Explore visa options for studying in Australia

I want to come to Australia to…

study full time

Student visa

Subclass 500
Visit Australia to participate in a course of study.
  • You must be 6 years or older
  • You can stay for the duration of your course
  • You must be enrolled in full-time course at a recognised educational institution
Stay

Up to 5 years and in line with your enrolment.

Cost

From AUD620, unless exempt.

You must
  • be enrolled in a course of study in Australia
  • hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall in one of the exemption categories
  • must be 6 years or older
  • prove you have a welfare arrangement, if you are under 18
  • If in Australia hold an eligible substantive visa. See, ‘Have this Visa if applying while in Australia” in Eligibility Tab.
With this visa you can
  • participate in an eligible course of study
  • bring family members to Australia with you
  • apply online in or outside Australia
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

You can only work up to 40 hours in a fortnight. A fortnight means the period of 14 days starting on a Monday.

If you are a member of the family unit of a primary student visa holder, you must not work in Australia until they have started their course.

Family members of students studying a masters or a doctorate degree can work unrestricted hours once the primary student visa holder has started their course.

Note: This applies to family members of students who hold subclass 500 visa.

Unrestricted work rights also applies to family members of subclass 573 (Higher Education Sector) and subclass 574 (Postgraduate Research Sector) visa holders studying a masters by research or doctorate degree.

Employers seeking to hire the family member of a primary student visa holder are advised to request evidence:

  • of the relationship (such as a visa grant letter, marriage or birth certificate) and
  • that the primary student visa holder has commenced their course, such as a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or a letter from the relevant education provider

Employers who have hired a family member with this visa condition should ensure the employee is not working more hours than the employee’s visa allows.

Understanding your work rights

We are working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

For information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements see the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT).

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has more information on workplace rights and entitlements see visa holders and migrant workers.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

You must not work in Australia before your course of study commences.

Student visa holders, who are not studying a masters by research or a doctorate degree, must not work more than 40 hours per fortnight in Australia while their course is in session. A fortnight means the period of 14 days commencing on a Monday.

A course is in session:

  • in line with your school semesters (includes exams periods)
  • if you take another course that will count towards your main course during term breaks

Work experience is included in a student’s work restriction of 40 hours per fortnight whether it is paid or unpaid.

There is an exception, where a work experience unit forms a mandatory component of a student’s course and is included in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registration of that course. In this circumstance, the work experience will not be included in the student’s work restriction of 40 hours per fortnight.

Any work experience/work placement that is not a mandatory course requirement, or that is in excess of the period required in the course registration, is included in a student’s work restriction of 40 hours per fortnight.

For example: a pharmacy student undertaking a mandatory 4 week block of on the job training has unlimited work rights for the purpose and duration of the work placement as documented in the registered course structure.

As a student visa holder, you can be considered to have worked if you have:

  • attended a place of work for a period by a roster or timesheet (but not during unpaid breaks)
  • been ‘clocked on’ to an electronic system that records a work activity
  • received payment for work, as shown in a payslip you have received (unless you provide evidence that you were not working during this time)

You can work more than one job as long as the total hours are not more than 40 in a fortnight.

If you are an employer, hiring a student visa holder you must request evidence that they have commenced their course, such as a confirmation or enrolment or a letter from the relevant education provider. Employers who have hired a student visa holder must ensure the employee is not working more hours than the employee’s visa allows.

Understanding your work rights

We are working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

For information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements see the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT).

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has more information on workplace rights and entitlements see visa holders and migrant workers.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

Additional information

When you can work over 40 hours a fortnight

You can only work over 40 hours a fortnight when:

  • it is a registered part of your course that is mandatory
  • your master’s degree by research or doctorate degree has started
  • your course is not in session. A course is not in session:
    • during scheduled course breaks
    • if your course was deferred or suspended in line with Standard 9 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students
    • if you hold a valid visa and have completed your course as listed on your confirmation of enrolment
    • if your enrolment has been cancelled due to the default of your education provider and until you get a new enrolment and start the course.

Volunteer work

You may take part in volunteer work outside of the 40 hours per fortnight work limitation if it fits within the description of volunteer work.

Unpaid work that does not fit within this description is counted towards the 40 hours per fortnight limitation.

Examples of the definition of work:

  • You do a shift at a restaurant as part of a roster, but not during your rostered unpaid meal break.
  • You are a taxi driver who has signed in and is ready to receive passengers, until as you sign out for a break or your shift ends.
  • You have a payslip that shows you were paid for 25 hours work in one fortnight, but can provide a medical certificate that you were unwell for 15 of these 25 hours, so you only worked for 10 of those hours.

Examples of how 40 hours a fortnight is calculated:

Example 1: Fatima is studying commercial cookery in Australia on a subclass 500 visa. She is offered some work experience during the holidays. She works 75 hours a fortnight. Fatima is not breaching her work condition. She is allowed to work unlimited hours while her course is not in session.

Example 2: Bolin works while he studies in Australia, his roster for the next month looks like this:

  • week 1: 30 hours
  • week 2: 10 hours
  • week 3: 35 hours
  • week 4: 5 hours

Bolin will breach his visa condition if he works the hours in the roster. In weeks 2 and 3, he will have worked 45 hours. Bolin should discuss this with his employer and ask to have his roster updated.

Example 3: Ellen is studying for a PhD. She is also tutoring at the university for about 50 hours a fortnight. Ellen is not breaching her student visa condition, PhD students are not restricted to the number of hours they can work. Ellen still has to achieve satisfactory progress on her PhD.

While in Australia, you must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.

Additional information

In certain circumstances, this restriction does not apply to:

  • subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visas
  • subclass 602 (Medical Treatment) visas
  • subclass 675 (Medical Treatment (Short Stay)) visas
  • subclass 685 (Medical Treatment (Long Stay)) visas

Subclass 590 visa holders

You can study up to 20 hours a week on an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

Subclass 602, 675 and 685 visa holders

You may study in Australia for more than 3 months if:

  • you are under 18
  • your circumstances have changed while in Australia
  • you have written permission to do so because of your circumstances

Other visa holders

You must not study or train in Australia for more than 3 months in total.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

You must:

  • remain enrolled in a registered course (if you are a Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored student or a secondary exchange student you must maintain full-time enrolment in your course of study or training)
  • maintain enrolment in a registered course that is the same Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level or higher for which we granted your student visa, unless changing from AQF level 10 to level 9. See: Change in study situation.
  • maintain satisfactory attendance in your course and course progress for each study period as required by your education provider.

Note: A registered course is one that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Gap between courses

Generally course gaps should not be more 2 months. A course gap can be more than 2 months if:

  • it is the end of the academic year study break
  • you are affected by education provider default
  • you have completed your course and you are applying for a new visa

Additional information

See Your study situation has changed.

You must not change your course of study, thesis or research topic without the approval of the Minister.

This approval can only be given after the Minister has obtained an assessment from the competent Australian authorities that you are not likely to be directly or indirectly a risk to Australian national security.​

You must not undertake or change your course of study, thesis or research topic without the approval of the Minister, for a:

  • 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

This approval can only be given after the Minister has obtained an assessment from the competent Australian authorities that you are not likely to be directly or indirectly a risk to Australian national security.

You must not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

For example, engaging or promoting extremist views and interrupting the operation of the Australian community.

You must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.

You must continue to satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa.

You must maintain adequate arrangements for the education of your school-age dependants who are in Australia for more than 3 months as a dependant on your visa.

You must maintain adequate arrangements for your education while you are in Australia.

If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must have accommodation and support, and your general welfare must be maintained for the duration

To maintain your welfare, you must stay in Australia with:

  • your parent or legal custodian or
  • a relative who has been nominated by your parents or custodians who is aged over 21 and is of good character or
  • have accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements in place that have been approved by your education provider

You must not change your arrangements without the written approval of your education provider. If your welfare arrangements are approved by your education provider you must not travel to Australia until your welfare arrangements start

  • current and previous 570-576 visa holders
  • 500 visa holders

You must let your education provider know your residential address within 7 days of arriving in Australia if you were outside Australia when your visa was granted.

If your residential address changes you must let your education provider know within 7 days of the change.

You must also your current education provider know you have changed your education provider within 7 days of receiving:

  • a confirmation of enrolment from your new education provider, or
  • evidence you have been enrolled by the new education provider

We will contact you through your school. If you don’t update your contact details we won’t be able to contact you.

While you are in Australia, we will not grant you a new substantive visa, other than:

  • a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa, or
  • a Subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa, or
  • a Protection visa

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

Additional information

Condition 8534 can be applied to subclass 500 Student visa holders and their family members at our discretion.

The case officer that assesses your application will decide whether to apply the condition.

Applying for a graduate visa

If condition 8534 applies to your current visa you can only apply for the Temporary Graduate visa using the paper form.

You don’t need to ask us to waive the condition before you submit your application.

Download and complete Form 1409 Application for a Temporary Graduate visa. Ensure you tick the box saying you want to waive this condition.

Applying for any other visa

If you have completed the course we granted you the visa for, you don’t need to ask us to waive condition 8534 to make a valid application for one of these visas:

  • General Skilled Migration visa (for example Subclass 189 or 190)
  • Subclass 132 (Business Talent) visa
  • Subclass 186 (Employee Nomination Scheme) visa
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa
  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa
  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa

While you are in Australia, we will not grant you a new substantive visa other than:

  • a Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visa we grant you because you have support from the Commonwealth or a foreign government, or
  • a protection visa

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, visit the Federal Register of Legislation.

Additional information

Condition 8535 is mandatory on subclass 500 Student visas for students sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.

Applying for a student visa

If condition 8535 applies to your current visa, attach a letter of support from the Australian Government or a foreign government with your new application. You don’t need to ask us to waive the condition before you submit your application.

Applying for any other visa

If condition 8535 applies to your current visa and you want to apply for any other visa, there are some limited circumstances in which you can ask us to waive this condition.

You can’t apply for a further visa in Australia other than:

  • a Student (Temporary) (Class TU), with the support of the Commonwealth or a foreign government, or
  • a protection visa

accompany a student as their guardian

Student Guardian visa

Subclass 590

Visit to support a child who holds a student visa.

  • Allows a person to provide care and support for a student visa holder who is under 18
  • In special situations, this visa allows a person to provide care and support for a student visa holder who is 18 or older
Stay

This is a temporary visa. The length of your visa will be determined by the student visa holder’s stay and their age.

Cost

From AUD620

Processing Time
  • 75% of applications: 4 months
  • 90% of applications: 7 months
You must
  • be the student’s parent, custodian or relative who is 21 years or older
  • have enough money to support yourself and the student during your stay
  • be able to provide accommodation, welfare and other support
With this visa you can
  • come to Australia to provide care and support for a student visa holder who is under 18 years of age or older due to exceptional circumstances
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

You must not work in Australia.

This means when in Australia, you must not do work that a person would normally get paid for.

Additional information

For visitor visa holders only

With our permission, you can only:

  • do unpaid work relating and credited to your study if you are studying in a university outside Australia
  • see how people work in an industry, as long as you are not doing the work yourself

To seek permission, submit a letter about your situation with your visa application and supporting documentation.

If your situation changes after you arrive in Australia and you need to work you will need to apply for a new Visitor visa (Tourist stream) requesting permission to work.

You will need to prove:

  • you have financial hardship because of your new situation
  • you or your family member is likely to need the government’s help
  • you have compelling personal reasons to work in Australia such as a serious accident or illness
  • for reasons that you cannot change, you or your immediate family cannot return home
  • you have no choice but to work in Australia

Decisions are made on a case-by-case situation at the discretion of the processing office or Minister.

If you are not being paid you can, without our permission:

  • do volunteer work
  • do incidental work online for your job in your home country
  • do short-term domestic or care-giving work for a family member

You cannot work in Australia unless it is relevant to the business or tasks specified in the visa application.

The Department is working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

The Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

While in Australia, you must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.

Additional information

In certain circumstances, this restriction does not apply to:

  • subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visas
  • subclass 602 (Medical Treatment) visas
  • subclass 675 (Medical Treatment (Short Stay)) visas
  • subclass 685 (Medical Treatment (Long Stay)) visas

Subclass 590 visa holders

You can study up to 20 hours a week on an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

Subclass 602, 675 and 685 visa holders

You may study in Australia for more than 3 months if:

  • you are under 18
  • your circumstances have changed while in Australia
  • you have written permission to do so because of your circumstances

Other visa holders

You must not study or train in Australia for more than 3 months in total.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

You must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.

You must not enter Australia before the person specified in the visa has entered Australia. This is usually the main visa holder or other relevant person such as your sponsor in the case of a Partner visa.

You must continue to satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa.

While you are in Australia, we will not grant you a new substantive visa, other than:

  • a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa, or
  • a Subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa, or
  • a Protection visa

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

Additional information

Condition 8534 can be applied to subclass 500 Student visa holders and their family members at our discretion.

The case officer that assesses your application will decide whether to apply the condition.

Applying for a graduate visa

If condition 8534 applies to your current visa you can only apply for the Temporary Graduate visa using the paper form.

You don’t need to ask us to waive the condition before you submit your application.

Download and complete Form 1409 Application for a Temporary Graduate visa. Ensure you tick the box saying you want to waive this condition.

Applying for any other visa

If you have completed the course we granted you the visa for, you don’t need to ask us to waive condition 8534 to make a valid application for one of these visas:

  • General Skilled Migration visa (for example Subclass 189 or 190)
  • Subclass 132 (Business Talent) visa
  • Subclass 186 (Employee Nomination Scheme) visa
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa
  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa
  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa

You must live in Australia while the nominating student is in Australia.

While you and the nominating student are in Australia, you must:

  • stay with them
  • provide them with appropriate accommodation
  • support them
  • provide for their general welfare

You must not leave Australia without the student without our approval.

If you need to leave Australia without the student you are caring for (the nominating student), you must first prove to us:

  • there are compassionate and compelling reasons for leaving Australia without the student
  • you have made alternative arrangements for the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare until you return
  • if the student is under 18, that their education provider has approved the alternative arrangements

Training visa

Subclass 407

This visa allows you to take part in workplace-based occupational training activities to improve your skills for your job, area of tertiary study, field of expertise or in a professional development training program in Australia.
  • You can do workplace-based training to improve your skills for your job, area of tertiary study, field of expertise
  • You can participate in a classroom-based professional development training program
  • It is not for people who primarily want to work

Stay

This is a temporary visa. We might grant you a visa allowing you to stay in Australia for up to 2 years.

Cost

From AUD310 for the main applicant.

Processing Time
  • 75% of applications: 13 months
  • 90% of applications: 14 months
You must
  • be sponsored
  • be nominated (unless your sponsor is a Commonwealth Government agency)
  • be invited (if your sponsor is a Commonwealth Government agency)
With this visa you can
  • visit Australia to complete a workplace-based  training (to improve your skills for your current occupation, area of tertiary study or field of expertise), or a professional development training program
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

You can only work if it is related to your course of study or training.

Understanding your work rights

The Department is working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

Information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements is in the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT).

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has more information on workplace rights and entitlements for visa holders and migrant workers.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

Additional information

You can do volunteer work that is not related to your course of study or training if:

  • it is not interfering with your course of study or training
  • is of benefit to the community
  • it would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident, and
  • it is genuinely voluntary

You can take up a tutoring or research assistant role if:

  • it relates to the field of the occupational training programme
  • it is beneficial to the training you are undertaking, and
  • the role is with your sponsoring university

You can only work up to 40 hours in a fortnight. A fortnight means the period of 14 days starting on a Monday.

If you are a member of the family unit of a primary student visa holder, you must not work in Australia until they have started their course.

Family members of students studying a masters or a doctorate degree can work unrestricted hours once the primary student visa holder has started their course.

Note: This applies to family members of students who hold subclass 500 visa.

Unrestricted work rights also applies to family members of subclass 573 (Higher Education Sector) and subclass 574 (Postgraduate Research Sector) visa holders studying a masters by research or doctorate degree.

Employers seeking to hire the family member of a primary student visa holder are advised to request evidence:

  • of the relationship (such as a visa grant letter, marriage or birth certificate) and
  • that the primary student visa holder has commenced their course, such as a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or a letter from the relevant education provider

Employers who have hired a family member with this visa condition should ensure the employee is not working more hours than the employee’s visa allows.

Understanding your work rights

We are working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

For information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements see the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT).

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has more information on workplace rights and entitlements see visa holders and migrant workers.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

You cannot work in Australia unless it is relevant to the business or tasks specified in the visa application.

The Department is working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

The Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

The visa you hold was granted to either allow you to be employed by a particular employer, or to undertake specific activities in Australia.

You must not stop working for your employer. You must not work in a different position, occupation or with another employer or for yourself.

You must not stop doing the activity the visa was granted for.

You must not do other activities or do the activity for yourself or anyone else.

You must hold a licence, registration or membership if it is mandatory to perform the occupation for which you were nominated.

Understanding your work rights

The Department is working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help employees and employers understand and follow Australian Workplace laws.

Information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements is in the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT).

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has more information on workplace rights and entitlements for visa holders and migrant workers.

For the full list of conditions relevant to your visa, see the Federal Register of Legislation.

Additional information

457 visa holders

You must keep working for the same employer. You must not change jobs, work for yourself or anybody else.

You must:

  • only work in your nominated occupation start work within 60 days of arrival in Australia if you got your visa outside Australia
  • start work within 60 days of receiving your visa if you got your visa in Australia
  • only work for the sponsor who nominated you for the position. This does not apply to medical practitioners and general managers if your sponsor is a standard business sponsor and an Australian business, you can work for its associated entity
  • get any licence, registration or membership you need to start work in Australia and follow any provisions within 60 days.

Find out what to do if there is a change to your situation.

to tell us that:

  • your application for the licence, registration or membership was refused, or
  • you have lost your licence, registration or membership

If you do not have a licence or your license has expired do not work if it is illegal to work without a licence in your industry.

Medical practitioners and general managers

Medical practitioners and general managers must work in their nominated occupation. They can work for employers other than their sponsor or its associated entity. You can find the specific occupations that this applies to in exemption from the requirement to work directly for the sponsor.

407 – visa with nominations

If you are in Australia for a nominated activity, you must perform the nominated activity.

If you are in Australia for a job, you must:

  • work in the nominated job
  • only work in your nominated field
  • only work for your employer

If you stop working for the sponsor, your sponsor must tell us. You will have 28 days to:

  • find a new sponsor
  • apply for another visa
  • leave Australia

If you want to change an employer, your prospective employer must apply and get approval to be a sponsor.

  • If you hold a subclass 407 visa, your sponsor must have an approved nomination for you.
  • If you hold a subclass 401 or 420 visa, apply for a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).

400, 403, 408, 407 – visas with no nomination

You must only undertake the activities which your visa was granted for. If you stop working for your employer or cease the activity for which your visa was granted you may have to leave Australia or apply for a new visa appropriate to your circumstances

You must satisfy outstanding public interest criteria after you enter Australia and before the visa ceases.

You must not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

For example, engaging or promoting extremist views and interrupting the operation of the Australian community.

You must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.

You must not enter Australia before the person specified in the visa has entered Australia. This is usually the main visa holder or other relevant person such as your sponsor in the case of a Partner visa.

While you are in Australia, you are unable to make a valid visa application for any new substantive visa other than a protection visa.

Additional information

Condition 8503 is mandatory on the:

  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) Sponsored Family stream
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) Approved Destination Scheme stream
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) Tourist stream, if we required you to be sponsored for the visa

You must continue to satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa.

You must leave Australia with or before the member of your family unit who satisfied the primary criteria for grant of the visa.

You must leave Australia:

  • on the date or within the period specified in your visa grant letter
  • by the transport specified in your grant letter

You must notify the Department in writing of your place of residence in Australia, 7 days before the visa ceases. You must post the notification to the Central Office of Immigration in the Australian Capital Territory.