Before you apply

Australia is a great place to study. It provides high-quality courses, a fantastic lifestyle and a welcoming environment for international students. Once you have been accepted into your Australian course, the next step is to organise your student visa.

Before you apply for an Australian course you should contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or your nearest Australian visa office to find out whether you will be eligible for a student visa, how to make your application and what documents are required.

Student visa requirements

There are various general and evidentiary requirements that international students must meet in order to be eligible for a student visa. These include requirements linked to:

  • Hhealth
  • Character
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC)
  • being free of debts to the Commonwealth
  • custody, accommodation and general welfare arrangements for students under 18 years of age
  • your capacity to cover the cost of airfares, course fees and living costs for the duration of your stay in Australia (the minimum living cost requirement is AUD$18,610 per year)
  • Academic record and qualifications completed
  • English language level
  • Proving that you are a genuine temporary entrant.

Applying for a student visa

You will need a student visa for the whole time that you study in Australia. Student visas are divided into subclasses depending on the type of study in which you have enrolled. You are able to apply for your student visa using either a letter of offer or a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your education provider, but you usually need to supply evidence of your CoE before your student visa is granted.

Some students are able to complete a Student Visa Online Application through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website, while others need to apply by post or in person at the Australian visa office. The application process differs depending on your assessment level, which will be one of five levels depending on your country of origin and the type of study you intend to undertake (from English language courses and secondary school through to postgraduate research degrees). The higher the assessment level (with Level 1 being the lowest and Level 5 being the highest), the greater the amount of evidence an applicant is required to demonstrate in order to support their student visa application. You can check your assessment level at the Student Visa Assessment Levels page on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Student visa applicants who lodge their applications with a CoE from a participating university for a bachelor degree, masters degree, doctoral degree, student exchange program or study abroad program are eligible for streamlined visa processing. These applicants do not receive an assessment level and are processed in a streamlined manner with reduced evidentiary requirements regardless of their country of origin. For more information, see the Streamlined Student Visa Processing section of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

In most cases, members of your family unit may apply for a student visa to live with you in Australia while you study.

Fees and charges

A non-refundable visa application charge of AUD$535 applies to most student visa applications. In addition, there may be other expenses associated with your visa application, such as costs for medical examinations, police checks and the translation of documents into English (if required). For more information, see the Fees and Charges section of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Student Guardian Visas

If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child under 18 who is moving to Australia to study, you can also apply for permission to live in Australia as a student guardian on a Student Guardian Visa. Student guardians can live in Australia for the duration of their child’s course or until the child turns 18.

In order to be eligible, parents or legal guardians must meet the general and evidentiary requirements listed above relating to health, character and financial status. In addition, the applicant must:

  • be a parent, person who has legal custody, or a relative of the student for whom you will be guardian
  • be at least 21 years of age
  • be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection can provide more details about eligibility and the application process. Visit the Student Guardians section of their website for more information.

Help with your visa requirements

The best way to find out your specific visa requirements is to visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or your nearest Australian visa office. You can also contact us at Educamia for advice and help with your visa application.

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