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Student visa Australia (subclass 500)

Find out all you need to know about the subclass 500 visa, processing time, eligibility and estimated fees

What is the Student visa 500?

The Student visa (subclass 500) allows you to remain in Australia for up to 5 years for the purpose of full-time study at an educational institution, in line with your enrolment.

With this visa you can:

  • take part in an eligible course of study
  • include your family members in your application (your partner or you and your partner's dependent child.
  • apply online in or outside Australia
  • work up to 40 hours every 2-week period once your course starts.

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What are the eligibility criteria for the Student visa 500?

  • you must be 6 years or older
  • provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) at a full-time course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students, CRICOS
  • show evidence of your English language skills
  • you and your family members must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider for the length of your stay in Australia
  • If you’re under 18 years of age, you must have adequate welfare arrangements in place while you are in Australia
  • meet health and character requirements
  • have enough money for your stay

What is the process for applying for a Student visa 500?

  • if you’re outside Australia, apply for your visa at least 6 weeks before your course begins.
  • If you’re in Australia, allow plenty of time before your current visa expires as you may need more time in the event of any complications.
  • Use the Document Checklist Tool and gather your documents. Ensure you have the most current list as the Document Checklist tool is updated twice a year on 31 March and 30 September.
  • Apply for this visa online in or outside of Australia.
  • Create or log in to Immi Account, attach documents and pay the vis application charge.

What is the Document Checklist Tool?

The checklist gives you an idea of the documents you will need to lodge with your application. Enter your country of passport and education provider to get an accurate document checklist. If you haven’t decided on your education provider, you can leave the field blank or select ‘My provider is not listed’.

If proof of English and financial capacity are required at this stage, please ensure they are attached before you submit your application.

What is the cost of the Student visa 500?

The cost of the Student visa 500 is from AUD$620 for the main applicant. A charge will apply for each family member who applies for the visa. You can use the Visa Pricing Estimator

What is the processing time for the Student visa 500?

Processing times can vary based on which sector you’re applying for and it can take between:

  • 75% of applications in 29 days; 90% of applications in 42 days for the Higher Education Sector
  • 75% of applications in 43 days; 90% of applications in 77 days for Vocational Education and Training Sector

Processing times for other sectors

Can I include anyone else in my application?

Yes, you may include family members for student visas. They include:

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

Do I declare my family member in my student visa application even if they don’t travel to Australia with me?

You must declare your family members in your application even if they don’t have any plans to travel with you to Australia.

If you don’t declare them and they need to join you in Australia later, you’ll need to apply for a new student visa including them and clarify why they weren’t included in your earlier application. This is exempt if they became your family member after your student visa was granted and before a subsequent application is made.

Do I need health insurance for my Student visa 500?

Yes, you and your family members must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider for the whole of your stay in Australia. If you’re unsure of which student health cover to get, we have done all the hard work of selecting quality providers. You can compare OSHC providers and get an instant quote. Please also see student visa grant periods to determine the length of coverage you need.

Will I need to take an IELTS test for my Student visa 500?

You may be required to provide evidence of your English language skills at any time while your application is being processed. IELTS is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for study, work and migration. As a proud co-owner of IELTS, we can help you book and prepare for your IELTS test if you’re required to take one.

If evidence of my English language skills is required, what must I provide?

You must provide proof that you:

  • have obtained a certain test score in an English language test that the Department has approved. You must have taken the English language test in the 2 years before you apply for a student visa.
  • have completed certain eligible studies in English, or
  • fall into an exemption category

What do I do if I need to extend my visa?

If you would like to continue studying in Australia, you must apply for a new student visa. speak to us to determine which new visa you’ll need to suit your circumstances.

What do I do if my situation has changed?

Make sure you inform the Department of Home Affairs if things change. Things that you need to let them know about include:

  • changes to your phone number, email, address or passport
  • changes to your relationship status
  • changes to your welfare arrangements
  • the birth of a child

Check out the most common situations here

What do I do if I want to change my course?

If there is a change in your study situation, tell the Department of Home Affairs before doing so as your visa might be affected. Find out what your next steps are if there’s a change in your study situation. You can also speak to us as we can guide you and save you many hours and worries.

What welfare arrangements must be organised for applicants under 18 years of age?

You must either:

  • nominate a student guardian. A student guardian can be a parent, legal custodian or a relative over 21 years of age. He or she must have a visa to stay in Australia until you turn 18 or for the period of your student visa
  • organise a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) with your education provider. Get them to issue a CAAW and advise the Department of Home Affairs of your welfare arrangements start and end date
  • obtain your Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form if you’re a secondary exchange student. Attach a signed copy of the CAAW to the student visa application, or
  • arrange approval of your welfare arrangements from the relevant Minister, if you’re a Foreign Affairs or Defence student

How do I find out what the visa outcome is?

You will be notified in writing about your visa application. You will be provided with:

  • your visa grant number
  • the date your visa expires
  • your visa conditions

Always keep a copy of the visa grant when in Australia.

If your visa application is refused, you’ll know in writing why it was refused and whether you have a right to a review of the decision. Unfortunately, the application charge will not be refunded if your application is refused.

What are the working rights on Student visa 500?

The student visa 500 allows you to work up to 20 hours per week or 40 hours fortnightly. You would be allowed to start your part-time work once the course starts. However, international students enrolled in ACT public schools can work 10 hours maximum during the academic school year.

Can I travel on my visa?

You can travel outside Australia and return as many times as you want with a valid visa.

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