Plan Your Career

Applying for an Australia Student Visa

You can apply for an Australian student visa not more than 4 months before the start of the course. It is ideal to apply as soon as possible so that you have enough time to re – apply in case your visa application is rejected.

To apply for an Australian visa, you will require a valid Indian passport.

What type of Visa will I receive?

To pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Australia, you will require a ‘Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573)’. This is a student visa meant for international students who want to pursue an academic course in Australia that leads to a Bachelors Degree, Associate Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters Degree, Higher Education Diploma or a Higher Education Advanced Diploma.

Requirements to apply for visa

To be eligible to apply for this visa, you will also need a ‘Confirmation of Enrolment’ or COE from the university that has accepted you in their course.

Additionally, you will need to prove that you’re a genuine ‘temporary entrant’ and that you have the finances to fund yourself for a period of 18 months in Australia.

This means that you will need to show proof that you have sufficient funds so as to pay your tuition fee, travel expenses and living expenses for the first 18 months. As per the Australian Government, the living expenses are calculated at 18,610 Australian Dollars per year.

Apart from the financial requirements, you will also need to prove your English language proficiency by securing the required score in the IELTS or the TOEFL.

You will also be required to secure the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for your entire length of stay in Australia. Generally, the university you’re joining will help you arrange the OSHC.

What is a ‘Confirmation of Enrolment’ or COE?

A ‘Confirmation of Enrolment’ is a document that is issued to you by your university. It confirms that you are eligible to enroll for their course. The COE serves as evidence that you have been accepted and enrolled at an Australian university. You cannot apply for an Australian student visa without a COE.

It is sent to you by the university only once you accept their admission offer and make the necessary tuition fee deposit. The COE contains information about your university, course and the duration of study.

When a COE is issued electronically through E - mail, then it is known as an ‘Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment’.

All international students who wish to pursue a Bachelors degree course in Australia will require a COE in order to apply for the student visa.

What are ‘Assessment Levels’?

The Australian ‘Department of Immigration and Border Protection’ divides all student visa applications under 5 different ‘Assessment levels’. These assessment levels are used to represent the ‘immigration risk’ of an application. Assessment level 1 represents the lowest possible immigration risk whereas level 5 represents the highest immigration risk.

You will be assigned an assessment level on the basis of your course and your nationality. For Indian students who wish to pursue Bachelor Degree courses in Australia, the assessment level is 3.

The documents and proofs you would be required to submit during the visa application process depend on your assessment level.

What is ‘Streamlined Student Visa Processing?’

‘Streamlined Student Visa Processing’ is an arrangement organized by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Services, under which eligible applicants can be assessed as though they belong to the ‘Assessment level 1’ category irrespective of their nationality.

Through the streamlined student visa processing arrangement, eligible international students will have to submit lesser amount of proofs and documents as they will be considered to be ‘low risk immigrants’. This will make the visa application process easier, faster and more convenient for them.

Most Australian universities are a part of this arrangement but you will only be eligible for this streamlined processing if you have a valid COE issued by a university participating in this arrangement.

How to apply for the Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573)?

To apply for the Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573) under the Streamlined Visa Processing arrangements, you will need a Confirmation of Enrolment. If you wish to apply under the normal processing arrangements, you can apply as soon as you receive your Letter of Offer from a university.

As an Indian student, you can apply for this visa through a ‘Registered Migration Agent’.

Click on the following link to know about the registered migration agents in India:

The agent will help you fill ‘Form 157 – A’.

You will share details about various things related to you and your course, including your Confirmation of Enrolment, your academic results, your test scores, your personal history, your health, your character etc.

You will also be asked to fill in a ‘Brief Statement’ that specifies the reasons behind choosing that particular course and university. You will also be asked to talk about why you chose to study in Australia rather than India. The brief statement should also include information about your future goals and how the course will help you in achieving them.

Keep in mind that you will also have to fill in details about how you plan to fund your studies in Australia along with corresponding proofs. You might also have to submit proofs about your health condition (x – rays etc.) and your character (police certificates from each country you have lived in for more than 12 months after turning 16).

Visa Processing

Depending on the strength of your application, the Australian High Commission might or might not ask you to come for an interview. You might also be asked to provide some additional information.

The purpose of an interview is to get to know you better with regards to your future goals. You will be asked questions related to your course, university, academic history and future plans. Stay calm during the interview and answer all questions honestly.

If you’re asked to come for an interview and you fail to turn up, then the fate of your application will solely be decided on the basis of the written information provided in the application form.

Keep in mind that the visa application process (not streamlined) takes approximately 3 months. Therefore it is important to apply as soon as possible and through the streamlined arrangement if applicable.

How to maintain the ‘Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573)’ status?

Once you get the Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573) and start studying in Australia, do make sure that you maintain the student visa status and adhere to all the conditions that apply to this visa. A failure to do so might result in your visa getting cancelled and you being deported from Australia.

In order to maintain your visa status, follow the below mentioned conditions:

You can only enter Australia 1 month before your course starts and not before that.

You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course as well as make satisfactory progress for each study period. What is satisfactory and what is not is decided by your university.

You must provide your Australian home address to your university within 7 days of arriving in Australia.

In case you have a visa that includes a ‘No further stay’ condition, then you will not be allowed to stay in Australia and apply for another visa once this visa expires.

Under all circumstances, you must maintain your ‘Overseas Student Health Cover’ or OSHC for the whole duration while you are in Australia.

You must maintain enough money with you to fund yourself for the whole duration of your course.

Validity of the Visa

You can enter Australia not more than 1 month before the start of your course through this visa. This ‘Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573)’ allows an international student to stay in Australia for the whole duration of his/her course plus an additional period that depends on when the course ends.

If your course ends at the end of the Australian academic year, i.e. November /December, then you will be allowed to stay in Australia till the 15th of March of the following year. If your course ends in any other month, i.e. January – October, then you will be allowed to stay in Australia for an additional period of 2 months from the date your course ended.

To extend your stay, you will either need an extension on this visa or will need to procure a new visa.

Working while studying

There will be strict regulations with regards to work while you are in Australia on the basis of this student visa. Under most circumstances, you will not be allowed to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight (2 weeks).

Study in Australia