Home Explore 5 things You Need to Know About Switching from a Work and Holiday Visa to a Student Visa in Australia


5 things You Need to Know About Switching from a Work and Holiday Visa to a Student Visa in Australia


January 5, 2018

One or two years not long enough for you in Australia? No worries! Here’s all you need to know if you want to study in the land down under.

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1. Is it better to apply onshore or offshore?

Long story short: Onshore if you can, although the application might be a bit more expensive.

At the moment, a standard single Student Visa application fee is $560 plus a credit card surcharge (that’s the fee that the Immigration charges, Study Anywhere won’t charge you anything extra). But, if this isn’t the first time you’ve applied, you will also be charged $700 on top of that by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Typically, if you are switching from the second year of Work and Holidays, you will pay $560 + $700 + credit card surcharge.

But before you book that flight to Bali or New Zealand to apply from there, consider this: Most of our Work and Holiday clients still prefer to apply for a Student Visa onshore. Why? 

  1. Bridging Visa is your friend – When Student Visa is lodged onshore, the applicant typically receives a Bridging Visa A almost instantly. This allows them to not only stay in Australia but with the same conditions as their current Visa. Essentially, until you hear from the Immigration regarding your Student Visa application, you can work under the same conditions as you have on your Work and Holiday Visa. How neat is that!
  2. Last minute lodgment is possible – if you are running out of time and your Work and Holiday is about to expire in a few days, we probably can still make it.
  3. Waiting offshore could be frustrating – itʼs hard to know how long it will take for the Immigration to let you know about your Student Visa application. And while drinking smoothies in Seminyak might sound like the perfect way to kill some time, your holiday could be longer than you would like it to be while you wait to hear from Immigration. So mindful exercises in Ubud wonʼt be helping that much if your bank account is getting slimmer every day.
  4. If something goes really wrong – should your onshore student visa get refused you have the option to appeal this decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). When you are applying offshore, you donʼt have this option.

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2. Not everyone can apply onshore

If youʼd like to apply onshore, you need to check your current Visa conditions. Just find your current Visa in your e-mail, and check if you have or don’t have ‘No further stayʼ listed among your Visa conditions.

If not – happy days – and you can apply onshore. If yes, book that flight to Thailand or back home and surprise your parents. Our registered migration agent can lodge your Student Visa application from anywhere.

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3. Your course must start no longer than 8 weeks after your Work and Holiday Visa is about to expire

If you have made a firm decision and would like to apply for your Student Visa onshore, you can get into the course selection. Finding and enrolling in a course is pretty easy with the Study Anywhere platform and you can always send us a message if you have any specific requirements.

There is just one thing to keep in mind: make sure your course will start no longer than 8 weeks after your current Visa is about to expire.

Before you start searching for courses that commence exactly 8 weeks after your current Work and Holiday Visa expires, consider this: In the case your onshore application for a Student Visa gets approved really quickly (which doesnʼt happen very often) and your course has not commenced yet, you are not allowed work at all because the work permit on a Student Visa only starts when your course has started.

Not a situation you would like to be in, right?

Applying for a course that starts within 4 weeks after your Work and Holiday Visa expires, is usually the best option.

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4. How expensive it really is to study in Australia?

Long story short: It can be really expensive but it doesn’t have to be.

Majority of our Work and Holiday clients who are applying for a Student Visa pick a course from a sector that is called Vocational Education and Training (VET) –  Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas…

These courses are usually much more affordable than universities and much more flexible with the attendance. You can find your ideal course via Study Anywhere, see the reviews and apply to get the free Visa assistance by the migration lawyer.

All the courses listed on the page are part of CRICOS – which is a must for a Student Visa application.

The most popular courses for people switching from Work and Holiday Visa are Leadership and Management, Business, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Travel and Tourism, Event Management, and Early Childhood Education and Care (eligible for a Graduate visa).

Some of these courses only cost around $1,350 every three months and would allow you to study and to apply for a Student Visa for up to 4 years.

The minimum upfront payment for a course would be somewhere around $1,550 ($1,350 + $200 enrolment fee).

Then you just need to take in account that you will need an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to be able to apply for a Student Visa in Australia which costs around $500 for a 1-year policy.

Only some applicants from Sweden, Belgium and Norway donʼt need to get an OSHC to be able to apply for a Student Visa. Feel free to send us a message for a free quote so you can see the full breakdown of costs you need to expect when transitioning from the Work and Holiday to a Student Visa.

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5. Myth busted – ‘You can only work 20 hours per week on a Student Visaʼ

Long story short: There is a work limitation, but in some cases, you can work more.

This is where people often get it wrong. Australian Student Visa will let you work up to 40 hours fortnightly (e.g. you can work 20 hours one week and 20 hours the next week) when your course is on. What people often forget though, is that during the holidays you can work unlimited hours, which is when students usually try to save up some money. Most of the VET courses have up to 16 weeks of holidays per year to give students the opportunity to work and travel.

Please note: This article is an observation of questions that our Work and Holiday applicants usually have and answers our migration lawyer gives them. Feel free to send us a message or an e-mail (hello@studyanywhere.com.au) if youʼd like to get a migration law advice from a registered migration agent.

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