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Student Visa – Studying in Australia (subclass 500)

Visa Duration | Age Limit | Requirements | Application Steps | What You Can Do | Processing Time

Update on Student Visa

From 1st July this year, student visa holders can work up to 48 hours fortnightly. This will ensure that student visa holders are able to focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification, while being able to support themselves financially and gain value Australian work experience

For more information, visit

In order to study in Australia, you will need to apply for both admission to an institution and for a student visa (subclass 500) from the Australian Government.

You can apply for a Student Visa by studying:

How long does a student visa last in Australia?

Your student visa will last for the duration of your study programme (including holiday periods) and will allow you some time to remain in Australia at the end of your course. This time can range from one to three months, depending on the length of your course and the month in which it ends.

What is the age limit for an Australian student visa?

You can apply for an Australian Student Visa at any age. However, special conditions apply if you are under 18 years old.

What are the requirements for a student visa in Australia?

There is a range of entry requirements that you will need to meet both for your institution application and your visa application. This can include:

  1. English language requirements
    Some students may need to provide evidence of their level of English. The required level will depend on what course you wish to study. Although the Australian Government sets a minimum language score for each education level (e.g Diploma vs Bachelor), your education provider might have a different language skill level based on the course you’ve chosen. For example, you may have an IELTS score of 6 (IELTS is an international language test). However, some Bachelor’s Degrees require an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7 depending on the institution or the course.
  2. Evidence of funds to support your study
    you must show evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, travel expenses and living costs for the intended period of your stay. These requirements vary depending on which country you are from and which institution you will be studying at.
  3. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)
    Applicants should provide enough evidence to support that their intentions in Australia are temporary for the purpose of study or accompany a student as a dependant or guardian. This means that an applicant should show that they intend to study in Australia then leave (to their home country or otherwise).
  4. Medical Examination
    You must undergo a medical health examination. This will depend on a number of factors:

    • the type of visa that you are applying for
    • the length of your intended stay in Australia
    • your country’s level of tuberculosis risk
    • your intended activities in Australia
    • any special circumstances that may be applicable
    • the presence of any significant medical conditions

    All costs related to the medical examination are your responsibility and are not refundable in case your visa application is refused.

  5. Overseas student health cover
    Australian Student Visa Applicants must register with an OSHC insurance provider for the duration of their time as a student in Australia.OSHC is a special health insurance scheme designed for international students that will help you cover any potential medical or hospital expenses that you may incur during your stay in Australia. It will also cover a certain amount of pharmaceuticals and ambulance services. The current government authorised providers of an OSHC policy are:

    • AHM (Australian Health Management)
    • NIB OSHC
    • Medibank
    • Allianz Global Assistance
  6. Character requirements
    Everyone who wants to enter in Australia will be assessed against this:
    Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused.

Step by Step on how to obtain your student visa

There are a number of steps you must go through including:

  1. Deciding on your preferred course and institution
    Please access to search for a course and Institution in Australia
  2. Submitting your application to the institution
    There are two ways to apply:

    1. Direct to the education provider
      To apply direct, download the application form from the education provider’s website. If you are applying for courses at more than one institution, you will need to submit a separate application to each institution.
    2. Through an Australian education agent
      Most institutions partner with a number of agents. Details on the agents an institution works with can be found on their website or by contacting them directly.
      An education agent can tell you about your options for studying and living in Australia and assist with your visa and institution applications. In many cases, agents have had experience studying in Australia and can share their experiences with you. Here are some tips for choosing an agent:

      • Under Australian Government law, every Australian education institution that uses the services of an education agent needs to have a contract with that organisation.
      • Australian education institutions usually have more than one education agent appointed in a country so speak to more than one agent – collect and compare information.
      • Under Australian Government law, every Australian education institution has to list on their website every education agent it has appointed to represent them in each country.
      • Choose an education agent with experience helping students study in Australia – they will have a good knowledge of the Australian education system, visas, and life in Australia.
      • Make sure that the agent is an authorised representative of the institution that you want to apply to. You can ask to see their letter of appointment from the institutions if you want.
      • Ask about any fees that may be levied for using their services.
      • Have a third party or friend help you understand the documents before you sign any documents.
      • Remember, education agents cannot guarantee a permanent visa or work placement in Australia after you graduate. Their job is to help with applications, so if it sounds too good to be true, keep looking. A reputable agent will be honest about the application process.
  3. Receiving and accepting a Letter of Offer
    If your application is successful, you will receive a ‘Letter of Offer’.
    To confirm your offer you must respond to this letter by signing and sending an acceptance of offer back to the institution.
    The Letter of Offer is a contract between you and the institution. It sets out the course you will be enrolled in, enrolment conditions, the fees you need to pay, and the refund payable if you don’t complete your course with that provider. This contract is very important – if you don’t start your course, or finish your course, this written agreement will be used to determine if you will receive a refund.
  4. Receiving your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
    After you have accepted your offer and paid your deposit you will receive an ‘Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment’ (eCoE) by email. This will outline your course start date, total course fees and how long your course will run for.
  5. Applying for your student visa
    The student visa must be applied online. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. The Department of Home Affairs will inform you or your Migration agent/ Education provider the outcome of your visa application in writing. Moreover, they will inform you about:

    • your visa grant number
    • the date your visa expires
    • your visa conditions

    If your visa application is refused, the Department will inform you of the reason and whether you have a right to a review of the decision.

    Be aware that the Government visa application fees are not refundable if your visa application is refused.

With a student visa, you can

Student Visa Processing Time

Processing times for student visas depend on the volume of applications, type of course you will study, the country you are from, ..

It can take from 10 days to 4 months.

What to know about remaining in Australia beyond a student visa

Please access Study a course for a career, not for a visa for further information.

Migration Downunder can assist you with an Australian Student Visa however, we are not able to assist choosing a course, an institution, flights, accommodation as this is not our area of expertise.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

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