Visas & Working

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Applying for a student visa in Australia

To qualify for a student visa you must be accepted on a registered course on a full-time basis. To see details of registered courses and institutions please visit the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) website. You must also have received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or an electronic CoE (eCoE). This will be sent to you once you have confirmed your offer of a place to study at a university in Australia.

Student visas in Australia are divided into subclasses according to the type of course that you are studying (i.e. English language, VET, higher education etc.)

Subclasses and Assessment Levels

The subclass you belong to, along with what passport you hold, will affect what Assessment Level your visa application will be subject to. Assessment Levels are an objective measure of immigration risk for each student group or subclass.

There are five Assessment Levels in the student visa programme. They determine student visa requirements according to the immigration risk posed by applicants from a particular country studying in a particular subclass. Assessment Level 1 represents the lowest immigration risk and Assessment Level 5 the highest. The higher your Assessment Level, the more evidence is required to support your claim for the grant of a student visa.

To find out which Assessment Level you are, please click here.

Courses under three months may be taken on a visitor visa (subclass 600) or Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417). These can cost much less than a student visa, currently priced at $135 and $440 respectively. For more information, please visit www.border.gov.au

What documentation will you need?

The documentation needed to support your visa application will depend on your Assessment Level. However, there are some general requirements for all applicants. These include being in good health, having suitable health insurance through Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and having no outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Other evidence that will usually be required includes:

  • Proof of your ability to cover the cost of your tuition fees, airfares and living costs (and those of your family if they will be accompanying you). Living costs for the purpose of student visas are AUS$19,630 per year. The period for which you must have evidence of funds depends on your Assessment Level
  • Your level of English language proficiency; the level required will depend on your Assessment Level and may require evidence of an 'accepted test'
  • Your situation in your home country
  • Evidence of your academic record and qualifications
  • Your immigration history
  • The residential address you will be staying at whilst in Australia

If you are in Assessment Level 3, 4 or 5 you may also need to provide a letter of acceptance from your institution and an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) issued by your institution, in order to undergo a pre-visa assessment.

KEEP READING: How to apply for a student visa, bringing dependents with you to Australia and student visa working restrictions 

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