Many students dream about wanting to study in the beautiful country that is Australia. You are on your way to completing your dream of studying in the country and have been offered a place in the university of your choice, but now only one hurdle stands in your way in completing your lifelong dream; an Australian student visa. This is one thing that worries many people as they are unaware of the process. Don’t worry because today, we will guide you on how to get an Australia student visa and be on your way to completing your dream.
What is an Australian student visa?
Before we dive into the process of how to get an Australian student visa, let us first understand what it is exactly (It is kind of important!). An Australian student visa is a document that allows students to visit Australia for a specific amount of time. Australia does not affix visa stamps or labels to students' passports as most other nations do. The visa privileges are electronically recorded on a website database. The immigration officer checks the database to see if students have visas when arriving in Australia. Guidelines for the Australian Student Visa were released following the announcement, and a Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) was implemented in July 2016.
Types of Student Visas in Australia
There are a few types of Australian student visas available, and to get one, you must present a purpose and apply for full-time study at an educational institution. The various types of student visas are
Australia Student Visa: Subclass 500
The Australia Student Visa (Subclass 500) is the most common type of visa that students get as it is valid for five years. With this visa type, you can study, work and reside in Australia and be permitted to work 40 hours per fortnight during your term across all courses and an unrestricted number of hours during study breaks. There is a catch; you must give a statement stating your desire to return to your home country when the visa expires unless you have taken a GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant), which would allow you to apply for another visa or even permanent residency once you arrive.
Australia Student Visa: Other Subclasses
Other subclasses are combined into the main subclass 500 (this is the one you have to get!) So let us get to know the other subclasses.
- Subclass 570: For international students who are pursuing ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) as a stand-alone course.
- Subclass 571: This subclass is for international students who want to pursue a primary school course, a secondary school course, or an authorised secondary school exchange programme.
- Subclass 572: This subclass includes Certificate I, II, III and IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma.
- Subclass 573: This one includes a Graduate Certificate, a Graduate Diploma and a Bachelor's Degree.
- Subclass 574: This subclass is for a Master's degree in research or other courses and a PhD degree.
- Subclass 575: This one is for foundation, bridging, and other courses that don't award a formal diploma, degree, or other certificates.
- Subclass 576: This subclass is for full-time coursework taken by students supported by AusAID or the defence as a part of an education or training programme provided by an Australian educational institution.
Australian student visa requirements
Now that you know which subclass of the visa you want to apply for, let's talk about the requirements for applying for the visa. You can treat this as a subclass 500 checklist!
You can get a list of the documents needed on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website's document checklist tool. You are typically required to submit the following paperwork and submit it. We have given a basic list of all the documents you require and explained all the important documents required!
- A filled application for an Australian student visa (form-157A)
- A paid visa application fee, which is typically AU$650
- A photocopy of the passport bio page (some students may be asked to provide their passport physically)
- Four passport-size photographs (recent)
- National Identification Card and Birth Certificate
- Academic Records
You will receive an offer letter from your preferred education provider if the institute is pleased with your application, supporting documents, and interview. One thing you must keep in mind when you receive your offer letter is before you accept it, read it thoroughly. It will contain information on your course, enrolment requirements, and Australian student visa fees that you must pay if you accept the offer.
Confirmation of Enrolment
After acceptance and payment, the institute will confirm the offer. Once they receive the funds, the institute will issue a CoE (Confirmation Of Enrolment) to verify your enrollment in a specific course. You must submit a CoE with the Australian student visa application to the Australian government.
Proof of sufficient funds
You must prove that you have the monetary resources to support yourself during your stay in Australia to be granted an Australian student visa. Two ways to satisfy this condition are
- You can provide bank statements and documentation of awards or scholarships. It will demonstrate that you have the funds to pay for your course-related charges and expenses, including travel, course fees, and rent.
- You can provide documentation of your parent's or partner's yearly salary, which must have exceeded AUD$62,222 in the year before your application. The minimum annual income required to invite family members is AUD$72,592.
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)
The Australian government introduced the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) in November 2011. According to the GTE criteria, as an Australian student visa applicant, you must show that they sincerely desire to visit Australia for a short period to study or accompany a student as a dependent or guardian. If you want to know more about this topic, our blog on GTE in Australia will help you out!
English language proficiency
To get your Australian Student Visa granted, the Australian authorities require you to have some language abilities. You can prove your language abilities by taking a language proficiency test. The following test scores are acceptable:
Health and characteristic requirements
As an Australian student visa applicant, you must undergo a medical examination to verify your fitness. Most applicants must purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from a recognised Australian provider in addition to the medical examination. For OSHC, you must pay a minimum of AU$450 (per person for one year). You must also possess a strong moral character to obtain an Australian student visa. For instance, you shouldn't belong to a criminal organisation or have a criminal history. You will have to provide a police certificate as evidence.
Australian student visa eligibility criteria
To get an Australia Student Visa, students must clear the eligibility criteria. Some of these requirements are:
- You must be enrolled in the course of study in Australia.
- You must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) or qualify for an exemption.
- If you are under 18, you must also demonstrate that they have a welfare arrangement.
- If you hold an acceptable substantive visa as a student in Australia, you must go to the Eligibility Tab and look for 'Subclass 500'. If another substantive visa is issued, the first one loses its validity.
- Applications are to be submitted during Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDST).
Australian student visa fees
For subclass 500, the legal student visa expenses start at AU$620. This cost may vary according to the student visa subclass and other fees associated with the application procedure. The application fee for a student visa can be paid using a credit or debit card. If you apply, an embassy or consulate will inform you of the fee payment method.
Australian student visa application process
You can easily apply online for an Australian student visa using the ImmiAccount (Immigration Account) application. The revised Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) Guidelines have made the Australian student visa application procedure more straightforward and online.
How to apply?
You must use the online application system to submit your application after you have collected and scanned the supporting documents. Follow these steps to apply for an Australian student visa.
- Create an ImmiAccount and log into the same.
- Fill in the corresponding visa application form for the required eligible subclass.
- Attach documents, details, passport details, address and email. Provide additional documents like parental consent if you are under 18.
- Each online application is given a Transaction Reference Number (TRN), a unique number. You can check the status of the application for an Australian student visa.
- The TRN will help you manage your application, decide whether to contact the visa centre and verify your Australian student visa requirements.
After the completion of formalities at the centre, the decision on your student visa application will be delivered to you in writing. If you are accepted, the letter will include the following:
- Your visa grant number
- The date the visa will expire
- The terms of your student visa
75% of applications for higher education are processed within 72 days of submission, and 90% of applications are processed in 5 months. It could take longer if there are issues with supporting documents or gaps in the application. Biometric information from students may be requested as part of the application process, which will appear in their Australian Immigration Account.
After you apply for your visa, you will be appointed a case officer. This person will be the one who will take your GTE assessment. . Based on the performance in this assessment, your student visa for Australia will be approved or denied. Some pointers to keep in mind during an interview are
- Most interview questions will be based on your motivation and commitment to succeeding in Australian education and the requirements and paperwork you have provided.
- You need to be honest and provide verifiable answers.
- You must carry all the required documents for the interview.
That was all you needed to know about getting an Australian Student visa! If you follow all the guidelines and meet the student visa application deadlines and the Australian student visa requirements, you will be granted your student visa with no problem. After you receive your visa and are ready to embark on your student journey, check out amber to find fully furnished, well-equipped student accommodation options throughout Australia in different cities like Sydney, Gold Coast, Perth, Wollongong and many more. If you are moving to Australia as a student, gaining discounts will be beneficial. Student discount cards will be your saviour in this situation.