If you wish to study in Australia, you will need a valid visa to do so.
There are currently over 10 different visas available depending on your circumstances and course you are studying for. There are various conditions on these visas and some come with the ability to work for a defined number of hours in between studying.
The type of visa appropriate for you will depend primarily upon the course you intend to undertake. Specific visas cover specific courses.
Independent ELICOS – English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) undertaken as a stand-alone course, not leading to an Australian award
Schools – primary school, secondary school including junior and senior secondary, or approved secondary exchange programs
Vocational Education and Training (VET) – Certificate I, II, III, and IV, Diploma, Advanced diploma
Higher Education – Bachelor degree, Associate degree, Graduate certificate, Graduate diploma
Masters and Doctorate – Master degree including master coursework and master research, or doctoral degree
Non-award Foundation Studies/Other – Non-award foundation studies, such as full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian award
AusAID and Defence – Full-time courses of all types undertaken by AusAID or Defence students sponsored by the Australian Government
Assessment Levels and how your application will be assessed
Your Assessment Level is determined by your country of nationality and the education sector for which you seek a visa. Different Assessment Levels establish different threshold requirements. An applicant must meet these threshold requirements in order to be granted a student visa.
Assessment Level 1 represents the lowest assessment level and Assessment Level 5 the highest. The higher the assessment level, the more stringent the requirements. At each higher level, the minimum evidentiary threshold requirements are progressively raised and become harder to meet.
Applicants from countries that have a history of non compliance and visa violation attract a higher assessment level, and therefore must satisfy higher and stricter threshold criteria in their applications for student visas.
As an applicant for a student visa, you are assessed to ensure that you enter Australia for the purpose of study and will not contravene visa conditions. You must demonstrate that you have an acceptable level of English proficiency, sufficient financial resources to pay for living and study costs while you are in Australia and, if you have a spouse or dependent children, you must also show that you can support them. This last requirement applies even if your dependents will not be accompanying you to Australia. You will also need to meet health and character requirements before you are granted a student visa.