What Do You Know About These Student Visa Conditions?

This Thursday, #CruxAnswers about Student visa conditions!

On Monday, we asked our readers to submit questions they want answers to regarding any Australian visa.

The majority of questions that were submitted this week were focused on Student Visa conditions.

When you ask, we answer!

I will be graduating from my Bachelor in December 2018. However, my student visa will expire in March 2019. Can I work full time? Can I stay in Australia until then even if I would have graduated?

As an international Student visa holder, you must comply with all your Student visa conditions.

Student visa holders, whether primary or dependent, are subject to condition 8104 and 8105 that allow limited working hours in Australia.

You can work full time or unlimited hours when your course is out of session (e.g. during semester break). You can work up to 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session.

If you have complied with your student visa conditions while studying and have completed your course as per scheduled (as per the dates listed on your COE), you will not be considered for student visa cancellation (i.e. breaching condition 8202). Therefore, you can remain in Australia until your Student visa expires (i.e. March 2019). The Department usually grants a Student visa with approximately 3 months extra time from course completion date, giving you time to sort out your affairs or apply for another visa that you are eligible for before the Student visa expires.

See our Student visa page for working rights table.

I am studying for a master’s degree and my partner is my dependent. Can he work full time?

Not all dependents on a Student visa holder can work full time. There are conditions that dependents must comply to.

Dependents of student visa holder enrolled in a Master or Doctorate degree can work unlimited hours.

IMPORTANT: Dependents must wait for the primary visa holder to commence their course in Australia first before they can start working.

All primary visa holders can work up to 40 hours per fortnight while the course is in session. Primary visa holders who are enrolled in a Master by research or Doctoral degree in Australia can work unlimited hours.

I don’t like the course that I am studying, can I change it? Do I need a new student visa?

Most students should be able to change their course or program of study.

Students will not be able to change their course of study if they are subject to condition 8203 (check your student visa grant letter!).

If you are subject to condition 8204, a permission to change your course of study must be granted by the Department. You cannot start or change course unless a permission is granted!

If you are changing your course of study to a lower AQF level course or a non-AQF level course, a new student visa may be required.

For example, if you are studying a bachelor’s degree (AQF level 7) but want to change your course of study to a diploma degree (AQF level 5), you will need to apply for and be granted a new student visa that will reflect your course of study.

You do not need to apply for a new student visa if you are changing your course of study from a doctoral degree (AQF level 10) to a master’s degree (AQF level 9).

You are also not required to apply for a new student visa if you are changing from a non-AQF course to an AQF course. However, you will need to apply for and be granted a new student visa if you are changing your course of study from an AQF course to a non-AQF course.

IMPORTANT to note:

  • If you are changing your course of study to a course that has a shorter duration than your initial course, you must leave Australia or apply for a new visa within 28 days of completing your course. Your visa may be considered for cancellation if you do not leave or apply for a new visa.

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