How to Get an Australian Visa for Students

Australian students visa is specifically made for those willing to study in any Australian Universities. You must be able to prove to the Department of Home Affairs that you meet the following key Australian student visa requirements:

  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement
  • Financial requirements
  • English proficiency requirements
  • Health and character requirements

You’ll also need to complete an Australian student visa application form, pay the visa application fee, and perhaps attend an interview.

In order to determine whether you meet the GTE requirement, you may be asked to attend an interview at your nearest Australian embassy or consulate. Some applicants will only need to fill in a visa application form.

Australian student visa application form

Before applying for a visa, you’ll need to obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) or a Letter of Offer confirming you have been accepted into a course registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS). The COE will be in the form of an online code that you will need to enter into the appropriate section in the online visa application.

You will be able to change course afterwards to study in Australia at the same or a higher study level, but you’ll need to apply for a new visa if you’re changing course to a lower level on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) or a non-AQF level course (unless changing from a PhD to a master’s). You may also package your studies by studying two or more courses on your Student Visa (Subclass 500), where there is clear progression from one course to another.

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Australian student visa requirements

Financial requirements: Evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs. From February 2018, the amount you need to prove you have for living costs (separate from tuition and travel) is set at AU$20,290 (~US$13,750) for a year. 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, including school fees.

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English proficiency requirement: If you’re not from an English-speaking country (and haven’t completed at least five years’ study in an English-speaking country) you’ll need to prove you can speak English to the required level. Eligible tests include the IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE).

Character requirements: Australian student visa requirements stipulate you must be of good character to enter Australia. This includes a criminal record check, to make sure you don’t have a substantial criminal record.

Health requirements: Some students may be asked to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show they’re in good health (this applies, for example, to those who intend to train as a doctor, dentist or nurse). If told to do so, you must attend an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by the Australian immigration department.

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Australia student visa documents

The Department of Home Affairs website has a document checklist feature that will provide you with a list of documents required for your specific circumstances. Typically, students must submit the following:

  • Completed Australian student visa application form (157A)
  • Paid visa application fee – currently AU$620 (~US$420) in most cases
  • 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
  • Four recent passport-sized photographs

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