There are many ways to apply for an Australian student visa and even acquire insurance coverage. Australia is one of the coolest countries in the world and has some of the best-ranking universities worldwide. While tons of people are trooping to Canada, little do they know that Australia is a much better option.
Studying in Australia is an exciting prospect for many international students, and getting the right visa that will take you there is the first crucial step to take. The Australia student visa, formally known as the Subclass 500 visa, allows individuals to pursue various levels of education, from primary to tertiary institutions. Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the basic requirements and eligibility criteria.
- Every Single Detail You Need to Know About Applying for Australia Student Visa
To start with, for you to be eligible for an Australian student visa, applicants must have an acceptance letter from a registered Australian educational institution. This could be a university, vocational education and training (VET) provider, or a school.
Additionally, applicants need to prove their proficiency in English through standardized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or equivalent exams. Adequate health insurance coverage for the duration of the stay is also mandatory.
If you’re not from an English-speaking country, it may be a hard nut for you, because you must pass an English proficiency course before your visa will be processed.
Step 1: Choose the Right Course and Institution
You can’t go for a study visa when you have not been accepted to study in an Australian University or eligible school. So, first things first, you should look for a suitable school that offers your preferred course of study, then you apply to them. Australia has hundreds of institutions that accept foreign students, take your time to research and find the one that’s best fit for you.
In your research, be careful to only apply to schools that are registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This registration ensures that the institution meets the necessary quality standards; if a school you choose is not registered under this board, your visa application might be denied.
Step 2: Receive a Letter of Offer
Once you’ve chosen the course and institution, submit your application and wait for the acceptance letter, also known as the Letter of Offer. This document is crucial for the visa application process, as it serves as proof that you’ve been accepted into a registered course.
If your course application to an Australian university is successful, you will receive a Letter of Offer from the school. Ensure to read through the letter details carefully before choosing to accept it. Of course, you can reject this letter if the terms are not suitable for you, and then apply to another school.
The form includes details about your indicated discipline, enrolment conditions, and fees you will need to pay if you accept the offer. Another important thing to do when you get this letter is to check if there are any refund arrangements so that if for any reason you’re unable to start or finish the offered course, the refund agreement will determine if you get cashback on any fees paid.
NOTE: Do not accept the Letter of Offer if you are not “cool” with any of its terms.
Also, make a copy of this letter, you will need it if there comes a time when you need to claim your rights (as stipulated in the Letter of Offer).
Step 3: Do Your CoE (Confirmation of Enrollment)
This will only take place if you accept the Letter of Offer sent to you. A CoE will be sent to you by the educational institution that is offering you an admission, to verify that you have enrolled for a specific course. But, you must “pay a deposit” which the fees are indicated in the Letter of Offer, before you can get the CoE.
A copy of the CoE is a compulsory document to submit when applying for an Australian student visa. It is proof you present to the Australian Government to confirm that qualified to visit the country and stay for a while to complete a course of study in a verified institution.
Note: According to the Australian Government, concurrent CoEs are no longer being issued. If you change from a higher education degree to maybe a vocational education and training course, you must meet all student visa requirements.
Step 4: Proof of English-Speaking
All Australian educational courses are taught in English, so foreign students are required to provide a certificate that proves their proficiency in the English language. The certificate will prove to the Australian Government that you meet the minimum English proficiency levels needed to succeed in your course.
Your school may also require you to submit some test certificates; however, all tests being requested can be done anywhere you are around the world. You only need to scan and send the certificate via email. If you do not meet the minimum pass requirement, your student visa will be denied. There are online guides on how to pass these tests with high scores.
Step 5: Prepare the Required Documents
Get all your documents ready, including a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) document. While applying for an Australia student visa online, you will be asked to write a statement in English and submit it along with supporting documents verifying that you have met the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement.
This statement should not be more than 300 words. At this point, you should have opened an account online with ImmiAccount – Australia’s immigration website for online application of different types of visas. Every detail you need to know about migrating to Australia is accessible from your ImmiAccount.
Note: Starting in January 2024, the Australian Government released an update on GTE requirements for student visa applications. The notice states that the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) will be replaced with the Genuine Student (GS) requirement and is subject to verification by the Department of Home Affairs.
Step 6: Proof of Funds
You should already know this, before you can be accepted as an immigrant into a foreign country, you must be asked to provide proof of funds statement. Proof of sufficient funds is required to prove that you have some reasonable amount of money to support your stay in Australia – from the time you jet into the country until you’re done with your studies.
There are two acceptable ways to present proof of funds for an Australian student visa application:
- Bank Statement: This implies submitting bank statements or evidence of grants or scholarships to the embassy. The bank statement should be in your name, and the embassy expects to see an amount that covers all your costs and expenses such as the travel cost, course fees, and rent.
- Your Parent’s Income Source: This is an alternative document you can supply. Provide the embassy with proof of your parent’s or partner’s annual income. This statement should show proof of at least AUD$62,222 inflows in the year immediately before you apply. If you’re traveling with family members, the least expected amount is AUD$72,592.
Note: The Department of Home Affairs website shows more information about the minimum amount required in your proof of funds. Also, you should understand that the cost of living in Australia may be higher than in your home country; however, the cost varies depending on the city you’re traveling to. Do well to do your research before going.
Step 7: You Need an OSHC Insurance
More like an insurance cover, international students coming to Australia are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) that will cover them all through their stay in the country. You must have this insurance cover to be granted a student visa. This insurance covers you in many aspects such as:
- Paying your medical or hospital care while in the country
- Paying for most of the drug prescriptions you will receive.
- Helping out when you’re in an emergency
As part of getting this health cover, you should also ensure to get an OSHC card, which you will use for doctor appointments while in Australia. If you want, you can go and get third-party insurance covers for other things.
Note: All foreigners coming into Australia are expected to be in good health. So, you may be asked to go through a health examination test and pass the student visa health requirement. During your interview, you will be asked about your past conduct and character; people of certain characters are not allowed visa entry into Australia.
Step 8: Apply Online and Pay the Visa Application Fee
After you have confirmed that you met all the requirements above and you have gathered all the documents required, then you can start the registration online on your ImmiAccount. Creating an ImmiAccount is free and you will be guided properly through each step for your student visa.
Don’t go through any agent, most of them are scammers trying to rip you off. Nevertheless, there are reliable travel agents who will help you out. To be on the safer side, you can go with a registered migration agent or a legal practitioner if you want professional immigration assistance. Nevertheless, you can always find more information on the Home Affairs website.
Of course, you will have to pay some stipulated fees for your visa to be processed. The fee varies depending on the level of education and the type of institution you’re applying to. Payment can be made online through the ImmiAccount portal, and it is essential to keep a record of the transaction receipt for future reference.
Step 9: Wait for Visa Processing
After completing all the necessary steps, the Department of Home Affairs will process your visa application. The processing time varies, so it’s essential to apply well in advance of your course start date. You can track the progress of your application through your ImmiAccount.
Step 10: Receive the Visa Grant
Once your Australia student visa is approved, you will receive a visa grant notification via email. Review the details carefully, including the visa conditions and the validity period. It’s crucial to comply with all visa conditions to ensure a smooth and successful stay in Australia.
Applying for an Australian student visa involves a systematic and thorough process, from selecting the right course and institution to obtaining the visa grant. Each step plays a crucial role in ensuring that international students meet the requirements and comply with Australian immigration regulations.
By understanding and following these steps diligently, aspiring students can embark on their educational journey in Australia with confidence. Remember to start the application process well in advance to allow for any unforeseen delays and to ensure a seamless transition to studying in the Land Down Under.