Calling All International Students: Here’s How to Get a Student Visa in Australia

Australia is becoming a popular destination among international students. Thanks to its high standard of living, beautiful weather, incredible education system, sights and culture, Australia is the destination for students looking to study abroad. After all, the country is home to Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, the Hemsworth brothers, who wouldn’t want to live here?

If you’re considering studying abroad in the land down under, then it’s important you know how to get a student visa in Australia. Since there’s a strict process to secure an international student visa from the Australian government, we’ve outlined all that you’ll need to know in order to get your visa squared away as quickly as possible. 

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Who Needs an Australian Student Visa and What Visa Do I Apply For? 

Unless you hail from New Zealand, then we’ve got news for you, you’ll need a student visa to study abroad in Australia. But just what type of visa you’ll need depends on the length of study you intend on doing.

For students who are going to study abroad for longer than six months, you’ll need to apply for the subclass 500 Student Visa. If you’re planning on staying for a shorter amount of time, then you can apply for a Visitor or Working Holiday Visa. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to apply for and await approval of your student visa.

To Get Started with Your Application, You’ll Need These Docs 

Getting your student visa isn’t a super difficult process if you’re properly prepared. If you want to know how to get a student visa in Australia, then you’ll need to check off these nine items to study abroad.

Student Visa Document Checklist 

  1. Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) 
  2. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement personal statement
  3. Fill out the Australian student visa application (subclass 500)
  4. Provide a copy of your passport
  5. Evidence of sufficient funds (proof that you have the means to support your study abroad experience)
  6. Health insurance coverage
  7. English proficiency test scores (depending on your country of origin) 
  8. Four (4) passport photographs
  9. Pay visa application fees

Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) 

Once you’ve received your letter of acceptance from your university and paid all associated fees, you should receive a document called a confirmation of enrollment (CoE) for each course you’ll be taking while studying abroad in Australia.

You might be wondering, what does this have to do with how to get a student visa in Australia? The CoE is an important piece of paperwork that you’ll need to complete your visa application process. The CoE will be given to you in the form of a code that you’ll be required to fill out in your visa application form in the respective section.

If, down the road, you are looking to change your courses of study, but the courses remain under the same level of study or higher, then there’s no need for you to do anything further. However, if you choose to pursue courses below the level of study you originally chose, then you’ll be required to apply for a new student visa.

Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement Personal Statement (GTE) 

If you’re wondering how to get a student visa in Australia, it’s important to know about the GTE and what it means for you. As of 2011, students are required to show that they’re only seeking a visa to enter Australia to study temporarily through a written personal statement.

As the Australian government considers your visa application, they’ll be looking at the circumstances in your home country, the potential you will fulfill by coming to Australia, the course of study you’ve chosen and how it will help you with your future career goals, your immigration history (if any), and anything else that might be relevant to your visa application.

In order to further ascertain any details about your application, you could be asked to interview with the Australian embassy in your home country—though this is not very common.

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Fill Out Your Australian Student Visa Application

As an international student, you’ll be required to apply for an Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500), which can be done onlineOnce on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website, you’ll need to create your online profile, and upload all of your important documentation—don’t skip any steps as this can complicate how to get a student visa in Australia.

Provide a Copy of Your Passport

This step is easy enough, so be sure that your passport is up-to-date and ready to be submitted for approval to gain your student visa.

Evidence of Sufficient Funds 

Evidence that you have enough funds to cover your studies while in Australia is extremely important. Consider your travel costs, living costs, and a little buffer when you submit this evidence as part of your visa application. Remember: the cost of living that has been set for international students apart from tuition fees is AUS $19,830 per year. 

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Health Insurance Coverage

All students studying abroad in Australia must purchase Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC). If you’re unsure what insurance to buy, then we recommend speaking with your university about which of the five approved OSHC insurers you should choose from for coverage while you’re studying in Australia. This is a vital step not to be overlooked as it can affect how you get a student visa in Australia

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English Proficiency Test Scores

If you come from a non-English speaking country and have not studied in an English-speaking country for a minimum of five years, then you’ll be required to take one of the following tests: IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE), or Cambridge Advanced English (CAE). If English isn’t your strength and you’re worried about how to get a student visa in Australia without proficiency in the language, consider taking English courses to prep you for your exam.

Four Passport Photographs

If you’re thinking about how to get a student visa in Australia, one of the fun parts of the app process is getting your passport photos taken! Most countries allow you to provide passport photos when applying for your passport, or you can take them at your government passport office.

Pay Visa Application Fees

In addition to filling out all pertinent student visa information, you’ll need to pay your visa fees. The fees vary depending on the country you’re coming from, so it may be useful to use the visa pricing estimator to get an idea of how much your visa will cost.

Once you’ve paid for your visa, you’ll receive a Transaction Reference Number (TRN). This is the number you’ll need to check on the pending status of your application. At this point, you’re just about done with the process of how to get a student visa in Australia

How Long Does It Take to Process My Application?

On average, visa applications take about four weeks to process. Now, if you’re taking a course that is longer than 10 months, and will finish somewhere in mid-December, then the visa that you’ll be approved for will be until March 15th. In any other case, your visa will be valid for two months after the completion of your courses.

What to Do After You’ve Attained Your Visa

After you’ve attained your visa, you can enter the country 90 days before the start date of your courses. Once in Australia, within the next seven days, you’ll be required to inform your education provider of your address of residency. If you change your address in the future, then your current address must be updated within seven days.

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Now That You Know How to Get a Student Visa in Australia, Where Will You Live?

Okay, you’ve gone through the process of how to get a student visa in Australia, and you’re ready to pack your bags and move abroad, but do you know where you’ll be living yet?

Unilodgers offers incredible student accommodation in AU, with a huge selection of beautiful student apartments, private or shared, with a laundry list of high-end amenities. If you’re looking for student housing in Melbourne or student apartments in Brisbane, then allow Unilodgers to find you an amazing apartment (complete with a roommate matching program and Student Support Specialists to answer all your questions). Have a great time in Australia, mate! 

Unilodgers is the world’s leading platform to book student accommodations and serves over 2 million students from over 195 countries every year. We provide students exclusive offers on student housing options and make it easy to book the accommodation that’s the best fit for you.