Individuals and Travellers

Student visa (subclass 500)

Features

This visa allows you to stay in Australia to study full-time in a recognised education institution.​

Requirements

​You must have:

  • applied for and been accepted to study in a registered full-time course at an educational institution in Australia
  • organised appropriate welfare arrangements for the duration of your intended stay in Australia if you are under 18 years of age.

About this visa

This visa is for students who want to come to Australia to study at a registered education institution.

What this visa lets you do

  • You can study a registered full-time course in Australia.
  • Eligible family members can accompany you to Australia.

Before you apply

Before you apply for this visa, you must have:

  • been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia
  • organised appropriate welfare arrangements for the duration of your intended stay in Australia if you are under 18 years of age.

How long this visa lasts

This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course.

​Duration of course​Duration of visa
​Longer than 10 months and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November – December)​Your visa will usually be granted to March 15 of the following year.
Longer than 10 months (finishing January - October)​​Your visa will usually be granted for two months longer than the duration of your course.
​10 months or less​Your visa will usually be granted for one month longer than the duration of your course.


More information is available about student visa grant periods.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Eligibility

Before you apply for this visa, you must have:

  • been accepted to study full-time in a registered course at an educational institution in Australia
  • organised appropriate welfare arrangements for the duration of your intended stay in Australia if you are under 18 years of age.

Enrolment

With limited exceptions, you must be enrolled in a course of study that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

If you are applying from outside Australia, you must include a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for each intended course of study with your visa application. A letter of offer from your education provider will not be accepted.

You do not need to provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) if you are:

  • sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – provide a letter of support
  • sponsored by the Australian Department of Defence – provide a letter of support
  • a secondary exchange student – provide an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form
  • a postgraduate research student required to remain in Australia for marking of your thesis – provide a letter from your education provider. 

If you are in Australia, you can apply with a letter of offer or a CoE but you must obtain a CoE to be granted the visa.

Packaged courses

You can apply to undertake two or more courses on your Student visa (subclass 500) where there is clear progression from one course to another. This is known as course packaging.

You will need to provide a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) or prove that a CoE is not required for each intended course with your visa application. 

The final course that you will undertake as part of your package of courses is your main (or principal) course of study. Your main course of study will be used to determine your financial and English language evidentiary requirements.

Students under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 years of age, you need to have welfare arrangements in place while you are in Australia.

More information is available about Welfare arrangements.

Genuine temporary entrant

The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa programme is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.

The GTE requirement applies to all student visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will and consider whether the individual circumstances of the student indicates that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia.

You must satisfy us that you have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily.

When assessing the GTE requirement, we will consider the requirements set out in direction number 69. To assess this, we will consider:

  • your circumstances
  • your immigration history
  • if you are under 18 years old, the intention of your parent, legal guardian or partner
  • any other relevant matter.

The GTE requirement provides a useful way to help identify those applicants who are using the student visa programme for motives other than gaining a quality education. The requirement is not designed to exclude students who, after studying in Australia, go on to develop the skills required by the Australian labour market and apply to become permanent residents.

English language requirements

You might need to provide evidence of your English language skills with your visa application. Check the Document Checklist Tool below to find out the evidence you need to provide. You might also be exempt from providing evidence.

If you do not provide evidence of your English language skills with your application or when asked by an officer, your visa could be refused.

If you do not need to provide evidence with your application, we can ask you for this during the application process.

If one of the following applies, you do not need to provide evidence of an English test score with your visa application:

  • you are enrolled in full-time school studies as a principal course including in a secondary exchange programme, a postgraduate research course, a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), and Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored students
  • you have completed at least five years’ study in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland
  • you are a citizen and hold a passport from UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland
  • in the two years before applying for the student visa, you completed, in Australia and in the English language, either the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a substantial component of a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV or higher level, while you held a student visa.

Acceptable English language test score

If you need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency, we will accept the following minimum English language test score:

English language test providers Minimum test score Minimum test score where combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS Minimum test score where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS
International English Language Testing System 5.554.5
*Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper based527500450
TOEFL internet based test463532
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)162154147
Pearson Test of English Academic423630
Occupational English TestPass**N/AN/A

*The TOEFL paper based test will only be accepted from limited countries

**The Occupational English Test includes a mark between A and E. An A or B is considered a pass.

The test must have been taken no more than two years before you apply for your student visa.

Financial capacity requirements

You need to have enough money that is genuinely available to you, to pay for your course fees, and travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia.

You might need to provide evidence of your financial capacity with your visa application. Check the Document Checklist Tool below to find out if you need to provide evidence of financial capacity with your application.

If the Document Checklist Tool lists evidence of financial capacity as a requirement, it must be included at the time of lodgement or your visa application could be refused without requests for further information.

If you do not need to provide this evidence with your application, we have discretion to ask you for this during the application process.

Documentary evidence of financial capacity

If you need to provide evidence of financial capacity, you will be able to demonstrate this by providing one of the following:

  • evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • evidence that you meet the annual income requirement
  • an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only)
  • a letter of support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.

Subsequent entrants – family members who apply after the primary applicant has been granted their visa must also provide documentary evidence of financial capacity. This must be one of the options above.

Twelve months' funds option

Evidence of funds can include money deposits, financial institution or government loans, scholarships or sponsorships. You can calculate the total amount of funds you will need by adding living costs, course fees, schooling costs and travel costs. Use the information below to calculate the total amount of funds you will need.

Living costs

From 1 July 2016, the 12 month living cost is:

  • student or guardian -  AUD 19,830
  • partner or spouse - AUD 6,940
  • child - AUD 2,970.
Course fees

Calculate the first 12 months of your course fees or include the total cost of your course if it is for a duration of 12 months or less. Deduct any prepaid costs and provide evidence of these payments (this should be on your Confirmation of Enrolment or provide receipts).

If you are in Australia and your course has already commenced, calculate the course fee payable for the 12 month period commencing from the date on which you lodge your application.

Example 1: if your course fee is AUD 50,000 for three years, determine the fee for one year (12 months) by dividing the total amount by the number of years. The amount will be AUD 16,666.

Example 2: If your course fee is AUD 15,000 for ten months, and you have already paid AUD 5,000, deduct this prepaid amount from the total amount. The amount will be AUD 10,000.

Schooling costs

Where school aged children are included in your student visa application, schooling costs of at least AUD 8,000 per year for each child will need to be added to the amount of funds required. You are responsible for researching schooling costs, which vary between states, territories and schools in Australia.

You do not have to provide evidence of schooling costs if you are:

  • a PhD student and can show you have enrolled your child in an Australian government school where the fees have been waived
  • received an Australian Commonwealth Government scholarship, including Foreign Affairs and Defence sponsored students, and you can show you have enrolled your child in a government school where the fees have been waived.
Travel costs

If applying outside Australia, include AUD 2,000.

If applying in Australia, include AUD 1,000.

Annual income option

The annual income option requires a student to provide evidence of personal annual income of at least AUD 60,000. For students accompanied by family members, the requirement is at least AUD 70,000. The income demonstrated must be the personal income of your spouse (who is not coming with you) or parents. Where both of your parents are working, their combined income can be considered for this requirement. Evidence must be in the form of official government documents such as tax assessments. Evidence in the form of bank statements or information directly from an employer is not acceptable.

Genuine access to funds

You and your accompanying family members must be able to access the funds shown while you are in Australia.

When considering whether the funds will be genuinely available, we will take into account additional information and supporting evidence you provide, such as:

  • the nature of the relationship between you and the person who is providing the funds, where applicable
  • your income, assets and employment or those of the person providing the funds
  • evidence of financial support history
  • source of funds for any lump sum deposits.

Health insurance

You must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. Students can show this by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance.

You can select an approved OSHC provider and pay for the policy yourself. Some education providers might offer to arrange OSHC for you.

If your education provider arranges your OSHC coverage, you will need to know the name of your health insurance provider, the date that your policy starts and finishes and should be aware of the terms and conditions of your policy. If you arrange OSHC coverage yourself you will also need to know the policy number to include in the visa application.

You do not need OSHC if you are:

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
  • a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

Health

You must meet the health requirements.

You might need to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process.

The health assessment process can take several weeks to complete. To help avoid delays, you can choose to undertake your health examination prior to lodging your visa application.

More information is available about My health declarations.

Character

Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against the character requirements. You must answer a number of character related questions on your visa application form and the information you provide will be used to assess your character. You might be asked for more information.

More information is available about Character and police certificate requirements.

Pre-qualifying visas

If you are applying in Australia, you must hold a current temporary substantive visa, but not any one of the following:

  • Domestic Worker (Temporary) Diplomatic and Consular visa (subclass 426)
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) in the Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or consular) stream
  • Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) - primary visa holder only. This means a family member of a Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) can apply for a Student visa in Australia.
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the Sponsored Family stream or in the Approved Destination Status stream.

A substantive temporary visa is any visa other than a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa, which allows the visa holder to remain temporarily in Australia.

In limited circumstances, if your student visa has expired within the last 28 days, you might be able to apply for your new student visa in Australia. You must not have been previously granted a visa on the basis of an application made when you did not hold a substantive visa.

Family members applying to join you

You and your family members can make a combined application or they can apply to join you later provided you declared them in your student visa application or they became a family member after the grant of your student visa (such as a newborn baby).

You must have funds to support yourself and all accompanying family members already in Australia as well as those included in the current application.

More information is available about How to apply for family members to join you.

English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

Student visa applicants can apply to study in ELICOS in Australia. If you are intending to study standalone ELICOS for more than 12 months, you should provide lots of information with your application showing how you meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement. There is flexibility to extend the length of ELICOS where it is needed. This will be determined on a case by case basis.

School students

Students can apply for a student visa to study at primary or secondary school in Australia, regardless of their country of citizenship.

The maximum period for a Student visa in the school sector is five years with the exception of primary school aged students where a maximum of two years will apply.

The shorter grant period for primary school students will act as an important safeguard for younger and more vulnerable students.

In circumstances where a student packages primary and high school study, a visa can still be granted for up to five years, providing that the primary school component of the package does not exceed two years.

Students must be the right age for their school course. To be granted a visa for school studies, the student must be:

  • at least 6 years of age at time of application
  • younger than 17 years of age when starting year 9
  • younger than 18 years of age when starting year 10
  • younger than 19 years of age when starting year 11
  • younger than 20 years of age when starting year 12.

A child younger than six years of age can study for up to three months on a Visitor visa (subclass 600).

Documents

The Document Checklist Tool at the bottom of this page can help you to find out the documents you need to provide with your student visa application by entering your country of citizenship and your education provider.

If you have not yet decided on an education provider, you can choose the option ‘I have not decided on a provider yet’ on the tool and receive guidance about the documents you will need to provide with your visa application.

Apply

You must apply for this visa online.

You can apply when you are in or outside Australia.

After you have gathered and scanned the documents that support your application, create an account and apply for your student visa with our online application system – ImmiAccount.

 

If you do not provide the documents requested, your visa application could be refused.

Preparing your application

  • Non-English documents must be translated into English. If you are in Australia, your translator must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. If you are outside Australia, contact the Australian mission in the country that issued the documents for a translator.
  • Scan all documents – both non-English documents and translated documents.
  • Attach scanned copies to your online application when asked.
  • Provide certified copies of your documents.
  • Submit all documents with your application or your application could be refused or a decision on your visa could be delayed

Payment

You must pay the application fee when you apply or your application will not be valid.

More information is available about how to pay.

After application

After you have applied, any additional documentation you need to submit should be uploaded into ImmiAccount. If you provide your documents through any other channel, it will result in processing delays.

You can be in or outside Australia when a decision is made on your application.

If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia or leave your job until you have received notification from us, in writing, that you have been granted a visa.

Track and manage your application

A Transaction Reference Number (TRN) is a unique number assigned to each online application. You will need this to:

  • track and manage your application
  • identify your application when you communicate with us
  • check your visa entitlements.

You will need to login to your ImmiAccount. You can use your account to:

  • continue a saved application​
  • attach documents
  • update passport details
  • change email and address details
  • check progress of your application.

Other things you might need to do

After you apply, we might ask you to:

  • attend an interview
  • provide additional information
  • provide biometric information
  • provide police certificates.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application at any time before a decision is made. You can do this by logging into your ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision

Most applications will take about four weeks to process. The exact time it will take depends on:

  • whether you have provided all supporting documents with your application
  • whether we need additional information from you and how you respond to any requests for this information
  • whether you need to undergo health checks or provide biometric information.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • the visa number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.​

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was not granted
  • your review rights and the time limit for applying for a review (if applicable).

Visa holders

When you hold a visa, you must meet the visa conditions and let us know if your circumstances change.

Visa expiry before graduation

If your student visa will expire before your graduation, you might be able to apply for another visa that meets your circumstances such as a visitor visa. You will need a letter from your education provider which states the date of your graduation.

Visa conditions

You must abide by your visa conditions or your visa could be cancelled. Different visa conditions apply to you and your family members. 

You can check your visa conditions in Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

You must comply with the state and territory laws of Australia.

Working while studying

Check your visa conditions to find out the number of hours that you and your family members can work while you are in Australia. You must comply with the state and territory laws of Australia. You should remember that, if you choose to work in Australia you have the same rights and obligations in the workplace as any other employee. You can find out more about your rights before you apply for a job from the Fair Work Ombudsman
 
Your visa was granted based on your declaration that you have sufficient funds to cover your living and tuition expenses in Australia. You must continue have sufficient funds to support yourself and accompanying family members while you are in Australia. You should not rely on work to support yourself or family while in Australia.

 

When you have started your course of study in Australia, you can generally work up to 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Students completing a Masters’ degree by research or a doctoral degree (PhD) do not have work restrictions.

Your family members can work up to 40 hours per fortnight, after you have started your course of study in Australia. If you are doing a postgraduate course, such as a Masters degree, your family members can work unlimited hours once you start your study.

You must also be aware that under all state and territory laws, school students might have other restrictions on their ability to work.

Your accompanying family members aged 18 years or older can study in Australia for up to three months. If they want to study for more than three months, they must apply for their own student visa.

See:
Work conditions for student visa holders
Workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia

Extend your stay in Australia

You need to either leave Australia before your visa expires, or lodge a new visa application.

If your visa expires, contact us immediately. If your visa has expired for more than 28 days, you might not be able to return to Australia for three years. More information is available about expired visas.

You can only extend your stay in Australia if you do not have a 'No Further Stay' condition (8534 or 8535) on your current student visa or this restriction has been waived. You can find out if you have this condition by looking in your visa grant information or through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

You might be able to extend your stay in Australia for:

  • further study
  • graduation
  • a holiday
  • work
  • migration.

In general, you can only hold one visa at a time. A new visa (other than a bridging visa) will generally replace any other visa that you hold and come into effect as soon as it is granted. You should contact us before lodging a visa application if you have questions about how a new visa would affect your existing visa.

Document Checklist Tool

This tool provides an indication of the evidence you will need to submit with your application. We might ask you for additional evidence.

If you intend to package courses, you must select the education provider offering the principal (final) course.

If you haven't decided on your education provider, you can leave the field blank or select 'My provider is not listed'

Evidentiary requirements indicated by the tool show the documents you need to provide with your student visa application. In addition to these, your education provider might have their own enrolment requirements.

Important:

Please note that it could take up to a month for an education provider to appear in the Document Checklist Tool from the date of that provider’s registration with CRICOS. A full list of education providers is set out in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. If your education provider is registered but not yet showing on the Document Checklist Tool, please select the ‘my education provider is not listed’ option.

Document Checklist Tool

Select information relevant to you. Leave fields blank if you are not sure.

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Estimate the cost of your visa

The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.