Student Visa in Australia if You Are from Germany

There are many ways of going to Australia to work, but one of the more common ways for younger people working while studying. This is because when you have been accepted for a course of study in Australia from Germany, your student visa typically entitles you to take a job or jobs for up to 20 hours per week while you are studying and for an unlimited time while on vacation. If you are studying for a Ph.D by research there is no restriction on how long you are allowed to work. The only real restriction is that you cannot begin your job until your course of study has commenced.

Student Visa in Australia

What is not Considered Work on your Student Visa?

If you have to take part in work as part of your degree this isn’t included in the 20 hours a week.  Also, any voluntary work isn’t included either, as it is unpaid. However, there is one exception and that is if the voluntary work can be done as a paid job by an Australian then the hours worked as a volunteer are included in the 20-hour weekly limit.

Most importantly you shouldn’t need to take up too much time working, as technically you are supposed to have adequate funds available to cover both your tuition and living costs while you are studying on a student work visa.

Who can View your Student/Work Visa?

The Department of Home Affairs does not keep your status in Australia secret. You and any of your employers, or your education provider, are able to view your visa status online at no cost by using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). This is where interested people can check whether you have a valid student or work visa.

Useful Information in Australia for Work Visa Holders

You have to get a tax file number to be able to take up employment in Australia. This can be applied for online from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Your tax file number is your personal reference number which will stay with you as long as you are working in Australia

There is no maximum amount you are able to earn with a student visa, but probably your earnings will fall beneath the AU$18,200 tax-free threshold. This means you shouldn’t be required to pay any income tax. Despite this you are expected to file a tax return every year on 30th June. On the tax return form you include all the income you have earned throughout the year in Australia and overseas. If you have paid too much tax you may be entitled to a refund.

Work Visa after Graduating

If you would prefer to stay in Australia following graduation you are required to submit an application for a work visa. If this is granted to you then your student visa will no longer be applicable. The usual visa to apply for is called the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). This permits anyone who has graduated recently from any Australian higher education institute to remain in Australia for the purpose of work, study or vacation.

Two Streams of Visa

Graduate Work Streams

  1.  For any international student who graduates with an applicable qualification that can be linked to an occupation that is badly needed in the Australian labour market and is listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) might be eligible for a work visa lasting eighteen months.  
  2. The post-study workstreams are visas for graduates from other disciplines and the visa length depends on the applicant’s qualifications. If a student has been awarded a bachelor’s degree, a master’s (extended) or a master’s degree through coursework the visa has a2 year validity. If the student has a master’s degree through research, the length of the visa is three years. Visas for any Ph.D graduate have a 4-year validity. 

If your current visa has a ‘No Further Stays’ attached to it you may still apply for a visa by using Form 1409. This includes an application to be waived for this condition.

Temporary Graduate Visas and their Requirements

  • You must hold a current eligible visa.
  • You must meet the character and health requirements.
  • You must possess valid health insurance.
  • You must possess a valid passport.
  • You have to meet the requirements for the visa stream you are intending on applying for.
  • Evidence to prove your level of English fits the requirements. Germany is non-English speaking so you will need to have attained a specific score in an approved English language test like IELTS. The test must have been taken within 3 years before you file an application. You will need to include results in your application, and include the results in your visa application.
  • You meet Australia’s study requirements in the past 6 months.

Before submitting your visa application you will have to gather together all your documents proving that all the necessary requirements are met. The documents must include passport photos, your birth certificate, health insurer’s letter, course transcripts from your university, completion letters and any other required documentation requested at the time.

The fee is AU$1,500 and the application can be sent by post or online through ImmiAccount. You may be asked to attend an interview.