contacts details.

If you do not update your address details and there is a problem with your visa, you will not receive communication sent by the Department of Home Affairs and your visa may be cancelled.

 

d. Complete your program within the expected duration

As an international student, you are required to maintain a study load that will allow you to complete your course within the duration specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), which generally requires a full-time study load (24 credit points) each semester. Student visa holders are typically not allowed to study part-time.

If you wish to reduce your study load you can do so under certain conditions. If you are intending to amend your course plan by changing unit selections, withdrawing from units, decreasing the number of units being studied, or changing a unit’s mode of study from internal to external, you must contact the College's Student Services.

 

e. Extending your program duration

If you need additional time to complete your degree you will need to extend your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and apply for a new student visa. Applications to extend a CoE are only approved in limited circumstances, such as:

  • medical grounds (evidence required)
  • failed final course(s) or failed occasional courses throughout the program
  • granted a reduced study load due to an intervention strategy
  • approved leave of absence
  • prerequisite course(s) not available.

CoE extension will not be approved if you choose to not enrol in accordance with your program structure or your personalised study plan.

To apply to extend your CoE you will need to submit the CoE Extension Application Form found here.

 

f. Meet satisfactory academic progress

To satisfy your student visa conditions you must maintain satisfactory course progress.

The College reviews the academic progress of students and identifies students at risk of making unsatisfactory academic progress. If you fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements the College will be required to report you to the Department of Home Affairs which will cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and may affect (i.e. cancel) your student visa.

To request support for your studies please talk with your Head of School or contact our Student Support.

 

g. Pay tutuition fees on time

You must pay your tuition fees on time to avoid the College cancelling your enrolment. If you are facing a financial difficulty, please contact our accounts team.

If your visa status changes this may affect your fee rate so it is important that you advise Excelsia of any change as soon as possible.

 

h. Changing to another education provider

If you are an international student on a student visa and want to change to another education provider, you must let Excelsia College know. There are different conditions depending on how far you have progressed through your course.

  • If you have completed less than six calendar months in your principal course* of study at the College you need to lodge a Course Withdrawal form and obtain a release from the College.
  • If you have completed more than six calendar months in your principal course* of study at the College you need to lodge a Course Withdrawal form.

*The principal course of study refers to the main course of study to be undertaken by an overseas student where a student visa has been issued for multiple courses of study. The principal course of study would normally be the final course of study where the overseas student arrives in Australia with a student visa that covers multiple courses.

If your application is approved, Excelsia College will inform the Department of Home Affairs that you have transferred your studies. If you are transferring to a lower AQF level you will generally need to apply for a new student visa, see the Department of Home Affairs website.

 

i. Working while studying

Student visa holders are able to work 40 hours per fortnight (two weeks) while their program is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled breaks. For Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students, postgraduate research student visa holders can work unlimited hours once their program has commenced.

For details regarding how the 40 hours are calculated and more information about family members' work rights, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website.

 

j. Overseas student health cover (OSHC)

Overseas student health cover (OSHC) is health insurance to assist international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs requires student visa holders and their dependents to have health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia (visa length health cover). Some exceptions apply, see the Department of Home Affairs website.

Excelsia College can organise your OSHC on your behalf or you can select and arrange OSHC yourself. If you need to extend your stay you will need additional cover before applying for a new student visa.

 

k. Suspension of your studies

You may experience an event during your studies that prevents you from studying for a period of time. If this occurs it is important that you contact the College as soon as possible for assistance.

Leave of absence can be approved in limited compassionate or compelling circumstances and you may be able to suspend your studies for a period of up to six months. Supporting documentation must be provided.

The student is entitled to leave of absence when there are medical conditions or compassionate and compelling circumstances, such as:

  • serious illness or loss of a close family member
  • serious illness or injury
  • political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel and this has impacted on your studies
  • reasons related to your visa processing being delayed
  • traumatic experiences, for example a student involved in or having witnessed a serious crime or accident.

 

l. Special conditions (Covid-19)

The Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will take a flexible approach to student visa holders and has temporarily relaxed working hours requirements for student visa holders.

​Please see more information at: Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders.

 

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