Travel to Australia as an international student

Australia is one of the top countries when it comes to education and the quality of the courses offered. If you want to come to Australia to study a certain course or further your education, then this blog will explain to you what you need to have a successful application.

Requirements for a student visa:

To get a student visa you must:

  1. Get a successful admission from an Australian education provider:

For most student visas, you will need to first enroll at an Australian approved university or college in a course that is also approved to be offered to international students, i.e. a full time course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Once you are enrolled you will get a document called CoE- Confirmation of Enrolment which is necessary to submit with your student visa application. If you will study more than one course, you must obtain a CoE for each of those courses.

2. Prove your English language ability

You will need some basic English before you can come and study in Australia. You can lodge your application without proof of English however if requested and you do not obtain the right score, your application may be refused. Also the Australian university/college may require you to prove your English before they can enroll you.

What English score do I need for a student visa?

You will need one to have done an English language test in the last 2 years before your application for a student visa (unless an exemption applies).

The tests you can do include:

  • PTE
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)

Depending on what score you obtain, you may also need to complete a 10 or 20 weeks English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) when you come to Australia and before starting your desired course. You will have to also cover the cost for that course.

The minimum score accepted for a student visa 4.5 in IELTS, 32 in TOFEL, 30 in PTE and 147 in Cambridge English: Advanced. If you obtain 5.5 in IELTS, 46 in TOFEL, 42 in PTE or 162 in Cambridge English: Advanced, then you won’t need to complete an ELICOS course first.

Who is exempted from proving English for a student visa?

You do not need to do the test or prove your English language ability if:

  • You are a citizen and hold a passport from UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland 
  • you are an applicant who is a Foreign Affairs or, Defence sponsored student or a Secondary Exchange student (AASES)
  • you are enrolled in a principal course of study that is a registered school course, a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), a course registered to be delivered in a language other than English, or a registered post-graduate research course
  • you have completed at least 5 years’ study in English in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland
  • in the 2 years before applying for the student visa, you completed, in Australia High school or a substantial component of a Certificate IV or higher level, while you held a student visa.

3. Have sufficient money

Studying in Australia can be expensive. You have to make sure you will be able to afford the course you are coming to study. The department will need to assess whether you have enough money to come and study in Australia through one of these two methods:

A. 12 months method:

The Australian government wants to see that you have enough money to cover the following:

  1. the course fees in the first 12 months (or if the course is shorter then the full course fees) minus any fees you already paid
  2. Annual living expenses calculated at $21,041 for you, $7362 for your partner or spouse, $3152 for each of your dependent children plus $8296 school fees for each school aged child.
  3. Travel expenses- i.e. flight tickets.

B. Income method

If you, your parents (cannot include parents in law) or your partner had an annual income of at least:

  • AU$62,222 in the year before studying in Australia if you are applying by yourself or
  •   $72,592 in the year before studying in Australia if you are coming with your partner.

How to prove your financial capacity?

Any of the following methods can be evidence of your financial capacity as long as you can prove genuine access to the funds.  

  1. money deposit with a financial institution;
    • loan with a financial institution;
    • government loans;
    • scholarship or financial support.

4. Prove that you are a genuine temporary entrant

You must write a genuine temporary entrant statement that confirm that your only intention is to come to Australia temporarily and that you will be going back to your home country at the end of your study. In that statement, you must explain why you chose the course you enrolled in, why Australia and not another country, how the course will help you with your career aspirations/plans once you return etc…

The department will consider Direction 69 issued by the Minister and will look at your circumstances in your home country and Australia, for example can you study that course in your home country, whether your country is going through political or civil unrest, economic circumstances, your personal ties at home and in Australia. Other things they consider include your immigration history to Australia and/or other countries; as well as any other relevant matter. If the student is a minor the Australian government will assess the intention of the parent/guardian as well.

5. Have adequate health insurance

You and your family members must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider, unless an ‘Exception’ applies.

6. Other requirements

You and your family members must meet health and character requirements. Other requirements may apply if you are considering applying for a student visa whilst you are in Australia.

Need Help?

If you require assistance with coming to Australia, feel free to contact our office on or book a 15 minutes obligation free consultation.

DISCLAIMER: Immigration law is complex and is subject to constant regulatory and policy change by the Australian government.  The information provided above is a general guide only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice please get in touch with our office.

1 thoughts on “Travel to Australia as an international student

  1. Alvera Tarzia says:

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