Australia Visa Process

Applying For Visa

Inside Australia :

If you are applying for a Student visa in Australia you must:

  • currently hold a qualifying visa, or
  • held a certain visa and lodge an application within 28 days from the expiry date of that visa.

Applying in person

In some states or territories in Australia you may need to make an appointment to lodge your application. Please telephone the department on 131 881 for advice about whether you need an appointment. If you need an appointment you will be able to make one when you telephone. Complete application form 157A Application for a student visa and lodge it with your supporting documentation at an appropriate Australian Government office if you are applying outside Australia, or at any office of the department before your current visa expires if you are entitled to apply in Australia.

Online Application

If you are applying in Australia you may lodge your application in person, by mail or electronically through the department's website. Electronic lodgment through the department's website is the preferred method of lodgment.

Electronic student visa

Some people are eligible to apply through the department's website for an electronic student visa. Eligibility is restricted to the following:

  • a student visa holder seeking permission to work
  • a student seeking a further student visa
  • Assessment Level 1 applicant seeking to apply for a student visa (for example you are in Australia on a visa other than a student visa).

Outside Australia :

  • All Assessment Level 1 students are eligible to apply for a student visa on the internet.
  • Assessment Level 2–4 students should also check the department's website to see if they are eligible.

Online lodgement of student visa applications is only available to citizens who are resident in their country at the time of application from the following countries:

  • People's Republic of China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand

Members of the family unit may be included in the student's application. Students under 18 years of age may also apply.

Education agents based in these countries and Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) based in Australia who are registered to access to the student online lodgement facility can lodge student eVisa applications for international students from these four countries.

Confirmation of enrolment

Acceptance for full-time study is evidenced by an electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate or an ‘offer of a place in a course' letter issued by the registered provider offering you a place.

A confirmation of enrolment (CoE) is a mandatory requirement to lodge an eVisa application. However, there is no obligation on education providers to issue CoEs to agents who are registered to access the student online lodgement facility. This is a matter for providers to individually determine whether or not they issue CoEs to participating registered agent. Students may continue to lodge paper applications where providers are not comfortable with issuing a CoE to a participating registered agent.

You can be granted a student visa to cover the total of the proposed package only if you provide confirmation of enrolment for all courses. You may also be eligible for streamlined visa processing.

If your application is exempt from a visa application charge (VAC), you will not be able to lodge your visa application online.

A Transaction Reference Number (TRN) :

A Transaction Reference Number (TRN) is a unique number assigned to each completed online application. It is important that you record this number as it is used to:

  • identify your application when you communicate with the department
  • access information about the progress of your online application
  • add supporting documents to your lodged online application.

A TRN is displayed upon lodgment of an eVisa application immediately after you pay and submit. You are encouraged to record the TRN as it easily identifies your application and allows you to enquire about your application status.

A saved ID is generated when an eVisa application has commenced. This allows you to complete part or all of your application without submitting and paying in the same session. You can use your saved ID to retrieve, update or complete your application at a later date.


Location Related information Link
Outside Australia

All Assessment Level 1 students outside Australia can apply online for their new student visa.

Important: Macau SAR and Hong Kong SAR 'Document of Identity' holders are not eligible for online lodgement outside Australia. Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR passport holders can lodge online.

Your passport country and course of study determines your assessment level. If you are not sure you are an Assessment Level 1 student you should check via the Student Visa options.

Online lodgment of Student visa applications is also available to citizens of the following countries who are residing in their country at the time of application:

  • People's Republic of China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand

Important: If your online application is lodged when you are outside Australia, you must also be outside Australia before the visa can be granted. Refunds are not available if you enter Australia on another type of visa before your online application has been decided.

First Student Visa

Student Visa Options

Online Lodgement for Assessment Level 2-4 Applicants

Student Visa Program - Assessment Levels

(formerly known as Form 1219i) ( 73KB PDF file)

In Australia

If you are currently in Australia and are applying for your first Student visa or a further student visa.

If you were granted a Student visa before 26 April 2008 and have not yet applied for Permission to Work.

Note: You and your family members may only apply for Permission to Work after you have commenced your course in Australia.

First Student Visa

Student Further Stay

Permission to Work