Discover Studying Abroad

Your guide to the Australian Student Visa Application

BrainGain decodes Australia’s student visa process. Here is a step by step guide.
BY Tina Varghese |   15-10-2015

The words ‘Visa Application’ often stress out potential students hoping to study abroad. The demanding application forms, thorough background checks, and time consuming procedures can demotivate a student. In fact, countries which make their visa processes more stringent often see a drop in the international student numbers. This is why Australia has worked hard to simplify its student visa framework.

So, there is no need to panic. If you are attentive to the details provided by the Australian Government, and your university, your application should be good to go.

Step 1: University Application

  • You can apply for a particular course in two ways.
  • Firstly, by downloading application forms directly from your University of Choice.
  • Secondly, through an Australian Education agent.
  • If you apply through an agent, make sure that he or she is a registered agent. Check their background thoroughly before approaching them Also, when you apply through an agent, you will be required to send in supporting documents, including certifications, qualifications, and proof of previous work experience.

  • For more details on the university applications, and what they require, read here.

Step 2: Receiving the Offer Letter

  • If your application is accepted, the University will forward you an 'Offer Letter.' The letter of offer is a contract between the student and the university. It will clearly state the following:
  • ✓ The course you are to be enrolled in;
  • ✓ The tuition fees you are expected to pay;
  • ✓ Enrollment conditions, and any refundable fees if you do not complete your course.

    It is advised that you read the offer letter carefully, and understand all the conditions and requirements stated on it before accepting.

Step 3: Confirmation of Enrolment

  • After you accept the University’s offer and pay your deposit, you will receive an 'Electronic Confirmation of Enrollment” by email. This will detail the date of commencement of your course and its duration. Before accepting the offer and paying the stipulated fees, make sure that you can meet the requirements for a student visa.

Step 4: Making the Application

  • a) Find out Your Subclass:
    Typically, students applying for university education will fall in either the Visa Subclass 573 or Subclass 574. Also students who wish to be enrolled in an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) fall under the Visa Subclass of 570.

    If you are applying for visa under any of these subclasses, you required to fill up Form 157E (online) or 157A (offline) to get started on the Visa Application process.
  • Higher Education Visa for Higher Education Sector Visa (Subclass 573)
  • Streamlined Visa Processing: Once you have received your COE, you can apply for ‘Streamlined visa processing.’  You may be eligible for streamlined visa processing if your main course of study is an Advanced Diploma (Higher Education), Bachelor degree or a Masters by coursework.
  • Normal Visa Processing: In case you do not have a confirmation of enrollment for a course that is supported by Streamlined Visa Processing, then your application will be assessed against the assessment criteria of your country of Passport. A higher assessment level will need more evidence for visa approval.

  • b) Create an Immi Account:
  • On the Australian Immigration website. Once you create this account you can easily track and manage your application, and it will also allow you to edit your application if needed. You will be given a unique transaction reference number which will allow you to identify your application. Under streamlined visa processing, the average time taken to process a student visa can be around 3 weeks.

    Assessment Criteria
    It is imperative you meet the requirements for a student visa prior to accepting the offer and paying the stipulated fees. Typically a student’s visa application is assessed on the following factors
  • ✓ Capability of covering costs such as tuition, accommodation and airfare
  • ✓ Level of English Language Proficiency
  • ✓ You academic record as per the courses you intend to pursue
  • ✓ Your immigration history to Australia
  • ✓ A health examination

    A good character requirement

Step 5: Fees

  • As per the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the current base charge of a student visa application is AUD 550 and it can be paid directly on the immigration website using an international payment card.You must apply suitably in advance so you can arrive well in time for the commencement of your course. Best of luck!

You must apply suitably in advance so you can arrive well in time for the commencement of your course. Best of luck!



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