Once you complete your admission process to an Australian university, the next step is getting a Student Visa. Even if your admission has been successful, it does not guarantee getting an Australian Student visa. This is because the visa application will be scrutinised heavily. In this post, we’ll take you through the 6 steps Indian students must follow to successfully acquire an Australian student visa.
Key Terms To Understand Before Applying For A Student Visa
Visa Application Framework
Simplified Student Visa Framework: The Australian government implemented Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) in July 1st 2016 to simplify the student visa application process.
- There are only two visas available for student category; Student Visa (subclass 500) and Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590).
- Student visa and student guardian visas must be applied now using Immi account; all the visa application process must be made online.
1. Student Visa Subclass 500: This visa applies only to the student. As per this visa, a student can pursue a full-time course in a registered institution in Australia.
To qualify for this visa:
- Students must have applied for, and been accepted to study in a registered full-time course at an educational institution in Australia.
- Students below the age of 18 should organize their welfare to support their stay in Australia.
2. Student Visa Subclass 590: This visa applies for both the student and the guardians or parents accompanying the student (below 18 years of age).
To qualify for this visa:
- The person accompanying should be at least 21 years old and possess the custody of the student.
- Children below the age of 6 should not be taken along with the guardian, except under certain circumstances.
- They should be able to provide all the amenities to the students including accommodation and other welfare arrangements.
Now let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty of the Australian student visa process.
1. Taking Health Insurance – Overseas Student Health Cover
Overseas Student Health Cover is an insurance package that provides international student to meet the hospital and medical care expenses they may need when in Australia. OSHC is a mandatory step in getting your acceptance in university as well as student visa in Australia.
You can purchase OSHC either through your university directly or with the major health insurance providers of Australia. Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC are the major providers.
OSHC must also be purchased for your guardian or anyone accompanying you to Australia. You must mention all the details about your health insurance while applying for university admission and as well as visa lodgement.
2. Health Check-up, Medical Certificate And Character Certificate
Health examinations for the Indian students must be done by one of the Department’s approved panel physicians or clinics. Department of home affairs has provided a list of hospitals in India where you can get your examination done.
Immigration has all the right to reject your file if in case you have any health issue that has a potential risk to Australia. So getting a clean chit in the medical examination is very important to get the visa. You might need this medical certificate to purchase OSHC.
A good character certificate is an essential document for the processing of the student visa application. A police clearance certificate is required to prove that you do not have any criminal records and it has to be included in the character certificate. A statutory declaration should be filled and submitted along with other documents for the visa lodgement.
3. Confirmation of Enrollment (COE)
Upon accepting the offer letter provided by the university, you will receive an electronic confirmation of enrollment (COE) by email. It makes you eligible to come to Australia for pursuing the course you have opted for.
COE is an online code which you will have to use when applying for the visa. You need to insert this in the appropriate space provided in the online visa application form.
This is a very important requirement for an Australian student visa without which a rejection is made right away.
It confirms that you have accepted the offer by the university, and have paid your tuition fees and Overseas Student Health Cover premium (OSHC).
4. Readying The Funds For Studying in Australia (loan)
You can choose both secured (based on collateral) and unsecured loans (not protected by any collateral) for Australia.
But Australian embassy doesn’t approve of unsecured loans.
A student with an unsecured loan is regarded to have no much assets back in India and that paints a very negative image for an applicant. Also, loans against collateral of the third party are not preferred as there is a high chance of getting visa rejected.
The only approved and safest funding source is getting a collateral loan from government bank against family assets.
If you are planning to fund your first semester fees and OHSC amount from the loan, then apply for loan well in advance so that loan gets sanctioned and disbursed by the time of need.
For paying the tuition fee in Australia, you need to wire transfer the funds from India to the university account in Australia.
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The receipt should be sent to university and only then your COE will be released by the university.
Funds for the living expenses will be disbursed to your savings account in India with a hold. By hold, it means you cannot make use of these funds until your visa is approved.
Funds to support your stay in Australia and travel is one of the proofs required for the application of visa.
It’s not always necessary to go for loans if you have enough funds otherwise.
5. Completing Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Write-up
All the students who wish to pursue their dreams in Australia must prove they are coming with a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily to gain a quality education. GTE is an integrity check on the potential candidates and rules out those who use the student visa program for motives other than gaining a quality education.
It is basically a written statement with the evidence to support it by students. Ministerial Direction 69 is a document that lists out a number of factors that the immigration team takes into account while considering your profile.
Information to be included in GTE:
- Previous study
- Gap in academics
- Current employment
- Financial background of the family
- The economic situation in the home country or country of residence
- Employment in a third country
- Your immigration history
- Value of your chosen course to your future
- Potential circumstances for you in Australia
GTE is a very important document in the visa filing stage. Some candidates will have to attend an interview at your nearest Australian embassy or consulate to determine whether you meet the GTE eligibility.
The Department of Home Affairs has a dedicated page where they have listed out everything about GTE.
6. Visa Application & Required Documents
The last and final step to get an Australian Student Visa is the application process itself.
The student visa application must be done online. You’ll need to gather all the documents required.
The Department of Home Affairs in Australia has created a document checklist tool based on your home country.
Australian Student Visa Documents;
- A completed application form (157A)
- Your passport
- 4 recent passport-sized photos
- Confirmation of enrollment
- GTE statement
- Academic and work experience certificates and documents
- OSHC document
- Health and character certificate
- Evidence to prove that you have enough funds to support your stay in Australia
- English proficiency test scores
You need to keep your document copies scanned so that it can be uploaded. Once you have gathered all the documents then the next step is to create an Immiaccount on the immigration website.
This is how the Immiaccount creation page looks;
The last step in the visa application process is the payment. You can pay for online applications in ImmiAccount.
Modes of payment are:
- Credit Card
Department of home affairs has a detailed description of how to make the payment.
Note: You can enter Australia on your student visa up to 90 days before your course starts.
There are certain obligations you are entrusted with when you own an Australian student visa.
- You must remain enrolled in a CRICOS-registered course
- Attend classes regularly and make satisfactory course progress
- Maintain OSHC health insurance as long as you stay in Australia
There are few visa conditions issued by the department of home affairs for the visa holder and dependents to observe. Any violation of these conditions can end up in the cancellation of visa. So stay safe and act in compliance with the rules and regulations of Australia for a great career and future.
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