Australia is the dream study abroad destination of thousands of international students worldwide, and rightly so, as the country is home to several world-ranking universities and features breath-taking landscapes, a friendly population, and a vibrant city life. In order to pursue your studies in Australia as an international student, you need to have an Australian student visa. Following are some key Australian student visa requirements that you must fulfil and prove to the Department of Home Affairs:
- Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement
- English language proficiency requirements
- Financial requirements
- Health requirements
- Character requirements
Moreover, you’ll need to complete the Australian student visa application form, pay the visa application charges, and attend an interview. Sound like too much to remember? Here’s all you need to know.
What is the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement for Student Visas in Australia?
The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, introduced in November 2011, states that the individual applying for an Australian student visa should be able to demonstrate a genuine intention to temporarily stay in Australia for pursuing studies or accompanying another student as a dependent (i.e., spouse or child) or as their guardian. The decision is made at the Department of Home Affairs while considering the below-mentioned factors:
- Circumstances in the visa applicant’s home country
- Potential circumstances for the applicant in Australia
- Applicant’s immigration history
- Value of the applicant’s chosen course to their future
In order to ascertain if you fulfil the GTE requirement for Australian student visa, you may be asked to visit you’re nearest Australian embassy or consulate to attend an interview. Some applicants will only need to complete a visa application form.
Filling in an Australian Student Visa Application Form
All international students who aspire to study in Australia apply for the Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500), for which you have to apply online.
Before applying, you must obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) or a Letter of Offer proving that you have been accepted into a program registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS). The COE, in the form of an online code, will need to be entered into the online visa application.
Documents Required for Student Visas Australia
There is a document checklist on the Department of Home Affairs website providing you with the list of documents needed for your circumstances. Typically, students are required to submit the following:
- Completed Australian student visa application form (157A)
- Copy of passport biodata page (in some cases, the physical passport)
- Paid visa application fee – AU$620 (~US$420) in most cases
- Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer
- Evidence of health insurance cover
- Evidence of adequate funds
- English proficiency test scores
- Criminal record check results
- Four recent passport-sized photographs
Requirements for Student Visas Australia
While completing the online visa application form, applicants are required to provide proof of the following in accordance with the Australian student visa requirements:
- Financial requirements: This includes proof of adequate funds for covering tuition, living, and travel costs. Since February 2018, the amount for living costs (other than tuition and travel) to be shown is AU$20,290 (~US$13,750) for a year. In the case of dependents (like spouse and children), the applicant will also need to provide evidence of ability to cover their living expenses. Alternatively, the applicant may offer proof that their spouse or parents are willing to support them and that they earn no less than AU$60,000 (~US$40,660) a year.
- English proficiency requirement: If you come from a non-English-speaking country (and haven’t completed five years’ study in an English-speaking country), you will be required to prove that you can speak the English language to the required level. Eligible proficiency tests accepted for Australian student visas include IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Cambridge Advanced English (CAE), and Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.
- Health requirements: Some applicants for an Australian student visa may be asked to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to prove their good health. If required, you must attend an appointment with a doctor approved by the Australian immigration department.
- Character requirements: Australian student visa requirements state that the applicant must possess good character to enter Australia. This includes a criminal record check to prove that they don’t have a substantial criminal record. You may also be asked to fill up a Character Statutory Declaration Form, in addition to obtaining a penal clearance certificate or getting a police statement.
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