Guide to Australian health insurance for Indian students
Learn what you need to know about health insurance if you're an Indian student coming to Australia.
All international students need health insurance in order to study in Australia. So if you're an Indian citizen applying for a student visa, you'll need to take out overseas student health cover (OSHC) for your visa to be approved. You will also need to meet the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement, English proficiency requirements and healthcare requirements.
Find out what you need for a successful application.
How healthcare works in Australia
Indian students coming to study in Australia will need to get Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), since non-residents don't have access to Medicare – Australia's public healthcare system. OSHC is health insurance made for international students studying in Australia. It's also part of your visa requirement and is tailored specifically to meet the health requirements set out by the 500 visa and other student visas.
There are several Australian providers who offer cover, including the following:
With OSHC, you can get different levels of health cover, though a basic policy can generally cover you for the following:
- Hospital bills. OSHC can pay up to 100% of the hospital services listed as covered. Sometimes you won't get the same back if you use a hospital that your insurer doesn't have a partnership with.
- Doctor's (GP) visits. You can get covered for up to 100% of the amount that the Australian government has set as the standard GP consultation fee. You'll have to pay the difference if the GP you use charges more than the standard rate.
- Prescriptions. There is usually a yearly limit on how much of your prescriptions will be covered.
- Emergency ambulance rides. Your policy usually pays up to 100% of your ambulance rides but only if it is an emergency.
- Bloodwork and X-rays. If done in a hospital, you'll usually get up to 85% back for specialist service costs.
It's possible to get more comprehensive OSHC. For example, out-of-hospital services like optical and dental are only generally included with a comprehensive policy. Prices usually range from around $460 to $530 for a 12-month policy.
If you're travelling to Australia on a 500 visa with your partner or spouse, make sure they are also listed on your policy. This will ensure they're compliant with your visa healthcare requirements as well.
What visas are available to Indian students?
To study in Australia, you'll need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500). If you've got dependent family members coming with you, they will need to be listed on your application. For Indian students under the age of 18, there is a Student Guardian visa (subclass 590), which allows parents to accompany their child while they study. However, they will need Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC).
Prices start at around AUD$620 and you can stay for up to 5 years depending on the course you enrol in. This visa comes with a work limitation of 40 hours a fortnight. This only applies when your course of study is in session, and you can work full time outside of term time. This also applies to any accompanying family members.
Visa eligibility and requirements for Indian students
In order to be eligible to study in Australia, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be enrolled in a course of study. You will need to provide Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or other proof that you are enrolled on a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
- Have enough money to support yourself. You will need to show that you can financially support yourself for the duration of your stay in Australia. Evidence that is acceptable includes proof of annual income, loans from financial institutions and other evidence of savings.
- Meet healthcare requirements. You and any accompanying family members will need to get Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider.
- Genuine temporary entrant (GTE). You must submit a statement showing that you intend to leave Australia after you finish your studies. You may need to show evidence of financial, family or social ties in India.
- English language proficiency requirements. You might be asked to provide evidence of your English language proficiency. This is often after you have submitted your application. If this is the case, you will need to sit an English language test that the Department of Home Affairs has approved, which can be found online.
Application process and when to apply
Before applying for the 500 visa or 590 visa, there are a few steps you will need to take.
- Apply to an institution. Wait to receive an offer letter and Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
- Gather the documents you need. The document checklist tool is a helpful guide that allows you to see what evidence you need to provide. You will need to provide evidence of your identity, proof of healthcare, GTE and enrolment.
- Apply for the visa. If you're outside of Australia, make sure you apply for the visa at least six weeks before your course starts.
- Wait for an answer. The Department of Home Affairs will let you know the outcome of your application, ordinarily between 7 and 60 days, though processing times vary.
How to get PR for Indian students
A lot of international students choose to complete further studies in Australia after their initial course finishes. This is a good way to boost your chances of gaining employment in Australia as a specialist in your field, getting sponsored and potentially gaining permanent residency.
If you are interested in getting PR, you can submit an expression of interest through the Department of Immigration's SkillSelect migration program. This points test scheme can lead to permanent residency through a Skilled Independent Visa (like the 190 visa) or the Employer Nomination Scheme (like the 186 visa).
There are also often paths to permanent residency if you are willing to settle in regional areas of the country where your occupation is needed, like the 187 visa. This is known as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
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