How to Get an Australian Student Visa
In order to study in Australia, you will need to obtain an Australian student visa. You must be able to prove to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) that you meet the following key Australian student visa requirements: Genuine Student Requirement, Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, financial requirements, English proficiency requirements, and health and character requirements. You’ll need to complete an Australian student visa application form, pay the visa application fee, and perhaps attend an interview. Read on for more detail on what all of this involves.
Student Visa Categories
In Australia there are various different types of student visas available depending on the course level, duration and other factors. Below are some of the popular ones.
- Independent ELICOS Visa – Subclass 570
- School Visa – Subclass 570
- Vocational Education and Training (VET) – Subclass 572
- Higher Education Visa – Subclass 573
- Postgraduate Research – Subclass 574
- Non – Award – Subclass 575
Streamlined Visa Processing Higher Education Sector Visa (Subclass 573)
Streamlined visa processing is designed for international students applying to study in Australia at a participating university or non-university higher education provider. You may be eligible for streamlined visa processing if your main course of study is an Advanced Diploma (Higher Education), Bachelor degree or a Masters by coursework.
- About this Visa
- How the Visa Works
Eligible Courses for Streamline Visa Process
The following higher education sector courses are eligible for streamlined visa processing:
- Higher Education Advanced Diploma
- Bachelor degrees
- Master degrees by coursework.
The following higher education sector courses are not eligible for streamlined visa processing:
- Higher Education Diploma
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma
- Associate Degree.
Maintenance Funds/ Proof of Finances
Students who fall into assessment level 1 will simply need to attest that they have enough money, while students at all other levels are required to prove that they have at least enough money to cover the first year of their stay. At present this is deemed to be
- A$18,610 (in addition to tuition fees mentioned on offer letter and return Air Fare)
Accommodation fees paid to your institution in advance can be deducted from the total. If you are receiving full funding you simply need to provide proof of this.
Evidence of Sufficient Funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs. The Assessment Level of the student determines the level of funds required, who can provide these funds and how long the funds must be held. If you have dependents (such as a spouse and children), you will also need to show evidence of being able to cover living costs for them, regardless of whether they intend to travel to Australia or not.
Travel, Tuition and Living Expenses
The table below outlines the amounts in Australian dollars (AUD) that you need access to. These amounts are the minimum required for this visa. They do not necessarily represent the cost of living in Australia.
The department must be satisfied that an applicant, once in Australia, will have genuine access to the funds they claim to possess to cover the travel, tuition and living costs for themselves and their family members.
You must have enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for yourself, your partner and your dependent children for the duration of your stay in Australia.
- Show Proof that you can meet these financial requirements for the first 12 months of your stay in Australia.
- Note: If you have completed 75 percent of your course and are applying for a subsequent student visa, you do not need to show your savings history.
- Declare on your application that you can meet these financial requirements for the remainder of your stay in Australia.
Evidence of Maintenance Funds
The money to support you and your family members must come from one or more acceptable sources, which may include:
- A money deposit with a financial institution held by you, or an eligible family member, for at least three consecutive months immediately before the date of your visa application
- A loan from a financial institution made to you or an eligible family member
- A loan from your government
- Your proposed education provider
- The Australian Government or an Australian State or Territory government
- The government of a foreign country
- A provincial or state government of a foreign country that has the written support of the national government of the foreign country
- An organisation gazetted by the Minister
- An acceptable non-profit organisation
- A multilateral agency.
Note: An eligible family member includes:
- the applicant
- the applicant’s partner
- the applicant’s parents
- the applicant’s grandparents
- the applicant’s brothers or sisters
- an uncle or aunt of the applicant who is:
- an Australian citizen, and Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen and
- usually resident in Australia.
English Language Skills for Student Visa
The table below outlines the English language skills you require and the evidence you must provide to be granted your first student visa or a subsequent student visa.
- IELTS Requirement
- Cambridge English
- Occupational English Test (OET) Certificate
- Health Requirements
- Health Insurance
- Criminal Record Checks
- Australian Values Statement
- Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Test
Students under 18 Years
- Parental Permission
- Accommodation and Welfare Arrangements
- Welfare Provided by a Parent or Legal Custodian
- Welfare Provided by a Relative
Australian Student Visa Documents
The DIAC website has a document checklist feature that will provide you with a list of documents required for your specific type of student visa. You simply need to select the type of visa you are requesting, and either indicate that you are eligible to apply for streamlined visa processing or select your appropriate Assessment Level. Then select ‘View Checklist’ to open a PDF document with all the necessary documents you need to provide. Typically, students must submit the following:
- Completed Australia student visa application form (157A)
- Paid visa application fee
- Copy of passport biodata page (some students may be asked to physically provide their passport)
- Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer
- Evidence of sufficient funds
- Evidence of health insurance cover
- English proficiency test results
- Criminal record check results
Visa Fees and Charges
The cost of visas changes from time to time. The cost of your visa is dependant on the date we received your application. If there is a price increase between the date you lodge your application and the date we receive your application, you will need to pay the new application charge. To calculate the price of your visa visit DIBP website.
Visa Processing Times
Visa processing times will vary depending on your Assessment Level and the type of visa you are applying for. Allow up to four weeks, with online applications usually being considerably quicker. Your student visa will last for the duration of your studies, including holiday periods, and will also allow you some time to remain in Australia at the end of your course, in order to prepare for departure. Under some circumstances, it may be possible to apply for a further visa at the end of your course (consult the DIAC website for more details).
Arrival & Student Visa Obligations
You can arrive in Australia on your student visa up to 90 days before your course starts. Within seven days of arrival, you must inform your education provider of your resident address.
While in possession of a student visa, you have certain obligations to fulfil: you must remain enrolled in a CRICOS-registered course, attend classes regularly, make satisfactory course progress and maintain OSHC health insurance. There are also certain visa conditions you and your dependents must comply with; breaching a visa condition may result in the cancellation of your visa.