Study in Australia: Procedures for getting the student visa

Getting a student visa to study in Australia is one step closer to realising your dream. This concise account on what is required of applicants for a Student Visa to Australia clears a number of lingering doubts. The instructions and links provided should help to ease and hasten the process.

It is that time of the year again. Anxious students preparing to take a flight overseas, for higher studies, but plagued with questions they have no answers to. One question that commonly bothers almost every student and their parents is with regard to the Visa application process. Answers are generally not forthcoming. Embassy and High Commission websites mention a few critical details, but a lot is left unanswered. If you are anything like I am, you would want the teeny weeny obscure details, on everything.

So, here is my attempt to ease your worries a wee bit, with answers on the why's, the what's, the how's and the when's on the Australian Student Visa process.

Australia is becoming a hub for international students. The universities might not be as highly ranked as those in the UK and the US, but they certainly provide a competitive edge over many local universities. The educational institutions in Australia are definitely world class. There is also no threat of the Brexit effect or what could happen next, during the Trump regime. The educational institutions cater to a whole range of study programmes, from specialised degree courses to diploma programmes on a variety of subjects, such as Fitness. Standard of living in Australian cities is high, and lifestyles highly organised. These, combined with the excellent educative environment make Australia a dream destination for Indian students, seeking foreign education.

Applicants can apply for student visa to Australia after they secure admission into a study programme, in the country. This is the first and most crucial requirement. So, before you begin applying for a student visa, you need to apply to universities and get the admission documents.

Overseas Student Programme (OSP)

The Australian Government offers the Overseas Student Programme (OSP) that allows individuals who are neither citizen of the nation nor given a permanent resident status to pursue an academic programme in the country. Indian students wishing to study in Australia must apply under this programme. The prerequisites required for this programme are –
  • Students wanting to study in Australia under OSP must get a student visa prior to the commencement of the programme
  • Student visas are issued to only those students who are admitted into academic programmes registered under the Australian education system or those that are part of a registered course, as a full-time student
  • A registered course is one where the educational institution offering the programme (degree, training, diploma or certificate course etcetera) is listed with the Australian Government to offer the study programme to foreign students

The Australian education system

Here is a brief input on the Australian education system. There are three varying levels of education:
  • Primary level
  • Secondary & Vocational Education
  • Training & Higher Education

These form the main levels of education on offer. However, there are a few courses designed especially for the international student community, for example, the ELICOS – English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students. These are non-award courses that do not offer a degree.

Application for Australian student visa

Application for a student visa can be forwarded to the Australian High Commission via three modes:
  • Students can mail or courier their visa application, along with their passport, to the Australian High Commission, in New Delhi. The mailing address is-
    The Visa Office
    Australian High Commission
    1/50G – Shantipath
    Diplomatic Enclave
    New Delhi -110021

    Use a trusted courier company. Also, confirm whether applications are being accepted through the mail. Rules can change, anytime.
  • Applications can also be submitted at the High Commission or at a visa application centre in or near your city. However, a prior appointment is required for this. You can fix an appointment through email. Send your details to or fix an appointment via phone #91-11-4122-1000. Whether you apply through email or telephonically, you will need to provide your personal details, such as name, contact number and passport number. Clearly, mention the type of visa that you are applying for
  • Applicants can also apply online to the visa processing centres

For your visa application to be considered it must be complete and accompanied by relevant documents. Do not be in haste to submit your application. Read the instructions and every category to ensure that your application is in order. An incomplete application can be returned.

Documents required for the Australian student visa

These are the list of documents that you need to show/submit at the visa office:
  • (eCoE) Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment
  • (SoP) Statement of Purpose
  • Original & photocopies of IELTS test result
  • Academic certificates original & photocopies
  • Original Passport
  • Notarised copy of passport
  • Form 1221 Additional personal particulars information
  • 4 passport size photographs
  • Financial documents showing proof of funds in original & photocopies
  • Documents of work experience original & photocopies
  • Visa application fee payable through Credit Card (current fee is AUD 540)

It is advised that you submit your visa application at the earliest – soon after receiving the eCoE, so the visa is received on time and there is no last minute panic. Your knowledge of the English language is crucial. Ensure that you have a decent IELTS score or else your visa could be denied.

Different types of Australian student visa & the application procedures

Australian student visas are split into subclasses and depend on the type study programme students enrol.
  • Application procedures are based assessment levels of the applicant. The assessment depends on two factors – nationality of the applicant and the study programme that they have enrolled in. Assessment of applicants can be done on the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website, when filling the application
  • Applicants whose evaluations prove to be of a higher assessment level will have to support their application with more supportive documents; such as proof of funds or higher academic excellence etcetera
  • Visa applications of students accompanied with an eCoE from a participating University or an eligible educational/training institution for UG, PG, PhD course or a student exchange or study abroad programme qualify automatically for simplified visa processing that do not entail an assessment level testing

Fee for student visa

Applicants will have to pay a fee/charge for student visa processing. These can change depending on a number of factors one of which is the exchange rate. Applicants must check the actual fee on the official website before submitting the application. The money can be remitted in Indian currency.
  • A non-refundable application fee is levied with every application
  • Applicants who will be accompanied by entitled family member(s) to reside with them in Australia, during the duration of the course, must submit a combined visa application and pay a fee for each accompanying member
  • The additional member's visa fee is added to the student applicants base visa application fee. The fee varies and is calculated based on the age of the 'family member' applicant
  • Applicants can incur other expenses when applying for a visa, such as medical examination fee, police verification checks and translation of documents if they are in a language other than English

Student visa applicants will also need to interview with an immigration officer before the visa is granted. This interview is crucial and the applicant needs, to be honest with their responses. Handy tips on how to face the visa interview can help the applicant get through the interview.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 547 articles authored by Juana

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