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What You Need to Apply for Your Australian Student Visa

Published by Afterschool.my on May 21, 2018, 08:16 am

So you’ve applied for the course of your choice, received your offer letter from the university and obtained your Confirmation of Enrolment. You’re all set to go! But wait, there’s one last step you need to complete before you can start planning your big move: applying for your student visa.

Visa applications can be quite stressful and the duration can stretch on for weeks or even months. However, don’t fret! If you follow through with the following steps, you won’t need to worry about anything—except maybe how much you need to pack!

For a more comprehensive guide to applying to Australian universities, click here.

Before applying for your Australian visa

Below are the requirements you must meet before you start your visa application:

  1. You should have already received an offer letter and application form from your chosen university.
  2. You will need your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) to apply for your student visa. Once the university has verified your acceptance form and payment agreement, you will automatically receive your CoE.
  3. For most international students, you will need to prove your English language proficiency by submitting your English language test results. According to the Department of Home Affairs, eligible tests include IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE). The score you require depends on whether you are starting an undergraduate degree or doing a foundation course in Australia.
  4. You will also need to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover the university’s tuition fees, travel expenses and living costs. According to the Department of Home Affairs, as of February 2018 the amount you need to prove you have for living costs (not including tuition fees and travel expenses) is set at AU$20,290 (approx. RM60,500) for one year.
  5. Additionally, most international students are also required to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show that they are in good health. If required, you must to so with doctor or health organisation that has been approved by the Australian immigration department.

Documents required for your Australian visa application

According to the checklist provided by the Department of Home Affairs, students typically are required to submit the following in the visa application:

  • Completed Australian student visa application form (157A)
  • Paid visa application fee – currently AU$560 (~US$1670) in most cases
  • Copy of passport biodata page (students may be asked to physically provide their passport)
  • University offer letter or CoE
  • Evidence of sufficient funds
  • Evidence of health insurance cover
  • English proficiency test results*
  • Criminal record check results
  • Formal education qualifications (transcripts, document of academic results etc.)*
  • Four recent passport-sized photographs (no more than six months old)

*All educational documents should be certified or notarised. Provisional certificates are not accepted.

Once you have gathered all the documents, you can proceed to apply for your Australian visa through the online application at ImmiAccount.

Getting your Australian student visa

Typically, Australian visa applications take about four weeks to process. If you are studying in Australia for a course longer than 10 months, and you finish at the end of an Australian academic year (mid-December) then your visa will usually be valid until 15th March the following year.

Alternatively, if your course is longer than 10 months and you finish between January and October, your visa will usually be valid for two months following the completion of your course.

Using your Australian student visa

You can travel to Australia on your student visa up to 90 days before your course starts. Within the first seven days of arrival, you must inform the university of your resident address. Within these seven days also, you must inform them if you change your address.


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