How To Extend My Student Visa?

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December 8, 2021

Although there is no automatic student visa extension in Australia, there are several situations where current student can extend their student visa. The most common scenarios that a student would apply for a new student visa are:

  • Commencing a new course of study
  • Failed courses or course deferment
  • Your course has been extended for some reason and your visa will expire before you have completed it
  • An extension research application
  • You have submitted your post-graduate thesis but your visa expires before the marking will be complete


If any of the following scenarios apply to you, you should submit a new student visa application to the Department of Home Affairs before your current visa expires.


The student visa application process differs depending on the location that you are applying from. If you are applying while onshore, you’ll be granted a Bridging Visa A. This would allow you to reside in Australia while your visa is being processed and will come into effect once your current student visa expires. If you are applying outside of Australia, you will have to wait for the outcome of the visa before entering Australia.


While the application process is quite straightforward, it is important to understand the process and time involved. It is recommended that you apply for a new student visa at least 3 months before your current visa runs expires.


What Do I Need To Extend My Student Visa?

To extend your stay on a student visa, you must apply for a new student visa before your current one expires. If the application is not made in time, you could face deportation which could impact future visa applications. Once you have decided that extending your student visa is the right option, you would then need to organise the following:

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

The Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is an official document from the educational institution. The CoE provides information about the applicant’s enrolment status. This information includes the course duration, fees paid and total fees owed. This document is required when applying for a student visa. Your CoE must be valid at all times whilst studying in Australia and cancellation may affect your visa status.


English Language Requirements

You need documentary evidence of your English language skills. This can be proven by sitting an IELTS test or equivalent test. It is important to attach your English language test score to your application.


Overseas Student Health Cover

The Australian government requires all international students to have and maintain health insurance for the entire period of their stay in Australia. You will have to continue your existing Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). OSHC is not automatically renewed and must be extended to cover the duration of your new visa. The beginning and end dates must match the student visa. So, it is necessary to get in contact with the health provider and renew your cover. You must also include your policy number when applying y for your student visa.


Medical Examination

A medical examination is required when applying for a student visa. This demonstrates to the Department of Home Affairs that you are in good health. You must provide proof of the health checks by providing documentation with your application. Your ImmiAccount will provide you with a HAP number and a referral letter for a clinic that outlines all the required assessments.


Financial Requirements

The application needs to include evidence that you have the financial capability to cover your expenses, course fees, travel and living costs. This can be done by providing employment documents and evidence of your annual income and assets. Evidence of genuine access to the required funds will also be requested.


How To Apply For a New Student Visa

Once you have completed your research and gathered the necessary documentation, you should follow these steps to apply for a new student visa:

Step 1: Enrol In Course

The first step in the application process is to get a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your educational institution. It is important to allow time for this to be processed by the educational department and returned to you. The processing times can vary but usually takes between 5-10 working days. This process can also depend on how quickly you pay your fees as they will not be processed until this happens. Once all the conditions have been met and after the fee payments, you will receive an email containing your confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).


Step 2: Arrange Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

The next step in the process is to organise your health insurance. The health insurance must remain valid for the entire stay and once this is verified with the insurance provider, you can proceed to start preparing all necessary visa documents.



Step 3: Prepare Visa Documents

It’s important to remember that the list of required visa documents can vary depending on the country you are coming from and the chosen education provider. For these reasons each applicant’s checklist differs. However, the document checklist tool on the Department of Home Affairs website can provide some guidance. It is important to remember that the checklist is subject to change so it will be beneficial to regularly check the website for changes.


Although the list can differ from applicant to applicant, this is a standard list that will almost always be required from all applicants:

  • Certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Passport ID page
  • National ID card
  • CV/Resume
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Parental consent form if under 18 years old
  • OSHC policy number
  • Personal statement
  • New Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
  • HAP ID Number


Step 4: Meet Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Criteria

The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria is a requirement for all student visas. The GTE allows the Department of Home Affairs to see whether the applicant is genuinely interested in studying in Australia. As part of this process, you must include a personal statement to prove that you are genuinely interested. The personal statement should include details about your life and what value will the course provide to your future. This provides an opportunity for the applicant to discuss their circumstances in their home country and their potential future if their student visa is accepted. You should include as many documents as possible to support all the points that you make. Student visa applications are commonly rejected during this stage by The Department of Home Affairs due to a lack of supporting evidence.



Step 5: Submit Student Visa Application

The final stage of the application process would be submitting a student visa application through your ImmiAccount. You will need to attach all the relevant documents and pay a fee to proceed. You can also use a migration consultant to help you apply online. Once your student visa application is lodged, the Department of Home Affairs will mail you a letter of acceptance alongside a Bridging Visa (BVA) if you submitted it while onshore. It is important to check your nominated email account regularly for any correspondence regarding the status of your application. This can help ensure a seamless and fast application process.


If your visa is denied, it may be because additional details are required. In this situation, they will email you with a request for further information.  However, if your visa is simply denied, you will have the option of appealing the decision using migration professionals. It is important to note that this applies to onshore visa applicants only.


If you are looking to extend your student visa and want to know what your options are or would like some advice navigating the process. Talk to our team of immigration lawyers and migrations agents at AustraliaMigrate. Book a consultation with one of our visa specialists to discuss your current situation.

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