There are several Australia student visa requirements that you must meet if you want to study abroad in this incredible country. As of March 24, 2012, the Australian government is evaluating applications for student visas based on five Assessment Levels (with Level 1 having the least stringent criteria applied and Level 5 having the most stringent criteria applied) that take into account two key factors:
A student’s passport country
A student’s main course of study
The Australian government will accordingly assess an application for a student visa using one of two main methods. One method is based on the five Assessment Levels (mentioned above) which evaluate a student based on their passport country AND main course of study. The second method is the “streamlined processing” procedure (if a student is eligible) which gives a student an Assessment Level of 1 (least strict criteria applied) regardless of their passport country/nationality. To be eligible for the “streamlined processing” procedure, an international student must provide the Australian government with confirmation of their full-time enrollment in an approved education course (e.g., bachelors, masters or doctorate program) at an authorized university when they submit their student visa application and, of course, meet other Australia student visa requirements.
The Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE)
The first requirement for a student visa to Australia is the Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE). Prior to applying for an Australian student visa, an individual must receive official confirmation of their full-time enrollment in an eligible educational program in Australia. This may involve an “Offer of Place” letter or an electronic “Confirmation of Enrollment” (CoE) certificate from an authorized educational institution that is accredited by and registered with Australia’s Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) confirming that the student has been accepted for full-time study in their program. For secondary school exchange students, an “Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student” (AAES) document must be filled out and submitted to the Australian government. An international student applying for the Subclass 576 AusAID and Defense Student Visa will be required to provide an official letter from the sponsoring agency confirming their support for the educational program in Australia.
There is also an English language requirement for most international students who apply for a student visa to Australia. Unless applying for the Subclass 570 Independent ELICOS Sector Student Visa (to study English in Australia), international students must prove that they possess at least the minimum proficiency level in the English language through assessment scores on the IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson (PTE), or Cambridge (CAE) tests.
Applicants for a student visa to Australia must provide proof that they have satisfactory health. On a related note, all international students (and all eligible family members who will join them in Australia) must maintain adequate health insurance from the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). In some cases, students may be able to pay the medical insurance premium to the school they are attending and then the school can pay the health insurance provider on behalf of the student.
Similarly, applicants for a student visa to Australia must provide proof of their ability to support themselves and all family members who will accompany them in Australia, including their capacity to pay for their educational program, living expenses, travel, etc. Additionally, in order to be approved for a student visa to Australia, an applicant must not have any unpaid debts owed to the Australian government (unless arrangements to repay outstanding debts have been made).
There are various other Australia student visa requirements that must be met, including: providing proof that one is a person of good character (a police certificate may be requested); paying the application fee for the Australian student visa; having appropriate living arrangements prepared for international students who are minors; possessing a secondary/senior high school diploma (if applying for an undergraduate university program); plus there may be prerequisites for particular Vocational Educational and Training (VET) programs. International students must also submit certified/notarized documentation in English (or with English translations attached) to support their application for a student visa to Australia and they must also note on their student visa application that they submitted the required documentation.
The GTE requirement
Finally, since November 5, 2011, applicants for a student visa to Australia must meet the “Genuine Temporary Entrant” (GTE) requirement. The GTE requirement was added to evaluate the likelihood of an international student’s temporary stay in Australia. Considerations include the situation in the home country of the applicant; the immigration history of the applicant; possible circumstances of the applicant while they are living in Australia; how beneficial the applicant’s education program will be for their future; plus other issues that may impact the motives of an international student to remain in Australia on a temporary basis.