Where your education choices meet experts

Crossing the “T’s” and dotting the “I’s” – The Compliance Piece

Australia offers high quality education and has been attracting international students for over decades. The size of the Education Industry is enormous and its industry is the third biggest exporter into the Australian economy.

The industry itself is guided by a range of Legislations that contributes for The Education Services Overseas Students (ESOS) – a framework that protects and enhances the experiences of overseas students in Australia.

Requirements of ESOS and the National Code 2018

What is the National Code?

The National Code is a set of nationally consistent standards that governs the protection of overseas students and delivery of courses to those students by providers registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS is an Australian Government register that lists all Australian Education providers offering courses to people studying in Australia on student visas and the courses offered.

The National Code 2018 comprises the following:

Standard 1          Marketing information and practices

Standard 2          Recruitment of an overseas student

Standard 3          Formalisation of enrolment and written agreements

Standard 4          Education agents

Standard 5          Younger overseas students

Standard 6          Overseas student support services.

Standard 7         Overseas student transfers

Standard 8          Overseas student visa requirements

Standard 9          Deferring, suspending or cancelling the overseas student’s enrolment

Standard 10       Complaints and appeals

Standard 11       Additional registration requirements

For more information

CRICOS – Department of Education

ESOS and The National Code 2018

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

What is OSHC?

OSHC is insurance to assist international students meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia. OSHC will also pay limited benefits for pharmaceuticals and ambulance services. OSHC is a mandatory requirement for all students (except those from Belgium) under the conditions of the student visa.

Who has to take out OSHC?

People who must take out OSHC are overseas students undertaking formal studies in Australia and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old).

For the purposes of OSHC, ‘overseas student’ means:

  • a person who is the holder of a student visa; or
  • a person who:

– is an applicant for a student visa; and
– is the holder of a bridging visa; and
– was immediately before being granted the bridging visa, the holder of a student visa.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia. For further information please visit the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website. With the exception of students from Belgium, OSHC is a requirement for all overseas students studying in Australia and must cover them for the period they are in Australia.

Which insurers offer OSHC?

Any Australian Health fund can offer OSHC policies for overseas students provided it has signed a legal agreement with the Commonwealth in order to provide these services. This agreement is called a Deed.

The following health fund providers provide OSHC policies for overseas students;

  • Australian Health Management
  • Allianz Global Assistance
  • BUPA Australia
  • Medibank Private
  • NIB

Details, costs, policies and any additional information can be obtained by each individual insurer.


What are the Student Visas type?

  • English Courses – usually called ELICOS (General English, IELTS preparation, Cambridge)
  • Vocational Courses – usually called VET (Certificate, Diploma & Advance Diploma)
  • University Courses – usually called Higher Education (Bachelor’s Degree,  Master’s by Coursework/Research and PhD)

The student visa duration depends on the program chosen by the student

  • if a student enrols for a 10-month course, the Student Visa will be valid for this period
  • if s student enrols for a 4-years program, the Student Visa will be valid for this period

The program chosen by the student must be between 12 and 52 weeks in order to be eligible for a Student Visa.

Depending on the length of your course, the student’s visa will be granted with the following additional times once you finish your studies:

  • For courses below 10 months of duration, you will be given 1 month extra
  • For courses over the 10-month threshold, you will be given 2 extra months
  • For courses over 10 months in which the term end date is December, you will be given 3 extra months

 Are Students required to leave Australia in order to renew their visas?

Students need to either leave Australia before their visa expires, or lodge a new visa application.

If the student visa expires, please contact the Department of Home Affairs immediately. There are serious implications should a student overstay their student visa length.

Students can only extend their stay in Australia if they do not have a ‘No Further Stay’ condition on their current student visa, or this restriction has been waived. Experts can find out if the Student have this condition by looking in their visa grant information or through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

Students might be able to extend their stay in Australia for:

  • further study
  • graduation
  • a holiday
  • work

In general, Students can only hold one visa at a time. A new visa (other than a bridging visa) will generally replace any other visa that they hold and come into effect as soon as it is granted. Students should contact the Department of Home Affairs before lodging a visa application if they have questions.

How much does Student Visa cost?

At the moment, it can cost from AUD 560

Students might have to pay additional costs:

  • additional applicant charge 18 and over
  • additional applicant charge under 18

Use the Visa pricing estimator to estimate the cost of your application.

Students might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessmentspolice checks, or any other certificates or tests. Students must make these arrangements.

For more information:

What are visa subclasses, and how are they relevant to my student?

Visa subclasses vary according to your student’s level of intended study.

The Student visa subclasses subject to assessment levels are:
1. English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS)—(subclass 570)
2. Schools Sector—(subclass 571)
3. Vocational Education and Training (VET)—(subclass 572)
4. Higher Education Sector—(subclass 573)
5. Postgraduate Research Sector—(subclass 574)
6. Non-award Sector—(subclass 575)
7. AusAID and Defence Sector—(subclass 576)

The Glossary of International Education

There are some unique terms that are used when liaising with students and institutions.

Below are the most commonly used:

 Academic transcript

The academic transcript is the official and certified version of a student’s academic record. The academic transcript lists the units and programs a student has enrolled in and all units they have attempted, and the grades received.

Academic year

The complete sequence of academic sessions that a student in a specific program could engage in over the period of a single year of study.


People who have graduated from the University.


The qualification resulting from the satisfactory completion of a specific program of study.

Also known as: award course, qualification or degree

Bachelor degree

The term commonly used to describe the award issued by all higher education institutions on completion of a set program of undergraduate units that confirms successful completion.

Census date

This is the date by which a student must discontinue their enrolment if they do not wish to be liable for charges or tuition fees for a unit.

Certified documents

Are documents that have been certified as a true copy of the original by a Justice of the Peace (JP). JPs must sign and place their JP number on the photocopied documents.

Commencement fee

The commencement fee is a portion of the tuition fee that international students need to pay when they accept an offer to study at a institution (mainly Universities). The value of the commencement fee is listed on the offer letter.

Commonwealth Register of Institution and Courses for Overseas Students

CRICOS is the register prescribed under Section 10 of the ESOS Act. International students who hold a student visa may only enrol in a course registered on CRICOS.

Confirmation of Enrolment

A document, provided electronically, which is issued by the institution to intending international students and which must accompany their application for a student visa. It confirms the international student’s eligibility to enrol in the particular course.

Credit for Previous Studies

General credit given in the form of credit points for accredited tertiary-level studies undertaken at other institutions. When granted, CPS counts towards the credit point requirement for the degree in which a student is enrolled.

Credit point

Each unit is worth a specified number of credit points. The credit point value of a unit reflects the amount of work required in the unit.


This is where a person, who has been offered a place at a certain institution, decides to delay the commencement of their studies by one year, or more (required approval from institution).


A degree is the major qualification awarded by a university. It is awarded either for successful work at undergraduate (bachelor degree) or postgraduate (higher degree) level, or as an honorary recognition (honorary degree) of achievement.


Units that students can decide to enrol in if they have the appropriate prerequisite.


This is where a student informs the institution which units they want to study in a particular study period (eg Session 1, Session 2). Enrolment is generally undertaken online directly by the student, although some students might need to attend the University to enrol.


An exemption is recognition that a student has completed a similar unit of study or content at another institution. Exemptions are granted on the basis of overlap of content with a required unit and apply only to students who have been granted credit for previous study.


A formal ceremony at which a student’s degree is conferred.

Offer letters

This definition applies to international students. A full offer provides international students with a full offer of admission, and allows entry for the stated intake of the degree for which student is eligible. No further conditions need to be satisfied. A conditional offer outlines the conditions that must be satisfied.

Overseas Student Health Cover

Students will need overseas student health cover in Australia on a student class visa. All international students who want to study and are on a student class visa are required to pay health cover for the entire length of their program.


The units of study (also known as subjects) comprising a program of study, each worth a fixed number of credit points.

Also known as: Subject, Unit of study

Should you have any question regarding the obligations and requirements of those involved in the continue quality of the international education, do get in touch with us.

Leave A Comment

© Copyright 2018 All rights reserved | Sofiri Pty Ltd | Australia | ABN 76 613 605 066