Higher education in Australia is one of the best in the world and its universities occupy the top of the rankings against a variety of different criteria. If you have decided to study at an Australian university, you will certainly need a student visa.
UK citizens do not need a visa to enter Australia, but they still do need one if they would like to earn a graduate or postgraduate degree from an Australian university. The tourist visa allows a 12-week study period, and the work & travel visa lets you take up to sixteen weeks of study.
So, here is how to apply for a student visa to Australia in eight easy steps!
How to Get Your Student Visa in Australia
1. Apply and secure admission to Australian University
First, you should get in contact with and apply for admission to an Australian university or college of your choice. Once your documents have been reviewed by the admission committee, you will receive an offer from them if you have passed.
Once you accept their offer, you should pay the tuition deposit. The amount of the tuition deposit is different for the different universities across Australia. If you have received a full-tuition scholarship, you do not need to pay the tuition. Once you’ve paid the tuition deposit, you will receive a Confirmation of Enrollment, with which you will be able to start the student visa application process.
If your English language competency does not meet the criteria of the university you’ve been admitted to, you may need to enroll a preparatory English language course. In this case, you will receive separate Certificates of Enrollment. This is the most important step in getting your student visa in Australia.
2. Begin the Online Application Process
The process of Australian student visa application begins with an online registration. The institution that issues visas to foreign students is the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, so you have to visit https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register and create an account.
You will be required to submit your name and make sure it matches the name on your travel passport, and that’s very important. You also have to submit a valid phone number and email address because most of the communication is carried out via email.
3. Prepare your documents
To begin, make digital copies of the Certificate of Enrollment mentioned above and of the OSHC health insurance. You cannot study in Australia without one, and it can be purchased from various brokers.
Make sure your travel passport will be valid throughout the period of your studies to save yourself the headache of having to have it replaced while in Australia. This is not impossible, but it will certainly take a lot of time and nerves. You should scan your passport, too.
Scan and attach to your application a Proof of Temporary Stay. The Australian authorities want to make sure you are not planning to relocate to Australia for good. This proof can be a translated to English and apostilled copy of your work agreement.
Equally important is proof that you can finance your studies in Australia. This can be a bank statement, or any other document certifying that you have the necessary funds.
You may be required to produce a scanned copy of your birth certificate, again translated into English and legalized. You should also obtain, translate to English, and legalize a Certificate of Showing No Previous Conviction. This is required for your student visa application for Australia.
The Australian Home Office may ask you to produce evidence of language competency in English independently of the university you have been admitted to. This evidence may be in the form of IELTS or TOEFL results, or other internationally-recognized certificates of language skills.
Finally, you may be asked to produce proof of previous employment, as well as several consecutive paychecks.
4. Finalize Your Online Visa Application
In your online visa application, make sure to specify that you are applying for student visa subclass 500. You can file an online visa application 124 days before the start of your program, specified in the Confirmation of Enrollment. In other words, you have a comfortable time allowance to go through all that red tape.
On the first page of your online application, you have to fill in your nationality and your CoE code or codes. You are also asked to select the education type – secondary, graduate, postgraduate, or a preparatory language course.
You will have to enter personal information, information about your family members, as well as answer a number of questions about your education background and work experience. You may also be asked to provide info about your bill of health.
5. Visa Fee Payment and TRN-number
On the official website of the Australian Home Office, the quoted base application charge is AUD 620. As soon as your payment is processed, you will receive a TNR number, which you can use to track your application’s status. If you don’t pay, you won’t get your student visa in Australia.
6. Medical Tests & Interview
In some rare cases, you may be contacted by the Australian embassy or consulate in your country for a short visa interview. Bear in mind that the Australians are very serious about not importing viruses, bacteria, and other biohazards from overseas. The embassy officials may refer you to certified medical practitioners in your country, whose health certificates are recognized by the Australian authorities.
7. Wait to receive you visa grant letter
Provided you’ve accurately completed all of the steps discussed above, you should receive your visa grant letter within 30 days of filing your electronic application at the latest. As you applied online, your visa will also be electronic.
8. Arrange Your Travel
Once you have obtained your student visa, you can enter Australia three months before the start of your program, at the earliest. This time should be enough for you to take care of all accommodation and transport issues.
If you’ve chosen not to live on campus, you have to provide the university with your address in Australia within seven days from the date of your arrival. Finally, your student visa allows you to travel around Australia for two months after the end of your studies.
I hope that this article on how to get your student visa in Australia was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Australia Scholarship Category!