Australian student visa requirements: The complete guide for a successful application

Australia is a popular destination for international students seeking a high-quality education and a multicultural experience. To study in Australia, international students are required to obtain a student visa.

The Australian student visa application process can be complex and time-consuming, and it is important to understand the requirements and procedures before applying.

In this article, we have provided a detailed guide on the requirements and application process for Australian student visas

Australian student visa requirements

The Australian government has set out specific requirements that international students must meet to be eligible for a student visa. Here are the detailed Australian student visa requirements:

1. Enrollment in a registered course

International students must be enrolled in a course of study that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This register lists all the education providers and courses in Australia that are approved to enrol international students. The CRICOS registration ensures that the courses offered by education providers meet high standards of quality and are taught by qualified teachers.

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2. Offer letter from an Australian educational institution

International students must have received an offer letter from an Australian educational institution before they can apply for a student visa. The offer letter should include information about the course of study, its duration, and the tuition fee. It should also state any conditions that must be met before the student can enrol in the course, such as meeting certain academic requirements or providing evidence of English language proficiency.

3. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement

The GTE requirement is designed to ensure that the student visa program is used as intended – that is, for genuine temporary stays in Australia for the purpose of studying. International students must provide a statement that explains their intentions for studying in Australia and how it relates to their future plans. This statement must demonstrate that the student intends to return home after completing their studies and that they have no intention of staying in Australia permanently.

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4. English language proficiency

International students must meet the English language requirements set by the educational institution they are planning to study at. This can be demonstrated by taking an English language test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE). The required score may vary depending on the course of study and the level of study.

5. Health requirements

International students must meet Australia’s health requirements, which include completing a health examination. This examination includes a medical examination and a chest x-ray to check for tuberculosis. Students must also provide evidence of health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia. This can be done through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme, which provides medical and hospital insurance for international students in Australia.

6. Financial requirements

International students must provide evidence that they can financially support themselves while studying in Australia. This includes evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs. The amount of funds required will depend on the course of study, the length of stay, and the student’s living arrangements. Students may need to provide bank statements, financial statements, or other evidence of financial support.

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7. Character requirements

International students must meet Australia’s character requirements, which involve obtaining a police clearance certificate from each country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the past 10 years. This certificate must be provided as evidence that the student does not have a criminal record or pose a threat to the Australian community.

8. Visa application fee

International students are required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee when they apply for their student visa. The cost of the visa application fee may vary depending on the type of visa and the country of origin.

Financial Capacity Requirements

Primary ApplicantAUD 29,710
Spouse or partner of the Student primary applicant (not applicable to Student Guardian applicant)AUD 10,394
Dependent ChildAUD 4,449
Annual School CostsAUD 13,502
Personal Annual Income if there is no member of the familyAUD 87,856
Personal Annual Income where there is a member of the family unitAUD 102,500

Source: IMMI Home Affairs (revised data as of May 10, 2024)

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How to apply for an Australian student visa

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an Australian student visa:

Step 1: Choose your course and educational institution

Choose the course and educational institution you want to study at in Australia. Make sure the institution and course are registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Step 2: Check the visa requirements

Check the visa requirements for your country on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. You will need to meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, have sufficient funds to cover your living and study expenses and meet the health and character requirements.

Step 3: Gather the required documents

Gather all the required documents for your visa application. This will include your passport, the offer letter from the educational institution, evidence of financial capacity, evidence of English language proficiency, and other documents as required.

Step 4: Apply online

Apply online for your student visa through the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. Create an ImmiAccount and complete the application form. Pay the visa application fee.

Step 5: Submit your application and documents

Submit your application and all the required documents through ImmiAccount. You may be required to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints or a facial photograph, and attend an interview.

Step 6: Wait for the visa decision

Wait for the Australian Department of Home Affairs to process your application. This can take several weeks or months, depending on the processing time for your country.

Step 7: Receive your visa

If your visa is approved, you will receive an email notification with the details of your visa grant. Make sure to check your email regularly and keep a copy of your visa grant notice.

Step 8: Plan your travel

Once you have received your visa, plan your travel to Australia. Book your flights, arrange accommodation, and purchase health insurance. Make sure to arrive in Australia at least two weeks before your course starts.

Step 9: Comply with visa conditions

After arriving in Australia, make sure to comply with all the conditions of your student visa. This includes maintaining full-time enrollment, attending classes regularly, and informing the educational institution of any changes to your contact details. You should also comply with all Australian laws and regulations.

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The requirements for an Australian student visa are designed to ensure that international students are genuine temporary entrants to Australia, that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves while studying, and that they meet health and character requirements. It is important for students to carefully read and understand the requirements before applying for a student visa to ensure a smooth and successful visa application process.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement?

The GTE requirement is an assessment of whether the applicant's intention to study in Australia is genuine and temporary. The applicant must demonstrate that they have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily and will return home after completing their studies.

Do I need health insurance for my student visa?

Yes, you will need health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a requirement for all student visa holders, and you must purchase it from an approved provider before you arrive in Australia.

Can I work while studying on a student visa?

Yes, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. You must maintain full-time enrollment and comply with all visa conditions.

How long does it take to process a student visa application?

The processing time for a student visa application can vary depending on your country of origin, the level of assessment required, and other factors. You should check the current processing times for your country on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.