Australian Student Visas

Anyone enrolling as an international student on a course lasting four months or more in Australia will need a student visa. Here are the key things to know. Please note that in order to apply for a student visa for Australia, you must have an unconditional offer of place at a university, have accepted that place in writing and paid the required tuition fee deposit. It is therefore one of the last parts of the process to organise.

Visa Requirements

For all undergraduate (bachelor) and postgraduate degrees by coursework, you will be applying for a subclass 573 student visa. For postgraduate programmes by research, a subclass 574 student visa is required.

Timing

You can only make an application for an Australian student visa after you have received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your chosen university. In order to get a CoE, you must have been given a formal offer by the university, accepted it in writing and paid a deposit toward your tuition fees. Please also note that if you are applying online you can only apply for your visa a maximum of 124 days before your course starts. If you are not eligible to apply online, you will be making your paper application to the Australia High Commission and will be able to apply for your visa once you have received your CoE.

Age limits

There is no age limit on a student visa for Australia – unlike the Working Holiday Visa scheme.

Visa Duration

Your student visa will last for the duration of your studies (including holiday periods) and will allow you some time to remain in Australia at the end of your course. This can range from one to three months, depending on the length of your course and the month in which it ends. If you are studying a course that is longer than ten months and ends in November or December, for example, the visa will usually end on March 15 the following year.

Visa Processing

Visa processing times vary but you should allow up to four weeks. Online applications, however, are usually considerably quicker.

Working on Student Visa

A student visa you will be able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term, and full time in the holidays. The visa will automatically be issued with ‘permission to work’, although you are not allowed to begin working until your course has started. Work that is a formal, registered part of your course is not included in the limit.

If you are doing voluntary, unpaid work, it is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight if it:

  • is of benefit to the community
  • is for a non-profit organisation
  • would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident (that is, it is a designated volunteer position), and
  • is genuinely voluntary (that is, no remuneration, either in cash or kind is received—board and lodging acceptable).

Taking your partner

Yes, it is possible for your partner to accompany you as a dependent on your student visa. You will need to prove you have been in a genuine and exclusive relationship with them for at least 12 months. This usually requires you to have been living together for at least 12 months.

Application Process

You will need to complete a student visa application at www.immi.gov.au, your Confirmation of Enrollment, the visa application charge, your passport number, and evidence that you have paid your Overseas Student Health Cover.

Apply for another visa

In some circumstances it may be possible to apply for a further visa at the end of your course. Please visit the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship at www.immi.gov.au to find out what your options are. Under current rules if you have studied for two years towards a university bachelors, master of research degree you will be entitled to apply for a post study work visa for two to four years (dependent on level of study).

Your obligations

You must remain enrolled in a course registered on CRICOS (cricos.deewr.gov.au). You must maintain satisfactory attendance on your course, as required by your education provider. You must make satisfactory course progress for each study period. You must advise your education provider of your home address in seven days of arriving in Australia. If you change address during your stay, you must tell your provider within seven days. You must maintain health insurance while in Australia. This can be done by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover.

Use our free service to find out whether you could qualify for this Visa. Fill out the assessment form. Make sure that all information provided is authentic in order to make a proper assessment.