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How to Apply for Student Visa Australia: Step-by-Step Guide

Australia's capital city is Canberra, situated in the southeast region between the economic and cultural hubs of Melbourne and Sydney. Due to its excellent education system and diverse cultural experiences, Australia has become a popular study abroad destination for international students. As a result, their government offers an option for interested students to enter the country. Hence, to do so, they must obtain a subclass 485 or 500 student visa Australia, regardless of their chosen course, university, or tuition fees. Not sure of this visa type? Worry not, the following sections will cover what this visa entails & more.

Types of Australian Student Visas

There are multiple types of student visas available to study in an Australian university. A subclass 485 and 500 permits for up to 5 years to remain in the country. However, to stay for long, you must have enrolled in a full-time course at an accredited institution.
Here are the details of all student visas for international students:

STUDENT VISA TYPES DETAILS
Student Visa (Subclass 500) Valid Up to 5 Years and you must be enrolled in a course of study in any university in Australia
Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 and 462) With Subclass 462 and 417 in hand, you can stay up to 12 months in Australia and even work while you’re there.
Student Guardian Visa (Subclass 590) This is temporary visa. It is useful for the guardian’s who can come to Australia to provide care and support for the student visa holder. You cannot study or work holding this visa.
Training Visa (Subclass 407) Valid up to 2 years, with this visa you can enrol in a workplace based or a professional development training program.
Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) This visa is for those international students who have recently got a degree from an Australian institution. Hence, it allows them to live, work, and study in the country temporarily. The validity of subclass 485 ranges from 18 months to 6 years.

Also, the Immigration officers consider the student visa Australia age limit to be at least 18 years old. Further, all these visas can allow you to either work, visit or study temporarily in Australia except subclass 500. To know more about what this visa entails, read the following section.

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Have Queries About Getting a Subclass 500 Visa in Australia?

Kickstart Your Australia Journey With Gradding.com. Learn About the Subclass 500 Visa Requirements, Process, Eligibility and More. Connect With Our Experts!

What is an Australian Student Subclass 500 Visa?

It is a student visa Australia that allows you to study full-time at an Australian-accredited institution. It permits you to stay up to 5 years in line with your enrolment date. Moreover, for a trouble-free process, be sure that you follow all the Australian student visa conditions mentioned on your study visa papers. To read up in detail about this subclass, head to the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website. Also, here's a list of what you can do while holding this visa on Australian land:

  • Enrol in your preferred study program and university.
  • You can work up to 48 hours per fortnight on or off campus.
  • Your dependents or guardians can apply for a temporary visa to visit you.
  • There will be no complicated visa requirements for students.
  • You can apply for the visa while residing in or outside Australia through an online portal.

Further, let us guide you through the process of applying for a subclass 500 student visa.

Also Read: MASTERS DEGREE IN AUSTRALIA: A PATH TO EXCELLENCE

How to Apply for the Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500)?

This section contains how you can apply for your visa and how you can meet the English language requirements. Hence, check out these easy steps to get your Australian study visa hassle-free.

Steps to Apply for Subclass 500 Student Visa by Gradding.com

STEP-1: Offer Letter From the University

Once you have applied to a university of your choice, and if your application is successful, you will receive an offer letter from the institution of the same course you've applied to.

  • Firstly, read your offer letter carefully. It will enclose your course details, fee structure, commencement of classes, course end date and enrolment conditions. Hence, you will need to pay your course fee if you accept the offer.
  • Understand all your student rights, including the refund arrangements and accept the offer accordingly. Since it will help you get a refund on any fees paid to the university in case you don't start or finish the course.
  • Lastly, make sure you keep a copy of your Letter of Offer. This copy includes all your student rights while living in the country or if you have to make any complaints against your education provider.

STEP-2: Get Your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

  • A CoE is a document that will be issued by your university that verifies your enrolment in a specific course you've applied to. Further, your education provider will send you an electronic CoE, once you've accepted your offer letter and paid the required course fee.
  • Make sure to attach a copy of your CoE with your visa application, such that the Australian Immigration Department has proof that you've enrolled in your declared course.

STEP-3: Proof of English Proficiency

Since Australia is an English-speaking country, it's obvious to get all university lectures in English. Thus, to demonstrate your proficiency in the language, you may be required to provide a certificate from an approved English language test, such as IELTS or PTE. This credential will prove to the Immigration Department that you meet the minimum English language requirements to excel in your chosen course. The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs accepts language scores from the following tests for visa requirements including

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with One Skills Retake (OSR)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • Cambridge English (CAE), also recognized as C1 Advanced
  • The Occupational English Test (OET) is designed for health professionals.

Here's a chart of the minimum acceptable scores forAustraliastudyvisa:

LANGUAGE TEST PROVIDERS MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE SCORES
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 5.5 and Above
Pearson Test of English (PTE) 42
Cambridge English (CAE) 162
Occupational English Test (OET) B for Each

Also Read: What Are the Different Entrance Exams for Studying Abroad?

 STEP-4: Genuine Student (GS) Requirement

To apply for an Australian student visa, the next step is to fill out the visa application online. The application consists of a list of questions that you need to answer. These questions will provide visa officers with necessary information about you, your reasons for choosing to study in Australia and the specific course you have selected. The answers you provide will also become a context for the documentary evidence that you provide in support of your visa application. Here are some GS's questions:

  • Details of your present circumstances, including relationship with your family, community, employment and economic cases.
  • Why you chose your course and why do you want to study only in Australia.
  • How your chosen course will benefit you in future.
  • If you've previously studied in Australia, then provide the details of your study history.
  • If you're holding a visa other than subclass 500, then you need to provide reasons for applying for a student visa again.
  • You can even provide any additional information in support of your application.

For more information on GS requirements, you can visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.

STEP-5: Proof of Finances

Next, to meet the complete requirements of the student visa, the primary condition is to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your stay in Australia. You can demonstrate your finances from these 2 options:

PROOF OF FUNDS DETAILS
  • Bank Statements
  • Evidence of Grants or Scholarships
This will prove that you will be having sufficient funds to cover all your costs and expenses throughout your course duration, including travel, housing, tuition fees, food, internet, etc.
  • Parent’s or Partner’s Annual Income
It must be a minimum of AUD $62,222.

STEP-6: Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

As an international student in Australia, you will need an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your stay. So, it's necessary to provide proof of your insurance along with your visa application, or your student visa application will be refused. 

How OSHC will help you:

  • your medical and hospital bills shall be covered while you're studying in Australia,
  • payment for most of the prescription medicines by doctor, and
  • arranging an ambulance in case of any emergency.

STEP-7: Health Requirement

Every international student must undergo a health examination to meet the student visa health requirement. Or, you can use the  Health Declaration service to complete any required health test before submitting your visa application.

STEP-8: Character Requirement

To give your background check to live and study in the country, you must meet the character requirements set by the Australia Immigration Department of Home Affairs. Hence, you must check out the conditions under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958.

STEP-9: Log in to Immi Account

After arranging all the required papers, apply for your Australian visa online. To start your visa application, you've to create an Immi account on the Department of Home Affairs website. To apply for a student visa, you'd need the following documents:

  • CoE received from your applied university.
  • Proof of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Your Passport

There are more requirements to apply for a subclass 500 visa. Find those in the following section.

STEP-10: Pay the Visa Fee and Wait for the Decision

  • The final step is to pay the visa fee after completing the visa application. Also, the submitted visa fee won't be refunded if your visa is rejected. So, to get your visa on time and without rejection, it's a good idea to get advice from a trusted overseas consultant before you submit your visa application.
  • So, pay the application fee after completing the visa form. The subclass 500 visa costs around AUD710.00 for the main applicant. After payment, you will get a Transaction Reference Number (TRN), which will help you track your application online.
  • Further, when your visa application has been processed, you will get an email stating the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs against your visa application.

Wondering, what you should have taken care of before applying for the visa. Read on to the next section and gain informative insights on the eligibility and requirements of sub-class visa 500.

Criteria to Apply for Subclass 500 Visa: Eligibility & Requirements

Embarking on an educational journey in Australia requires meeting certain eligibility criteria. Hence, discover the essential guidelines and conditions to secure your Australian student visa. Check out the requirements:

Document Required For Subclass 500 Visa Australia by Gradding.com

Documents Required For Subclass 500

For a seamless visa application process, you must gather all of these necessary documents to get subclass 500 in your passport hassle-free.

  • Confirmation of Enrollment(CoE) received from the university
  • Passport Sized Photographs
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) demonstrating your purpose of studying in Australia
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Insurance
  • Proof of Finances, e.g. Bank Statements, Loan, Scholarship, Grants, etc.
  • Academic Transcripts, including Secondary & Senior Secondary and Graduation Marksheets.
  • English Proficiency Exam Results, e.g. IELTS or PTE
  • Character and Health Assessment Results
  • Written Parental Consent (if under 18)

Eligibility Criteria For Subclass 500 

Here's a list of the criteria you must meet prior to applying for subclass 500:

  • You must be aged 6 or older to apply for this visa scheme.
  • Provide your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for your full-time study program registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
  • Evidence of Your English Language Proficiency
  • You must have registered for the OSHC from an authorized Australian health insurance provider for the complete period of your stay in Australia.
  • Must have cleared all health and character assessments.
  • Have enough finances to cover your expenses for your stay.

Let's move forward and learn about the recent changes made by the Australian Immigration Department in visa processing timeand others.

Recent Changes in Australia Student Visa Processing Time 2024

The Australian Immigration Department of Home Affairs includes strict policies on the language criteria for students and temporary graduate visas. Hence, these changes can also affect the Australian study visa processing time in 2024. Here are the changes:

STUDENT VISA TYPES CHANGES MADE IN 2024
Subclass 500 Student Visa
(English Language and GTE Requirements)
  • Genuine Student (GS) requirement will replace with the Genuine Temporary Requirement (GTE)
  • Amount of finance required by the overseas students will be increased.
  • English language requirement will increase from 5.5 to 6.0 bands in IELTS.
  • The Concurrent CoE will not be issued until the student has completed 6 months at the university.
Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)
  • Duration of Post-study work visa has been changed for few courses. 
  • The age limit has been reduced from 50 to 35 years.
  • The English Language requirement has been increase from 5.5 to 6.0 bands in IELTS.

These are the English and GTE requirements made in both Australian student visas. To learn about the visa processing time of subclass 500 and 485, head your way to the following section.

Australia Student Visa Processing Time

The Australian student visa processing time in 2024 is as follows:

AUSTRALIAN STUDENT VISA STREAM (SUBCLASS 500) PROCESSING TIME 2024
Higher Education Sector
  • 50% Processed in 25 Days 
  • 90% Processed in 68 Days
Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector
  • 50% Processed in 5 Days
  • 90% Processed in 40 Days
Non-Award Sector
  • 50% Processed in 44 Days
  • 90% Processed in 49 Days
Independent ELICOS Sector
  • 50% Processed in 21 Days
  • 90% Processed in 61 Days
Postgraduate Research Sector
  • 50% Processed in 22 Days
  • 90% Processed in 79 Days
Vocational Education and Training Sector
  • 50% Processed in 76 Days
  • 90% Processed in 5 Months
Schools Sector
  • 50% Processed in 64 Days
  • 90% Processed in 4 Months

The Australian student visa processing time for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa is tabulated below:

AUSTRALIAN STUDENT VISA STREAM (SUBCLASS 485) PROCESSING TIME 2024
Graduate Work Stream 8 Months Approx.
Post-Study Work Stream 83 Days Approx.

Further, scroll down and check out the study visa Australia application fee in the following section!

Australia Student Visa Complete Fees

The following table throws light on the complete Australian student visa fee for prospective applicants:

Australian Student Visa Fee Structure by Gradding.com

Reasons & Factors Affecting Australia Student Visa Processing Time

The Australian Department of Home Affairs processes visas on a case-by-case basis. However, there might be some variations in the processing time due to several reasons. Some reasons are as follows:

  • The applicant has not submitted all the necessary documents along with the visa application.
  • Time taken by Home Affairs to request more information from the applicant.
  • Duration of time taken for document checking.
  • Time taken by the external agencies to give a reply on health, character, and national security.
  • There might be other factors, including the volume of applications and changes to ministerial leadership.

Reasons for Australian Student Visa Rejection

Here are the reasons behind student visa application rejection in Australia:

  • Improper or Outdated Passport,
  • Submitted Incomplete Visa Application Form,
  • Failure to Meeting Character or Health Requirements,
  • Provide Inaccurate Information
  • Failure to Submit Additional Documents or Information Raised by Immigration Office
  • Couldn't Meet the Minimum Finances Requirement

Other pointers must be taken care of to avoid visa application rejection:

  • Australian or Other Nations Visa Rejection History
  • Not be Able to Clarify their Purpose to Study in the Country.

For successful visa processing, you need to adopt some tips to get your visa on time. Learn some of them via the next section!

Also read: Common Reasons for Australian Student Visa Rejection in 2024

Tips for a Successful Australian Student Visa Application

The process of lodging a student visa Australia might be stressful and nail-biting since it's a step closer to achieving your dream of studying in a foreign land. There might be some questions hitting your head, 'What if I mess up my visa application and get denied?' Hold your head high and say, "I can do it", and follow these 5 tips for a successful visa application to study in your desired Australian university.

Tips for a Successful Australian Study Visa Application by Gradding.com

1. Conduct Health Assessment Tests Early

If you seek guidance regarding the tests, many would suggest it's better to lodge your visa application before conducting health tests. Regardless, you will face only delays if you apply for your visa early. Since sometimes you might be contacted again by the hospital if you need to do other tests. So, it's advised to complete this as early as you can to avoid any last minute troubles.

  1. Organize All Required Documents in a Folder

Always remember that the documents required for visa application differ from country to country. But mainly include Confirmation of Enrolment, Offer Letter, Overseas Student Health Cover, Genuine Temporary Entrant, Academic Transcripts, and Birth Certificate. Place them in a folder so that they stay in one place and you can also prepare a checklist of documents to know what is missing. It will help to save you from last-minute mistakes and submit all the legitimate papers on time.

  1. Write a Thoughtful Statement of Purpose (SOP)

It is a part of the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, which will be checked by Immigration to verify your intentions to choose studying in Australia. So, instead of mentioning that you will be staying back in the nation after finishing your course, do focus on why you chose to study in the specific university, country’s education system, culture, nightlife, etc. Hence, make sure to take your time and write a thoughtful SOP. Since it's one of the most essential papers that is carefully assessed by Home Affairs, hence if not done well, it might cost you your visa.

  1. Double-Check Your Visa Application

Remember to go back and forth to check if you missed anything in your visa application. Since the application is online and can be saved in between filling it out. You can also ask your parents to re-check your application or validate your answers. Or, you can read your answer loud to pick up your mistakes more quickly. It's funny, but it will work too!

  1. Seek Guidance from a Skilful Overseas Agent

We know how heart-wrenching it is to not be able to reach your dream destination just because your student visa has been denied. Remember, you can always reach out to a trusted and experienced study abroad consultancy to get guidance throughout the process. They will check your answers to make sure you got everything precise and on time, including the attached documents with your visa application. "What if my visa still gets denied?" Is that what you might be thinking, right? Worry not, as there is one more step you can perform which is re-applying for the student visa. Hence, find out in the next section!

What to do After Australia Student Visa Refusal?

Here are the steps you can follow to appeal your visa rejection:

  1. Apply at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT):

If your student visa application is rejected by the Australian Home Office, you have the option to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). To initiate the appeal process, you need to submit an appeal letter to the AAT for reconsideration within 28 days of the visa rejection. You can submit either a paper or an online application at the AAT's official website.

  1. Pay the Appeal Fees

To submit the request, you will have to pay a charge of AUD 1826 to review the final decision. Also, if you get a negative response towards your appeal, you will get a full refund of visa AAT. Or, if there is a positive decision,then you are eligible to receive a refund of 50%. After submitting your visa application, the AAT will send you a confirmation letter stating they got your application.

How Long Can You Stay in Australia With a Student Visa?

Check out how long you can stay in Australia holding a student visa, including subclass 500 and 485.

AUSTRALIAN STUDENT VISA HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY?
Subclass 500 - Student Visa Stay Up to 5 Years
Subclass 485 - Temporary Graduate Visa Stay Up to 18 Months
Subclass 600, 601, 651 - Visitor Visa Stay Up to 3 Months
Subclass 471 and 462 - Working Holiday Visa Stay Up to 4 Months
Subclass 590 - Student Guardian Visa Stay Up to 5 Years
Subclass 407 - Training Visa Stay Up to 2 Years

Finally, let’s step to the top universities in Australia to study in 2024 with their QS World Rankings.

Top Universities in Australia

According to the Times Higher Education 2024, the following are the top 10 universities in Australia. You can also check the world and Australian rankings for a better analysis of universities.

AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES WITH THEIR RANKING 2024 QS WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKING 2024
1. University of Melbourne 37
2. Monash University 54
3. University of Sydney 60
4. Australian National University 67
5. The University of Queensland 70
6. UNSW Sydney 84
7. University of Adelaide 111
8. The University of Western Australia 143
9.University of Technology Sydney 148
10. Macquarie University 180

Moreover, after completing your course you can even apply for post study visa Australia to stay and continue working anywhere in the country.

Also Read: How to Get Post Study Work Visa Australia?

In conclusion, it's suggested that you check every document about your educational history, any records more than twice. Make sure that you have every information that might be questioned in the student visa Australia interview. Hence, it will enhance your chances of receiving your visa on time. Moreover, you can even connect to Gradding.com counsellors to learn more about applying for a student visa to Australia from India.

FAQs About Student Visa Australia

Q.1 Is an Australian Student Visa Easy to Get?

 As compared to other countries, it's easier to get an Australian student visa. Also, students wanting to study in an Australian collegemust meet certain prerequisites.

Q.2 Is IELTS Required For Australia?

If you are planning to study and work in Australia, you will have to pass an IELTS exam with a minimum of 6.0 bands overall. Meanwhile, for the PG course, 6.5 bands are required.

Q.3 Can I Work in Australia With a Student Visa?

 Australian students with a full-time degree visa can work part-time during the academic year and full-time during summer if the job meets immigration requirements.

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