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Studying In Australia - An overview of the visa process

Written by Bevan Berning on 31 May 2017

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As of 2015, the number of international students in Australia was pegged at 645, 185 – quite a high figure. The Land Down Under is indeed one of the most popular destinations of students from different parts of the world, and as such, people who wish to continue their studies flock to this country annually. 

Now, if you also wish to join the ranks of the thousands of international learners in Australia, you need to get one very important thing first: a student visa. But how exactly do you get this in order to legally enter and study in Australia? Here’s an overview of the student visa application process:

Choose which course to take and which educational institution to enrol with

Different educational and training institutions offer a variety of courses for international students. You will certainly be able to find a program and level that meets your needs and wants. Universities, colleges, and other training schools provide different VET, foundation programs, and higher courses. You can get more details about them by doing a simple online search.

Once you’ve found a course you’re interested in, find out which schools offer it. Take note of their course fees and requirements. At this stage, you can get in touch with the course provider if you have some questions and you can’t find the answers on their website.

Ensure you meet the course’s initial requirements 

Most educational and training institutions in Australia conduct interviews to screen and get to know their applicants or prospective students. The screening process can be easy or hard, depending on the course and provider you choose.

Once you begin your application for a particular program, in addition to passing the interview, you will have to submit various documents to support your application. The most important document you need to have is proof that you meet the learning provider’s requirement for English skills proficiency level. This comes in the form of an IELTS, TOEFL, OET, or Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) test certificate.

Find out which particular tests they accept and what scores you should be aiming for. Take note that you will also need this certificate during your Australian student visa application, so this is one of the requirements you should be prioritising. 

Find out which particular type of student visa you will need to apply for

There are different types of Australian student visas. These include the Vocational Education and Training Sector visa or Subclass 572, Higher Education Sector visa or Subclass 573, and the Postgraduate Research Sector visa or Subclass 574. You will need to know the specific type you have to get and this depends on the course you will take up.

Keep in mind that if you apply for the wrong visa subclass, your application may be refused and all your efforts and money will go to waste. 

Prepare for your student visa application

As already mentioned, a certificate of your English language proficiency is one of the requirements you need to include in your student visa application. You will also need your passport and a Confirmation of Enrolment or COE issued by your chosen course provider. This will be given to you once you have fulfilled the course or school’s initial requirements and paid the necessary deposit.

 Aside from these, you will have to submit other documents that prove you are in good health, health insurance, educational records or qualifications, and proof that you have enough money to cover your airfare, living costs (around AUD$ 19,830 per year), and remaining or unpaid course fees.

Submit your visa application

The Australian Embassy in your country or region will go over your application to find out if you meet all the entry clearance requirements. Unless specified otherwise, you will have to apply for your visa online. Your application will then undergo a screening process and if you pass, you will be granted a visa.

It is therefore important that you compile and submit all the necessary supporting documents and truthfully, correctly, and completely answer all the application forms so that there are fewer chances of your application being denied.

Make sure that you have enough time to submit your application and receive the results before your course starts. Generally, visa processing takes 14 to 21 days, so take note of this when applying.

Once you've got your visa for studying in Australia...

Once you get your visa, you can start preparing for your flight. Take the time to finalise everything before you leave such as your accommodation, finances, everything you need and want to bring for your move, etc.

You can arrive in Australia one or two weeks prior to the start of your course so that you can have some time to go around and be familiar in your new surroundings. Your course provider can help you with finding an accommodation if you can’t arrange one on your own.

You also have the option of working with an educational representative or an immigration and visa consultancy firm if you need help and guidance throughout the whole process of your student visa application. This is an important tip to remember especially if you’re applying for an Australian student visa

Request a free Australian visa consultation (click to show form)

If you are thinking about moving to or studying in Australia, enter your details using the form to request a free consultation with an expert who can answer your questions and assist you with the process


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