Making the law work for you

The Student Visa Subclass 573

Ida and Sara, (fictitious names), 31 years of age are two of the many young Italians who visit our shores each year in search of “opportunities”. Many of them come to Australia equipped with various degrees, masters and in certain circumstances a PhD.

Unfortunately, these young enthusiastic Italians soon realise that their qualifications, work experience or skills do not necessarily provide them with access to work opportunities in Australia.

Many are faced with the dire task of having their academic qualifications translated into English and then trying to fit into an occupation, which may allow them to find employment.

In most cases their skills will need to be as- sessed by a relevant Australian assessing body …not an easy feat to understand or navigate through.

At times in frustration these young Italians decide that it may be best to complete a Degree or Masters in Australia to then ensure their “skills” will be recognised.

The Subclass 573 visa allows for study in Australia at the Bachelor or Masters level.

Australia enjoys the luxury of many reputable and world class recognised Universities, and perhaps enrolling in a Higher Education course may be an extra feather in their bonnet for these young Italians in search of opportunities, be it in Australia, or any other country.




The Higher Education Sector Student Visa (subclass 573)

For those who are interested in pursuing higher education courses in Australia, the Higher Education Sector Student Visa is the visa to apply for. This applies to international students who seek to complete their Bachelor or Associate Degree, a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma, and Masters by course work in any Australian university.

How long can an individual stay in Australia under the visa 573?

Individuals who are granted this visa may study and reside in Australia for the durationof their course that must be registered with Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses (CRICOS) for Overseas Students. They are however required to be able to maintain an adequate attendance at university, perform sat- isfactorily in class and complete the necessary requirements of their education provider. Failure to attend classes on a regular basis and unsat- isfactory progress in course work will definitely be noted and reported to the Department of Immigration. What is satisfactory and unsat- isfactory in terms of attendance and progress is dictated by the education provider, not the department.

Aside from the individual who is pursuing higher education in Australia, a dependent member of the family may also come along with the 537-visa holder, and if they choose to, the dependent member, may enroll in courses with up to three-month duration.

Can the 537 visa holder work at the same time?

Yes, once the individual has started the course, they are allowed a maximum of 20 hours of work per week during the course period. However on school breaks there is no limit to the number of hours that the individual is willing to work. The 20 hours/ week work allotment is also true with the individual’s dependents/family members.

There are some other requirements for studying in Australia using 537 visa. Finan- cially, the individual must prove the ability to provide enough funds for their tuition, travel and living allowances as well as that of their dependents/family members. They must also be able to secure their family’s health insurance while in Australia. Medical and hospital insurance may be obtained with the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Finally, persons who applied for their first student visa on or after 5 November 2011 may be eligible to apply for the Post Study Work Stream Subclass 485 visa, provided that they have completed a course at Bache- lor or Masters Level for a duration of at least 92 weeks. More to come…

Elizabeth Wisser
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