Student Visa – Subclass 500

Student Visa Australia

Student visa Subclass 500

With this visa, you can

  • participate in an eligible course of study in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia
  • work up to 40 hours every 2-week period once your course starts


How long you can stay

This is a temporary visa to study up to 5 years. The type of course and its length will determine the length of stay

Primary school children enrolled in years 1-4 can only be granted a student visa for a maximum of 2 years.

Stay longer

To continue studying in Australia, you must apply for a new Student visa.

If your Student visa will expire before your graduation you might be eligible for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). You will need a letter from your education provider with the date of your graduation.

If you hold or held a student visa and completed specific qualifications in Australia in the last six months, you might be eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

If you are a recent engineering graduate of a recognized institution you might be eligible for the Skilled Recognition Graduate visa (subclass 476).

If you want to stay longer for other reasons, you must apply for a new visa that suits your circumstances. Explore your visa options.

Include family

You can include family members when you lodge your visa application. For student visas, your family member is:

  • your partner, or
  • your or your partner’s dependent child who is unmarried and has not turned 18 years of age.

You must declare your family members in your student visa application even if they do not plan to travel with you to Australia. If you do not do this, your family members will not be eligible for a student visa to join you in Australia.

Your family members can also apply as a subsequent entrant (at a later time, separate from your application) in ImmiAccount.

Family members who apply for the visa must meet the requirements for health and character.


Student visa Subclass 500: Cost

The visa costs from AUD620 for the main applicant, unless they are exempt.

There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa.

You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.

To work out what your visa will cost use the Visa Pricing Estimator. The estimator does not consider the other costs.


Student visa Subclass 500: Apply from

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when a decision is made on your application.

Packaged courses

You will need to give the department of Home Affairs a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for each course. The last course you take as part of the course package is your main course of study. The Australian immigration Officers at the Department of Home Affairs use your main course of study to work out what financial and English language skills evidence you must give them.

If your visa application includes a package of courses, course gaps must be less than two calendar months, unless the first course finishes at the end of the standard academic year and the next course commences at the beginning of the standard academic year.

For example, the academic year generally ends in November and starts again in February the following year, three to four months is an acceptable gap between courses.

Standard visa grant periods apply to packaged courses.

Processing times

Your application can take longer to process if:

  • you do not fill it in correctly
  • you do not include all the documents
  • it takes the department of Home Affairs time to verify your information

See more information on Global visa and citizenship processing times


Student visa Subclass 500: Your obligations

You and your family must meet all visa conditions and follow Australian laws.

See which conditions will and might be attached to this visa.


You can travel outside Australia and return as many times as you want while the visa is valid.

The time you spend outside Australia does not extend the visa.

Visa label

The Australian immigration Officers at the Department of Home Affairs will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport.


Be a certain age (school student)

If you are a school student (but not participating in a secondary school student exchange program), you must be aged 6 or older to apply for this visa.

You must also be:

  • 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


Be enrolled in a course of study and provide evidence

You must include evidence of enrolment in study with your student visa application, or your application will not be valid and cannot be processed.


Providing a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

You must be enrolled in a full time course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Applying outside Australia: provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for each course of study with your visa application.

Applying inside Australia:  You must be enrolled in a full-time course before the Australian immigration Officers at the Department of Home Affairs grant your visa.


Packaged courses and CoEs

If you are applying for more than 1 course in your student visa application you must include all CoE codes in the application form or your visa period may only consider the duration of the course according to the the CoE provided.

You can apply to take 2 or more courses on your Student visa where one course clearly leads to the next.  Course gaps must be less than two calendar months, unless the first course finishes at the end of the standard academic year and the next course commences at the beginning of the standard academic year.

If you are applying for more than 1 course in your student visa application you must include all CoE codes in the application form or your visa may only cover the CoE provided.


Other evidence of enrolment 

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

  • enrolled in a full-time course of study or training under a scholarship scheme approved by the Australian Minister for 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 who needs to stay in Australia while your thesis is marked: provide a letter from your education provider


Make welfare arrangements if you are under 18 years

If you are applying for a student visa and you are under 18 years of age, you must have adequate welfare arrangements in place while you are in Australia.

If you will be 18 years of age when you arrive in Australia, you must tell the department of Home Affairs as you might not need to provide some of this information. Learn more about this and welfare arrangements for student visa holders.


Meet English language requirements

You might need to provide evidence of your English language skills at the time you submit your visa application. To find out the evidence you need to provide use the Document Checklist tool.

Note: The Australian immigration Officers at the Department of Home Affairs can ask you for evidence of your English language skill after you have submitted your application, at any time while they are processing your application, even though the Document Checklist tool shows that you don’t need to provide evidence of your English language skill when you submit your application.

If you need to provide evidence of your English language skill, you must provide evidence that you:

  • have obtained a certain test score in an English language test that the Department has approved
  • have completed certain eligible studies in English, or
  • fall into an exemption category


English language tests

The table below shows the English language test providers and the minimum scores you must achieve to meet the Student visa English language requirement.
You must have taken the English language test in the 2 years before you apply for a student visa.

English language test providersMinimum scoreMinimum score and at least 10 weeks English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)5.554.5
TOEFL internet-based test463532
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)162154147
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)423630
Occupational English TestB for each test componentN/AN/A


English language evidence exemptions

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

  • you are a citizen and hold a passport from UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland
  • you are an applicant who is a Foreign Affairs or, Defence sponsored student or a Secondary Exchange student (AASES)
  • you are enrolled in a principal course of study that is a registered school course, a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), a course registered to be delivered in a language other than English, or a registered post-graduate research course
  • you have completed at least 5 years’ study in English in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland
  • in the 2 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.


Have adequate health insurance

You and your family members must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia. To find out the length of coverage you will require, see student visa grant periods.

You and your family members must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider, unless an ‘Exception’ applies.


Applicants outside Australia

Your cover must start from the day you and your family arrive in Australia, not the day your course starts.

If you have been granted a visa and want to travel to Australia before your course begins, the OSHC start date must be the same as the date you arrive, not the date your course starts. Generally this is a minimum of 1 week to 1 month before your course starts.

You must:

  • ensure you don’t enter Australia before your OSHC begins, and
  • maintain your OSHC until you leave Australia.

You may be refused entry to Australia if you cannot prove you have health insurance in place when your arrive.


Applicants in Australia

If your previous visa required you to have health insurance, there should be no gap between your previous health cover and your OSHC.


You do not need to have OSHC if you are:

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • a Swedish student covered by Kammarkollegiet
  • a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia


How to get Overseas Student Health Cover

To get OSHC:

  • find an approved provider
  • pay for your policy

Your education provider or agent might 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. Your education provider will also need to include your health insurance information on your Certificate of Enrolment (CoE).

If you arrange OSHC coverage yourself, you will need to know the policy number to include in the visa application.

The Australian immigration Officers at the Department of Home Affairs will refuse your visa application if you don’t give the department of Home Affairs this information when you apply for your student visa.

Insurance for family members

If you have a single OSHC policy and you have family members, including children born in Australia after your arrival, consider getting a family policy. Every member of your family must have health insurance.

Any family member who joins you after you arrive in Australia must show the department of Home Affairs they have OSHC for the duration of their stay in Australia.


Have not held a certain visa

If you have one of these visas, you can’t apply for this visa while you are in Australia:

  • 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. 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

Usually you must hold a visa that allows you to stay in Australia when you apply.

You might be able to apply for a new student visa if it has been less than 28 days since your student visa expired and provided this has not happened before

If you do not hold a substantive visa, you can’t apply for a student visa if you have ever held a substantive visa that you applied for in Australia while unlawful.


Have enough money for your stay

You must have enough money to pay for your stay in Australia. To see how much money you need to have for cost of living, your course and travel expenses go to Gather Documents in the ‘Step by Step’.


Be a genuine temporary entrant

You must be a genuine temporary entrant and intend to return home after studying in Australia.

Meet character requirement

You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa must meet character requirement.

Meet health requirement

You and any family members who apply for the visa must meet health requirement.


Sign the Australian values statement

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must:

Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

You might not be granted this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.

Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.


Best interests of the child

The Australian immigration Officers at the Department of Home Affairs might not grant this visa if it is not in the best interests of an applicant under 18.






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