AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
Dear applicant for a student visa
Thank you for your interest in applying for a Student visa to Australia. The following is provided for your
information and to assist you in lodging your application. You are encouraged to read it carefully and take note of
the information provided. It is in your interests to do so, as failure to provide any required documentation may affect
the processing of your application.
You should also read Form1160i for further information on applying for a student visa. Please also consult the
following websites – www.immi.gov.au or www.vfs-au.co.za.
WHEN TO LODGE YOUR APPLICATION
You should lodge your application when you have all the required information as detailed on the STUDENT
APPLICATION ASSESSMENT FORM (see attached).
The Australian High Commission in Pretoria has entered into an arrangement with VFS (South Africa) Pty Ltd to
provide visa and citizenship application lodgement services, which offer greater accessibility and extended opening
You may lodge your visa or citizenship application directly with VFS at their offices in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape
Town and Durban. VFS also has an arrangement with TNT Couriers for collection and return of applications and
passports to any location in South Africa.
For more information about VFS including contact details, office locations, office hours and lodgement procedures,
please refer to: http://www.immi.gov.au/overseas/pretoria/index.htm
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
VFS Call Centre telephone number: 083 9133 6363
ELECTRONIC LODGEMENT OF STUDENT VISA APPLICATIONS ON THE INTERNET
Certain nationalities subject to student Assessment Level 1 (AL1) may be eligible to apply online for streamlined
student visa processing. If you are a citizen of a country that is Assessment Level 1 for the education sector you will
be studying in, and you hold a valid passport for this nationality, you may wish to check if you can apply for your
student visa online. All persons applying online must still meet Australian visa health requirements, including HIV
testing. Please see http://www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/students.htm.
VISA APPLICATION CHARGE (VAC)
Please contact VFS for their acceptable payment types and the current immigration Visa Application Charge (VAC)
amount. Applicants sponsored by AUSAID, or involved in a formal Secondary School Exchange Program are
exempted from payment of the VAC.
AVERAGE PROCESSING TIME
You should note that the average processing time for a pre-visa assessment of a COMPLETE student visa
application is between SIX and EIGHT WEEKS from date of lodgement of your application - some applications
may be able to be processed in less than eight weeks, others may take longer.
It is therefore in your interests to lodge your application at least two months before you intend to commence your
course, so that an assessment can be made on your application as quickly as possible .
292 Orient Street, Arcadia, Pretoria 0083, Republic of South Africa
Telephone: 27 12 423 6000 Facsimile: 27 12 3424222
It is also in your interests to ensure that ALL documentation detailed on the STUDENT APPLICATION
ASSESSMENT FORM is provided at time of lodgement of your application. Failure to provide all the required
documentation will result in delays in processing of your application.
We appreciate that there may be delays beyond your control in lodging an application, such as late acceptance by the
education institution in Australia, and we take genuine reasons into account when queuing your applications for
Late applications are queued in date order of the course commencement date and every endeavour is made to ensure
that a decision is made on your application before your course commencement date.
If we are not able to grant your visas before the course commencement date you will be requested to provide evidence
from the institution that you will be able to commence your course at a later date.
SECONDARY SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENTS PROGRAMS
You should note that this refers to formal programs only. These are programs which have been approved by the
Australian State/Territory education departments and the Minister of Education.
Applicants applying for a student visa under informal exchange arrangements (i.e. ones not approved by Australian
State/Territory education departments and the Minister of Education) must satisfy the criteria set down for all
applicants (eg payment of the VAC) and provide all required documentation before a decision can be made on their
If you have an existing or previous serious medical condition or have previously undergone surgery, it may be
necessary to refer your medical reports to the Health Assessment Services (HAS) in Australia for comment. If
further medical reports are required or you are required to undergo further medical tests/treatment, it is in your
interests to provide or undertake these as quickly as possible. Until such time as HAS clears you, this office cannot
finalise your visa application (i.e. either grant you a visa or refuse the application).
All medicals and radiological examinations undertaken outside of South Africa must be referred to HAS. If this
applies to you, you should allow at least an additional two weeks for the processing of your application.
You are advised not to confirm your travel arrangements (i.e. pay for your airline ticket) until you have been advised
that a final decision has been made on your application (i.e. a visa has been granted). In fairness to all other
applicants, we cannot fast-track your application simply because you have confirmed your travel arrangements.
You are requested not to make any enquiries about the progress of your application, unless you lodged your
COMPLETE application more than six to eight weeks ago. We appreciate that you will be anxious about the outcome
of your application. If processing staff are answering these phone calls, this takes time away from processing your
application, and the applications of many hundreds of others who are patiently waiting for the outcome of their own
Thank you for your co-operation. To help us to help you please ensure that you do not lodge your application until
you can provide all the documentation.
STUDENT APPLICATION ASSESSMENT FORM
This form is to be completed by you and submitted with your application. Please do not lodge an
INCOMPLETE application. If an incomplete application is submitted, priority will be give to assessing and
finalising ALL COMPLETE applications, and no action will be taken on the incomplete application until the
required additional documentation/information is received.
ALL DOCUMENTS NOT IN ENGLISH ARE TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN OFFICIAL TRANSLATION
REQUIRED FROM ALL APPLICANTS (Unless otherwise stated)
A copy /print out of bank transfer receipt showing payment of visa application fee. Current
fees can be found at www.vfs-au.co.za
Completed Form 157A (Signed by applicant and all persons over the age of 18 included
in the application. If applicant under 18 years of age signed by parent/guardian)
Valid passport for each person included in the application (i.e. valid on the date of intended
initial entry to Australia)
A photocopy of the biodata page of your current valid passport
Recent passport photo for all persons included in the application
Original letter from the institution offering a place in an approved course (not required for
Australian government/agency sponsored students)
Original Confirmation of Enrolment (at time of application for students from gazetted
Proof of English proficiency (eg. IELTS test) required for Assessment Level 3 & 4 students
Evidence of qualification/work history to date of application
Proof of medicals conducted by Panel Doctor(Form 160 and 26 and x-ray plates to be
provided) Medicals will be forwarded by the panel doctor. (Persons under 11 years of age
not required to undertake chest x-rays) All medicals not undertaken in South Africa
will be referred to the Health Assessment Services for comment
HIV test required for student visa applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa aged 15 and above
seeking a total stay of greater than 12 months
Certified copy of Full Birth Certificate for all persons included in the application (i.e.
Form B.I.19 issued by South African Department of Home Affairs or country of birth
equivalent showing names of both parents) Abridged birth certificates or affidavit with
details of birth and parents will be accepted for persons aged 18 and over
Evidence of financial support and proof of funds dependent on your assessment level i.e.
Original or certified copies of financial statements (not required for Australian
government or Agency sponsored students or Approved Secondary Exchange Students)
Declaration of financial support from person providing funds
Proof of corporate sponsorship (see below)
Evidence of payment of the Overseas Student Health Charge (OSHC) for all persons
included in the application (does not apply to Australian government/agency sponsored
students). If this has been paid by the Institution it must be indicated on the
Confirmation of Enrolment form; if paid directly by the applicant the original of the
receipt from Medibank Private (or other registered health benefit organisation) must be
If in a marital relationship, and your spouse is included in this application or is likely to be
included in any future application, a certified copy of marriage certificate or certified
evidence of defacto relationship (proof that applicant and spouse have been residing in a
marital relationship for at least 12 months prior to the date of application)
Evidence of ties with home country and incentive to return to home country (**see
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
Certified permission from both parents (included on birth certificate) for visa to be granted
period or evidence that other parent has no custodial or access rights (eg death certificate or
court order awarding sole custody to one parent and no access rights to the other parent)
If you will be accommodated in a boarding school environment at all times and/or you will
be accommodated by non-relatives at any time during the period of your stay in Australia
you are to complete the Under 18 Confirmation of a Appropriate Accommodation/
Welfare arrangement form (***see explanation and form below) (this does not apply to
Secondary School Exchange Program student or AusAid students or student who
accompanied by a parents/guardian or staying with relative who is at least 18 years of
age who is nominated by parents/guardian).
Undertaking from "supporter" (*** see explanation below)
IF THERE ARE MINOR CHILDREN INCLUDED IN YOUR APPLICATION
Evidence of enrolment in a school in Australia for each child included in the application 5
to 18 years of age (Original Confirmation of Enrolment for Overseas Students (COEOS)
Child/ren included in the application and travelling with one parent only - certified
permission from other parent that child/ren can be granted a visa for the requested period
or evidence that other parent has no custodial or access rights (eg death certificate or court
order awarding sole custody to one parent and no access to the other parent
IF YOU ARE AN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT/AGENCY SPONSORED STUDENT
Letter the relevant agency confirming the student's status, identifying the relevant
assistance scheme and giving details of enrolment
If family members included in the application, evidence that the relevant agency supports
the inclusion of these family members in the application
IF YOU ARE AN APPROVED SECONDARY SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENT
(Including Rotary International exchange program students)
Acceptance advice for secondary exchange students (AASES form) – Parts A, B and C to
be completed and Youth Exchange Scholarship/Guarantee Form
Letter from exchange program organiser
*N/a – Not Applicable
STUDENT VISA REQUIREMENTS
* FINANCIAL SUPPORT
If you are a NOT an Australian government/agency sponsored student or an approved Secondary School
Exchange Program student you will be assessed against your ability to undertake the course of study without
contravening any condition in relation to work (i.e. you are financially able to support your studies and living
expenses in Australia). Factors which may be taken in to account include :
• your capacity to cover return fares to your home country, course tuition fees and all expenses (including
Overseas Student Health Charge (OSHC))
• your capacity to repay any loans taken out to finance your study
• your capacity to support any financially- dependent family unit members (whether or not included in the
application) for the duration of the course.
Potential income earned from working within the work rights (if any) , that may be granted in Australia after
you commence your studies will not satisfy this criterion. "Work rights" are only intended to supplement a
In considering your financial situation this office will require evidence that you have available the first twelve
months tuition fees/OSHC/return fares for all persons included in the application to their home country. This
applies to South African passport holders(assessment level 2) and differs for other citizenships on the different
assessment levels. Assessment level 3 applicants are required to provide the first 24 months tuition
fees/OSHC/return fares for all persons. Please check with the High Commission or visit the website if you are
not certain of your assessment level.
We require the original or certified copies of your bank account/s for the period 3 months prior to your
If you are reliant on a personal loan to be able to meets these initial course, health and travel costs, you must
provide original or certified copy of the evidence of the source of this loan and any agreement entered into to
repay this loan and your capacity to make the loan repayments.
In addition, you are required to demonstrate your capacity to meet your living expenses and those of any
dependent whether or not they are included in the application. The requirement varies according to the
On Assessment Level 2 you are required to demonstrate that you have at least AUD12,000 for the first year
(plus AUD4200 for a spouse and AUD2400 for each child included in the application or required to support).
Assessment level 3 students require proof of living expenses for 24 months. Please note that you may provide as
evidence, a combination of sources of support to meet your living expenses.
If you have indicated that your support will come from your annual income (which will continue to be paid
during your course of study) you are required to provide documentary evidence of this (eg a letter from
your employer confirming that you will continue to be on full pay for the duration of your course and the
level of your income)
If you have indicted that your support will come from other sources of income (eg interest on investments
etc) you are required documentary evidence of this source of income and the income you will receive
If you have indicated that you will be supported solely from your own savings to meet your living expenses
we require the original or certified copies of your bank account/s for the period 3 months prior to your
If you have indicated that you will be supported by parents you are required to provide documentary
evidence of their intention to provide this support and their ability to provide this support (eg their bank
account/s for the last six months; or any loans they may have taken to meet your expenses and their
capacity to repay the loan)
If you are reliant on a personal loan from friends or relatives to be able to meet your living expenses you
must provide evidence of the source of this loan and any agreement entered into to repay this loan and
your capacity to make the loan repayments.
It is expected that in this circumstance you would also have an additional AUD3000 per applicant reserve.
You are required to provide your original bank account/s statements for the 3-month period prior to your
If you have indicated that you will be reliant on a loan from a financial institution you are required to
provide evidence of that loan and your capacity to repay the loan.
If you have indicated that your financial support will come from other sources please provide
documentary evidence of this (eg scholarship/ grant / letter from your government/employer etc
detailing the level of financial support to be provided to you)
If you are receiving corporate sponsorship the following information is required.
Sponsorship letter from the company detailing the extent of the sponsorship.
Evidence of your employment in the corporation, and your background and role within the corporation
or evidence of the need within the corporation for your training or retraining.
Proof that all company directors provide permission for company funds to be used.
Balance sheets for the last 3 years prepared by a registered account firm. Bank statements for the 3
months prior to application.
Evidence of registration and Memorandum and Articles of Association to confirm ownership of
** ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
Applicants on Assessment level 3 and 4 are required to provide proof of English proficiency i.e. the IELTS test.
Please consult the website for list of British Councils worldwide where you can undertake the IELTS test,
There are limited situations where the IELTS is not required, please consult the website for more information.
*** TIES WITH HOME COUNTRY/INCENTIVE TO RETURN TO HOME COUNTRY
If you are not a national of the country in which you are currently residing you are required to provide
evidence of your status in that country.
If you not lawfully resident in that country, or only hold a temporary resident visa for that country , you are
required to provide evidence of your ties with your home country and your incentive to return to your home
country (i.e. not that country in which you are currently residing).
If you are unlawfully resident in a country the onus is on you to satisfy the decision maker that given your
circumstances you will depart Australia if a visa was granted to you and that you will be able to return to
another country including your home country or your country or usual residence on the completion of your
proposed course of study.
If you are lawfully, but temporarily resident, in a country the onus is on you to satisfy the decision maker that
you will be able to return lawfully to that country or to another country including your home country on the
completion of your proposed course of study.
Student visa applicants under the age of 18 years must satisfy Schedule 4 public interest criterion 4012 as set
down in the Migration Regulations
In the case of certain minors travelling to and remaining in Australia without their parents.
Immigration processing officers may need to refer details of the "supporter" accompanying the child to and
caring for the child in Australia to Australian Bureau of Criminal Investigation (ABCI) for investigation . The
attached information is to be provided for this purpose.
This information is not needed if the student under the age of 18 years will be:
placed full-time with a Rotary International approved guardian or an approved Secondary School
Exchange program guardian/parent.
To be able assess the application against this criterion the decision maker will need sufficient documentation
(1) determine that the child will be placed full-time in a boarding school or with an approved parent at all
(2) determine the relationship of the person the applicant will be staying with in other than the
circumstances in (1)
(3) if the person the applicant will be staying with is not a relative* they are to provide, in writing, an
undertaking to provide accommodation for, and be responsible for the support and general welfare of,
the applicant during the applicant's stay in Australia.
(4) determine if the person is of good character. Education Provider must complete and sign the Under 18
Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation/Welfare arrangement form.
* a relative is one of the following:
1. the spouse of the person; or a child, adopted child, parent, brother or sister of the person; or
2. a step-child, adopted step-child, step-parent, step-brother or step-sister of the person;
3. a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, or a step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt,
step-uncle, step-niece or step-nephew)
**HEALTH AND CHARACTER REQUIREMENTS
All students are required to provide a full medical examination and chest x-ray from one of the approved panel
doctors and radiologists. The medicals are not released to the student but are sent directly from the panel
doctor to the processing office.
An HIV test is required for student visa applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa aged 15 and above seeking a total
stay of greater than 12 months.
Students that have a criminal conviction, must provide an original police clearance certificate from the
authorities in their country, no matter what the age and the nature of the offence.
Link between student visa subclasses and courses/qualifications
Education Sector Courses/qualifications
Schools • Primary school
(Subclass 571) • Secondary school including junior and
• Approved secondary exchange
Vocational education and training (VET) • Certificate I, II, III, and IV
(Subclass 572) • Diploma, Advanced diploma
• Former RATE system qualifications:
Certificate, Advanced certificate and
Higher education • Bachelor degree
(Subclass 573) • Graduate certificate
• Graduate diploma
• Master coursework degree
Postgraduate Research • Master research degree
(Subclass 574) • Doctoral degree
Independent ELICOS • Non-award ELICOS undertaken as a
(Subclass 570) stand-alone course
Non-award foundation studies/other • Enabling course: non-award
Subclass 575 foundation studies
• Other full-time courses or components
of courses not leading to an Australian
(AusAID and Defence sponsored) • Full-time courses of all types
Subclass 576 undertaken by AusAID or defence
students sponsored by the Australian