Student visa (subclass 500)

Features

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

Eligibility

​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.

Length of stay

​Up to five years

Cost

From AUD
560

Global processing times

​Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 13 days

Postgraduate Research Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 51 days

Non-Award Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 4 days

Schools Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 31 days

Independent ELICOS Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 38 days

Vocational Education and Training Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 46 days

Higher Education Sector: 75 per cent of applications processed in 36 days

Learn about...​

The process

Processing time

Stream75 per cent of applications processed90 per cent of applications processed
Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector13 days24 days
Postgraduate Research Sector51 days4 months
Non-Award Sector4 days9 days
Schools Sector31 days57 days
Independent ELICOS Sector38 days50 days
Vocational Education and Training Sector46 days67 days
Higher Education Sector36 days68 days

Last updated 14 June 2017 (for month ending 31 May 2017)

Processing times vary.

For more information read Global visa and citizenship processing times

Eligibility

Who could get this visa

    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.

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.

If you are applying for more than one course in your student visa application, you must include all Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) codes in the application form or the visa may only be granted for the CoE provided.

    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 one or more letters of offer but you must provide the CoE/s to be granted the visa.

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 for students under 18.

Genuine temporary entrant

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.

English language requirements

You might need to provide evidence of your English language skills with your visa application.

Check the Document Checklist Tool (disclaimer) to find out the evidence you need to provide. You might also be exempt from providing evidence.

If you are required to provide evidence of your English language skills with your application and you do not do so, your visa could be refused.

Evidence of English language

If you need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency, there is a minimum English language test score we will accept.

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 (disclaimer) to find out the evidence you need to provide.

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.

If you are a secondary exchange student, provide a completed Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form as evidence of meeting the financial capacity requirement.

If you are sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Defence, provide a letter of support as evidence of meeting the financial capacity requirement. You will need to provide evidence of financial capacity for accompanying family members.

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

Annual income option

Genuine access to funds

Health requirements

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.

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.

Character requirements

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 these visas.

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 visa

What this visa lets you do

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

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

How long this visa lasts

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

Cost

From AUD 560

    You might have to pay additional costs:
  • additional applicant charge 18 and over
  • additional applicant charge under 18

Use the Visa pricing estimator to estimate the cost of your application.

Visa pricing estimator

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.

Location

You can apply when you are in or outside Australia.

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.

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

You must comply with the state and territory laws of Australia. The number of hours you can work in Australia can be found in your visa conditions.

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.

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.

Follow these steps

  1. Gather documents

    Documents

    The Document Checklist Tool (disclaimer) at 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.

    Prepare your documents

    You will need to provide documents with your online 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.

  2. Apply

    Apply for the visa

    You must apply for this visa online.

    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.

  3. After you apply

    Provide additional documents

    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
    • update passport details
    • provide biometric information
    • provide police certificates.

    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.

    Baby born to student visa applicant

      If your child is born after you lodge your application but before it is decided, you need to notify us. You must provide:
    • a completed Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (77 KB PDF)
    • a certified copy of the birth certificate
    • a certified copy of the passport (if available).

    Documents must be attached to your student visa application in ImmiAccount. If your visa has already been granted, see the Visa Holders tab for further instructions.

    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 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).

Tell us of changes

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.

Baby born to student visa holder in Australia

If your child is born in Australia, they are automatically granted the same visa you and your partner hold at the time of the child's birth. If either parent is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident at the time of the child's birth, the child might be an Australian citizen by birth.

You will need to notify us soon after your child is born.

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 might 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.