When I was in the process of applying for an Australian student visa for my master's program, I was surprised at the absence of a comprehensive checklist of required documents. I had to piece together information collected from various emails, websites and blogs. Luckily, due to my pedantic nature of checking and re-checking every requirement I was able to breeze through the application process without any delays. I received my grant notification exactly 27 days after lodging my online application.
Here's how you can also make sure your application goes through smoothly.
Before you apply
Do not apply for the visa until you have done the following.
Received a Certificate of Enrollment from your university.
Received your Overseas Students Health Cover for all the applicants.
Arranged your finances to meet the visa conditions.
Remember that a Certificate of Enrollment (CoE) is different from an offer of admission. You will typically receive your CoE once the university has received payment for your first semester, Overseas Health Cover and any other required fees.
As for the finances, here's what you will need
Air Tickets (AUD 2000 per person) for you and your accompanying family members.
12 months of course fees.
12 months of living costs for you and your accompanying family members.
School fees for school-age children who accompany you.
Make sure you check the home affairs website to get the latest living cost estimates.
Once you have your finances figures out, you should start preparing your documents for certification. If you have any documents which are not in English, you need to have them translated into English. Although not strictly required, it is highly recommended that you have your documents translated by a someone accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). You can find a list of these accredited translators on the NAATI website. Once you find a translator that specializes in the language of your original documents, you can get in touch with them by email. I had my Arabic marriage certificate translated into English by a lady based in Jordan. It cost me $50 for the translation and I got a NAATI stamped scan of the translation from her within a week.
Before you can upload your documents to your online application, you will need to have them certified from the Australian Consulate in Qatar. Make sure you book an appointment with them first as they do not accept walk-in visits. As of 2018, the Australian embassy is located inside the Tornado Tower in West Bay. The embassy charges a Certification Fee of 185 Qatari Riyals per page and only accepts payments through debit/credit cards. Based on the number of documents that needs certification, don't be surprised if the the total bill reaches 1000+ Riyals.
Qatar Residence Permit
Marriage Certificate (Original)
Police Clearance Certificate
Certification Not Required
University Certificate of Enrollment
Genuine Temporary Entrant Statement
Overseas Student Health Coverage
Marriage Certificate (Translated)
IELTS Test Report Form
6 month bank statement
Bank balance statement
University Tuition Payment Receipt
Recent Work Contract
Please note that your university degree and transcript do not need to be attested for the certification process. Just bring the originals. Once you have collected and certified all the documents you can begin to lodge your application online through the ImmiAccount portal.
As soon as you submit your application, you will receive an auto-generated email asking you to submit bio-metrics for yourself and all accompanying family members. Bio-metrics is collected by a third-party called VFS Global and their office is located inside Jaidah Square on Airport road. Make sure you book an appointment before going there and remember to print out the PDF file that was attached with the email requesting bio-metrics. Unlike the Australian embassy VFS Global only accepts cash payments. I don’t remember the exact amount, but it is in the range of 250-300 Riyals per person.
This next phase of the application nearly escaped my notice. You might not receive any emails about it, but you and all accompanying family members are required to do a medical examination as a part of the visa application. As soon as you submit your bio-metrics, log in to ImmiAccount and click the Health Assessment tab. From there you have to answer a few questions and download an auto-generated Medical Request form for each applicant. Make sure you print out these forms and take them with you go for the medicals. The examination is carried out by Gulf Laboratory and X-Ray. The laboratory is located on Al-Nasr street. Make sure you call them and book an appointment. You need to mention that you want to do a medical examination for Australian Immigration. Depending on the waiting list, you might get an appointment within 7-10 days of calling.
If any of the applicants is suffering from a chronic illness, you might need to submit a medical report from a specialist. If you are treated at a public hospital or health center, it might take weeks to get an appointment. If this is the case, you need to call your doctor for an appointment at least a month before filing your application.
The medical examination consists of a Chest X-Ray and a Urine Test and costs 700 Riyals per person. After these two procedures you will be asked to visit another clinic called Al Jameel Medical Center of Al-Waab Street to conduct a physical examination. This fees for this examination is already included in the amount you paid to Gulf Laboratory. The clinic accepts walk-in visits and are open until 11 PM at night. Once the examinations are over there isn’t anything to do from your side. Your results should be submitted online by the clinic within 5 working days.
For this last step of the visa application process, you can either wait till you receive an email request or you could do it pro-actively. In order to obtain a police clearance certificate you need to visit the Criminal Evidence and Information Department (CEID) on Salwa Road. They are open from 7 AM till 6 PM. You can download, print and fill out the application forms in advance from the Ministry of Interior website. You will need to bring 2 passport sized photos, a copy of your Qatari ID and a copy of your birth certificate along with the application. When you are submitting your papers, you might be asked to submit fingerprints in the office next-door and come back.
And that’s it. If you have all your papers prepared and submit them on time, you should receive your grant notification within a matter of weeks.