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How to apply for a Student Visa in Australia

After you’ve been accepted into your chosen course, it’s time to apply for your Student visa (subclass 500). To apply for an Australian student visa, you will have to go directly through the Department of Home Affairs website. You can apply from overseas or in Australia.

What are the Australian Student Visa Requirements?

In addition to proof of your identities, such as your passport and birth certificate, there are several documents you’ll need to provide and requirements you’ll have to meet when applying for your Australian student visa. All documents submitted to the Department of Home Affairs must be translated into English.

Confirmation of Enrollment (COE)

Firstly, you will need to provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your chosen institution. This document is evidence of your intention to study in Australia and must be submitted before your student visa can be granted.

Health Insurance

You’ll need to have adequate health insurance – known as Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) – that covers the length of your stay in Australia. It must start from the day you arrive in Australia, not the date that your course starts.

There are several OSHC providers in Australia.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement

The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement is another necessary part of your Australian student visa application. The GTE requirement is a written statement that is designed to:

  • Ensure you will not attempt to stay in Australia beyond the length of your visa
  • Verify that you’re truly pursuing a quality education and are not entering Australia under this visa with any intentions other than to study The GTE requirement will not prevent you from staying in Australia after your studies; you can still apply for a post-study work visa.

Statement of purpose (S.O.P)

Another very important document to be submitted.

English Language Requirements

To receive your student visa, you may need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Generally, your English test score is intended for entry into your chosen course, but the Department of Home Affairs can request your results even after you’ve submitted your visa application.

There’s a range of English tests to choose from, such as the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic. Each course has its own required test score, but there are still minimum scores you’ll need to achieve in order to secure your student visa. You can check these out on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Note that there are certain exemptions to the English proficiency requirement, such as if you’re a citizen of the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland, or you’re coming to Australia to complete a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

Evidence that you have enough money

You may need to provide evidence that you will be able to support yourself financially while studying in Australia. This could either be evidence of scholarship, or proof of funds to last the length of your stay.

Character Test and Australian Values

Another step in the Australian student visa application process is the character test and the Australian Values Statement. The character test is used to ensure that you are of ‘good character’ before being granted access to Australia.

The Australian Values Statement requires you to have read the Life in Australia booklet and verifies that you will obey Australian laws and respect the local way of life.

Health Requirements

To receive your student visa, you will need to meet certain health requirements. The main purpose of these requirements is to ensure the safety of the Australian community and to reduce potential costs to the Australian public health system. As a result, you may also need to complete a health assessment before visa approval is given.

What are the Australian Student Visa Fees?

The cost of a student visa in Australia starts at $620 unless exemptions apply. Students who were unable to complete their course within the original duration of their student visa due to COVID-19 and need to apply for another student visa to complete their study may be eligible for a fee waiver.

What is the Australian Student Visa processing time?

The processing time for an Australian student visa will vary. For higher education (university, TAFE, or other tertiary studies) students, 75 percent of applications are completed within 69 days and 90 percent within four months.

After you apply

The Department of Home Affairs will inform you about the outcome of your visa application. If your student visa is granted, you will be given:

  • Your visa grant number
  • Your visa conditions
  • The date your visa expires
  • While staying in Australia, you must keep a copy of this decision with you

    If your visa application is rejected, the Department of Home Affairs will inform you of the reasons why your application wasn’t successful.