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How to get an Australian Student Visa?

UserMark time12 August,2015

Australia — in the age of globalization — has evolved as the most favored choice for the students, who wish to study abroad. Traditionally, it was always the most popular destination for prospective international students from Asian and African countries. But in the recent years, the Australian universities have inducted a significant number of foreign students from European and North American nations too.

How to Get Australian Student Visa

Obviously, to study in Australia, the students need an Australian visa. But the rising number of potential students has made it a little difficult. As the number of seats in the Australian institutions are limited, the students need to be confident and qualified enough to receive the student visa of Australia. The aspirants must show their commitment and fulfill all the requirements as set by Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia or DIAC ( www.immi.gov.au/) . If you are an aspiring student, read on to know what it involves, right from filling up the visa application form to attending the interview.

Meeting the criteria

In general, every student who has completed high school studies is eligible for the Australian visa. But, in particular, the Australian authorities have laid few criteria which every prospective student needs to fulfill. Achieving the stated specifications will make the potential applicant a ‘genuine student’. The factors are:

  • Proficient in English language (knowledge about the Australian English would be an added advantage)
  • Able to meet the financial obligations
  • Age requirements
  • Completing high school education from recognized boards or council
  • Intend to comply with the conditions set in the visa application form.

If the student successfully fulfills all the above-mentioned requirements then the respective visa application will be processed. But this is the first step only!

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) evaluation

In November 2011, the Australian government introduced Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE). This is a special requirement evaluation in which the students need to manifest their need and intention to stay in the country, temporarily for the sole purpose of education. The personnel of the Australian DIAC review the appeal. The students must be ready with the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the present circumstances of your home country?
  • Why did you choose Australia for pursuing further education?
  • Would you like to work in Australia after completing the education?
  • Your immigration history
  • Do you have any type of criminal record?
  • What course have you applied for?

Describe the subject you want to pursue?

  • How long will the course selected by you last?
  • How will you pay for the course?

The GTE evaluation is generally done in the nearest Australian embassy or the consulate. The successful applicants are allowed to fill up the final visa application.

Filling up the visa application form

There are different visa forms available in the embassy. The students must fill up the relevant form. It is better if the students consult the DIAC website which provides a set of comprehensive guidelines for the students. According to the latest rule, the applicants need to fill up the student’s visa 124 days (maximum) before the course. This may change in the future.

With the application, the students also need to submit Confirmation of Enrolment (COE). The COE is the offer letter from Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS) which certifies that the student is accepted in the registered course in Australia. The visa application form will include a separate section where the students need to provide the COE details.

After filling up the form, the students need to get their Assessment Level (AL). The AL is the specific identification of their visa application. DIAC of Australia categorizes all the visas in five different ALs, the students with the AL1 visa have the lowest immigration risk whereas the students with AL5 visa have the maximum risk. It depends on the home country of the student and the respective course they are going to pursue in Australia. As a matter of fact, the AL5 students have a relatively complicated visa procedure and they also face the maximum chances of rejection.

The Australian authorities also provide streamlined visa processing for certain international students who wish to study in Australia in any participating university. The immigration risk is minimum and the eligible students have to submit nominal evidentiary documents to get their visa. There are a separate set of requirements for the streamlined visa processing. The students can visit the Australian DIAC website to know more about it.

Australian visa requirements

After the students have filled the detailed visa application, they are required to provide substantial evidence on a variety of aspects as asked by the authorities. It may differ from student to student, but the most common requirements which would be asked are as follows:

  • Financial requirements

The students will be asked to provide concrete evidence of sufficient funds to finance the tuition, travel and accommodation expenses. If the student has a family of their own, then they need to show that they are competent to bear their costs.

  • English proficiency test

The students need to demonstrate their firm knowledge in English language. While the applicants with the AL1 and AL2 visa application need to achieve the language requirements of their respective universities, students with lower ALs need to qualify in an English proficiency test to prove their eligibility. Pearson Test of English is the most common form of assessment by the Australian authority.

  • Character certificate

There is a specific set of character requirements prescribed by the federal government of Australia. It includes a thorough criminal record check as any form of illegal activity can cancel the application. The students must need to carry a copy of the local police clearance or certificate which will determine the integrity and rectitude of the applicant. The students might also be asked to fill up a Character Statutory Declaration Form if required.

  • Health requirements

All the applicants must provide their health and medical history (if any) to the authority. The applicants must qualify a medical test conducted by a team of doctors approved by the DIAC. The students also need to purchase the mandatory Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). The students may buy it from the verified insurance providers or through their prospective university. The initial tenure of the health insurance is one year which can be extended in future. The tentative cost of the insurance is around AUD $450.

Mandatory visa documents

The applicants need to provide quite a number of documents to the embassy or the consulate. The list tends to change from time to time. So, the students should consult the respective checklist provided in the website beforehand. But the compulsory documents are as follows:

  • A completely filled Australian student visa application form (157A)
  • Visa application fee
  • Passport
  • Photocopy of the Offer letter or COE with the originals for verification
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Identity proof of the home country
  • English proficiency certificate and
  • Character certificate.

The processing time varies according to the AL and the type of visa. But it should not take more than three to four weeks. As the duration of the educational course may change including the holiday periods, it may so happen that the students might need to extend their visa. In these circumstances, the students need to contact the DIAC website through their own embassy of high commission.

Things to remember

Getting the Australian visa comes with valuable responsibilities. With the visa, the students can arrive in Australia 90 days before their respective educational course starts. But before landing in Australia, the students need to remember few things:

  • Upon arrival, the students must contact the concerned university and inform them about their whereabouts.
  • With the student’s visa, the applicant also receives the permission to work in Australia guarded by a set of directives. The students must follow them if they wish to engage themselves in part-time jobs.
  • They must take the permission to work from the concerned university and they should not work for more than 40 hours in a fortnight.
  • The students must attend the classes regularly and maintain a steady progress throughout the semesters.
  • The students must comply with all the visa conditions provided to them or else the DIAC has the full authority to terminate their visa.

Preparing according to this guide will help every student to get the Australian student visa without any trouble. Getting the Australian visa is the first step to fulfill the aspirations of studying abroad. This country promises the students an exciting and lovely experience for pursuing higher education with excellent job opportunities in future.

So, get your Australian visa and move forward to make all your dreams a reality!

  1. How long does it take to get a Australian student visa?

Generally it takes 1-4 months to process Australian student visa.

  1. What are the requirements for Australian student visa?
  • A completely filled Australian student visa application form (157A)
  • Visa application fee
  • Passport
  • Photocopy of the Offer letter or COE with the originals for verification
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Identity proof of the home country
  • English proficiency certificate and
  • Character certificate.
  1. Can I bring my family to Australia on student visa?

Yes. Alongside some basic requirements like subclass 600 (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/visitor-600) your friends or family may be asked to furnish some additional documents. This includes:

  • A letter from the student
  • A certified copy of your passport and student visa grant letter
  • Details of your enrolment in the educational institute.
  • Details of your graduation ceremony ( if the invitation is pecifically for graduation)
  1. Does Australian student visa get rejected?

Yes. If you cant provide financial proof or mandatory documents required. Incorrect documents also act a ground of rejection.

  1. What is the age limit for student visa in Australia?

Australian student visa can be applied at any age but there are some special considerations for those under the age of 18. For temporary graduates ( subclass 485), eligible International students can stay in Australia after completing their graduation, for work purposes for a period of 18 months till 4 years.

  1. What is the minimum Ielts score required for Australian student visa?
  • 5 overall.
  • 6 and above for Post graduation and
  • Minimum 6.0 for undergraduate options
  1. Is there any interview for Australian student visa?

Yes. Refer the questions mentioned above

  1. Can I bring my spouse under student visa in Australia?

Refer: Subclass 500 Student visa

  1. Can visitor visa be converted to student visa in Australia?

Yes. Refer Visa information – Study In Australia

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