How to apply for student visa to Australia?

Applying for a student visa to Australia? Find out the application process, the fees involved, the importance of obtaining a COE and more information to make the process of application as smooth as possible.

The Overseas Student Program (OSP) run by the Australian Government allows foreign students to study in Australia. If you want to study courses under this program, you will need to apply for a student visa.
Study in Australia
You can apply for a student visa to Australia if you:

  • Want to renew your old student visa
  • Want to apply for a new student visa
  • Want to join a family member who is in Australia on a student visa

How to apply for a student visa

There are two ways of application:
  • Online, with the help of an e-visa agent
  • At the nearest Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) in your state, where you have to fill up the application form and submit visa fees.

You can also find an education agent to guide you around the process. Note that e-visa applications are generally processed quicker.

Visa fees and payment

  • Students who apply for a visa online will need to pay 550 AUD, which converts to approximately INR 27,900 as of July, 2015.
  • A credit or debit card surcharge may apply for online payments.
  • In addition, applicants will have to pay a VFS Global Service Charge (inclusive of taxes) of INR 966.

The visa fee has to be paid either by Demand Draft in INR, drawn in favour of the Australian High Commission, payable in New Delhi. For students who want to pay the fees in cash, a visit to the VFS Global Application Centre will be necessary, along with the payment of a service charge of INR 70 for each application.

Eligibility for student visas

In order to obtain a student visa, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria as laid out in the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Depending on the type of visa you are applying for - whether ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students), Schools Sector Visa, Higher Education Sector visa, Postgraduate Research sector visa etc. - the eligibility criteria changes.

In general, there are certain basic requirements of an applicant for a student visa to Australia:

  1. You should either have a sponsor or be able to cover your expenses for travel, accommodation, tuition and other maintenance expenses
  2. You should present all documentation of your education required for the course you are applying for
  3. You should have passed TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, CAE or other English language proficiency test
  4. You should have all documentation regarding any immigration in the past, including declined applications to Australia or other overseas destination.
  5. You need an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) before you can apply
  6. All character and health requirements should be met before application, and a declaration will be attached to your application for these

What is the Confirmation of Enrollment (COE)?

If you have been accepted by an Australian university for a Bachelor, Masters or other higher studies programs, you should have received a COE from the university. If you have a COE, your visa processing time will be shorter, since the Australian government will consider your application as Assessment Level 1, or lower migration risk. However, note that having a COE does not guarantee a visa.

When you have obtained your visa and have travelled to Australia, you will need to visit the Consulate or High Commission to register your particulars, the name and details of the course you will study and how long you will stay in the country. Make sure to go through your application form carefully and meet all requirements for a better visa application experience.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

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