Australia has always been a popular destination for studying abroad. Students from many countries come to Australia in search of high-quality teaching, multicultural experiences, and solid and impactful diplomas. Well, if you are one of the users who want to study in Australia, a student visa  (Subclass 500) is essential. For this, this article will share all the information and details about the Australian student visa. Let’s take a look.

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What Is a Student Visa (Subclass 500) in Australia?

The Australian student visa, aka the subclass 500 visa, first came into effect on 1 July 2016. Every international student needs to apply for this visa, which works for all types of students, whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, doctoral student, type ELICOS, or vocational education, etc. Only students who have been approved for this visa can enroll in the relevant courses.

This student visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to five years for full-time study (depending on your course). During this time, you will need to comply with local laws to ensure a smooth stay in Australia. After five years, if you decide to stay in Australia, you will need to apply for a new visa.  

In addition, this visa brings you more advantages apart from allowing you to study the desired course in Australia:

  • Travel in and out of Australia
  • Your family member can apply for a dependent visa so that he/she can go to Australia with you.  
  • You can do part-time jobs outside of class after the commencement, but not more than 48 hours in two weeks (From July 1, 2023). If you violate this, your student visa may be canceled. Students with a Master’s degree in research or a Doctoral degree have no time limitations.

Who Are Qualified for Student Visa 500?

Now that we understand what the Student Visa (Subclass 500) does, let’s take a look at the eligibility criteria for application to this visa.

  • Age requirement: You must be 6 years older when applying for this visa.
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE): You need to submit a CoE from your educational institution that you get after you’ve been accepted and paid the deposit.
  • Welfare arrangements(if you are under 18): If you are under 18 years old when applying for this visa, certain welfare arrangements are required when you are in Australia.
  • Language Skills Evidence: Provide evidence of your language skills when applying for this visa.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC): OSHC from an approved Australian health insurance provider is required for you and your family members while in Australia.
  • Financial requirement: Adequate money for you to stay in Australia.
  • Other requirements: You must meet the health requirements, like being free from certain diseases or conditions, when applying for this visa.
  • Character requirements: All applicants who pass the character test can be eligible for this visa and no criminal certificate is required.

If you are not sure, click here to check your eligibility.

What Documents Do I Need for Student Visa Application?

When applying for an Australian student visa, you need to prepare the required documents and materials in advance. You can use the Document Checklist Tool to organize and collect the documents you need. This tool informs what you need to lodge with your application and will be updated on March 31st and September 30th of each year so that you can be informed and get the newest documents. At the same time, use this Tool to make sure that nothing is left behind from your documents.

Document Checklist Tool

Apart from the substantive documents to meet the above eligibility, here are some regular documents in need:

  • Identity documents (English translation not required), including Birth Certificate, passport identity page, and each page that has a visa label and immigration stamps for any country, National Identity Card, all pages of the Household Registration Book
  • Acceptance letter from your educational institution.
  • English language tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE (if you are a non-English speaker.)
  • Proof of funds.

How to Apply for an Australian Student Visa?

There are several steps required to apply for an Australian student visa. Check out the tutorial below:

How to Apply for an Australian Student Visa?

Step 1. Before application. To apply for an Australian student visa, if you are outside Australia, you need to apply at least eight weeks in advance. If you are in Australia, you are still advised to give sufficient time before your application.

Step 2. Gather your documents. As we mentioned earlier, you can use the Document Checklist Tool to help you collect the required documents.

Step 3. Apply for the visa. All applicants need to apply for this visa online. Create an account on ImmiAccount, complete the visa application online, pay for the visa, and get a reference number (TRN) that is used to track your visa application.


Step 4. After the application, you should check regularly to respond to any requests for further information by using your ImmiAccount.

Step 5. Your visa decision. After processing time, your decision on the visa will be delivered. For more information about processing times, check below.

Student Visa Fee & Processing Time

The processing time for an Australian student visa can vary depending on multiple circumstances, includes, but is not limited to:  

  • You did not attach all the required documents.  
  • You additionally submitted a paper application.  
  • Efficiency of staff.  
  • The amount of time to receive information from an external agency
  • The number of tasks.
Australia Student Visa Process

You can check the processing time for your visa type (In general) through the Visa processing times guide, although this does not guarantee that your application will be completed within this time. Choose the type subclass 500, select a visa stream, and choose your application data to check the processing time.

Australia Student Visa Validity

An Australia student visa (subclass 500) has a validity of up to 5 years and is in line with your enrolment.

Australia Student Visa Extension

There is no automatic extension of the Australian student visa currently, so you need to extend the Australian student visa by applying for a new one to stay in Australia, but it is not easy. There are several rules and requirements.

You need solid reasons to explain, such as:

  • You haven’t finished your coursework, and your visa is about to expire.
  • Your thesis hasn’t been marked, but your visa is about to expire.
  • Your visa was canceled by the authorities.
  • And other reasons like that.

👉 The steps to extend your Australia student visa are the same as when you apply for it the first time.

1. Check your eligibility and visa conditions. (to see if you are in a no-further stay condition).

2. Apply for a waiver of the visa condition.

3. Apply for extending the CoE.

4. Apply for extending the health insurance OSHC.

5. Gather the required documents.

6. Submit your application online.

Australia Student Visa Benefits

The most significant benefit is that a student visa in Australia allows you to work there so that you can pay your own bills, although it has limitations on time and places. And, you can take the eligible courses you desire in Australia, having free travel in and out of Australia with the ability to access different cultures. What’s more, your family can also apply for a dependent visa to travel to Australia to have a reunion.

Australia Student Visa Restrictions

Although the student visa allows you to work in Australia, it is limited to 48 hours per fortnight. If you violate this condition, your student visa may be canceled, and you will not be able to continue your studies in Australia. If you want to know what working conditions apply to you, you can go to the Check Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO) page.

Australian Student Visa New Rules in 2024

The Australian government released its much-anticipated Migration Strategy in 2024, including changes to student visas.

  • In order to ensure the acceptance of genuine students, the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) will be replaced by the new Genuine Student (GS) requirement for student visa applications.  
  • There has also been an increase in the English language proficiency requirements, with the Student Visa Subclass 500 requiring an IELTS score (or equivalent) from 5.5 to 6.0.  
  • Higher financial proof requirement. You need to prove you or your family have savings of over A$24,505.
  • Visa application fee increase. Student visa from A$650 to A$715.
  • The government has announced reduced post-study work rights for international students who are Temporary Graduate student visa subclass 485 holders. The duration of undergraduates’ and Master’s students studying within the selected disciplines rolls back to two and three years from the previous four and five years.
  • ‘Post-higher Education Work’ and ‘Post-Vocational Education Work’ streams were added to a graduate visa for better application for a visa.


👉 What is the age limit of student visa Australia?

The minimum age to apply for an Australian student visa (subclass 500) is 6 years old, and also:

  • 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

👉 Can a student visa work full time during break?

Yes. You can work up to full time during the semester break while in course study you cannot.

👉 What are the working hours for Australian student visa holders?

Up to 48 hours a fortnight when your course of study or training is in session (students studying for masters by research or doctoral degree, and their families, have no work limit).

👉 Which university has the highest visa success rate in Australia?

It is very difficult to determine which Australian universities have the highest student visa success rates. This is because the Australian Department of Home Affairs does not publish specific data on universities or programs. However, some factors can influence the student visa success rate, such as the ranking and reputation of the university. Here are the top 10 Australian universities listed on the QS World University Rankings 2024 that will be helping increase the visa success rate.

  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Queensland
  • Monash University
  • The University of Western Australia
  • The University of Adelaide
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Curtin University

👉 Can I bring my family to Australia on a student visa?

Yes. The Australian government allows the international student to bring their immediate family members to the country as dependents.

👉 Is IELTS compulsory for Australian student visas?

No. It’s not compulsory. You are able to apply for an Australian student visa as long as you meet certain language skill requirements via other tests like:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), including One Skill Retake (OSR)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • Cambridge English (CAE) (also known as C1 Advanced)
  • Occupational English Test (OET), noting this is a test developed for health professionals
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).​

👉 How can I avoid student visa rejection in Australia?

  • Make sure to apply on time, as late applications will have a higher risk of refusal.  
  • Make sure that no requested documents are missing, any omission or inaccurate information may result in a visa refusal.  
  • Improve your English skills.  
  • Provide comprehensive and verifiable proof of funds.  
  • Provide true and accurate academic documents.  
  • Please respond confidently during the interview.  
  • Provide compelling reasons to choose Australia.
  • Follow the guidelines for SOPs or visa letters.


Above is the information we have compiled and gathered about student visas in Australia, covering eligibility, documentation, benefits, etc., all the details you need. Please note that if you need to apply for a student visa, it is important to submit it at least eight weeks in advance to allow time for any undesirable circumstances. Finally, good luck with your visa application.

By Erin Lo

My passion lies in the intersection of technology and storytelling, and I'm thrilled to explore the world of AI and its impact on passport photography. I strive to make complex concepts easy to grasp for readers, sharing the wonders of AI in our everyday lives. Beyond writing, I find inspiration in art, diverse cuisines, and outdoor adventures. Contributing to AiPassportPhotos' innovative approach is an exciting journey, making passport photos and more creative pictures simpler and more efficient through the power of AI.