Individuals and Travellers

Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573)

This visa closed for new applications on 1 July 2016

Features

A Higher Education Sector visa lets you study in Australia if your main course of study is one of the following:

  • a bachelor or associate degree
  • a graduate certificate or graduate diploma
  • a masters degree by coursework
  • a higher education diploma or advanced diploma.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you are enrolled as a student in a registered course for the award of:

  • a bachelor or associate degree
  • a graduate certificate or graduate diploma
  • a masters degree by coursework
  • a higher education diploma or advanced diploma.

About this visa

You can no longer apply for the Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573). It closed for new applications on 1 July 2016. From 1 July 2016, if you need to extend your stay in Australia, you must apply for a Student Visa (subclass 500).

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573) or for people who applied for the visa on or before 30 June 2016 and for which a decision has not yet been made. It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check your visa details and conditions.

How long your visa lasts

If you already have a Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573), it will be valid until the expiry date you were given when your visa was granted.

What this visa lets you do

With this visa:

  • you can study in Australia
  • eligible dependant family members can accompany you to Australia
  • when you have commenced your course of study in Australia, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. You must also comply with State and Territory workplace laws .
  • your family members can work up to 40 hours per fortnight provided you have commenced 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 commence this course.
  • your family members who are 18 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. The application can be made in Australia.

Obligations

Student

You must comply with your visa conditions while studying and living in Australia or your visa may be cancelled. You must also comply with Australian laws.

More information about student visa conditions  and work conditions is available.

Students under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 years of age you must maintain adequate  accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements for the duration of your visa or until you turn 18.

f your welfare arrangements are approved by your education provider you cannot travel to Australia until your welfare arrangements commence. The date your welfare arrangements commence is the welfare start date that your education provider has nominated on the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation/Welfare Arrangements (CAAW) letter.

If a student guardian is providing for your welfare arrangements and they need to leave Australia without you, you will need to make alternative welfare arrangements and these must be approved by us first. If you do not do this, your visa could be cancelled.

Changing courses

If you want to change to a course that is in a different education sector to your current course, for example, changing from Bachelor degree course to an Advanced Diploma course, you need to apply for a new Student Visa (subclass 500) because your visa subclass will not be appropriate for your new course (or package of courses).

Changing your education provider

In addition to ensuring that you comply with your visa conditions, there are also requirements under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) National Code that apply if you want to change your education provider.

If you have not completed six months of your principal course (the main course of study you are undertaking) and you want to change your education provider, the ESOS National Code sets out the circumstances in which this will be possible. Unless special circumstances apply, you are usually required to have the permission of your existing education provider in order to transfer to another education provider.

If you do want to transfer, your education provider must assess or consider your request to transfer. All education providers must have documented procedures on their transfer policy. You should make sure you understand your education provider's transfer policy, and what your written agreement says you must do, before you attempt to enrol with a new education provider.

If your education provider does not give you permission to transfer to another education provider and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you should first access the internal appeal process with your education provider. If you are still not satisfied, you can appeal the education provider's decision at an external complaints handling body, such as the State or Territory Ombudsman or the Overseas Student Ombudsman.

'No further stay' condition

Some visas are issued with a 'no further stay' condition. This condition means that you cannot apply to stay in Australia beyond the date specified on your visa, except in certain circumstances.

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

Please report changes in your circumstances via ImmiAccount.  If you are not able to use ImmiAccount, you can use the following forms:

Family member

Your dependent family members must maintain their visa conditions. A breach of these conditions may result in your visa being cancelled and you may have to leave Australia.

Your family members must:

  • remain a member of your family for the duration of their stay in Australia
  • have adequate financial support
  • maintain adequate health cover
  • work no more than 40 hours per fortnight. Exception: family members of the students who are studying a Master Degree course, can work unlimited hours once the student starts their main course
  • attend school if they are of school age.

Important: It is your responsibility to ensure that your family members meet the above conditions.