International student visas
Most international students require a student visa to study in Australia. If you are holding an Australian temporary visa (other than a student visa), please check the study entitlements on your visa with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). If you're unsure whether you're an international student, fill in our quick questionnaire and find out.
To apply for an Australian student visa you need:
- either an offer of a place or a Confirmation of Enrolment from the University of Melbourne;
- to know your assessment level; and
- to know which student visa you should apply for.
Preparing your student visa application
First, you must apply to the University for a place in the course you want.
You can apply for a student visa with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as soon as you have received an offer of a place or a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) from the University of Melbourne.
Assessment levels for visas
The Australian government groups countries into Assessment Levels. Your Assessment Level is based on the type of study you have applied for and the country that issued your passport (if you hold more than one non-Australian passport, you can choose which one you wish to use to apply for your Australian visa).
The higher the Assessment Level, the more evidence you will need to provide to meet the English language, financial, health and other requirements.
How the assessment level affects your application
Assessment Level 1:
Students from Assessment Level 1 countries can apply online, so you should accept your offer and wait for your COE. You can submit an application for a student visa when you have received your COE from the University.
Estimated processing time: 3 weeks.
Assessment Level 2:
Students from Assessment Level 2 countries should apply for a student visa as soon as you receive an offer of a place from the University. Most students from these countries must apply via mail.
Students from Indonesia and Thailand should see special information about an electronic lodgement trial below.
Estimated processing time: 3 weeks.
Assessment Level 3 or 4:
Most students from Assessment Level 3 and 4 will undergo a pre-visa assessment (PVA) as part of their visa application. Therefore you should lodge your visa application as soon as you have received an offer of place from the University. When the PVA process is successfully completed, DIBP will ask you to undertake a medical examination and provide a COE from the University. The University requires that students provide evidence of a successful PVA before they can accept their offer of place and receive a COE.
Students from the People's Republic of China and India should see special information about an electronic lodgement trial below.
Estimated processing time: 12 weeks.
Which student visa should I apply for?
There are a number of different types of student visas based on the type of course you will be studying. Students who will be studying at the University of Melbourne will need to apply for one of three visa sub-classes listed below. Before lodging an application, you should read the information about the visa that matches the (main) course of study for which you have received an offer of place:
- Study Abroad and Exchange students
Student (Non-Award) visa (subclass 575)
For exchange and study abroad students who will be studying at the University for more than three months but less than twelve months.
- Coursework students
Student (Higher Education) visa (subclass 573)
For courses leading to a Bachelor degree, Graduate certificate or diploma, or Masters by coursework
- Research students
Student (Postgraduate Research) visa (subclass 574)
For courses leading to a Masters by research or a Doctoral degree
Applying for a visa from outside Australia
The most common way to apply for a visa is in person or by post. Citizens of some countries can also apply on-line.
Applications by post or in person
Visa application requirements may vary per country. Please contact the nearest immigration office to check how to lodge you application before completing DIBP Form 157A Application for a student visa and lodging your application.
Only students from Assessment Level 1 countries are eligible to apply for a new student visa online. The visa application fee can be paid by credit card.
Students from the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia and Thailand are also able to apply online when using an approved education or migration agent through the electronic lodgement trial. No PVA is required for online applications.
If your application is successful DIBP will send you an email to confirm that your visa is granted. Please print a copy of this email as evidence of your student visa.
If you have any questions or experience difficulties when applying online, you can contact the DIBP Student Processing Centre.
Wait for your visa
If you have lodged an application outside Australia, you should wait until your application is decided on before travelling to Australia. If you travel to Australia before your visa granted, you may need to lodge a new application (if eligible) in Australia and pay another application fee.
Applying inside Australia
Students from Assessment Level 1 countries are able to apply for their first student visa from inside Australia. Only in exceptional circumstances, DIBP can allow students from other Assessment Levels to apply for their first student visa from inside Australia.
Students from all Assessment Levels who are holding a valid student visa that is not subject to a No Further Stay condition can renew their student visa in Australia.
DIBP has made available a documentation checklist to assist you with lodging your application.
An online application is the quickest and easiest way to apply for student visa. The visa application fee can be paid by credit card or using an Australia bank account (via BPAY).
Download and complete DIBP Form 157A Application for a student visa and send your application together with all required documents to:
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Melbourne Student Centre
GPO Box 241
Melbourne VIC 3001
Overseas, you can locate your nearest embassy or consulate.
Do not let your visa expire and remember to make an appointment before visiting a DIBP office.