International students could be allowed to return to New South Wales as early as January 2021.
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that she would like to welcome 1,000 international students per week in a bid to boost the economy.
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Berejikian revealed that she wants New South Wales to save a third of hotel quarantine spots for international students, skilled migrants and specialist workers.
However, the state is not in a position to increase its quarantine capacity so other states would need to “lift their game” in order to allow room.
"NSW would like to look at things that boost our economy... not just returning Aussies," Berejikian said. "We would like to start that as soon as we can in the new year but obviously that’s up to the federal government to let us do that."
In response to her comments, a government spokesperson argued that the priority of hotel quarantine remains for Australians returning from overseas.
“While we look forward to welcoming international students back and will continue planning for their return, we cannot progress the broader entry of international students at this time,” they said.
This news comes after it was announced that up to 300 international students are scheduled to return to three universities in Adelaide between November 2020 and January 2021.
At the time of writing this, the number of students has not been confirmed. They will be travelling from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
International students have not been allowed to enter Australia since March 2020 as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you have questions about your student visa or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) during the Covid-19 pandemic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today for free advice.
You’ve decided to apply for a student visa, hoorah! Whilst gathering all of the necessary documents for your application, make sure to remember to organise appropriate health insurance.
As part of Student Visa Subclass 500 conditions, you’re required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
It’s important to maintain OSHC cover during your time in Australia so make sure to keep up to date with payments and to renew cover when necessary.
But there’s no need to worry, our resident student blogger has answered common questions about health insurance below from what OSHC covers to protection during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Do I need OSHC to study in Australia?
As part of visa condition 8501, you must not enter Australia before your Overseas Student Health Cover has begun and you are not permitted to stay once it has expired.
Do all international students need OSHC?
Exceptions may apply if you are a student from Norway, Belgium or Sweden. If you fall into this category, you can learn more about special arrangements on the Department of Home Affairs website.
What does OSHC cover?
OSHC is designed to help students to meet the costs of medical bills, hospital care, ambulance call-outs and limited pharmaceuticals.
There are three policies to choose from.
There is a single policy, a partner policy or a family policy. The last option provides health insurance for you, your partner and any dependent children under 18 (if they live with you in Australia or are listed on your student visa).
Where can I purchase OSHC?
There are six providers who offer the same OSHC cover for international students, all of which can be found on the official Australian Government website. The prices of these range according to the insurance company.
At Study Online Australia, we work with nib which offers competitive prices and an instant insurance certificate with your student visa lodgement. You can find up-to-date costs on our website.
Our team will arrange OSHC on your behalf so you don’t need to worry.
How do I use my OSHC card?
If you need to visit a doctor, simply show your nib card and student ID at the reception. You will be charged both the doctor’s and government fee. If the medical centre is part of the nib OSHC Preferred Providers, you can claim right away.
If not, nib will only cover the medical fees up to the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) amount meaning you will need to pay a fee.
When on the move, you can use the nib app to manage and access health cover no matter where you are.
Just make sure to remember to always keep a receipt so that you can submit your claim via the Nib online system.
I have Medicare, do I need OSHC too?
If you are from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden or the Netherlands, you may also wish to apply for Medicare coverage under your country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreements.
Further information can be found on the official Australian Government website.
Remember, having Medicare coverage does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC.
Does OSHC cover Covid-19 healthcare costs?
If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19, it is recommended that you call the 24/7 health direct number 1800 022 222. What your OSHC covers depends upon your insurance company but details on nib can be found on our dedicated page.
If you purchased OSHC but are no longer able to travel to Australia, you can apply for a refund via the official nib website. You can also change your policy dates here if you have not been able to return to Australia due to current restrictions.
Head over to our page on Covid-19 and OSHC cover for further information.
What happens to my OSHC cover when my student visa expires?
When your student visa expires, you are no longer eligible for OSHC.
If you move onto a 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, then you will need to apply for Working Visitor Health Cover (OVHC). If you continue studying in Australia, you will need to extend your OSHC policy.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help extending your OSHC cover.
Help and support during your time studying in Australia
If you apply for your student visa with Study Online Australia, we will organise nib OSHC on your behalf.
Whether you have questions about enrolment, work rights or seeking extra help on your course, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email.
Study better with Study Online Australia.
We go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best experience possible during your stay in Australia. For free help and advice, get in touch.
Before embarking upon your studies in Australia, it’s important to understand the rules of your visa.
With a seemingly endless list of restrictions, it can prove daunting at first but there’s no need to panic. Our resident student blogger has broken down essential student visa conditions so you can happily study in Australia with peace of mind.
Below, find out everything you need to know about the Student Visa Subclass 500 from important work limitations and course requirements to important Covid-19 changes for students.
Student Visa Subclass 500
The Student Visa Subclass 500 allows students to remain in Australia for up to 5 years for the purpose of full-time study.
With this visa, you can:
The benefits of Student Visa Subclass 500
If you have always dreamed of studying in Australia, a Student Visa Subclass 500 is a brilliant option.
Below, we’ve rounded up the benefits of a student visa:
How to check the conditions of your student visa
The conditions of your student visa are listed in your grant letter so make sure to store this somewhere safe.
You can also refer to the conditions of your student visa at any time using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service.
Student Visa Subclass 500 conditions explained
Below, we have listed some of the Student Visa 500 Subclass conditions that must be obeyed whilst studying in Australia.
8105: Work limitations
One of the biggest factors to consider when applying for a student visa is the work limitations.
On a Student Visa Subclass 500, you must obey the following rules:
As previously mentioned, you can work unlimited hours during term break. You must ensure that you check your course timetable as these dates will vary between education providers.
To receive an income in Australia, you need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN). Visit the Australian Taxation Office online to find out more.
8202: Meet course requirements
To maintain your student visa, you must meet the following requirements:
You can change your course of study if you are unsatisfied with your current education provider or wish to try another subject.
But in order to change your course of study on a student visa, you must seek approval from your current education provider.
Find out how you can change courses on a Student Visa Subclass 500.
8501: Maintain health insurance
When you apply for your student visa with Study Online Australia, we will organise OSHC on your behalf for the duration of your stay.
8503: Inform provider of change of address
If your residential address changes, you must inform your education provider within 7 days.
You will be contacted through your place of study so it’s crucial to keep your contact details up to date.
8516: Maintain eligibility
In order to maintain your student visa, you must continue to meet the criteria stated in your visa grant letter.
For a full list of the Student Visa 500 Subclass requirements, please visit the official Department of Home Affairs website.
Covid 19: Student visa conditions
As a consequence to the Covid-19 pandemic, work limitations for specific student visa holders have been changed.
You can work more than 40 hours a fortnight if you meet the following criteria:
You can also stay informed on student visa changes during the Covid-19 pandemic on our dedicated blog.
How can I extend my student visa?
Do you wish to stay in Australia? As long as your grant letter does not contain conditions such as ‘no further stay’, there is the option to apply for another student visa.
If you would like to extend your stay in Australia, make sure to allow at least 3 months to research your options and be sure to lodge your visa application prior to your current visa expiring.
Get in touch with Study Online Australia today to discuss your options.
Help and support whilst studying in Australia
One of the biggest advantages to applying for your student visa with Study Online Australia is that the team is always on hand to help.
Whether you have questions about enrolment, work rights or seeking extra help on your course, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Study better with Study Online Australia.
We go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best experience possible during your stay in Australia. For free help and advice, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Hello, my name's Pavla! I'm the Director of Study Online Australia.
I’m originally from the Czech Republic and came to Australia in April 2007 as an international student. During my studies, I spent over two years working for a student visa agency based in Sydney.
Once I completed the course, I packed my bags and went on a huge road trip with two of my friends across Australia covering 17000 kms in just over three months. We were incredibly fortunate to see what this beautiful country has to offer!
After my trip, I worked in marketing roles for a number of leading education providers in Sydney. It was during this time that I met my future husband and shortly afterwards, we were expecting our first child.
Whilst I was on maternity leave, I still wanted to help shape the international student industry. I take pride in assisting people to find courses and love helping them on their student visa journey(s).
So in 2012, I founded my own online student visa agency - Study Online Australia.
I have over 14 years experience working in the international study industry and am really fortunate to have formed amazing friendships among students and education partners along the way.
Study Online Australia is devoted to students and provides exceptional services for anyone who decides to either study or work with us.
What inspired you to study in Australia?
I’ve always wanted to study and work in an English-speaking country and have been lucky to have visited a lot of countries. Coming from the Czech Republic, I spent a number of holidays in the United Kingdom but really wanted to experience long-term study.
I first came up with the idea to study in Australia whilst working for a student travel agency in Prague. My role was to assist tertiary students with work and holiday programs in the United States. When I was in my third year of university, I decided to spend my summer break in the United States. I worked in an amusement park in Ohio and absolutely loved it!
So when one of our travel agent partners mentioned to me that they needed a Czech speaking person for a part-time job in Sydney, I jumped at the opportunity. Both dreams came true. I studied my favourite subject, marketing, and worked as an education specialist in Sydney.
Tell us about your experience as an international student in Sydney...
I finished my Master’s degree in Business and Administration at Prague University. During my studies, I realised that I wanted to deepen my knowledge of marketing. The passion came during my work experience on marketing teams at PHILIPS and PlayStation (Sony).
So I decided to study Advanced Diploma of Marketing & Communication, a two-year course at a college in the Sydney CBD.
I expanded my knowledge in marketing subjects and formed amazing friendships among my fellow students which exist still today! I used to live right in the Surry Hills and shared accommodation with three fellow students. It was an amazing experience!
What do you love the most about Australia?
Australia offers so many opportunities. It’s a great chance to meet people from all over the world which is incredibly inspiring.
Of course, one of the biggest draws to Australia is its natural beauty too.
You can go for a morning bush walk in the Blue Mountains and then jump in the ocean at Bondi Beach in the afternoon. A healthy lifestyle and great food are serious highlights here.
How do you help students to find the right course for them?
The most important thing for me is listening to what the student wants and needs from their experience in Australia. I ask aspiring students lots of questions and this really helps me to understand their current situation.
My background as an international student helps me to relate to their inquiries too. I have great contacts within the industry which helps when managing last minute student visa applications. You may be surprised to learn that we help students to organise everything from first contact to a student visa lodgement in less than 24 hours!
What do you love the most about your job?
I love helping students through every step of their individual journey towards getting their student visa.
From the very first email to exploring study options and then organising all of the paperwork for enrolment, I love partnering with people from all over the world. Most of them share a similar pathway to me.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself...
Every week, I swim roughly 10 kilometres. My favourite restaurant is Phamish in Crown Street Sydney. I love listening to Triple J every day.
What are your favourite things to do when you're not working?
I love spending time with my family and friends. I love to explore new parts of Australia and show them to my kids.
My favourite place in Australia is Ayers Rock and the remote parts of Australia with aboriginal history are something that I really would like to show my kids in the near future.
I love reading biographies, going for dinners with other mums and exercising. I’m a triathlete so lots of swimming, running and biking help me to relax.
You’ve decided to apply for a student visa, hoorah! So, what’s next?
As explained in a previous blog post, I moved from the UK to Australia on a working holiday visa in 2019.
After falling in love with Sydney, I knew that I wanted to continue exploring this beautiful city.
With a lifelong dream of studying abroad, I decided that further education was the right path for me so chose to study IV Certificate in Marketing and Communication at International House in Sydney.
This is a brilliant option for aspiring students wanting to change career paths or expand upon their skills.
It’s also a great place to choose if you want to see more of Australia with campuses in Byron Bay, Darwin, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
From choosing a course to preparing the correct student visa documents, read on below to find out how the enrolment process in Australia works.
How to choose the right course in Australia for you
There are over 22,000 courses available for international students in Australia which can make choosing the right option a little daunting!
Thankfully, the Study Online Australia team is incredibly experienced in helping students to find a course which matches their budget, availability and career goals.
Study Online Australia has long-time relationships with colleges across the country so is up to date with prices, timetables and visa changes.
Company Director Pavla Hannan was incredibly helpful in finding the right course for me. She listened to what I was looking for and recommended a number of courses in Sydney.
I chose to study at International House as they have campuses in the city and Bondi, both of which are within easy reach.
You can find brilliant advice on choosing the right course for you from leading experts at some of Australia’s best schools and universities by checking out our Q&A series.
The enrolment process explained
In order to enrol on your chosen course, you’ll need to ensure you have the correct documents to hand well in advance.
Below, find a student visa checklist to keep handy:
Study Online Australia will arrange health insurance on your behalf.
Your GTE statement
A GTE statement is a letter proving that you intend to genuinely stay in Australia temporarily and must include the following:
Immigration can make a decision on a student visa application with the information provided.
Every student must write their own unique GTE statement. Study Online Australia has helped hundreds of students to complete theirs and will be on hand to proofread your letter to ensure you have included all of the information required.
Your letter of offer
If you’re successful (congrats!), you’ll receive a letter of offer from your chosen college.
The letter will detail the below information about your course:
Pay your deposit
As part of your Confirmation of Enrolment, you are required to pay a deposit towards your course fees.
You must make sure that you double check all of the information listed in your confirmation of enrolment as this is part of your student visa application.
Your student visa has been granted!
First of all, congratulations! Once your student visa has been granted, make sure to keep these important details safe.
I also strongly recommend reading through your work and living requirements to ensure that you obey the rules of your visa whilst staying in Australia.
What to expect from orientation day
Nothing was more wonderful than receiving my visa grant letter. Thanks to the wonderful help of Study Online Australia, my student visa was granted instantly!
Next on the agenda was enrolling on my course. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, orientation took place online a week before my course was due to start.
Although this was not what I expected, it was a great opportunity for me to get to know some of the brilliant teachers at International House and to get acquainted with fellow classmates.
It is mandatory that you attend your orientation session.
What to expect on your first day as an international student
It can be nerve-wracking preparing for your first day of studies as an international student, especially when you don’t know anyone.
But I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly everyone was and instantly felt at ease! The key to success? Preparation.
Due to the current restrictions, I had the option to choose either weekly webinars or face-to-face lectures. I chose the latter in order to meet new people and to ensure that I could receive help from the teacher if necessary.
If you are able to attend an inhouse class then I really recommend it. I have met wonderful students from all over the world, such as Brazil, Turkey and Columbia.
My weekly class is four hours long (5pm to 9pm) once a week and enables me to work around the schedule with ease. I also find it much easier to concentrate in person as opposed to logging into an online webinar.
I also advise spending your break getting to know fellow students. There are common areas in each college and it’s a perfect opportunity to make friends.
Study support during your stay in Australia
One of the biggest advantages to applying for your student visa with Study Online Australia is that the team is always on hand to help.
Even after my student visa was granted, I have been able to seek advice during my studies whether it’s questions about enrolment, work rights or seeking extra help on my course.
Studying abroad is exciting but can prove daunting. Study better with Study Online Australia.
We go above and beyond to make sure that you have the greatest experience possible during your stay in Australia. For further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Pavla, The Director