How to get a study visa to study in Australia
If you want to study in Australia, there are two types of visas you can apply for: student visas and working holiday visas.
Getting the right one will ensure that you have the best time possible while studying abroad in Australia, and that your stay won’t be cut short due to legal complications or other hardships. For more information on how to get a study visa to study in Australia, continue reading!
What you should know before getting a student visa
Student visas are generally issued for three years at a time. Depending on your course of study, you may be able to apply for an additional student visa, subject to certain conditions.
However, it is important that you maintain your existing student visa throughout your course of study and only apply for another one once you have completed your studies and have proof of what you did. If you change your name or address during your stay in Australia, obtaining a new passport can help avoid any issues with immigration officials when applying for another visa.
While studying in Australia, you will not be allowed to work unless you receive permission from Immigration Services beforehand.
If granted permission to work, however, students can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time and unlimited hours during holidays without needing further approval from Immigration Services.
You must also have health insurance while studying in Australia, as well as sufficient funds to support yourself while there.
Students from countries where English is not their first language must provide evidence of their English language proficiency before being granted a student visa.
What documents do I need?
If you’re applying from within your own country, some documents are likely easier for you to acquire than others.
If you have an Australian passport, or Permanent Residency Visa, great! You don’t need a letter of invitation—but do make sure your passport has at least 6 months left on it and is not about to expire; if it does expire before your course finishes, be prepared to apply for an extension.
If you’re coming from overseas, however, things can get more complicated. As well as a Letter of Invitation (LOI) from your institution (which will include information such as what they expect you to cover in terms of tuition fees), you will also need:
Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least 12 months after arrival in Australia. It must also have 2 blank pages available for stamps and visas. This means that if you already have a full page stamped into your passport, it may not be valid for entry into Australia unless there is another empty page.
This can sometimes be worked around by getting an extra page added onto your existing passport.
Check with your local government office first to see how much additional pages cost and whether they are able to add one onto your existing document.
What type of visa do I apply for?
To apply for an Australian student visa, you need to first confirm that you are eligible. Your eligibility will depend on your country of citizenship and how long you have been living there.
Before applying, ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months longer than your proposed course end date, plus any time you’ll need for travel or transit (in or out of Australia).
There is the subclass 500 visa , which allows you to undertake full-time study at an Australian educational institution.
The duration of your stay on a student visa will depend on your course duration and whether you are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate course. You may also be eligible for other types of visas, such as a temporary work (subclass 457) or holiday (subclass 676) visa.
The first step towards getting a student visa is to apply through SkillSelect, using your passport number and personal details as identifiers.
If you’re successful in gaining an invitation from SkillSelect, then you can apply for your actual student visa with one of two approved providers: VFS Global or IDP Education Services .
These providers act as agents for Immigration New Zealand (INZ), who make final decisions about all applications.
What costs do I need to pay?
Before you apply for your student visa, you’ll need to pay some important fees. Paying these upfront can save you time and money.
The fee for your application is around AU$330, depending on where you are applying from and whether or not it’s an express service.
You will also need to pay a separate health surcharge (around AU$200) if you have never held Australian permanent residency or citizenship before. This covers any medical care that may be required while you are studying in Australia.
You will also need to pay for your first semester of tuition and course-related costs (such as books). Depending on which institution you choose, these could cost anywhere between AU$4,000 and AU$15,000 per semester.
Do I have any other options?
Many people automatically assume that they need to obtain an Australian student visa before they travel Down Under. However, there are alternative options for certain countries and circumstances.
For example, you might be able to come on an eVisitor or Electronic Travel Authority instead of an Australian student visa.
To find out if you’re eligible for one of these visas, please check with your country’s embassy or consulate before booking tickets and a stay.
Can my family accompany me?
Your spouse or de facto partner and dependent children may also be eligible for visas. Be aware that they will have their own application process, so check out our guide on family visas as well.
Alternatively, if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your parents’ applications and they can apply for short-term residency under parent visas.
You may also be eligible to sponsor some of your relatives, depending on your circumstances.
So, how can I make sure I get approved?
Getting your student visa approved is quite easy as long as you follow these simple steps: The first step is to make sure that you’re eligible for entry into Australia.
You should have finished high school and be between 17 and 25 years old. All costs must be covered by yourself, but if you do receive funding from an institution, there are ways around it! Once you know that you meet all of these requirements, start applying for your visa.
It can take anywhere from 2-6 months depending on how busy they are at any given time, so plan ahead! As soon as you apply, notify them of every change in your status or contact information (this includes phone numbers).
This will ensure that you stay up to date with their progress with processing your application.
If they don’t hear from you within 30 days after sending them documentation, they may close out your application. If everything goes smoothly, then congratulations! You now have 6 months until departure to apply for a temporary student visa.
Getting a student visa is one of your first steps when considering studying abroad.
By reading through these guidelines, you’ll be more prepared for what to expect once you apply for your student visa and how best to navigate that process.