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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I am American, but currently living in Australia on a subclass 462 (work and holiday) visa. I have recently been accepted to a two year masters program here in Australia, but upon going to apply for a student visa, it appears that my current visa is just about the only one that doesn't appear in the list of visas qualified to apply for a subclass 573 visa. I contacted the immigration department, and received the response that I must in fact leave the country, lodge my application from abroad, and wait for a response, which can take anywhere from one day to a month. Surely there must be some mistake here!

A little more information: the masters program begins in July 2015, and my current visa is valid until September. Even if I did have to leave the country, I have an apartment lease and my day-to-day life here in Australia, and I'm not entirely sure how to time it to minimize any disruption to that (assuming I would go to New Zealand). Even tourist and visitor visas show up on the list of qualifying visas for a 573 - is it possible to switch to one of those to not have to bother leaving the country?

Does anybody have any experience with a similar situation and know why the immigration department comes up with these seemingly ridiculous restrictions? Furthermore, is there any chance that speaking to an immigration officer in person could perhaps result in some sort of an exemption, if such thing exists?

I know this is a bit full on - thanks everyone in advance for your help!
 

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If you want to apply for a sc. 573 visa, while in Australia, you must hold one of the eligible visas. There is no way around it.

Technically you could apply for a tourist visa, but it is unlikely to be granted, as you already are on a 462 visa. It could also come with a "no further stay" condition which would prevent you from making another application, while in Australia.

Your best bet would be to go offshore asap to get the application lodged. That way you can still return on your sc. 462, if for some reason the student visa is not approved.
 

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Since the ability to apply for a particular visa while holding another particular visa is written into the legislation, there is no possibility to make an exception. It is what it is.

As Nick has said, it's best to go offshore and lodge your 573 visa and hope it's processed fairly quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, say theoretically I were to go offshore next week to lodge my application. Could I still return on my 462 visa once it's granted, or do I need to wait outside the country until the program starts in July? Surely the student visa won't be active months in advance. Is it possible to lodge my application offshore and then return to Australia while awaiting the decision? I'm still not quite sure how any of this makes any sense.
 

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You must be offshore both when applying for the sc. 573 visa and when it is granted.

If you came back to Australia on your sc. 462 visa after applying for the sc. 573 visa, you'd have to go offshore again for visa grant.

Once the sc. 573 is granted, you could return to Australia.

You can't lodge the application until you have received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) .

I believe that if you are applying online you can apply for your visa a maximum of 124 days before your course starts and that you can arrive in Australia on your student visa up to 90 days before your course starts. You may have to get this confirmed.

You can't work until your course actually start.
 

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There is always confusion between the 'Work and Holiday' and 'Working Holiday'. The latter can lodge a new visa onshore. We go through this with our American students regularly!

Your current visa is cancelled as soon as you apply for the new one. You can generally get it in a matter of days if you go to NZ. BUT be aware... you need to have a 2nd destination that does not require a visa on the airline ticket . ie going from NZ to Fiji to AU.

You can lodge your new visa about 4 months before the course starts. However, you cannot arrive onshore until 90 days before your course starts, Also be aware you cannot work again until the first day of class. Perhaps you can also book into a cheap filler course (such as a cert 2 or 3 in business) before the main course to get you onshore and working faster. You can put all the courses you want on the same visa as long as you have a CoE for each.

Lesley
 

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Hi Lesley,

Can you post a link to the earliest application and arrival times you mention ? The numbers I quoted might be outdated.
 

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Your current visa is cancelled as soon as you apply for the new one.
No, the current visa is superceded when a new visa is granted. While the new visa is processing, the current visa is still in effect.
 

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Does he not go on a bridging visa as soon as the new visa application is lodged? We have students who lose they work rights at that point.
 

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I see what i did...thanks for the heads up Nick - fixed.

Lesley
Thanks Lesley,

I just got a chance to have a look at the actual procedures. To confirm:

There are restrictions that prevent student visa applications from being made online too far in advance of the commencement of the intended course. However, these restrictions do not apply to student visa applications made in paper form.

As a guide, it is intended that a student visa should generally not be granted more than 124 days prior to the course commencement date for offshore applicants and 93 days prior to the course commencement date for onshore applicants.
 
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No, the current visa is superceded when a new visa is granted. While the new visa is processing, the current visa is still in effect.
That is correct. Your existing visa does not get "cancelled" because you apply for another one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for your help thus far! I've been looking for an excuse to travel around Southeast Asia for a few weeks, and maybe this will provide me with the best opportunity, since I have to be out of the country anyway. I'm thinking of maybe booking a trip sometime early to mid June. I should receive my loan money and Certificate of enrolment by the end of May, so should applying for the student visa, say 4-6 weeks in advance give me enough time to get everything sorted? I've gone on the immigration website to find average processing times for student visas, but it doesn't seem to be cooperating. Any insight into actual processing times?

Cheers!
 

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it helps being from a low risk country. It was a few years ago now but my 1st student visa was granted in 2 weeks....my last....24 hours!! Given that it's DIBP my info may be wildly out of date...hopefully Mark or one of the other agents on this page can provide more up to date info
 

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Hi Matt,
Have you solved the visa problem at last? I've met the same problem as well and my main issue is really about the time. I'm on a conditional offer now so can't lodge the application yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get the CoE at the end of Jan 2016. But the semester starts on mid Feb!! Perhaps you've got some idea how long it would take to get the 573 visa granted?
Thanks!
 

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Hi Matt,
Have you solved the visa problem at last? I've met the same problem as well and my main issue is really about the time. I'm on a conditional offer now so can't lodge the application yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get the CoE at the end of Jan 2016. But the semester starts on mid Feb!! Perhaps you've got some idea how long it would take to get the 573 visa granted?
Thanks!
If you are from a' low risk' country, processing of a 'decision ready' application might take only a few days. If you are from a 'high risk' country and/or there are issues with your application, processing might take considerably longer.

Plenty of applicants find themselves in a situation where their proposed course of study has commenced, but their student visa applications have not been decided.
 

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If you are from a' low risk' country, processing of a 'decision ready' application might take only a few days. If you are from a 'high risk' country and/or there are issues with your application, processing might take considerably longer.

Plenty of applicants find themselves in a situation where their proposed course of study has commenced, but their student visa applications have not been decided.
Thank you Russell! It's quite helpful.

My country of origin is China so I'm afraid I'll be considered as a "high migration risk" case. Anyway, I'll find an e-visa agent to prepare the application in advance and just hope I can manage to get the visa in time.
 

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Thank you Russell! It's quite helpful.

My country of origin is China so I'm afraid I'll be considered as a "high migration risk" case. Anyway, I'll find an e-visa agent to prepare the application in advance and just hope I can manage to get the visa in time.
Following the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) policy might bend in your favour, after all the Australian government makes a fortune from Chinese students undertaking (often pointless) studies in Australia.

Some years ago the ineffable, the Honourable, Senator Evans, minister for (whatever Australian immigration called themselves at the time) took steps to break the nexus between study in Australia and permanent residence. Having done 6 billion+ dollars worth of damage, the powers that be did a 360 and if you are reading for a higher degree they now roll out the red carpet; no pun intended.

I advise prospective students who intend to study to enhance their permanent visa prospects not to rely on advice from 'education agents' course providers, or immigration department employees, who tend to tell prospective students the first thing they think of, but to consult a registered migration agent before committing to a course of action.

All the best
 

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Hi Matt,
Have you solved the visa problem at last? I've met the same problem as well and my main issue is really about the time. I'm on a conditional offer now so can't lodge the application yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get the CoE at the end of Jan 2016. But the semester starts on mid Feb!! Perhaps you've got some idea how long it would take to get the 573 visa granted?
Thanks!
Hi Thread, this is Jason from China too!! I have the same issues as yours. I am a 462 visa holder and want to transfer my previous visa to student visa. May I know your Wechat? Maybe we could share something together.. thanks.
 
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