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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Education Agency For International StudentsBecoming an international student in Australia is complicated, so we have compiled some questions and answers that will help you understand the process. Click on each topic below to learn about the process of enrolling to be a student, getting a student visa, and studying on that visa.



Courses & Enrolment

What can I study on a student visa?

International students can only study CRICOS-approved courses. Therefore, not all institutions or courses are available to you. However, there is a huge selection of programs, at all levels of education, available across the country.

How much does it cost to study in Australia?

Tuition ranges in price from:

  • $200-$350 a week for an English course (ELICOS)
  • $3,000-$10,000 for a certificate or diploma
  • $15,000-$35,000 a year for a Bachelor or Masters
Can I take an online course?

No, you cannot take ‘online-only’ courses.

To qualify for a student visa, you must attend face-to-face classes. You will attend and average of 2-3 days a week. However, by visa rules, 25% of your course content can be online.

How long does it take to enrol in a course?

We can generally have your enrolled within 1-4 weeks, depending on the institution.

Do I have to pay all the tuition fees at once?

No, you can pay your tuition in installments – usually every 3 to 6 months depending on the institution.

The exception is for English courses, where you must pay the first 3 months upfront.

How often will I have to go to class?

This depends on your program, but 2-3 days is the average for college and university, while 4 days is normal for English courses.

Do I need an IELTS exam to enrol and get my visa?

For non-native English speakers, this will depend on what you study, and your passport nationality.

Who can translate my documents?

Generally speaking, this must be done by an accredited translation service.

How fast can I get everything organised?

In an emergency time frame, we can get you enrolled, and prepared for your visa application, in just a few days!


Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


What is Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

OSHC is a mandatory requirement of your student visa. You must be covered for the entire time you are studying in Australia. It must be paid in full for the entire time your will have the visa.

You will purchase your OSHC just before you apply for your student visa. You have to pay for it all upfront (no partial payments).

How much does OSHC cost?

The average cost is $450-480 for a single, and $2,100-$2,500 for a couple, per year.

Do I need OSHC if I have travel insurance?

OSHC is a requirement for the student visa. It ensures all students have the same level of medical cover.

Will my OSHC be refunded if I stop studying?

Yes. You will be fully refunded for the period of cover you did not use.


Student Visa / Study Rules


Can I travel on my student visa?

Yes, you can exit and enter Australia as many times as you need to while your visa is valid.

For how long will I have a student visa?

Your visa will be issued for the same length as your courses.

Immigration will add an extra 1, 2 or 3 months to the visa, depending on the length of the course(s) and the time of year the classes end.

Once I have my student visa, can I stay in the country even if class has not started?

You can be onshore (in Australia) for 93 days from the day you apply to your student visa, to the first day of class.

However, you can only remain onshore (in Australia) for a maximum of 8 weeks BETWEEN CoEs.

What if my course is starting and I still don’t have my student visa?

If you are on a bridging visa, you must attend class once it starts.

Can I study on another type of visa?

You can study on a visitor visa for 3 months, or a Working Holiday/Work & Holiday visa for 4 months.


Work Rights 


How many hours can I work on a student visa?

While class is IN session, including the exam period, you can work 40 hours every 2 weeks (i.e. 30 hours one week, 10 hours the next week).

When your course is NOT in session, you can work unlimited hours.

If I have a partner on my visa, what are his/her work rights?

If you are studying a Masters or higher, your partner has unlimited work rights at all times.

If you are studying a bachelor or lower, your partner can only work 40 hours every 2 weeks (i.e. 30 hours one week, 10 hours the next week).

When can I start working?

If you are on a bridging visa, you will continue the work rights of the visa you originally held.

If you were on a Working Holiday or Work & Holiday, you can keep working full time until you are granted the student visa. If you have been granted the student visa, but class has not started, you lose your work rights until class starts.

If you were on a visitor visa, you will not have work rights until the visa is granted AND class has started.


Student Visa Application


Will Drake help me apply for the visa?

Your counsellor will help you prepare for the visa application in advance, in an administrative role. This includes getting all the documentation together, and answering any questions you can prepare in advance.

How much will my visa cost?

This depends on your situation.

If this is the first visa you are lodging IN Australia (onshore), your student visa (500 subclass) will be $550.

However, if you have already lodged a visa onshore (i.e. your second Working Holiday), your visa will cost $1,250. Immigration adds a $700 surcharge to all subsequent visa applications.

Note: should you leave the country to lodge, the fee goes back to the original $550.

Adding other people to your visa (i.e. a partner) incurs an additional charge - $410 for a partner, and $135 for children under 18 years old.

How long will it take for the visa to be granted?

An average of 28 days. We have seen a visa granted offshore in 24 hours, and as long as 8 weeks onshore. Providing a thorough application helps move the process along more quickly.

If I take two courses, do I need two visas?
No, you can bundle courses under the same visa.

Can I leave Australia when I am on a bridging visa?
No. While on a bridging visa, you cannot travel outside Australia until you have been granted your student visa.

Will I need a medical check?

This depends on your passport nationality, and the course(s) you are taking.

Generally speaking, UK, Irish, Canadian, USA, and European passport holders will NOT have to complete a medical check, unless you are studying Early Childhood Education or a medical qualification.

If you are required to complete one, you will be directed by immigration on the steps.

What is a GTE Statement? Why is it important?

In order to receive a student visa, the visa office must be confident that you are a Genuine Temporary Entrant, meaning you truly plan to be in Australia TEMPORARILY in order to and then RETURN HOME.

It is very important that you read the GTE document on this page.

I have a criminal record. Will my visa be refused?

You will have to disclose this in your student visa application. This will depend on the severity of the crime. We have had students with charges including drinking & driving and common assault get student visas granted.

Will I have to show money in my bank account for the visa?

You passport nationality dictates whether or not you have to show Evidence of Funds.

Generally speaking, UK, Irish, Canadian, USA, and European passport holders will NOT have to show fund s for the visa application. However, you can still be asked at the discretion of your case officer!

What is Evidence of Funds?

Immigration expects that you will have sufficient funds to live and study in Australia. This amounts to $19,830 for your first year's living expenses + fees for your first year of tuition + return airfare.

This amount can be shown by anyone you are close to. However, be prepared to explain the nature of the relationship if it is not your immediate family.

This evidence can also be shown by one, or both, of your parents if they earned the equivalent of $AUD 60,000 in the last financial year. This must be shown in the form of official government-issued tax statements.

do not have proof of my highest level of education with me. Is that a problem?

Yes, you need to show at least a high school certificate (or transcripts), for both the enrolment and the visa application. A scanned copy should suffice.

Will I get a refund if my visa is refused?

The institution will refund your tuition, minus the enrolment fee.

You OSHC is fully refundable.

You will NOT get your visa application fees refunded.


General Information


Do I have to pay Drake Student Recruitment for your services?

No, our services are 100% free.

What do I need to do to be sponsored, or get permanent residency?

Please note that we are unable to provide any advice on migration issues such as permanent residency or sponsorship. We can only assist you with student visa-related information.

For migration advice, please contact a registered migration agent. We can suggest one if you like.

Can I get a scholarship, a student loan, or funding from Australia?

International student cannot take out student loans in Australia, not does the government provide funding.

Should you wish to apply for a scholarship, you must contact institutions directly.

Can I enrol to the college directly? Why do I need an agent?

Yes you can, but we take the headache out of the process – all free of charge.

In addition, we provide counselling on your studies, and may help you come up with some ideas you have not considered.

Be careful of agents who offer discounts. This is not allowed by the institutions; thus you are putting your life in the hands of unethical people in the industry.

It is a very good idea to tour the college(s) that the agent is suggesting. Once you enrol, it is difficult to move to another institution. Make informed decisions!