Studying abroad and gaining a quality education in top international universities or institutions is a dream for many aspirants. There are a number of students who travel abroad every year to pursue higher education. Australia is one of the most desired destinations for education which attracts more than 200,000 foreign students each academic year from all over the world. To study in a foreign country, it is mandatory for all students to get a student visa. It is the primary requirement to get education abroad.
Why to choose Australia as the study destination?
Before we discuss about the visa requirements to study in Australia, we should go through the reasons to choose Australia as the study destination.
So here are some important reasons to study in Australia:
- Global recognition – It is mentioned above that Australia receives more than 200,000 foreign students each academic year from all over the world. Australian universities are world’s top ranked universities which are recognized globally.
- Great scholarships – Universities in Australia provide a large number of scholarships for deserving international students with great academics.
- Diversity of education – Australian institutions provide diversity of education as they offer a wide variety of courses and degrees. Here universities tend to promote practical learning.
- Opportunity to work after education – International students are allowed to work in Australia once they complete their bachelor’s or masters.
- Affordable cost of living – Students will be enjoying a better lifestyle at an affordable cost.
- Cultural diversity – Australia possess great diversity in its culture as 47% of the population was born outside Australia.
- Safety – The country provides a safe environment for international students to study.
What percentage is necessary to avail study in Australia?
To pursue higher studies in Australia, one should have secured 60% or more in his or her 12th standard examination. Also the degree should be from a recognized university or college. Students also need to appear and qualify in SAT and IELTS/TOEFL examinations in order to pursue higher studies in Australian universities or institutions.
How to get an Australian student visa?
Students, who are looking to pursue higher studies in Australia, need to apply to the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) that has been initiated from 1st July, 2016. All students who are willing to study in Australia need to apply for Visa under Subclass 500 according to new visa guidelines implemented by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Government of Australia. Earlier applications were accepted under different subclasses such as 571-576 which have now been combined under one subclass i.e. Subclass 500.
What documents are required for Australian Student Visa?
There are a few important documents that you must carry with you before starting the visa application process.
Here’s what all you require:
- Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) – It is a certificate issued by the University or Institute where you have enrolled. This certificate validates that the course for which you have applied is registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS) and it is mandatory.
- Valid Passport – A valid passport is necessary with at least 6 months of validity at the time of application. In the meantime, you can apply for a new passport after applying for visa and intimate the embassy about receiving new passport with all the details.
- English Language Proficiency – You would need to submit proof of English Language Proficiency at the time of visa application.
The Australian Immigration Department accepts 5 English Language Proficiency Tests, namely:
- International English Language Testing System:A band of 6 in each of its sections as well as an overall score of minimum 6.
- Occupational English Test (OET): A score of at least B in each of its sections.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT): minimum score of 13 for reading, 21 for writing, 12 for listening, and 18 for speaking.
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic:A score of minimum 50 in each of its sections.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test with a minimum score of 169 in each of its four sub sections.
It must be noted that one must not have written these exams earlier than 3 years at the time of visa application.
- Health Check-up and Insurance – You need to provide a medical certificate ensuring your good health. You can also apply for a health check-up after getting started with the visa application. Apart from it, you should have a Health Insurance or an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your visa. Make sure that it covers the duration of your course. The average cost of OSHC is AUS$437 per student per year.
- Proof of Funds – You need to provide documents to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your education and living expenses during your stay in Australia. In case you are applying for a student loan to cover your expenses, a letter is required from the bank to validate your financial capacity.
- Penal or Police Clearance – You need to provide a document to prove that you do not have any criminal record which should be duly signed and attested by the regional passport office.
- Certified Copies of Academic Documents and Transcripts – You must have true copies of all your academic documents and transcripts.
- Passport Size Photographs – You also need to submit 4 passport sized photographs which are of the head and shoulders only against a plain background. Also your name should be printed at the back of each photograph.
- Credit/Debit Card – Also for making an online visa fee payment you would need a credit or debit card. For Student Visa (573) the visa fee is AUD 535 at present. However this is subject to change and need to be checked before applying for visa.
How to apply for a Student Visa to Australia?
- Before applying for a student visa you must get enrolled in an Australian institution. After receiving an offer letter from an institute and paying their tuition deposit the institute will send you a CoE i.e. Confirmation of Enrolment. You will need one CoE for each program you have applied for.
- Before starting your visa application you have to create an account at https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register. Then they will ask you to submit your name along with your contact details. Afterwards you get to create a password and accept their conditions.
- You should have all the needed documents in digital format such as CoE, OSHC health insurance, passport, proof of temporary stay, additional id such as a birth certificate, bank statement to show that you can finance your studies, certified grade reports and IELTS-test result, proof of previous employment such as pay checks etc., documentation of criminal offenses if applicable.
- You need to apply for a student visa under subclass 500. The application should be made 124 days before the start of your course (as per the date on your CoE). On the first page you need to fill in your nationality and your CoE code(s). Also you need to choose your Education sector, for example ELICOS for language courses or Higher Education for courses that leads to a university degree. Thereafter you will be asked to provide personal details, family details and also you need to answer questions about your previous education and work experience. Submission of details about your health and criminal record is also required.
- After completing the application you need to pay the application fee which is AUD 575 at present. The easiest way to pay the fee online is through a credit card. After completion of application and payment you will get a receipt bearing a TRN-number (Transaction Reference Number) using which you can check the status of your application.
- You might also need to get a health checkup and/or a visa interview. You will need your TRN-number to get instructions on what you need to check.
- Getting your visa decision entirely depends on from which country you are applying and the busy schedule of Australian immigration authorities. Usually you get your visa decision within one or two weeks once your application is complete. Australian authorities will notify you when your visa decision is ready.
- After receiving your visa you can travel to Australia 90 days before the start of your course (as printed on CoE). You need to inform the institution about your address in Australia within 7 days of arriving there if you have not booked any accommodation. You can stay in Australia for 30 days after completion of your course or 60 days if your course lasts longer than 10 months.
Australia is one of the most popular destinations for university study. It is a multicultural country i.e. overseas students are readily accepted by others. Also it is one of the safest countries to live, study and work. As per Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living Survey involving over 450 cities, Australia has 6 cities that are ranked among top 50 safest places worldwide. So if you are looking forward to study abroad, Australia is the best destination to opt for. So what are you waiting for? Go grab the opportunity and build up your career.