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Whether you are coming to Melbourne for a short term study tour, or for a longer, full time course of study you will need a visa. Find out what is involved.

You must have a visa to study in Australia. Use the Australian Government's Visa Wizard to find which visa type applies to you.

The method of applying for a visa depends on which country you apply from. Contact the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Border Protection office near you for advice on how to apply for a visa and what documents you will need to supply.

You can lodge your application yourself or use a registered Australian education agent to help you apply for your visa. Australian embassy offices in your country can provide a list of registered Australian education agents near you. Processing times vary, so seek advice from the sources above and start the process as early as possible.

Student visas - more than 12 weeks

If you intend to take a full time course of study for 12 weeks or more, you must apply for a student visa. You can apply for a student visa after you receive a ‘letter of offer’ or electronic Confirmation of Enrolment - 'CoE'.  Use the Visa Wizard to find which visa type applies to you.

Documents required to apply for a student visa

To apply for a student visa, you need to supply:

  • a 'Letter of Offer' and 'Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment' from the institution
  • a receipt showing that you have paid your tuition/course fees (usually the first semester of fees in advance)
  • a current passport
  • a medical report showing good health. You must have a medical examination from an approved doctor in your country. When you lodge your visa application, you will be given a list of approved doctors and forms which the doctor must complete.
  • proof that you have paid your Overseas Student Health Cover

When you apply for your visa you may also be required to provide evidence of financial capability (that shows you will be able to financially support yourself) and have basic English language skills.

Check the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for more information.


Graduating international students can explore options for further visas if desired. 

These visa options may include:

  • a temporary graduate visa (to gain work experience)
  • an independent visa
  • a state nominated visa
  • an employer sponsored visa
  • a family sponsored visa.

Short courses - less than 12 weeks

Students studying a short course may need to apply for a Visitor visa or Working Holiday visa. Use the Australian Government's Visa Wizard to find which visa type applies to you.

If a registered education agent has arranged a short study tour for you, it is possible that they will also handle your visa application. You must arrange travel or private medical insurance if you plan to visit Victoria on one of these visas.

Electronic Travel Authority - tourist/business visa

An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) allows you to travel to and enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport.
The ETA is for short term stays for either tourism or business purposes.

To be eligible to apply for an ETA, you must:

  • be outside Australia
  • hold an eligible Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) passport

Visit the Electronic Travel Authority website to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a visa online. If you are not eligible to apply online, visit the forms page on the Australian immigration website where you can download, print and fill out the forms for your application.

If you hold a citizen passport issued in certain countries or regions you can apply for an ETA online while outside Australian Customs.

Australia has very strict customs laws. These laws stop the importation of illegal substances and to prevent environmental risks being introduced. Large (on-the-spot) fines and heavy penalties are given if you are found bringing items illegally into the country.

The following items must not  be brought into Australia:

  • All food items (e.g. fresh food and meat items) must be declared to customs officers including food served on the plane.
  • All organic material such as wooden masks, plants, or even heavily soiled shoes must be declared to custom officers.

Additional information

Visa Wizard

Use the Australian Government's Visa Wizard to find which visa type applies to you.

Live and Work in Victoria

Student sits outdoors Live in Victoria

Interested in living and working in Victoria permanently?  The Victorian Skilled and Business Migration Program offers visa nomination for skilled graduates and migrants in  a range of occupations.

Visit the LiveInVictoria website.


Last updated: 29 Sep 2015


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