Australian Student Visa Application: Explained


A student visa application is lying on a table next to flights tickets, a pen, and a compass. Australia studies visa requirements.


International students who are seeking an Australian student visa must first be accepted by an Australian educational institution to study full-time in Australia.


A letter of offer or a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is mandatory to lodge a student visa application.


Students applying from outside Australia must submit the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with the visa application, as only a letter of offer is not accepted in this case.



1. Eligibility Criteria for Australian Student Visa


Any international student above 6 years of age, who has been accepted by an Australian educational institution to study full-time in Australia, can apply for an Australian student visa. Students below 18 years of age, have to make appropriate welfare arrangements for their stay in Australia before applying for a student visa.


International students are required to meet certain criteria before applying for a student visa. Students must supply evidential documents proving that they meet all the requirements needed to obtain this visa.


Although these requirements vary depending upon your country of passport, generally following documents are required by the Department of Home Affairs in order to grant an Australian student visa:



Confirmation of Enrolment


  • All international students must submit a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) to obtain an Australian student visa. It’s also mandatory that the student is enrolled in a course that is registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).



Genuine Temporary Entrant


  • Students must provide a personal statement in English stating their intention of coming to Australia. This statement should satisfy the visa officer in deciding that the student’s intention of coming to Australia is to stay temporarily in order to gain a top quality education.



English Language Proficiency


  • Students from a non-English speaking country may have to take an English test to prove their English language proficiency. Students must obtain a minimum test score in an acceptable English Language Test to apply for a student visa. Following English Language Tests are accepted:


  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System

  • TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

  • C1 Advanced: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

  • PTE: Pearson Test of English

  • OET: Occupational English Test



Financial Capacity


  • Students must have enough money to pay for their tuition fees and living expenses while studying in Australia. Students may be asked to provide an evidence of their financial capacity along with their visa application. In this evidence, students must show that they have enough money to pay for travel, tuition and cover the living expenses of themselves and of any family members who are accompanying them to Australia.



Health Insurance


  • All international students must meet the health requirements of the student visa. Students may have to undergo medical tests as part of the visa application process. It is suggested that students undergo these tests before applying for the student visa to ensure that their visa is granted on time.






  • Students entering Australia need to be of good character. Their character will be assessed based on the character related answers they provide in their student visa application. The Department of Home Affairs may ask a student to provide further information in case they become doubtful of a student’s character.



Welfare Arrangements (Students below 18 years of age)


  • Students under 18 years of age have to either choose a student guardian in Australia, or a guardian who will accompany them to Australia on a Student Guardian Visa. Students also have the option to ask their education provider to organize these welfare arrangements for them.



2. Student Visa Application Cost and Processing Time


The starting cost of Australian student visa (subclass 500) is AUD 620. There can be other costs related to the procurement of documents needed for the student visa application.


Most of the students are able to obtain a student visa within 1 – 2 months. The visa processing time can be different depending upon the country from where the student applies. It can also vary depending upon the student’s individual circumstances and how much time it takes to verify his documents and seek additional information.



3. Australian Student Visa Process (Simplified)


 Seeking an Australian student visa is a 3-step process:


  1. Apply to study at an Australian educational institution and get accepted.

  2. Prepare all the documents required to lodge a student visa application.

  3. Apply for a student visa yourself or through an education agent.



4. Extending Your Stay in Australia


An Australian student visa allows international students to study, stay and work in Australia for up to 5 years. Upon finishing their studies, students can extend their visa for further studies, graduation, work, holiday, or immigrate to Australia.



5. Student Visa Conditions


All international students must abide by the conditions of their student visa; failing to do so results in their visa being cancelled. International students cannot work for more than 40 hours per fortnight unless they are on a course break. Students also cannot start working until the commencement of their course.


Only students who are doing a Doctorate or Masters by research are allowed to work full-time on a student visa.


All students must remain enrolled in a course registered with Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). It is also crucial for students to maintain proper attendance as required by their education provider. 


International students must hold active health insurance i.e. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of their course.


Students must inform their education provider of their address within 7 days of coming to Australia, and within 7 days of any change in their address later on. It’s needless to mention that international students must not indulge in any unlawful activity while studying in Australia.



6. Learning English in Australia


If your English language skills are not good, you have the option to study a stand-alone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students. (ELICOS) in Australia before commencing your formal studies.



7. Inviting Family Members to Join You in Australia


International students can invite their family members to join them in Australia. If any family member is accompanying the student to Australia, a combined application needs to be made. In case a family member plans to join the student, later on, the student must declare him/her on the student visa application.


It’s important for the student to show that he has the funds to support any family member who joins him in Australia.





As discussed previously, Australian student visa requirements can vary as per your country of passport. Therefore, it will be wise to check your individual requirements before preparing the documents.


Although international students can apply for a student visa themselves, many choose to go with an education agent to simplify the application process. Students applying through an education agent must ensure that the agent is an authorized representative of the educational institution where they plan to study.


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ What does it cost to study in Australia?
⇒ Scholarships for International Students
⇒ Australian Universities Scholarship Table 
⇒ Understanding Qualification Recognition
⇒ The Ultimate Guide to Australian Visas
⇒ How to Change Your Course or Institution

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