How to Apply for a Student Visa to Australia

When you want to apply for a student visa to Australia, there are certain requirements you must fulfil. Australian universities are regarded as some of the best in the world for many reasons. However, it would help if you familiarise yourself with the steps necessary to obtain an Australian student visa before leaving to study in Australia.

Please note before you apply for a student visa to Australia, the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) took effect in 2016, replacing the previous Australia Study Visa requirements.

Who needs to apply for a student visa to Australia?

An Australian student visa is required for international students who want to migrate to Australia because of the country’s numerous career prospects and world-recognised educational facilities. 

The visa application process varies greatly depending on your nationality. As such, it’s in your best interest to start your application process immediately you receive your acceptance letter from your prospective Australian university.

Australia is the third most popular destination for international students after the United Kingdom and the United States and is home to seven of the world’s top 100 universities. When you apply for a student visa to Australia from overseas, you need to have all the necessary documents and meet the other criteria set by the commission. 

An international student wishing to pursue a university education in Australia must first be granted the right to do so by the Australian government. You must also receive a provisional admission to be eligible to study in Australia.

Do I need to apply for a student visa to Australia from New Zealand?

If you are a New Zealand citizen, you will not need an Australian student visa. New Zealand citizens only need to pay the domestic student fee rates, rather than international student fees. However, New Zealand students are not usually eligible for student loans that are available to Australian citizens.

What are the types of Australian student visas?

When you apply for a student visa to Australia, the subclass 500 student visa is the required route for international students to enrol for undergraduate bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees in Australian higher education institutions.

Note that the following six visa routes below have now been closed:

  • Independent ELICOS (Subclass 570)
  • Schools (Subclass 571) 
  • Vocational Education and Training course (Subclass 572)
  • Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573)
  • Non-Award Sector visa (subclass 575)
  • Foreign Affairs or Defense Sector visa (subclass 576)

Australia student visa eligibility 

Financial Capability

You should have adequate funds to pay your tuition, living expenses, and travel expenses to apply for a student visa to Australia, as part of the Australia student visa eligibility.

You can provide a bank statement at least three months old, a letter of approval for a scholarship grant or money deposits, and an annual income of AUS$60,000 as proof.

Health Insurance

You can purchase your health insurance through your university or one of these approved providers (BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance, and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which should provide you with health coverage for the entire duration of your stay.

OSHC costs an average of $437 for a single student for a year in Australia.

To apply for a student visa to Australia, you also need to provide a medical examination certificate and proof of chest x-ray screening, polio, and yellow fever vaccination. 

Furthermore, your student visa must meet specific health requirements. Your medical test results will determine your visa application’s outcome. Visit the DIBP’s website to learn more about the health examination.

IELTS Test Results

You should provide evidence of recent English language proficiency test results when you apply for a student visa to Australia.

You can submit an IELTS test result sheet with a band score of 5.5, a TOEFL paper-based score of 527, a TOEFL internet-based score of 46, or a Cambridge English Advanced score of 162. The tests should be taken no more than two years before. To live and study in Australia, you must be fluent in English.

Australian student visa application requirements

  • An international passport.
  • A National Identity Card, if available.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Police clearance certificate.
  • Evidence of change of name, if applicable, such as documents that show your other names. An example of such a document is a marriage certificate.
  • Documents indicating that you have adequate funds to cater for your stay and to leave Australia, such as pay slips, tax records, credit card limit, or bank statements.
  • Previous international passports or visas to show your travel history.
  • A copy of your international passport and two recent colour passport photos.
  • Admission offer letter or Confirmation of Enrolment certificate for all the courses you intend to pursue.
  • A complete visa application Form. Create an account with ImmiAccount and make the application.
  • A copy of the parent or guardian international passport for individuals under 18.
  • Proof to indicate only temporary stay in Australia. A Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement is necessary to show that you commit to return home after completing your studies. 

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, introduced in 2011, prompts international students to establish a genuine desire to stay in Australia temporarily for their studies.

The Department of Home Affairs committee will take the following factors into account:

  • Your program’s long-term benefits 
  • Your immigration history
  • Circumstances in your country
  • Potential circumstances in Australia

You may be required to attend an interview at your local Australian embassy or consulate when you want to apply for a student visa to Australia to establish whether you meet the GTE criteria. Sometimes, you may only need to fill in a visa application form. Other documents may include:

  • A letter from your employer detailing your commitment to return to your job.
  • Proof that you enrolled in your home country in secondary school, college, or university.
  • Proof that you have close family members in your home country.
  • Proof that you have a major asset such as a house in your home country.
  • A letter of invitation from family or friends if you’re planning on visiting them. The letter should state your length of stay, the purpose of your visit, and proof of funds to support you.
  • Do not provide original documents unless requested to do so. Ensure that you submit certified copies of your original documents. Always ensure that you attach accredited English translations against documents not in the English language.

Where can I apply for an Australian student visa?

As an international student, you must submit your applications online through Subclass 500 to apply for a student visa to Australia to study at university.

First, create an ImmiAccount, Australia’s platform for home and foreign affairs. This account also helps you manage your visa application process.

Depending on your country of residence, you may need to apply at a VFS Global Australian Visa Application Centre in your home country.

This visa centre will make your online application process easier at an additional cost. The next process is the collection of your biometrics data.

The VFS Global Biometric Collection Centre will send a letter notifying you that you must come in person to capture your 10-digit fingerprint and facial image. You must show your original international passport and letter of the biometric requirement to proceed with the collection of your biometric data. 

Steps required to obtain a Subclass 500 student visa to Australia

  • First, create an ImmiAccount and correctly fill out the online forms.
  • Make sure your passport information is up to date.
  • Scan all of the necessary certifications.
  • Upload the scanned documents to your online application when prompted.
  • Submit all the required documents along with your Australian visa online application.
  • Submit your biometric data at the VFS Global Biometric Australian Collection Center

Upload all additional documentation to your ImmiAccount. After submitting your online application to apply for a student visa to Australia, you will receive a Transaction Reference Number (TRN).

The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs collaborates with VFS for visa services worldwide. After completing your application online, take your biometrics to VFS.

You will receive a Biometric Requirement Letter from the Australian Department of Home Office, which you should take to the VFS centre when you want to apply for a student visa to Australia.

In addition to the visa fee, you will need to pay VFS Global a service charge of about $25 with a payment card.

You will need to wait approximately 1 to 4 weeks for your Australia student visa application to be ready. It would help if you got all the required documents before applying for the Australian student visa to expedite the process.

How much does it cost to apply for a student visa to Australia?

Australia visa fees cost about $370 (AUS $550), which is subject to change at any time due to exchange rates. You will also be required to budget an additional amount of money for biometrics and the cost of transactions when making online payments.

You can make payments online for your Australian student visa using your debit card, credit card or PayPal.

Can I relocate with my family if I hold an Australian student visa?

The Australian immigration department requires your children under 18 to attend school in Australia as you pursue your studies if you intend them to accompany you.

You are expected to plan how your underage dependents will attend school. Before leaving the country, you may be required to enrol your school-age children provisionally.

Most Australian student visas will allow your family members to accompany you to study in Australia. Check with the Department of Home Affairs for more information. You must also demonstrate the financial ability to support your spouse or children.

The cost of raising a family is exceptionally high in Australia, and expenses will continue to mount during your stay. You and your family may have to consider these issues.

As of this writing, you may need roughly AU$20,000 per year to cover your daily living expenses.

In addition to tuition and fees, you will have to pay for housing, food, textbooks, transportation, and other necessities while in Australia. Various factors affect the cost of living, including your location, the type of housing you choose to live in, and the number of people you choose to live with, so bear this in mind.

As an international student who wants to apply for a student visa to Australia, it would help you to arrive in Australia first, start your studies, find accommodation, and get acclimated before bringing your family.

Childcare for dependents in Australia

If you desire to bring your child under five to Australia and your partner is not in the capacity to care for them, then you will need to establish childcare arrangements before you get into the country. Please note that your child is not guaranteed to access all childcare services, so start making these plans before arriving in Australia.

Schools for your Children dependents in Australia

You must register your school-aged children if you are planning on bringing them to Australia. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for schooling before bringing your child to Australia.

Consider the above factors before deciding to move your family to Australia.

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