The basics
Australia: Visa Guides

Filipino students applying for an Australian student visa

Practical advice for Filipino students travelling to Australia


There are large Filipino communities in most major Australian cities. They are drawn to the country by its relatively close proximity, warm weather, and work opportunities. However, many Filipinos also visit Australia for academic purposes. The universities in Australia offer a much more varied higher education than in the Philippines. But before you set off on your Australian adventure, here is everything you need to know about applying for an Australian student visa.


What type of visa do I need?

For all undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, you must apply for a subclass 573 student visa. For postgraduate programmes by research, a subclass 574 student visa is required.


When should I apply?

Before you can make an application for an Australian student visa, you must have received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your chosen university. In order to get a CoE, you need to have had a formal offer of acceptance by the university, confirmed it in writing and paid a deposit towards your tuition fees.

If you are applying online, you can only apply for your visa a maximum of 124 days before your course starts.


How much does it cost?

The visa application fee is currently A$550, which needs to be paid when you submit your application. Please note that visa application charges are reviewed on 1st July each year. If you have dependents joining you on your visa, additional fees will be payable. This does not apply for visa subclass 574 applicants.


How long does it take?

Visa processing times vary but you should allow up to four weeks. However, online applications are usually considerably quicker.


How do I apply?

Complete a student visa application at You will need your Confirmation of Enrolment, the visa application fee, your passport number and evidence that you have paid your Overseas Student Health Cover.


Visa requirements

When filling in your online visa application form, you will need to provide evidence of the following Australian student visa requirements:

  • Financial requirements: Evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs. If you have dependents, you will also need to show evidence of being able to cover living costs for them, regardless of whether they intend to travel to Australia or not.
  • English proficiency requirement: Filipino student applicants must provide evidence of their English language proficiency. Eligible tests are the IELTS, TOFEL iBT, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test, and the Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test. You should be aware that the English language requirements may vary depending on the course you wish to follow and the institution you are applying to so you need to check this carefully. 
  • Health requirements: Some students may be advised to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show they are in good health. If told to do so, you must attend an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by the Australian immigration department. Students are obliged to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You may purchase this cover through your university, or directly from one of the five approved providers: Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC. The average cost of OSHC is AUS$437 (US$383) for 12 months for a single student.
  • Character requirements: All students will also be assessed against the character requirements stipulated by the immigration department. This includes a criminal record check, to make sure you don’t have a substantial criminal record. You may also need to acquire a penal clearance certificate (or police certificate) or get a police statement, and may be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form.


Additional documents you need to provide include:

  • Completed Australia student visa application form (157A)
  • Paid visa application fee
  • Copy of passport bio data page (some students may be asked to physically provide their passport)
  • Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer

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Stephen Palmer graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Film and Media. Since then he has worked as a copywriter, proofreader and web editor. In his spare time he enjoys keeping fit, reading, playing video games and improving his Norwegian.