Study in Australia: Australian Student Visa Basic Requirements

To be eligible for a visa to study in Australia, the application must be made overseas and applicants must:

  • Be of good character and meet the health criteria.
  • You have acceptable health insurance through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and members of your family unit accompanying you to Australia
  • You have no outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia, or have made arrangements acceptable to the Minister to repay such a debt
  • Where you are under 18 years of age, acceptable arrangements for your accommodation, support and general welfare are in place

Student Visa Conditions of Work

For the duration of your study in Australia, you cannot work more than 20 hours per week* when your course is in session (other than work which has been registered as a part of the course).

Note: No work limits apply during recognised periods of vacation offered by your education provider.

*A week begins on a Monday and ends on the following Sunday.

Conditions of Student Visa

It is very important to abide by these visa conditions for the duration of your study in Australia. Failure to do so may result in the visa being cancelled and a requirement to leave Australia.

  • You must remain enrolled in a registered course (unless you are an AusAID/Defence student or secondary exchange student in which case you must maintain full-time enrolment in your course of study or training).

    Note: a registered course is one that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
  • You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course and course progress for each study period as required by your education provider.
  • You must continue to satisfy the requirements for grant of your student visa. This means, for example, that your main course of study must continue to be a course in the education sector that matches your student visa, and that you must continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support your study and stay in Australia.
  • You must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance during your stay in Australia.
    Note: Under policy, this means that you must maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). For further information on the health criteria for studying in Australia and applying for a student visa, click here.

Student Visa Processing Times

Even for a straightforward application, an Australian student visa can take up to 3 months to process. This time may be extended by the presence of a criminal offence on the application or the need for a medical.

Further Substantive Visa Conditions

Subclasses 570, 572, 573, 574, 576 and Assessment Level 3 and 4 applicants only, where the course duration is 10 months or less.

You are not entitled to be granted a further substantive visa, other than:

  • a Student visa with Permission to Work
    Note: if you apply for and are granted Permission to Work, this will change only the work conditions on your Student visa, all other conditions will remain the same including 8534
  • a further Student Guardian visa
    or
  • a visa to engage Australia's obligations under the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees.

Student Visa Subclass 576

You are not entitled to be granted a further substantive visa, other than:

  • a Student visa with permission to work
    Note: if you apply for and are granted permission to work, this will change only the work conditions on your Student visa, all other conditions will remain the same including 8535
  • a Student visa that is supported by the sponsoring government agency
    or
  • a visa to engage Australia's obligations under the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees.

Note: The effect of this visa condition is that, except in extremely limited circumstances, it will not be possible for you to remain in Australia beyond the date authorised by your visa.