A student who is not a citizen of Australia but wants to study in Australia requires an Australian Student Visa to fulfil this purpose. Any foreign student who enrols on a course lasting four months or more in Australia will require a student visa.
In order to apply for an Australian student visa, a student must have secured an unconditional offer of place at one of the universities and must have duly accepted that place and deposited the required tuition fee for the course.
Types of Australia Student Visa
There are 8 types of Australia student visa. A student can opt for one of these visas depending on his or her circumstances. The student visa categories are listed below:
- Independent ELICOS Sector visa (subclass 570): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia to study a full-time English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS). If a student has to undertake ELICOS as a prerequisite to another course, the student must apply under the subclass relevant to the principal course.
- Schools Sector visa (subclass 571): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia to study a full-time school course. The course of study may be a primary school course, a secondary school course, including junior and senior secondary, or an approved secondary school exchange program.
- Vocational Education and Training Sector visa (subclass 572): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia to study a full-time vocational education and training course, including Certificate I, II, III, and IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma.
- Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia to study a full-time higher education course, such as, a bachelor degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma.
- Postgraduate Research Sector visa (subclass 574): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia to do postgraduate research i.e., a Doctoral degree.
- Non Award Sector visa (subclass 575): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia to study either a non-award foundation studies course or another full-time course (or components of a course) that does not lead to an Australian award in Australia.
- Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector visa (subclass 576): This visa is meant for those international students who are sponsored by AusAID or Defence to study a full-time course of any type in Australia.
- Student Guardian visa (subclass 580): This visa is meant for those international students who want to stay in Australia:
- as the guardian of an international student younger than 18 years of age studying in Australia on a student visa
- in exceptional circumstances, as the guardian of an international student over 18 years of age studying in Australia on a student visa
Note – In this article we will provide information about Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573) for Australia.
Eligibility Criteria for Australia Student Visa [Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573)]
To be eligible for a visa to study in Australia you must fulfill the following conditions:
- You must have a valid passport
- You must provide evidence of being enrolled in an eligible educational program in an authorized educational institution that is accredited by and registered with Australia’s Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
- You must provide an “Offer of Place” letter or a “Confirmation of Enrollment” (CoE) certificate from the authorized educational institution confirming that you have been accepted for full-time study in their program.
- You must show proof that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, travel and living costs in Australia as well as for your return transportation
- In case you have dependents, such as a spouse and children, you must provide proof of your financial ability so as to support their living costs, regardless of whether they intend to accompany you to Australia or not.
- You must possess appropriate English language proficiency, as is required for your course of study
- You must have valid health insurance obtained through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself as well as for your family members accompanying you to Australia
- You must not have any outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia. In case you have any debt, you must have made arrangements that are acceptable to the Minister to repay such a debt
- You must be of good character and meet the health criteria.
- You must provide evidence of not having a criminal record
Duration of Australia Student Visa
Your Australian Student Visa will last for the entire duration of your course study, including your holiday periods, as long as you are enrolled in a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
However, you will have to maintain satisfactory level of attendance in your course, as specified by your education provider, and make satisfactory progress in your course of study.
Steps to follow to apply for Australian Student Visa
Before you start lodging your application for Australian Student Visa, you must check the Student Visa Program Assessment Levels to determine your assessment level. The assessment level is determined on the basis of your passport country and the course of study selected by you.
For online application for Australian Student Visa
Step 1: Create an online application account
Step 2: Login to the online application account
Step 3: Fill in the details
You must fill in all the required details. You will be able to attach the required documents through this online account. For relevant documents refer to the Application Document Checklist.
Step 4: Submit your application
After carefully filling up all the details you will have to submit your application online along with the required visa application fee.
Step 5: Keep your TRN safely
When you submit your application, you will be provided a Transaction Reference Number (TRN). You must keep a record of this in order to follow the progress of your application.
Step 6: Track your application
You can track and manage your application using the Transaction Reference Number (TRN). You will also be able to identify your application and communicate with the concerned officials with the TRN.
For offline application for Australian Student Visa
If you cannot apply online, you can lodge a paper application.
Step 1: Get your application form
You can download the relevant application form from Applications and Forms or get an application form from the nearest Australia Visa Application Centre.
Step 2: Lodge your application in person
You can lodge your application at the nearest immigration office outside Australia and pay the required visa application fee.
Step 3: Wait for a decision
Step you submit your application, wait for the decision on that.
Required Fees for Australian Student Visa
Fees for Australian Student Visa – AUD 535 (INR 27,653.97)
- Your application fee will not be refunded if your application for a student visa is refused or rejected for any reason.
- The conversion into Indian currency is based on current conversion rates, which may change.
- The visa application fee is reviewed on 1st July every year.
Extension of Australia Student Visa
A student visa is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia for a specified period of time to study at a recognized Australian educational institution. It is possible to extend your student visa.
For your visa extension, you will have to lodge a new visa application before the expiry of your existing visa. You need to apply for a further student visa before your existing visa expires, if:
- You have not completed your course yet
- You have submitted your postgraduate research thesis
- You intend to commence a new course of study
If you are found eligible, your visa may be further extended for the required duration.
In case your visa expires before you apply for extension, you will have to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection immediately. Note that if your visa has expired for more than 28 days, you may be imposed an exclusion period. This means you will not be able to return to Australia for three years.
Dos and Don’ts for Australia Student Visa Application
You need to remember the following dos and don’ts while applying for Australia student visa.
- Apply for a student visa at least 4 weeks in advance of your planned travel date to allow enough time for the application procedure to be completed on time for you to join your course
- Remember that if you are applying online you can only apply for your visa a maximum of 124 days before your course starts
- Fill up your visa application form carefully with all accurate details
- Submit all the required supporting documents along with your visa application form
- Do not present false documents for your visa
- Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your visa application