In short – yes.
A prerequisite for applying for a visa is acceptance of your study application. This means that you must have a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for every course you intend to study. A letter of offer is not sufficient to apply for a student visa (subclass 500).
There are exceptions and a letter of support is accepted if you’re sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Australian Department of Defence, or an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form if you are part of an exchange program. Additionally, postgraduate research students who intend to remain in Australia for thesis marking can supply a letter from their education provider. However, before your visa can be issued, you will need to provide CoE for every course you are studying.
Is there anything that can improve my chances of getting a student visa?
Successful applicants are those who have all their information ready to go when they need it. This application and acceptance process can take a while, so it is important to start early and understand the timeframes involved. This also means coordinating your visa application with your university application. The key elements to remember are:
- Your English language test results need to be less than two years for most educational institutions, so ensure that this is the first step in your preparations.
- Accepting your offer and making fee payments is important to ensure your CoE is issued.
- Apply for your visa as soon as you receive your CoE as it can take up to 12 weeks for your visa to be granted.
- Organise your overseas student healthcare (OSHC) as soon as you receive your letter of offer from your university or education provider. It is a requirement for applying and being issued a student visa.