To be eligible for a visa to study in Australia, the application must be made overseas and applicants must:
You must remain enrolled in a registered course (unless you are an AusAID/Defence student or secondary exchange student in which case you must maintain full-time enrolment in your course of study or training).
Note: a registered course is one that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Be of good character and meet the health criteria.
You have acceptable health insurance through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and members of your family unit accompanying you to Australia
You have no outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia, or have made arrangements acceptable to the Minister to repay such a debt
Where you are under 18 years of age, acceptable arrangements for your accommodation, support and general welfare are in place
Student Visa Assessment Levels
There are five Assessment Levels in the student visa program. They serve to align student visa requirements to the immigration risk posed by applicants from a particular country studying in a particular education sector. Assessment Level 1 represents the lowest immigration risk and Assessment Level 5 the highest.
The higher the Assessment Level, the greater the evidence an applicant is required to demonstrate to support their claims for the grant of a student visa.
Proof of financial resources
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has minimum requirements that you must reach in order to be able to obtain your student visa. Here are the minimum requirements as of the 1st of July of 2012.
Student: The student must have equivalent to one return air fare to the country of Australia. They must also have course fees and approximately $18,610 for the cost of living (rent, food, etc) in order to be considered for a student visa. This may differ depending on where you are living and what school you are attending.
Student’s spouse or partner: If you are married (as many who go into graduate studies are) or are in a committed relationship or civil union, you must also have proof of financial resources for your spouse or partner. They must have the equivalent of one return air fare to the country as well as an extra $6,515 for the overall cost of living. If they are taking classes as well, they must have enough for their own coursework.
Children: If your children are under the age of 6, the first one will add another air fare and $3,720 per year. Any additional children under age 6 will add an additional air fares and $2,790 per child. If your children are over the age of 6, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will determine a cost based on your child’s age, school level, and the region of Australia that you are residing in.
Student visa English language requirements
Some Student visa applicants are required to provide the results of an English language test. From 5 November 2011, the department will accept test results from the following specified English language tests for Student visa purposes taken in any country:
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based test (TOEFL iBT)
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (also known as Certificate in Advanced English).
The department will continue to accept test results from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test and the Occupational English Test (OET) taken in any country. The TOEFL Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) is accepted in the following countries where IELTS is not available: Belarus, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Moldova, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Uzbekistan.
Post study work Visa
The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) replaced the Skilled Graduate visa (subclass 485) on 23 March 2013 as a part of the implementation of post-study work arrangements. The Temporary Graduate visa now has two streams: the Graduate Work stream and the Post-Study Work stream.
The Graduate Work stream is the same as the previous Skilled Graduate visa (subclass 485). The Post-Study Work stream offers extended options for working in Australia to eligible graduates of a higher education degree. Under this stream, successful applicants are granted a visa of two, three or four years duration, depending on the highest educational qualification they have obtained.