The Australian Government offers Indian students the chance to study in the country, but obtaining a student visa is a requirement before entering the country and beginning your studies. The type of visa you need will vary based on the level of your course, the type of study you plan to undertake, and the length of the program. As a foreign student, you will need a student (subclass 500) visa regardless of your field of study, the university you have applied to, or the tuition fees.
The Student Visa (subclass 500)
Implemented on July 1, 2016, a subclass 500 student visa allows you to remain in Australia during the duration of your study program, which typically lasts up to five years and is aligned with your enrollment date. To have a seamless stay, it is important to keep your visa valid and comply with the student visa conditions listed on your visa.
Subclass 500 visa coverage
With this visa, you can:
- Enroll in your preferred study program and university
- Bring your family members to Australia with you
- Dependents can apply for a dependent visa to accompany the main applicant
- Benefit from a straightforward and streamlined visa process for all students
- Apply for the visa either within or outside of Australia through an online portal.
Preliminary Requirements for Application
Before applying for the visa, you should:
- Have enrolled in your intended study program in Australia
- Have obtained Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your program
- Be at least 6 years old
- Provide proof of welfare arrangements made in Australia, if you are under 18 years of age.
Documents required for an Australian student visa
When applying for your student visa to study in Australia, you will generally need:
- Proof of enrolment (your electronic confirmation of enrolment eCOE)
- A valid passport
- Your visa application fee
- Your Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
- Academic and work experience documents
- Evidence of your English proficiency skills (such as IELTS test scores)
- Evidence of financial ability (tuition fees, living expenses, expenses for dependents, return airfare)
- Details of your health insurance policy (OSHC)
- Passport-sized photographs
- If you are under 18 years of age, you will also need to provide additional documents such as parental consent.
Submitting a Visa Application Online
To submit your student visa application, you will need to create an account using the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) online application system, called ImmiAccount. This platform allows you to complete and submit your application and also track its status once submitted. It is recommended that you submit your application no later than six weeks prior to the start of your course, but no earlier than 12 weeks.
As an international student, you must pay visa fees as per the below category you fall in:
|Visa subclass||Base application charge||Additional applicant charges if 18 years or above||Additional applicant charges if less than 18 years||The subsequent temporary application charge|
|Student visa (subclass 500)||AUD $630||AUD $460||AUD $150||AUD $700|
|Student visa (subclass 500)(subsequent entrant)||AUD $620||AUD $460||AUD $150||AUD $700|
|Student visa (subclass 500)– Foreign Affairs or Defence sector||nil||nil||nil||nil|
|Student visa (subclass 500) – Postgraduate research sector||AUD $620||nil||nil||nil|
English Language Proficiency Requirements
To obtain an Australian student visa, you must provide evidence of your proficiency in the English language. This usually requires passing a recognized English language test to demonstrate your ability to communicate and understand written correspondence.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognized and widely used test of English language proficiency, taken by millions of people each year for study, work, and migration purposes. The results of the IELTS test are recognized by more than 10,000 organizations, including universities, employers, professional associations, and governments in 140 countries around the world.
While the minimum IELTS score required for a student visa is 5.5, a higher score may be necessary to gain admission to top universities. Additionally, the required IELTS score may vary depending on the course of study, with subjects such as business, IT, and engineering typically requiring a score of 6.5, and fields like nursing, physiotherapy, and teaching requiring a score of 7.0 or higher. To determine the appropriate score for your desired course of study, it is recommended to seek guidance from experts, such as IDP’s international education specialists.
To keep your student visa valid, you must:
- Stay enrolled and meet the academic requirements of your course, including regular attendance
- Notify your university or college of any changes to your contact information, including your address
- Have the financial means to support yourself while in Australia
- Comply with the work restrictions specified on your visa
- If you plan to change the level of your education, you will need to apply for a new student visa.