Word from the Department on Student Visas

If you’ve been following all the updates, you’ll know that the student visa framework was given a makeover last year. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced that between the start of September to the end of November last year, they have granted over 80,300 student visas. This is a 19.3% increase from the same period in 2015.

If you have intentions to begin study in Australia, give yourself enough time to lodge your application for a student visa. Whilst the DIBP aims to finalise 75% of decision ready applications within a month, the DIBP recommends that you lodge your application at least 6 weeks before. Processing times vary case to case and will definitely take much longer should your application not be complete.

 

Health Insurance

All Australian student visa holders are required to hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) (read this for the exceptions) OSHC is important as it allows students to access affordable health care for the duration that they are resident in Australia. The DIBP will check the start and end date of your OSHC and if that corresponds to your student visa period.

This is what the DIBP has to say:

“The start date of the OSHC should be the day the student intends to arrive in Australia. A common mistake is to arrange OSHC to commence on the first day of their course. Our officers won’t grant a visa is OSHC begins less than one week before course commencement. If the student is travelling that close to their course start, make sure you attach some evidence of their intentions. For students applying in Australia, make sure there are no gaps in coverage

The end date of OSHC should be aligned with our visa grant periods which change depending on course, its length and the finish dates (see How Long This Visa Lasts). Be aware that if you provide OSHC for a period longer than the course, but shorter than our normal visa grant period, we may grant the visa for a shorter amount of time.”

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