Student Visa (Subclass 500) – Introductory Guide

We also have another page for discussing all the requirements of this visa, for more information please visit here .


  1. Student Visa Introduction
  2. Student Visa Eligibility and Conditions
  3. Student Visa Checklist
  4. Student Visa Application Process
  5. Student Visa Estimate Costs
  6. Length of Stay on Student Visa
  7. Student Visa Processing Time
  8. Student Visa Frequently Asked Question
    • Student Visa refusal
    • Should I get a visa label in my passport?

New policies during the COVID-19:

Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders

COVID-19 Visa Concessions for Student (Subclass 500) Visa

Student Visa Introduction

Student Visa is a temporary visa allows international student to stay in Australia for up to 5 years and in line with your enrolment for the purpose of full-time study at an educational institution. You can apply this visa while in Australia or offshore but you must apply at least 6 weeks before your course starts.

According to the information released by the Department; this visa enables you to

  • Study in an eligible course of study
  • Stay up to 5 years and in line with your enrolment,
  • Bring family members to Australia with you
  • Travel in and out of Australia
  • Work up to 40 hours every fortnight once your course commences

Include family

You can include family members in your application. They must be either your partner or your or your partner’s dependent child who is unmarried and under the age of 18.

Please be aware that you must be aged 6 or older to apply for this visa.

Student Visa Eligibility and Conditions


To be eligible to apply this Visa, you must

1.Be a certain age if you are a school student

  • less than 17 years old when you begin Year 9
  • less than 18 years old when you begin Year 10
  • less than 19 years old when you begin Year 11 
  • less than 20 years old when you begin Year 12 

2.Enrolled in a course of study

  • Full time course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Intuitions and courses of Overseas Student (CRICOS)
  • You must be enrolled in the course before if you apply inside Australia
  • If it is packaged courses, the course gaps must be less than 2 calendar months unless it continues to the next academic year.
  • If you apply for more than 1 course, you must all CoE codes in your application

3.Make welfare arrangements if you are under 18 years

  • Nominate a student guardian
  • If your nominated guardian is applying a student guardian (subclass TU-590), both applications should be made at the same time

4.Meet English language requirements

  • English language tests 2 years before your application
English language test providers Minimum score
International English language testing system (IELTS) 5.5
TOEFL internet-based test 46
Cambridge English: advanced(certificate in advanced English) 162
Pearson test of English academic (PTE academic) 42
Occupational English test B for each test component
  • Exception:
    • UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland citizen with passport
    • Applicant of AASES
    • Enrolled into Intensive English Course for overseas student ELICOS, registered school course, registered postgraduate research course and course delivered in a language other than English
    • Studied at least 5 years in English in Australia, UK, USA, Canadian, New Zealand, South Africa or the Republic of Ireland

5.Have adequate health insurance

  • For both you and your family members
  • Covered by Overseas Student Health Cover OSHC on arrival date except for Norwegian, Swedish or Belgian student covered by certain scheme

6.Have not held a certain visa

7.Have enough money for your stay

8.Be a genuine temporary entrant

9.Meet the character requirement

10.Meet the health requirement

11.Sign the Australian value statement

12.Repay all your or any family members debt to the Australian Government

13.Not have had a visa cancelled or previous application refused

14.Best interests of the child

Financial requirement:

There are two options to prove that you have enough money to support yourself, the student visa holder(s) and any children who come to Australia with you.

Option 1: You can give evidence of: deposits of money from a financial institution, government loans or loans from a financial institution or scholarships or similar financial support

Option 2: you can show us that your spouse or de facto partner who is not travelling to Australia will support you and has an annual income of AUD60,000 in the 12 months immediately before you apply.

Work out how much money you need

You must have sufficient money to pay for:

  • your travel
  • 12 months of course fees for the student visa holder(s)
  • School fees for any school-age children who accompany you
  • 12 months of living costs for you and the family member

Please read the guide below provided by the Department.

Living costs

  • for students or guardians – AUD20,209
  • for partners coming with you – AUD7,100
  • for a child coming with you – AUD3,040


Course fees

Use the first 12 months of your course fees. If your course is 12 months or less, use the total cost. Deduct any costs you have already paid – you must provide evidence you have paid them, such as a receipt or Confirmation of Enrolment.

Travel costs

As a guide, when you calculate how much money you need, include:

  • AUD2,500 for travel costs if you are applying from East or Southern Africa
  • AUD3,000 for travel costs if you are applying from West Africa
  • AUD2,000 for travel costs if you are applying from anywhere else outside Australia 
  • AUD1,000 for travel costs if you are applying in Australia. If you will be returning to Africa include AUD1,500

Schooling costs

At least AUD8,000 per year for each child.

However, the following conditions might be attached to this visa:

Condition 8104

  • You are forbidden to work more than 40 hours a fortnight with a period of 14 days starting on a Monday.
  • If any of your family member is a primary student visa holder, you are restricted work in Australia until their course commenced.

Condition 8105

  • You must not work in Australia before your course commences and more than 40 hours a fortnight during study session. Unless you are studying a master by research or a doctorate degree and you have started your course, or the work is a registered part of your course

Condition 8201

  • Maximum 3 Months Study: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than three months, in any studies or training.

Condition 8202

  •  You must
    • Remain enrolled in your course
    • Maintain satisfactory attendance in your course
    • Maintain enrolment in your course that is the same Australian Qualifications Framework AQF level or higher

Condition 8203 & 8204

  • You must not change your course of study, thesis or research topic without the approval of the Minister for
    • graduate certificate
    • graduate diploma
    • master’s degree
    • doctorate, or 
    • any bridging course required as a prerequisite to a course of study or research for a master’s degree or doctorate
  • Click here to learn more information about 500 visa condition.

Student Visa Checklist

Identity documents such as current passport

Confirmation of enrolment, letters of support and acceptance form

  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for offshore applicant
  • CoE or letter of offer for all intended course
  • Letter of support to prove sufficient funds
  • Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student form for secondary exchange student
  • Letter from education provider for postgraduate research student
  • Evidence you have enough money for living, courses, schooling, travel costs
    • Evidence of your relationship with them, their identity documents
    • evidence of any financial support they have given you or another student visa holder in the past
  • Evidence you are exempt from paying a visa application charge (VAC)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover
  • Genuine temporary entrant documents
    • Personal written station addressing the GTE requirement
    • Evidence of previous study, gap in previous study, current employment, financial, family or social ties, employment or business activities for 12 month prior lodgement, bank statement, potential employment opportunity
  • English language requirement
  • Partner documents
    • Partner’s identity, character documents and Marriage certificate
    • De facto partner: mutual commitment, genuine and continuing relationship, live together and not related by family
  • Dependants under 18
    • Birth certificate,
    • Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years
    • Statutory declaration

Student Visa Estimate Costs

You can find all information in relation to the cost of this visa on the Department website.

The visa costs from AUD 710 for the main applicant, unless they are exempt.

For information regarding to the exception of cost please visit here.

Please be aware that other costs may applies such a health checks, police certificates and biometrics.


Length of Stay on Student Visa

The length of stay granted on a Student (Subclass 500) Visa varies depending on the course you are intending on studying.

  1. What is the length of stay on student visas?
  2. How much overseas student health cover should I get?
  3. Length of stay on student visas for postgraduate research students
  4. Length of stay on Child student visas

General guide for the length of stay on a subclass 500 visa

Note: guide published by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA)

Length of course Length of stay
10 months or longer, finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November to December) DHA will usually grant a visa stay period to 15 March of the following year
10 months or longer, finishing from January until October DHA will usually grant a visa stay period of 2 months longer than the course
Less than 10 months DHA will usually grant a visa stay period 1 month longer than the course

The maximum length of stay for a student visa will generally not exceed 5 years.

Overseas Student Health Cover

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) must cover at a minimum, the length of your course, the expiration of your OSHC may be considered when determining your length of stay. Your visa end date cannot be changed once granted so when you are deciding how much OSHC to get be mindful of the general guide above.

To be granted a student visa that covers to/past the end of your course you must have OSHC in place for the same period.

I.E., If your course is 3 years in length and is finishing at the end of an Australian academic year (November-December), you will most likely be granted a student visa to 15 March the following year, provided you have OSHC to that date.

Postgraduate research students

Length of stay for a Postgraduate Research student is 6 months longer than the period shown in the general guide above, to allow students to remain onshore during the time their thesis is being marked.

I.E., If a Postgraduate Research student is taking a course that is longer than 10 months, finishing at the end of an Australian academic year (November-December), they will most likely be granted a student visa that ceases on the 15th of September the following year, provided they have OSHC to that date. This is 6 additional months after the usual end of stay on the 15th of March.

Child student visas  

To protect the vulnerability of younger children, the maximum period for a student visa for a child at primary school age (6-12) is generally 3 years. However, primary school aged children can apply for another student visa before the end of their stay to continue their schooling in Australia. This is so the Department of Home Affairs can re-assess if it is in the best interest of the child to be in Australia on a student visa.

If a child is applying to finish primary school/start high school their visa may be granted for 5 years if the time in primary school does not exceed the 3 years

I.E., if a student was to enrol in year 4, 5 and 6 in primary school and year 7 and 8 in high school, the length of stay would be granted until the end of year 8.

Student Visa Processing Time


25% Of Visas Finalised

50% Of Visas Finalised

75% Of Visas Finalised

90% Of Visas Finalised

Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector

2 Days

7 Days

18 Days

29 Days

Postgraduate Research Sector

8 Days

27 Days

8 Months

17 Months

Independent ELICOS Sector

9 Days

20 Days

32 Days

40 Days

Schools Sector

9 Days

19 Days

35 Days

65 Days

Vocational Education and Training Sector

12 Days

25 Days

40 Days

50 Days

Higher Education Sector

6 Days

13 Days

22 Days

49 Days

Non-Award Sector

Less than 1 Day

Less than 1 Day

5 Days

11 Days


Student Visa Frequently Asked Question

  • Student Visa refusal
  • Should I get a visa label in my passport?
    • No. The visa is directly linked to your passport.
Student Visa Eligibility and Conditions
To be eligible to apply this Visa, you must…..
There are two options to prove that you have enough money to support yourself, the student visa holder(s) and any children who come to Australia with you.
Work out how much money you need
Student Visa refusal
You will be informed of reasons for the refusal and of your appeal rights to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal


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