Step 1: Get evidence of English language proficiency
Most international students need to meet English language requirements to gain entry into their course and receive a student visa. If you need help determining the scores you need, or if you’re simply looking for more information, check our answers to a few common questions.
Australia accepts IELTS for migration purposes and for all visa applications that require evidence of English language proficiency.
Apply to an education provider in Australia and get a CoE
Before you can apply for a Student Visa (subclass 500) to Australia, you should be accepted into an Australian study program. There is free help available for you. I you have an offer letter from a university, you need to accept this and pay the tuition fees. The education provider sends you an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). You need this for your visa application.
Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. There are experts who can help you apply for any Australian university free of charge.
Step 3: Create an account with the Australian immigration authorities
You can usually apply for an Australian visa online. This also lets you track your progress. Before you start your visa application you have to create an account on the Department of Home Affairs website here.
To apply for a student visa you will need the following documents:
- The CoE you received from your university
- Proof of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Don’t have this? Compare health insurances for international students.
- Your Passport
- Proof of temporary stay: on your application you may show that you only plan to stay in Australia temporarily. For example, you can support this claim by attaching proof of employment or a letter from your school in your home country or similar documents.
Sometimes you will need to provide additional documents. You can use the tool on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Step 4: Complete the visa application online
If you are an international student coming to Australia, you should apply for a Subclass 500 visa. It’s probably a good idea to apply for your visa at least 6 weeks before your course starts.
I took IELTS as I’m going to study in Australia. IELTS is one of the biggest English test in the world which means lots of countries and institutions are recognize it.
Jackie from China got her IELTS score for a Student Visa. Read her story.
Step 5: Pay the visa fee and get a TRN-number
You need to pay a fee to get an Australian visa. This may not be refunded when you visa is rejected, so it’s a good idea to get advice before you submit your visa application. When you have completed the application you pay the application fee. The fee is currently about $575. After you submit your application, you get a Transaction Reference Number (TRN). Save this so you can track your application online.
Step 6: Possible health checkup and interview
Sometimes you have to complete a health check and/or an interview. You get information about this when you complete the visa application.
Step 7: Your visa decision
How long does it take to get you Student Visa (subclass 500) decision? You usually get an outcome within a couple of weeks if your application is complete. However, the quality of your application can affect this. Also, it can depend on how busy the Australian immigration authorities are. A mistake on your application can cause delay or rejection.
When your Student Visa application has been processed, you will get an email notification. Your visa is electronic, so it might be a good idea to print the Visa Grant letter and keep this with your passport when you travel to Australia.
Step 8: Travel to Australia
When you have your visa, you can book your travel and enter Australia. Welcome! When you’re here, check fun things to do in Adelaide or read why Melbourne is the most liveable city. If you want to avoid awkward mistakes: get to know Australian place names that are commonly mispronounced.
Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent. However, you can also get free advice for student visas.