Understanding your visa
Understanding the type of visa you are on and the conditions attached to that visa is important to ensure that you do not face any unnecessary trouble.
Most, but not all international students will be on a student visa. Depending on the level of study, students who have an international student visa will have a visa subclass of either 570 (Independent ELICOS), 573 (Higher education), 574 (Postgraduate research) 575 (Non Award) or 576 (AusAid/Defence). Each of these visas comes with their own list of conditions.
Some international students may also be on other visa types such as bridging visas, temporary residence visas, working holiday visas or even, in some circumstances, tourist visas. The International Quality and Compliance Team is responsible for monitoring the visa status of international students and ensuring that their visa type is correctly reflected in the University system.
A bridging visa is not, in itself, a substantive visa. A bridging visa can not (in general) be applied for, but is granted by DIBP in cases where the substantive visa has either ceased or revoked. For example, an international student who is required to apply for a new student visa to extend their period of study may be placed on a bridging visa to allow them to remain lawfully in Australia once their current substantive student visa expires and they are waiting on a decision about their new visa application. Similarly, a student who has inadvertently allowed their student visa to expire, may be put on another bridging visa type to allow them time to pack up their belongings and leave Australia.
There are five classes of bridging visas - they are used to make 'non-citizens' lawful who otherwise would be unlawful in the following situations:
- during the processing of an application, made in Australia, for a substantive visa (any visa which is not a bridging visa or criminal justice visa), including merits review of a decision to refuse such an application
- while arrangements are made to leave Australia
- at other times when the 'non-citizen' does not have a visa (for example, when seeking judicial review) and it is not necessary for the person to be kept in immigration detention.