Student Visa Process for Australia
Before you apply for this visa, you must have applied for and been accepted to study full- time at an educational institution in Australia and hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the time you submit the visa application. You must also have received a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE), which will be issued by your host institution in Australia and shared with you by API. Incomplete applications may be delayed or, in some cases, refused. As such, it is very important that you provide evidence of a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) at the time you submit your application.
You must also uphold your visa conditions while studying and living in Australia or your visa may be canceled and you may have to leave the country. This means that you must remain enrolled as a full- time student, maintain satisfactory attendance, and make satisfactory progress during each study period.
How long will my visa be valid?
A student visa will allow you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course. It also permits multiple entries to Australia. Additional information about Student Visa (Subclass 500) can be found here.
|Duration of stay||Visa length|
|Longer than 10 months and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November – December)||Your visa will usually be granted to March 15 of the following year|
|Longer than 10 months (finishing January – October)||Your visa will usually be granted for two months longer than the duration of your course|
|10 months or less||Your visa will usually be granted for one month longer than the duration of your course|
How long will it take for my visa to be processed?
It is important that you begin the process of applying for your student visa right away. Application processing times vary and the time it takes to finalize an application is affected by a range of factors. Most applications will take about four weeks to process. You can track and manage your application using your ImmiAccount.
How much does a student visa cost?
You must pay a fee when submitting your visa application. The cost of visas changes from time to time and the cost of your visa is dependent on the date your application is received. If there is a price increase between the date you submit your application and the date your application is received, you will need to pay the new application fee. Currently the cost of a student visa is approximately AUD $710.
You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates, and biometrics. Charges for obtaining police checks vary in each country. When required to obtain your own police checks, you are personally responsible for all arrangements and charges. To work out what your visa will cost, use the Visa Pricing Estimator.
Does a student visa permit me to work in Australia?
This visa will allow you to work up to 48 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. You cannot undertake work until you have started your course in Australia. If you are doing voluntary or unpaid work it is included in the limit of 48 hours per fortnight. A fortnight begins on any Monday and ends on the second following Sunday.
STUDENT VISA PROCESS
STEP 1: APPLY FOR A STUDENT VISA
Apply for your visa at least 8 weeks before your course starts. To start an online application you will first need to create an ImmiAccount here.
The level of documentation required related to financial support and English language capacity will be guided by the combined immigration risk of the prospective student’s education provider and country of citizenship. The Document Checklist Tool on the Department of Home Affairs website will populate the most current information describing the supporting documents needed for your visa application. In order to submit a complete visa application, you may be required to provide the following:
- Visa application fee payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) by credit card, debit card, bank check, or money order. Currently the cost of a student visa is AUD $710.
- Evidence of your identity. This may be documented by providing a certified copy of your birth certificate, passport copy or driver’s license, for example. A Notary Public can certify copies of original documents.
- Evidence that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the full duration of your visa. OSHC is facilitated on your behalf by your host institution in Australia and the cost is included in the API program. Evidence of OSHC will be provided in the Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) certificate you will receive from your host institution. The OSHC will commence when you arrive in Australia and your visa expiration date will be determined by the expiration date of your OSHC.
- Evidence to show that you meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for a student visa. This can include a personal statement (approx. 300 words) that you intend to genuinely stay in Australia temporarily. The Department will consider your circumstances, your immigration history, if you are a minor, and the intentions of a parent, legal guardian or spouse, and any other relevant matter. This can be typed in a word document or pdf format. This does not have to be a lengthy document. For example, your statement can consist of the following: “I, (your name here) confirm that I intend to genuinely stay in Australia temporarily. I intend to return to my home country, (your home country) at the end of my study abroad program [or travel]. Thank you, (your name signed)
- Evidence of current or most recent employment which might include payslips or a contract. You can also attach your most recent curriculum vitae or résumé. Your curriculum vitae or résumé should include full employment and educational history, including dates and positions held for at least the last five years.
- Evidence of your educational qualifications in the U.S. This might include a certified copy of your academic transcripts, a certified copy of any educational certificates (i.e. degree, diploma, etc.), or a letter/ statement from your home institution. A Notary Public can certify copies of original documents.
Other requirements may include:
- If you have ever changed your name, certified copies of documents verifying the name change
- Evidence of the relationship between you and your family (i.e. certified or notarized copies of birth certificates)
- If you are living in a de facto relationship, independent evidence that you have been in the relationship for at least 12 months (i.e. joint bank account statements)
- Evidence of sufficient funds to cover travel costs to and from Australia as well as living costs and tuition costs for the duration of your stay
- You may be required to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process. United States citizens who have not spent more than three consecutive months in the last five years in another country that has a higher risk level are not generally required to undergo health examinations. Any exceptions will be communicated by the online system or your case officer once the online application is submitted. If you are uncertain as to which countries may be considered at a higher risk level for illness or contagious diseases, you can find this information through the Center for Disease Control.
- You might be required to provide a penal clearance for any country you have lived in for 12 months, or longer, in the last ten years, since reaching 16 years of age. If you have served in the armed forces of any country, you might be required to provide certified copies of military service records or discharge papers. The office processing your application will advise you if they require these documents.
- You must add as much information as possible before you submit your application. Applications with missing information might take longer to finalize.
**Please note, the Document Checklist Tool includes a document called the Form 956A. This is not a requirement for study abroad students.
STEP 2: ATTACH SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS TO YOUR APPLICATION
To complete an application you might be required to attach supporting documentation. Please see the instructions here. You will need to check the relevant document checklist on the visa subclass page.
Do not provide original documents unless requested. You must only provide certified copies of original documentation unless you are asked to provide a police check, which should be submitted as an original. ‘Certified copies’ are copies authorized, or stamped as being true copies of originals, by a person or agency recognized by the law of the country in which you currently reside (for example a Notary Public is qualified to certify copies of original documents). Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.
Before you start attaching files to your application, it is important that you read the information below and in particular are aware that:
- There is a limit to the type, size and number of files you can attach to each application type. Upload any required or critical documents first and then any other recommended documents you want to provide.
- You can remove documents before you submit your application. To remove a document, select the ‘delete’ button next to the document to remove it from your application. You cannot remove documents after you have submitted an application.
- If you have reached your limit and have more documents to attach, you will need to wait until your application has been allocated to a case officer and they advise you of specific additional information that you need to provide and where to send this information.
- If you attach low quality scanned documents, it might slow down the processing of your application.
- When naming your files to be attached to an online application only use numbers 0– 9 and letters A– Z (upper and lower case), dashes ‘–’ and underscores ‘_’.
- You must avoid using spaces ‘ ‘, periods ‘.’, ampersand ‘&’, hash ‘#’, star ‘*’, exclamation marks ‘!’, quotations ” “” and any other character that is not a letter, a number, a dash or an underscore.
- Files that have been compressed cannot be accepted.
- The following file formats (up to 5MB in size) can be accepted: .bmp, .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf, .txt, .xls, .xlsx
- If you need to attach documents, make sure you do so as soon as possible after submitting your application to ensure your application can be processed as quickly as possible. Some applications may be refused if you have not attached documents at time of submission.
STEP 3: SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
Your application will be assessed and you will be advised of any other steps that may need to be completed prior to consideration of the visa decision. Processing of your application will not continue until all outstanding documentation has been received.
If necessary, you can withdraw your application within your ImmiAccount at any time before a decision is made. Any fees paid at the time of application are usually not refunded.
STEP 4: TRACK AND MANAGE YOUR VISA APPLICATION
By logging into your ImmiAccount, you will be able to:
- continue a saved application
- attach documents
- update passport details
- change email and address details
- check the progress of your application
A Transaction Reference Number (TRN) is a unique number assigned to each online application. You will need this to:
- track and manage your application
- identify your application
- check your visa entitlements
STEP 5: OBTAIN YOUR VISA
Australian visas are issued and recorded electronically. Australia does not require you to have a stamp in your passport to travel to, enter or remain in Australia. All visa records are stored in a central database which enables online checking of visa details by visa holders, registered Australian organizations, and airline staff.
Once your visa application is approved, the department will send a Notification of Grant letter to your nominated postal or email address. It is recommended that you print this letter and keep it with you when you travel to and from Australia. This letter contains:
- the visa grant number
- The date your visa expires
- any conditions attached to the visa
Your visa will be linked electronically to the passport number you used in your application. You must use the same passport to travel to and from Australia. Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the time you submit the application. If you have been issued with a new passport since your Australian visa was granted, you must notify the department of your new passport details to ensure your record is up-to-date prior to travel. Failure to do so will delay your travel to Australia and may cause problems with online checking.
You can view your visa online using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). VEVO is a free internet service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It allows you, and your education provider, to view your visa details online. Given that your visa is linked to your passport or ImmiCard through its unique identification number, you and other parties will need this number when checking your visa online. The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service will allow you to check the following:
- grant number
NOTE: You must provide a password for VEVO in your online application in order to access the VEVO service.
STEP 6: TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA
When you check in for your flight to Australia, airline staff will use your passport details or ImmiCard to check if you have a valid visa to travel to Australia before allowing you to board the aircraft. This is completed electronically using the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system.
If you are not flying directly to Australia, you may request that your airline contact the connecting airline for your flight to Australia to request an APP or a TIETAC check (check-in function within the Electronic Travel Authority System) to confirm whether you have a valid Australian visa. This will avoid unnecessary delays at the airport.