Applying to university and colleges, especially for international applicants, can be a long and difficult journey. You should allow, and expect, 4 - 6 months from deciding where to go, to finally getting your admission offers and study visa/permits. More competitive institutions have their application deadlines around 9 months, or even 1 year before the semester intake, and it should also be taken into account.
Check out Zept's articles on the Four Stages of University Application:
The First Stage: Knowing Where to Go
- What do I look for in a school?
- I have liked 20 schools, what now?
The Second Stage: Getting Your Entry Requirement Documents
- What materials do I need to apply to a school?
- What is an English Language Proficiency (ELP) test?
- Do I need an English Language Proficiency (ELP) test?
- What is the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Requirement for Admissions?
The Third Stage: Applying for Admissions
- How many programs can I apply for?
- Do I need to verify my foreign/overseas education credentials?
- What is a strong university application profile?
- What if the application deadline has passed?
The Forth Stage: Applying for Study Visa/Permit
- How do I get my visa in time?
- How long does it take to apply for a study permit?
- What is the difference between a study permit and a visitor visa?
- Where do I apply for a visa?
- What if I don't get my visa in time?