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Studying in Australia: How to Apply

Australia is the 3rd most popular destination of international students in the world despite having a population of approximately 23 million, compared to 325 million in the United States, and why 2,500,000 million alumni of Australian institutions - including 25 Nobel Laureates - are making a difference in the world. (Graphics courtesy of Future Unlimited,

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Studying in Australia: How to Apply
Written by Crispin Aranda.
Updated December 14, 2016 | Australia
This article has been archived.  You may want to read a short overview on applying to Australia as an international student or read about SC500, the Australia student visa category instead.

To simplify the student visa application process for international students who have made Australia the 3rd most popular destination to study and to enhance a successful career outcome, Australia has consolidated the various subclasses of visas for international students into one - Subclass 500.  

The procedure remains the same. Before applying for this visa, you must have

  • been accepted to study full-time in a registered course at an educational institution in Australia
  • if your are below 18 years old, you must have made appropriate welfare arrangements for the duration of your intended stay in Australia.

Enrolment in a CRICOS-registered course of study

Generally, you must be enrolled in a course of study that is registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Applicants outside Australia must obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) for each intended course of study together with required documents from the specific Australian Embassy or Consulate of their country of residence.  

Financial Requirements

International student visa applicants must have enough money "genuinely available" to them to pay for the course fees, as well as the travel and living costs (for the student or principal applicant and each accompanying family members).

Documents to establish financial capacity

The applicant must be able to provide any of the following:

  • evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • evidence that the student meets the annual income requirement
  • an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only)
  • a letter of support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.

Working while studying and Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)

Students attending a recognized full-time academic course are allowed to engage in temporary employment for the duration of the study program.

The ability and right to work part time (40 hours fortnight starts once course study has commenced) is intended to enhance the international study experience by engaging in real time activities (in campus/school; neighborhood; community) and as a means toward an effective transition into the workplace in pursuit of a chosen career - whether in the student's country of origin, in Austraia, or elsewhere.

Full-time work may be possible while school is not in session.

Health and Character Checks

As part of the visa application process, applicants over tha age of 16 need to submit to health examinations and character checks (NBI clearance as well as police clearance from any country where the applicant has lived or resided for at least one (1) year in the last 10 years)

The certificate from the home country must cover the period of time from the date of issuance to the age the applicant is considered an adult. Certificates from other countries must cover the whole residency period. For immigration purposes, a police certificate is deemed to be valid for 12 months from the issue date.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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