It is very common for visa holders not be able to apply for a student visa from within Australia. Recently the government has made it easier for almost everyone to apply for their student visa from onshore. Providing you don’t have a “No Further Stay Condition” (this is very, very rarely is this condition imposed), the you should have no problem applying for a visa from onshore.

The two most common visas that students apply from is a working holiday visa or a visitor visa.

What are the benefits of applying onshore?

  • You do not need to pay for flights in and out of Australia
  • Processing times within Australia are often quicker than offshore
  • Generally speaking, a higher percentage of offshore applications are refused.
  • If a visa is refused in Australia, the decision can be appealed. (If your visa is refused from offshore, the decision generally cannot be appealed)
  • Many education providers will only accept onshore applications for students from certain countries
  • If you apply onshore, you may have access to a cheaper onshore price
  • You will be assessed to the correct assessment level


Recently there has been an alarming trend for student visa application lodged offshore to be processed in countries not of the passport holder.

For example – We have seen numerous students from the UK who lodged their application offshore, had their visa processed in Australian Embassy in Serbia or Russia. In the past all of these applications would have been assessed by the Australian Embassy in the UK.

Student applications from the UK are assessment level 1 students – low risk.

Student applications Serbia or Russia are assessment level 3 students – high risk

Why is this a problem?

Students from assessment level 1 countries (UK, Canada, USA, France Germany etc…) are generally assessed at a easier level than high risk countries (Russia, Albania, Nigeria etc…). This is because there is little economic incentive for students from high risk countries to return to their home country upon completion of their studies.

In our opinion, this has led to a higher number of refusals because the case officers in Serbia or Russia are assessing UK students applications against the criteria for high risk countries. This has not just happened in the UK, we have heard from applications lodged in certain countries, being sent to Australian embassies all over the world.

Most schools understand there is generally a lower risk that student visas would be refused from onshore, and encourage students to apply from onshore.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:

  • Apply or Enquire online
  • Email:
  • P: 0755 265 900
  • Skype: pathwaytoaus
  • Address: 2 Davenport Street, Southport, QLD, 4215


Can I apply for a student visa in Australia? was last modified: April 19th, 2018 by Nick Yock