Australia Visa Process

Student Visa Overview

International students require a student visa in order to study in Australia. The process of applying for a student visa depends on which country you apply from and the type of study you're applying for. The student visa application process can be involved and for this reason, students in some countries apply for their student visa using the help of a registered Australian education agent.

In Australia there are two ways to get Student visa

  • Through Assessment levels
  • Through Streamlined Visa Process

Assessment Levels :

Your passport country and course(s) of study determine your Assessment Level. The Student visa subclass under which you will be assessed is determined by your main course of study, even if you are studying a package of courses.

Student Subclass Options

These are the Student subclass options that are available.

1. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) (subclass 570)

Applies to stand-alone English language courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III or IV, or that result in no formal Australian award.

2. Primary or secondary school course (subclass 571)

Applies to primary, junior secondary or senior secondary school courses, and approved secondary school exchange programs.

3. Vocational education and training (VET) (subclass 572)

Applies to Certificates I, II, III or IV (except ELICOS), VET diploma, VET advanced diploma, vocational graduate certificate or vocational graduate diploma courses.

4. Higher education (subclass 573)

Applies to a bachelor degree, associate degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, higher education diploma, higher education advanced diploma or masters by coursework.

5. Postgraduate research (subclass 574)

Applies to Masters by research or a doctoral degree.

6. Non-award (subclass 575)

Applies to non-award foundation studies, or other full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian award.

7. AusAID and Defense (subclass 576)

Applies to students sponsored by AusAID or the Australian Department of Defense undertaking full-time courses of any type.

Your Student visa application will be assessed against one of the following:

  • your highest Assessment Level. The lowest Assessment Level being Assessment Level 1 and the highest Assessment Level 5 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.
  • The streamlined visa processing requirements if you are an eligible student.

The passport you hold and the education sector of your course will determine the appropriate Assessment Level for your visa application. To identify the Assessment Level for your visa application, match the nationality of the passport you hold with the visa subclass for the education sector/s of your course/s. The information sheet – Student Visa Program – Assessment Levels contains a list of the current Assessment Levels for all passports and education sectors. Your Assessment Level is the one in effect for your passport and visa subclass on the date that you lodged a valid application with the department.

If your passport is not listed in the table on this document you will be subject to Assessment Level 3. If you are sponsored by AusAID or Defense and are applying for a Subclass 576 – AusAID/Defense student visa you will be subject to Assessment Level 2.

Streamlined Visa Process :-

Streamlined visa processing is designed for international students applying to study in Australia at a participating university at Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree level.

From 24 March 2012,these applicants are treated as though they are lower migration risk (similar to the current Assessment Level 1) regardless of their country of origin.

A list of universities currently participating in the streamlined visa processing arrangements is available. This list also includes details of each university's educational business partners who are participating in the streamlined visa processing arrangements.