Step by step guide

Choosing to study in Australia is an exciting step towards a bright future. Here's a simple guide to applying for a student visa.

Step 1 - Letter of Offer

If your course application is successful, you will receive a Letter of Offer from your chosen education provider.

  • Read the Letter of Offer carefully before you accept it. It will include your course details, enrolment conditions and fees you will need to pay if you accept the offer.
  • Make sure that you understand all your rights, including the refund arrangements. If you don’t start or finish your course, the agreement will be used to determine if you will receive a refund on any fees paid.
  • Do not accept the Letter of Offer if you are not happy with any of its terms.
  • Keep a copy of the Letter of Offer. You will need this copy so that you are aware of your rights and if you have to make a claim against your education provider.

Step 2 - Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is a document that will be issued by your education provider that verifies your enrolment in a specific course. The CoE will be sent to you after you have accepted your Letter of Offer and paid your deposit.

You must include a copy of your CoE in your student visa application so that the Australian Government has proof that you are registered in your declared course.

Please note: Concurrent CoEs will no longer be issued. If you choose to change your course from a higher education degree to a vocational education and training course you must meet all student visa requirements. You may be eligible for credits and exemptions in recognition of your prior learning. 

Step 3 - Proof of English proficiency

Australian educational courses are taught in English, so you may need to supply a certificate of results from an approved English language test. This certificate will prove to the Australian Government that you meet the minimum English proficiency levels needed to succeed in your course.

There are only certain tests you can take that will be accepted by the Australian Government, but all are easily accessible from around the world.

*Changes are coming in 2024. Click here for more information. 

Step 4 - Genuine Student (GS) requirement

The online student visa application form contains a list of questions. Your answers to these questions will give visa decision makers information about you and your reasons for wanting to study in Australia, which gives context to the documentary evidence that you provide in support of your application.   

The GS questions cover:  

  • Details of your current circumstances, including ties to family, community, employment and economic circumstances. 
  • Why you chose your course and why you chose Australia as your study destination.  
  • How you will benefit from studying your chosen course.  
  • Details of your study history in Australia (if any). 
  • If you are holding a visa other than a Student visa, you will need to give your reasons for applying for a Student visa. 
  • Any other relevant information that you’d like to provide. 

For more details on the GS requirement, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Step 5 - Proof of sufficient funds

To meet the requirements for a student visa, you must prove that you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay. There are two options for meeting this requirement:

  • Provide bank statements, evidence of grants or scholarships. This will prove that you have enough money to cover all your costs and expenses through your course, such as travel, course fees and rent.
  • Supply proof of your parent's or partner’s annual income, which must be AUD$62,222 in the year immediately before you apply. If you bring family members, the annual income must be at least AUD$72,592.

For more information on the minimum required funds, visit the Department of Home Affairs website, and navigate to 'Gather your documents'.

Living costs vary throughout Australia and may be higher than what is needed for your visa application. We recommend you research the area you intend to live including the cost of living in that area.

* Prices are correct as of June 2023, refer to the Department of Home Affairs website for current price information.

Step 6 - Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

As an international student in Australia, you must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your stay.

If you don’t provide proof that you have this insurance, your student visa application will be refused.

OSHC will help you:

  • pay for medical or hospital care while studying in Australia,
  • pay for most prescription medicines, and
  • provide you with ambulance cover in emergencies.

While organising your health cover, also make sure you order an OSHC card for use at doctor appointments while you're living in Australia. Read more on our insurance page.

Step 7 - Health requirement

The Australian Government requires all international students to be in good health before entering the country. As a result, you may need to undergo a health examination to meet the student visa health requirement.

You can use the My Health Declaration service to complete any required health examinations before submitting your visa application. 

Step 8 - Character requirement

There are also certain character requirements that you must meet if you want to study in Australia. In your application, you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your character and past conduct. In some cases, you may need to provide a police background check.

Step 9 - Apply using ImmiAccount

The Department of Home Affairs website outlines all the requirements for a student visa. You apply online using ImmiAccount

You do not need an agent to lodge a student visa application. If you want professional immigration assistance with your visa application, use a registered migration agent or a legal practitioner.  

Only certain people can give immigration assistance in Australia. An education agent is someone who can assist you with your options for studying in Australia. An education agent who is not a registered migration agent or a legal practitioner and cannot lawfully give you immigration assistance in Australia.

More information on who can provide immigration assistance is on the Home Affairs website. 

Step 10 - Check travel requirements

You can stay up to date with the latest travel requirements by visiting our Preparing for your travels page.

Stay up to date

This information may change. Check the Department of Home Affair’s Student visa website for the most up to date information on how to apply for Student visa.

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