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Staying After Graduation: How To Extend Your Australian Student Visa

by Marsha Hudson

The international student community is large and made of many nationalities. Australia also has a thriving economy when compared to much of the world, with employment prospects to match. It's hardly surprising that many students want to stay on in Australia after their studies, whether it's for postgraduate studies or to seek employment and build a life down under. If you or someone you know is a foreign national studying in Australia, what are the options for staying after graduation?

Have You Already Been Excluded?

When planning for a future in Australia, you need to be aware of your exact current circumstances. Not all student visa holders are entitled to apply for an additional visa, and this is the case if you have a Further Stay Restricted condition imposed on your visa. This is classed as condition 8534 or 8535, and you can find out if these conditions apply to you by checking your visa status online.

While unfortunate, these conditions are often imposed on foreign students whose Australian course of studies is for a duration of 10 months or less and are also a condition of short stay tourist visas. Generally, you will need to leave Australia before applying for a new visa. In some cases, these conditions can be waived, and a migration agent will be able to help you with this process.

Changing A Standard Student Visa

Fortunately, there are many options that will allow you to either apply for a new student visa or change your visa type altogether. If you wish to continue studying, either for a new undergraduate degree or a postgraduate degree, another student visa can be granted. 

Should you wish to stay in Australia for a holiday and even to attend your graduation ceremony, you may apply for a visitor visa. Any working rights you have with your student visa will be immediately revoked, so it's important to budget for this type of stay. You can also choose to build a life in Australia by applying for a standard working visa or even a skilled migration visa. In some cases, sponsorship by an employer is necessary.

Be Careful

Applying for a new visa beyond your existing student visa is not something that should be left for the last minute. If you want to stay in Australia, you should begin the application process several months in advance, particularly if you're applying for a waiver of conditions 8534 and 8535. Should you overstay your visa by more than 28 days, you might be excluded from Australia for three years, meaning you won't even be able to return as a tourist. There are lesser exclusion periods imposed upon those who overstay between one and 28 days, so it's really not worth the trouble. A skilled migration agent will be able to assist you with the many ways in which you're able to stay in Australia, whether it's for study or to make it your permanent home.

So while working life in Australia doesn't quite match the often relaxed pace of student life, it's unsurprising that so many students want to stay in the country for a while longer--and maybe even forever. For more information, contact a business such as Visas Online.