- Before you apply
- Assessment levels
- Applying for a student visa
- General and evidentiary student visa requirements
- Student guardian visas
- Help with your visa requirements
- Fees and charges
Australia is a great place to study. It provides high-quality courses, a fantastic lifestyle and a welcoming environment for international students. Once you have been accepted into your Australian course, the next step is to organise your student visa.
Before you apply for an Australian course you should visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website or the Australian Diplomatic Mission in your country to find out whether you will be eligible for a student visa, how to make your application and what documents are required. See the Australian Diplomatic Missions page for details of your nearest Australian embassy, consulate or mission.
The application process and the processing time differ quite a lot depending on your ‘assessment level’, which will be one of five levels (with Level 1 being the lowest and Level 5 being the highest) depending on:
- your country of origin
- the type of study you intend to undertake — from ELICOS and secondary school through to postgraduate study, visas are divided into subclasses depending on the type of study you intend to complete.
You can check your assessment level at the Student Visa Assessment Levels page on the DIAC website.
You will need a student visa for the whole time that you study in Australia. You are able to apply for your student visa using either a letter of offer or a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your education provider, but if you submit a letter of offer your student visa will only be granted once the CoE has been issued.
The application process differs depending on your assessment level. Some students are able to complete a Student Visa Online Application through the DIAC website, including students classified as Assessment Level 1 and students from the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia and Thailand. Other students may need to apply at an Australian Diplomatic Mission in their home country.
Regardless of visa subclass or assessment level, there are a number of general and evidentiary requirements that international students must meet in order to be eligible for a student visa. The higher the assessment level, the greater the evidence an applicant is required to demonstrate to support their student visa application. These include requirements relating to:
- your health
- your character
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC)
- being free of debts to the Commonwealth
- custody, accommodation and general welfare arrangements for students under 18 years of age
- your financial status — your capacity to cover the cost of air fares, course tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your stay in Australia
- your academic record and qualifications completed
- your English language proficiency.
Student visa applicants who lodge their applications with a CoE from a participating university for a degree at bachelor, masters or doctoral level are eligible for streamlined visa processing and will be assessed similarly to Assessment Level 1 applicants, regardless of their country of origin.
If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child under 18 who is moving to Australia to study, you can also apply for permission to live in Australia as a student guardian on a student guardian visa. Student guardians can live in Australia for the duration of their child's course or until the child turns 18. There may also be exceptional circumstances where a student over 18 years of age may need a guardian for religious or cultural reasons.
In order to be eligible, parents or legal guardians must meet the requirements listed above relating to health, character and financial status. It is especially important that a guardian shows that he or she is equipped to provide for the welfare of the student.
DIAC can provide more details about eligibility and the application process for the student guardian visa. Visit the Student Guardians section of the DIAC website for more information.
The best way to find out your specific is to visit the DIAC website or your nearest Australian Diplomatic Mission. You can also contact an education agent or the international office at your intended Australian education provider for advice and help with your visa application.
A non-refundable visa application charge of AUD$535 applies to most student visa applications, with the exception of secondary exchange students, students affected by the closure of their education provider and students sponsored under Commonwealth-approved programs. In addition, there may be other expenses associated with your visa application, such as costs for medical examinations, police checks and the translation of documents into English (if required). You can find more information on on the Student Visa Charges section of the DIAC website.