Australia is becoming a very popular destination amongst international students as the standard of living is very good, the education system is world-class and the Australian Universities are gaining momentum in the world university ranking charts.
To be able to study here you will require to apply for an Australian Student Visa like any other country in the world. Now in order to do that you will need to prove to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that you meet their requirements.
The Australian student visa requirements are:
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement (GTE)
Now what is GTE exactly? This was introduced in 2011, November and under this you will be required to show that you are only seeking a visa to enter Australia to study, only temporarily. When judging you under this category the DIBP will be looking at the circumstances in your home country, the potential you will fulfil by coming to Australia, the course that you have chosen how it will help you with your future career goals, your immigration history (if any) and anything else that might be relevant. In order to further ascertain this you could be beckoned for an interview in your home country at the Australian Embassy or you will just be required to fill a visa application form.
Visa Application Form
As an international student you will be required to apply for an Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500), this can be applied to online. But before you can apply for this form you will be required to gain a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE), this is also known as Letter of Offer. The Letter of Offer will confirm that you were accepted to your desired university in your preferred course under CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses). COE will be given to you in a form of a Code that you shall be required to fill out in your visa application form in the respected section. In some cases you could also be requested to pay a deposit tuition fees.
What happens if you would like to change your course?
Now if you are looking to change your course but the course still remains under the same level of study or higher then there will be no need for you to do anything further, but incase the course that you choose now is below the level of study your first choose then you shall be required to apply for a new visa.
If you come from a non- English speaking country and have also not studied atleast for 5 years in an English speaking country then you will be required to take one of the following tests. IELTS, TOFEL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Cambridge Advanced English (CAE). The score required will vary from what course you intend to pursue in Australia.
Health and Character requirements
You may be required to take a medical test or a radiological examination to ascertain that you are in good health. This usually applies to students who are intending on going to Australia to train as a nurse, dentist or doctor. If been asked to do so you shall be required to take an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by Australian immigration department.
By character requirement we mean that you would be of good character to be able to gain entry into Australia, you must not have a substantial criminal record.
It is the evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover for you study in the country and this will include your travel, living costs and a little buffer. The cost of living that has been set for international students apart from tuition fees is AUS $19,830.
Student Visa Document Checklist
- Completed Australian Student Visa Application (157A)
- Paid visa application fees
- Copy of passport
- Letter of Offer
- Sufficient Funds- Evidence (bank records etc)
- Health Insurance Cover
- English proficiency test scores
- Criminal record check
- 4 Recent passport sized photographs
On an average visa applications take about 4 weeks to process. Now if you are going for a course that is longer than 10 months and will finish somewhere mid of December then the visa that shall be granted to you will be until 15th of March. Now in any other case your visa will be valid for 2 months after the completion of your course.
What to do after you have gained your visa?
After you have attained your visa you can enter the country 90 days before the start date of your course. Once in Australia, within the next 7 days you will be required to inform your education provider of address of residency. Incase if you change your address in the future then your current address must be updated with the same in 7 days.
Work as a student
Your student visa allows you to work upto 40 hours per fortnight whilst your are in the middle of your academic session. During holidays you can choose to work full time as well. Also you can only start working once your course has started and not before that.
Also, if you are a PhD or master’s student intending on doing research then there shall be no work restrictions for you.
With that we hope you have enough knowledge on how to apply for your student visa.