Australian Student Visa Requirements For Nigerians
The friendly and laid-back environment, high living standards, excellent job opportunities and world-recognized educational facilities in Australia have made it a hot-spot for international students, especially those from Nigeria. If you are thinking of undertaking this journey of a lifetime, then below is a list of stuff you need to know to get an Australian Visa.
The first step is to prove to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that you fully meet their below mentioned key visa requirements.
- The Genuine Student requirement
- The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement
- Student Visa Financial requirements
- Proficiency in English Language
- Character & Health requirements
Here is a more detailed look at the steps involved.
What Is A ‘Genuine Student’?
To be considered a Genuine Student by the DIBP, you need to prove that you intend to secure a specific educational outcome as well as that you have enough educational and financial resources, English language skills and are within the age requirements to reasonably be able to achieve the desired educational outcome.
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What Is Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)?
In November 2011 DIBP introduced the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirements according to which the applicant should be able to prove a genuine intention to temporarily stay in Australia for educational purposes or to accompany any student as a guardian or a dependent (i.e. Child or spouse). The following points are considered by DIBP for granting GTE:
- The possible circumstances for the applicant in Australia
- The circumstances in the applicant’s home
- What value does the applicant’s chosen course has for his/her future
- The applicant’s immigration history
Though some applicant’s don’t need to do anything beyond filling a visa application form, some may be required to attend a short interview at their nearest Australian consulate or embassy to determine whether they qualify for both Genuine Student and GTE.
How To Complete The Australian Student Visa Application Form
Use the Visa Finder feature (http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1) at DIBP’’s’ website to find the most appropriate visa type for your circumstances. Those looking for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree usually qualify for the Australian Higher education Sector visa (subclass 573). You may fill out the application form and apply online or apply in person or through the post at the nearest Australian embassy. Applicant’s can apply for a student visa a maximum of four months before the start of their education programs.
Prior to applying for a student visa, the applicants must obtain a Letter of Offer or Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) to confirm that they have been accepted by any educational institution for a course registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS). The COE comes with a code that the applicant needs to enter into the appropriate section in their visa application form or will need to submit a copy of COE if applying in person or through the post.
Nigerian applicant’s can change their course of study later on, however the new course should be of the same educational level else a new visa needs to be acquired. Applicants are also entitled to combine another education course with the main course of education, however, in that case the visa application’s subclass will automatically correspond to the student’s main course of education.
Identifying One’s Assessment Level
Before proceeding with a visa application, all Nigerian student’s have to identify their Assessment Level (AL). Your AL will be based on the educational course you opt for and your home country, where AL-1 level applicants are considered lowest immigration risk and AL-5 level applicants the highest. Australian student visa process becomes a little different and complex for those with any level other than AL-1.
Streamlined Visa Processing
Those students who intend to study in Australia at any participating university and if the applicant’s main course of education is a master’s or bachelor’s degree by coursework are eligible for a Streamlined Visa Processing. Those applicants that are eligible for Streamlined Visa Processing are by default considered a low immigration risk and don’t need an AL.
Student Visa Requirements
While filling out your visa application form, the applicant’s need to provide a proof of the all of the following visa requirements:
Evidence of Proficiency in English Language: Though all applications need to showcase the required level of proficiency in English language for their course of study, the AL-1 and AL-2 level applicants only need to meet the requirements applied by their respective higher education provider, while the AL-3 and AL-4 level applicants need to provide a solid evidence of their proficiency in English language. All the DIBP recognized test are listed on the DIBP website and include iBT, IELTS, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, IELTS, Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) and TOEFL. The required test scores depend on whether you are going for a foundation course, a full degree or just a preliminary English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
Financial Requirements: Nigerian applicants must provide evidence of having sufficient funds to cover their travel, tuition, and living cots in Australia. An applicant’s assessment level determines the level of funds they need to show, who can provide these funds and for how long they need to retain these funds. If the applicants have dependents, they’ll need to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover their living costs as well, regardless of whether they intend to travel to Australia or not.
Health Requirements: Some applicants may be required to take some medical tests from a doctor in Nigeria who is authorized by Australia’s immigration department, to prove that you are in good health. However, this test is usually only required to be taken by those who have applied to study medical in Australia. Nigerians also need to purchase an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Applicants can purchase OSHC through their university or from one of Australia’s five approved agencies that are: Australian Health Management, Mediabank Private, NIB OSHC, BUPA Australia and Allianz Global Assistance. The cost of OSHC hovers around $300 for Nigerian students for a 12 month certificate
Character Requirements: Nigerian applicants will be assessed by DIBP against their stipulated character requirements. For this, the applicant must not have any criminal record or might have to get a penal clearance certificate (a Nigerian police character certificate) or can be asked to fill a Character Statutory Declaration Form.
Documents Required For Student Visa
The Australian DIBP website features a document checklist feature that offers a list of documents required for every type of student visa. Typically, Nigerian students need to have the following documents:
- A completed 157A Australian Visa Application Form
- A copy of their passport’s biodata page.
- A receipt of payment of visa application fee
- A Letter of Offer or a Certificate of Enrolment
- A bank statement or any other evidence of having sufficient funds
- Evidence of their health’s insurance cover
- Results/certificate of English proficiency tests
- Character certificate
- Four recent passport-sized photographs with a white background
How long does it take to proceed with the Australian Student Visa:
Visa processing times vary depending on the applicant’s assessment level as well as the type of student visa one is applying for. The online visa application process is the quickest yet may take up to four weeks.
More specifically, it usually takes 10 days to 3 months, depending on the type of student visa you’re looking for. Student visa’s type, depending on the process time are given as:
Student Assessment Level 2:
It takes 15 working days.
Student Assessment Level 3:
It takes 2-3 months.
Student Assessment Level X:
It takes 10 working days
But it as stated above, it really varies from situation to situation, it can sometimes last up to 12 weeks to maximum 50 weeks.
By checking out through the above mentioned information, you may be able to get a student visa.