Student Visas

Student Visas

The following outlines the process for International Students obtaining an International Student VISA and relocating to Australia once an offer of enrolment has been made by Sydney College of Divinity into a CRICOS registered course.

The Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is an official document issued to international students. It confirms that you have accepted a place in a Sydney College of Divinity course, and have paid your tuition fees/deposit and Overseas Student Health Cover premium (OSHC). CoE lists your course details, start and end dates, any fees paid and estimated total fees required.​


Your CoE must be submitted as part of your student visa application. You must have a valid CoE while studying on a student visa in Australia.​


How long does it take to receive a CoE?

The college will issue your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) after you have:​

  • Signed and submitted the Overseas Student Enrolment Agreement, and​
  • Met any outstanding conditions of your offer, and​
  • Paid the tuition fee deposit, and​
  • Paid your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), and​
  • Provided any formal acceptance documents requested.​​


Once all the conditions above have been met your CoE will be issued.​


Keeping your CoE once you are a student

The college must update the status of your CoE and notify the Department of Home Affairs (which may affect your visa) if you:​

  • Fail to commence your course within the commencement period​
  • Commence your course but choose to discontinue your studies before completion​
  • You are granted a leave of absence (a new CoE will be issued for your return)​
  • You fail to re-enrol in your program and your enrolment status becomes inactive​
  • You complete your program more than 2 months before the program end date on your CoE
  • Changes to your study plans
  • Are discontinued by the college for:​
    • non-payment of fees​
    • unsatisfactory academic progress
    • academic or general misconduct​.

The Subclass 500 Student Visa allows international students to participate in a course of study in Australia.


It is important to note that to apply for a student visa you must

  • be enrolled in a course of study in Australia (CoE issued)
  • hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall in one of the exemption categories, for your stay in Australia


Read the website carefully, including the that provides an overview of the visa application process. You will have to pay visa costs and might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.


Generally in the higher education sector the for a student visa is

  • 75% of applications in 24 days
  • 90% of applications in 45 days


Your application can take longer to process if

  • you do not fill it in correctly
  • you do not include all the documents the Department needs or if more information is required from you
  • it takes the Department time to verify your information


Decision about the visa application is notified in writing and will include the

  • visa grant number
  • visa expiry date
  • visa conditions


If visa is refused you may have a right to a review of the decision. The application fee will not be refunded if visa is denied.


Once you commence study on a student visa you are required to notify the college and the Sydney College of Divinity if you change from a student visa to an Australian Permanent Resident Visa, Australian or New Zealand citizenship status. Changes to your visa status may affect your fee arrangements and eligibility for Australian government support.

All required documents must be provided with your student visa application. Applications are generally made online and your documents should be scanned in colour and saved as PDFs, with certified translations if the original document isn’t in English.


Some of the documents required could be:

  • passport
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • a
  • evidence of English language proficiency
  • evidence of funds
  • completed health examination reports


Use the Department of Home Affairs to find out more about these and any other documents you may be required to include with your student visa application.


Your application can take longer to process if

  • you do not fill it in correctly
  • you do not include all the documents or more information is required from you by the Department
  • it takes the Department time to verify your information

You can enter and remain in Australia as an international student only if you hold a . Your student visa will be subject to a range of conditions. If you do not meet those conditions, your visa may be cancelled.


Your visa will be issued for the course listed on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). If you change or extend your course, you may need to change your visa or visa details. Restrictions apply to changes and extensions.


The student visa allows you to
  • participate in an eligible course of study in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia
  • work up to 40 hours every 2-week period once your course starts (for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students as on January 2020)


What you must do when you have this visa
  • You and your family members who apply with you must meet all visa conditions and obey Australian laws.
  • To see your specific conditions, work and study entitlements see your visa grant letter or 


Australia student visa compliance

An international student is required to comply with all of their student visa conditions at all times. Some of the key conditions are

  1. Completing your course on time
    The course must be completed in the time frame of your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE). This means that you need to maintain full-time enrolment of 4 units (36 credit points) per semester, including a minimum of one unit per semester in face-to-face mode, and at least two-thirds of the total units in face-to-face mode. If you under-enrol or not follow advice from faculty, you may not be able to get an extension on your COE.
  2. Maintaining satisfactory academic progress
    You must make successful academic progress in accordance with the College rules and requirements. If you fail to maintain satisfactory progress, the College may be required to cancel your COE.*
  3. Paying tuition fees on time
    Tuition fees must be paid on time before the census date. Failure to pay will result in cancellation of your COE.
  4. Notifying the College of any change in address
    You must notify the College your residential address within 7 days of arriving in Australia and any subsequent change within 7 days of changing your address.
  5. Maintaining current Overseas Health Cover (OSHC)
    You must maintain for the duration of your student visa.
  6. Working while on student visa
    You can only start working after you have commenced the course. During the semesters you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight. You can work unlimited hours during College semester holidays. If you are studying a postgraduate research course you are exempt from the restricted work hours and can work unlimited hours

*If the College cancels your COE, we will have to report the cancellation to the . In this situation, you must contact DHA within 28 days of your COE cancellation date. Failure to contact the Department of Home Affairs may result in the automatic cancellation of your student visa.


How long you can stay

This is a temporary visa. You cannot stay in Australia beyond the visa expiry date. The will depend on the type of course and its length. To see when you must leave, use .


Staying longer

You cannot stay in Australia longer by extending this visa. To continue studying in Australia, you must apply for a new student visa.


Visa expiry before graduation

If your student visa will expire before your graduation, you might be able to apply for another visa that meets your circumstances such as a visitor visa. You will need a letter from Sydney College of Divinity which states the date of your graduation.


Working on a student visa

Except in limited circumstances, you cannot work until your course has started. When your course is in session you can work up to 40 hours in a two-week period (per fortnight). A fortnight is calculated as a 14-day period starting on a Monday.

If you are a postgraduate research student on a student visa, you can work unlimited hours during your studies. However, bear in mind that your visa requires you to maintain full-time enrolment and complete your course within the duration specified in your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

It is the students responsibility to ensure that any work undertaken is permitted within their visa conditions. To know more about the visa conditions that affect your work situation, visit .

An international student must maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of the student visa as it is a condition of the visa. This means you need to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and keep your policy up to date as long as you hold this visa.


OSHC assists international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care they may need while in Australia. OSHC also includes ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals. These may range from a basic product which covers only the compulsory minimum services to comprehensive products which cover, in addition to the compulsory minimum services, extra services as specified under the particular policy.


OSHC is offered by certain insurers under a with the Department of Health to provide adequate health insurance to students at a reasonable cost. Only a small number of registered health insurers offer OSHC.


Health Insurer
Insurers website
ahm OSHC
Allianz Global Assistance (Peoplecare Health)
BUPA Australia
CBHS International Health
Medibank Private


Always view the and its providers for updated information.


Some exceptions may apply and you should check with the to find out if special arrangements apply to you and if you are exempt from the requirement to purchase OSHC.


As holding OSHC is a visa requirement, take care to maintain your cover at all times. If your visa status changes at any time, inform your insurer as soon as possible to find out whether your level of cover is still suitable. When your student visa expires, then you are no longer eligible to hold OSHC.

After you have accepted your offer to study and applied for your student visa, you can start planning your arrival. Plan your travel to Australia, find out from the college your accommodation options and get an idea about living in the vicinity of your college. One of the best ways to settle well into your study is by planning well, being informed and arriving in Australia 2-3 weeks in advance.


Moving to study is exciting but it is also a big change. Being away from family, engaging with a new way of life, experiencing differences in weather, culture, and lifestyle can all be new and unfamiliar. So don’t hesitate to ask questions and raise any concerns you may have. We want you to transition to Australia into your college and study program as smoothly and constructively as possible.