How To Apply for a visa to Australia

Before you can apply for a visa, you should get a letter of offer from the institution you applied for. 

Obtaining information on visas

International students must have a valid student visa for the duration of their studies in Australia. You should check with the Australian Embassy in your country to see if you are eligible to apply for a student visa before obtaining official confirmation of your enrolment and paying tuition fees. You will only be issued with a student visa for study in Australia if you seek to undertake a full-time course that is accredited and registered by the Australian Government. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) also has offices in many countries, check their website for locations.

Where can I get the visa application forms?

Visa application forms in English, Portuguese or Spanish can be downloaded from theDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website. For application forms in host-country languages contact your nearest Australian Embassy or DIAC office. Most students will need to fill in the Application for a Student (Temporary) Visa Form 157A. US Study Abroad, Norwegian and Swedish students over 18 years of age can apply for an electronic student using Form 157E on the DIMA website.

Where can I get help with filling out a visa application?

The visa application forms are designed so that you can complete them with minimal, if any, help. The DIAC website has visa information forms for download and provides more information on student visa requirements. However, if you wish to seek help in obtaining a visa you are advised to use a registered migration agent. Contact the nearestAustralian Embassy or DIAC Office for a list is available of registered migration agents. 
You will be asked to have a medical examination as part of the visa process. You will be given a list of approved doctors and special forms for the doctor to complete.

Where do I submit the visa application?

Unless instructed otherwise by the institution or agent you have been dealing with, you should send your visa application form (together with the correct visa charge and all necessary documents) to the nearest Australian Embassy or DIAC Office.

Obtaining medical insurance

All students must show evidence that they have health insurance cover before a visa can be issued. Australia has a very cost competitive medical insurance system. In many cases you can pay the compulsory medical insurance (Overseas Student Health Cover, or OSHC for short) premium to the education institution which will pay the health insurer on your behalf. If you are a student sponsored by AusAID you will not need to pay the OSHC yourself but you will need to provide proof that AusAID supports your application.
Norwegian students are exempt from this requirement. Swedish students who are studying under CSN International (the Swedish National Board of Student Aid) who have obtained insurance through CSN are also exempt from the OSHC requirement.

Receiving your visa

You can only be granted a student visa if you intend to study a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis. If your application is successful you will be issued with a Multiple Entry Visa allowing you to travel backwards and forwards to Australia within the period for which the visa has been granted. That period will depend on the course for which you have been accepted. Your visa can be cancelled if you discontinue your studies or fail to meet the conditions of your visa.

What if my student visa application is not successful?

If your application is not successful you will be told the reasons in writing. The decision not to grant you a student visa cannot be reviewed if you applied from outside Australia. Before re-applying for a student visa, you should carefully consider what evidence you can provide to satisfy the decision maker that you meet all the requirements for a student visa. 
If you apply in Australia and are refused a student visa then you may apply for a review of the decision. You will be notified of your review rights in writing and the time limits for lodging such an appeal.