How to Apply for an Australian Student Visa

If you’ve chosen to accept a place at an Australian university, then you must apply for an Australian student visa... Continue reading to find out if you need a student visa to study in Australia and how to apply.

How to Apply for an Australian Student Visa

Choosing to study in Australia is an exciting step into a bright future. Australia is the third most popular destination for international students in the world, with five of its cities among the best student cities in the world. The facilities at Australian universities are also impressive.

There are plenty of reasons why Australia is considered a destination that has world-class higher education. But apart from choosing a university and course, your study abroad journey relies on various important steps like timely completion of the application process, good scores in competitive exams, acceptance letter from the university, etc. One of the most important things you’ll need is a student visa, specifically the Student visa (subclass 500).

However, before you can embark on your study trip to Australia, you should know more about what you need to do to get your student visa before your arrival. When it comes to studying in Australia, you need to apply for an Australia Student Visa. This article will explain in full detail everything you need to know about the Australian Student Visa, from the eligibility requirements to the step-by-step application process, important documents, etc. for obtaining this visa.

What is the Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500 Visa)?

The Student visa (subclass 500) visa allows you to live, work and study in Australia for a maximum of five years, in line with your course. Whether you want to enroll in a long-term degree course or a short-term diploma, international students need to have an Australia student visa. Out of all the types of Visas, candidates have to apply for Subclass 500 to pursue higher education. 

On the Subclass 500 Visa, you are normally allowed to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during term time and unlimited hours during study breaks. However, the Australian Government is temporarily allowing students to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight during term time across all sectors. Currently, students may also start working on arrival in Australia, and do not need to wait until their course commences.

Here are the types of study that are included in the visa:

  • Vocational Education and Training
  • Higher Education
  • Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Postgraduate Research
  • Independent English Language Intensive Courses for overseas students
  • Non-awards Courses 

Australian Student Visa Requirements

Before you apply for an Australian course, you should contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) or your nearest Australian visa office to find out whether you will be eligible for a student visa, how to make your application, and what documents are required.

There are certain general requisites that you need to fulfill if you are looking forward to applying for the Australia student visa. These include:

  • The candidates must be 6 years of age or above.  
  • You must be enrolled in a course of study in a recognized institution. You will be required to state evidence for the same.  
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement
  • You must qualify for the English Proficiency tests like IELTS etc.
  • Must be able to fund your education (Financial requirements).
  • Health and character requirements
  • Have adequate health insurance.  
  • The minimum Student Visa Australia age limit is 18 years. Candidates must state the adequacy of welfare if they are under 18 years of age (not required for applicants above 18 years of age).
  • Must not hold any other type of visa.
  • You must be a temporary entrant and intend to return after completing the program.
  • Must meet the health requirements.
  • Criminal record check results

Australian Student Visa Application Process

Meanwhile, here's a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an Australian Student Visa.

Apply to an Australian university and get your acceptance letter

If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Australia, you will have to decide before you can start your visa application process. After being accepted at an Australian university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for the student visa. This needs to be at a recognized educational institution that can provide you with a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) once you have accepted and paid any necessary fees.


Check if you need a student visa for Australia

If you come from New Zealand, you will not need a student visa for Australia. For all the other international students, you will have to apply for one. However, if you have the funds, the right information, patience, and the required paperwork you'll get your visa without problems. The visa application process can vary a lot depending on your nationality; it's best to start the application process as soon as you receive the acceptance letter from the Australian university where you want to study.

Register and start the online application

You will have to apply for the Australian student visa (subclass 500) by using the official online platform. Visit the official website and create your account. Just follow the steps on the website. Fill up the application form corresponding to the Subclass 500. Once you have filled in the details, you will be required to upload the necessary documents. When you pay the fee for your application you’ll receive a transaction reference number Here are the documents required for the student visa in Australia.

  • A student visa application form properly and accurately completed
  • Payment of the visa application fee
  • A copy of the applicant’s biodata page
  • Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer
  • Proof of sufficient financial funds
  • Health insurance
  • English proficiency tests
  • Criminal record check report
  • Four recent passport-sized photos

After you apply, depending on your situation, you may be asked to:

  • attend a visa interview
  • provide evidence that you don't have any criminal records
  • provide more information
  • take a medical exam

Likely, you'll also have to provide biometrics during the visa application process, but some countries may be exempt. Your biometrics are an extra identification method (e.g. fingerprinting and pictures) that countries use for security purposes. You will receive the outcome of your application in writing along with any reasons for refusal.

Australian student visa processing time

As a general rule, you should expect to wait between 6 and 11 weeks to get your Subclass 500 visas processed. However, as it can take several weeks to get a decision, you must start your visa application as soon as possible. You should apply at least three months before your departure date to give yourself a good chance of having your visa granted in time.

Validity of Australia Student Visa

Once the applicants obtain the Australia Student Visa, they will be able to move in and out of the country. This is a temporary visa and the candidates will be allowed to stay in the country for around 5 years. Moreover, the actual duration will depend on the chosen program. Also, the visa holders will be allowed to work for 40 hours every 2 weeks once the course starts.

Working with a subclass 500 student visa

The student visa 500 enables you to work up to 20 hours per week or 40 hours every two weeks. Once the training begins, you will be able to begin your part-time employment. International students enrolled in ACT public schools, on the other hand, are permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week throughout the academic school year. You can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited hours during university holidays.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, just like every other visa, the Australian Student Visa application can be lengthy and complex. There's no need to panic if your visa is refused. The vast majority of applications are successful, but there are some situations where you will get a rejection. However, if your application is refused due to something that can be easily fixed, like missing documents, simply reapply, putting any errors right. It's worth remembering that visa fees are usually non-refundable, so it pays to get it right the first time.

If your application was rejected for a reason you don't agree with, you can lodge a formal appeal. You should contact the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and ask them to review your application. You will need to outline why your think your application should be accepted, and provide any evidence to support your claim. Moreover, you can visit the official Australian Government website using the link below.