Student Visa (500,485,590)


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The purpose of the Student visa is to allow international students to undertake full-time education and training in Australia. This visa enables a student to stay in Australia for the duration of the relevant course. The student must enrol, or in some cases have a letter of offer, with an Australian education provider before lodging a visa application 

The exact requirements for this visa will depend upon the level of risk assigned to your application (the ‘Immigration Risk’), which is a combined immigration risk assessment determined by the risk rating of the education provider and your passport nationality.

Coronavirus and Student visas

Will concessions be available for students who have been unable to return to Australia due to the travel ban and have undertaken online courses during this period to ensure the continuity of their academic progress during the travel ban? 

The Department of Home Affairs plays no role in authorising the modes of study for international students and is guided by education sector regulators, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), on whether students can count online learning towards completion of their course. 

As the visa applicant, you must:

 enrol with an Australian education provider as a full-time student, and obtain written confirmation of this enrolment (predominantly on-line courses are not eligible)

 genuinely intend to complete the relevant period of study in Australia 

have the required level of English language proficiency unless exempt 

have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the period of your intended stay in Australia 

have access to sufficient funds to cover your return airfares, tuition fees and the cost of living in Australia,as well as costs required for any dependents included in your application. 

The exact amount of funds a student requires is set by Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), and is determined by your chosen education provider, your course of study and other personal circumstances. Please contact us for further details.


You must first be enrolled in a full-time course at an Australian education provider, and obtain written confirmation of your enrolment (CoE) from that provider. We will then prepare and lodge your visa application with the DOHA. The main criterion is that you meet the requirements referred to above, the exact nature of which will depend upon your passport nationality and the education provider requirements. You must also meet the relevant health and character requirements. 

Once the DOHA has granted your visa, you may enter into (or remain in) Australia in order to undertake your course of study. Whilst studying, you must work no more than 40 hours per fortnight whilst your course is in session, and for your initial visa only commence work once your course has commenced.  Different work provisions apply to higher education research Masters and Doctoral level courses please discuss with us if appropriate.  

You should also check the work allowance for any dependents on your application if appropriate. PLEASE NOTE: We estimate that it may take several weeks to prepare and lodge your application, with the time taken largely dependent on how promptly you (and your sponsor, if applicable) provide us with the necessary supporting information and documents.

 The time that it takes the DOHA to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing timeframes for this type of application.

English language test score

The test must have been taken no more than two years before you apply for your student visa. 

You need to have enough money that is genuinely available to you, to pay for your course fees, and travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia. Use our student visa funds calculator to determine how much you need to show for your student visa. 

If you need to provide evidence of financial capacity, you will be able to demonstrate this by providing one of the following: 

evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members

 evidence that you meet the annual income requirement 

an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only) 

a letter of support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.

 Subsequent entrants – family members who apply after the primary applicant has been granted their visa must also provide documentary evidence of financial capacity. This must be one of the options above.

Packaged Courses

You can apply to undertake two or more courses on your Student visa (subclass 500) where there is clear progression from one course to another. This is known as course packaging.

 You must provide a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) or prove that a CoE is not required for each intended course with your visa application. 

The final course that you will undertake as part of your package of courses is your main (or principal) course of study. Your main course of study will be used to determine your financial and English language evidentiary requirements.

GTE requirement

As part of your student visa application the department will assess to see if you are genuinely going to stay in Australia temporarily (Genuine Temporary Entrant). 

In order to prove this, we need evidence such as:  

statement of purpose  

evidence of your/your family economic circumstances in home country (this is very important, you can show your family’s financial situation in home country by bank accounts, whether they have a business, house, etc.) 

ties to your home country (evidence of financial and personal ties to your home country, such as evidence of assets in home country consistent with your family background, family or social ties that would provide sufficient inducement for them to return to home country at the end of your studies). Please provide a list of your family members and other social ties (friends, previous co-workers, etc.)

evidence of past study (we have your accounting diploma) 

work experience (we do not have any work experience evidence) – Please provide evidence of employment for at least the previous 12 months, evidence of an offer of employment upon your return home, tax returns or financial statements 

letter from your employer or statement from the applicant attesting to a need by the applicant for (improved) skills for the purposes of their employment or career prospects

 evidence of a range of professional or academic outcomes supporting the need for a new career direction. 

GTE requirement samples and FAQ for student visas:

 Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) 

Requirement FAQ Genuine temporary entrant criterion 


COVID-19 and Student visas

Travel restrictions

All visa holders need to be aware of the current travel restrictions.

Extending student visas

Under Australian migration law, it is not possible to extend a student visa. 

You need to apply for a new visa if: 

you cannot return to your home country and your visa is expiring 

you need more time in Australia to complete your course.

 You should apply for a new Student visa six weeks before your existing Student visa expires. There is no need to provide evidence of impacts of COVID-19 with your Student visa application.

 If your study in Australia is ending, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). You need to do this before your Student visa expires.

 More information on the Visitor visa.

Working in Australia

Course is ‘out of session’ 

You can work unlimited hours if your course is considered ‘out of session’. Courses are considered ‘out of session’ during scheduled course breaks or if a student has finished their course as scheduled. 

Studying a masters by research or a doctorate course

 If you have commenced studying a masters by research or a doctorate course, you may work unlimited hours. Studying online You cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight when your course of study is ‘in session’, regardless of whether you are attending classes physically or online. 

A course is considered ‘in session’ for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held) even if the student is studying online. 

Approved deferral of your course 

You can work over 40 hours per fortnight if your course has been deferred.

 Exemptions for some international students 

There are new provisions for student visa holders if they are:

 already enrolled in nursing 

employed by select supermarkets. 

See employers included in these special work arrangements. 

Australian study requirements

The Department of Home Affairs does not regulate mode of study requirements.

 You should contact your education provider. 

Please refer to the Joint TEQSA and ASQA statement relating to flexible delivery. 

For the exceptions as a result of the travel restrictions, see the National Code requirements for affected tertiary students to undertake online study.


Recent changes

The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa is work visa for international students who have completed 2 years of study in Australia. It can last from between 18 months and 4 years depending on your situation.

 It is a good way to extend your stay in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa. 

The primary applicant must be in Australia when they make their application for a 485 visa, and must have held an eligible student visa within the 6 month period prior to lodgement. 

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) & COVID-19 

The Department is considering options for affected students both in Australia and overseas due to COVID-19. This will be in line with the Government’s response to assist the international education industry. Please see here for more information: Likely Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa for International Students Studying Online.

Standard VisaEnvoy professional fees for 485 visas (case by case for complex cases): 

485 visa (Post Study Work Stream): Starting from $900 + GST (additional $400 for each dependent) 

485 (Graduate Work Stream- includes skills assessment): Starting from $1500 + GST (additional $400 for each dependent) 

485 Subsequent Entrant: VisaEnvoy fee is $1,600 (plus $150 GST) and Visa Application Charge (VAC) is $1,680. 

We offer a complimentary migration pathway consultation to our 485 visa clients (valued at $150)

June 2022 Changes to 485 Graduate Work Stream visa

Department of Home Affairs have temporarily removed the requirements for applicants for a Subclass 485 visa in the Graduate Work Stream to nominate an eligible skilled occupation and to obtain a skills assessment for applications made between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 inclusive. 

This brings in the Graduate Work Stream in line with the Post Study Work Stream in this respects. 

These amendments would encourage a broader range of graduates with degree, diploma and trade qualifications that satisfy the Australian study requirement but are not currently eligible for the Subclass 485 visa in the Graduate Work stream as their related occupations are not included in the current list of specified eligible occupations, to live and work in Australia for a further temporary period.



This visa allows you to stay in Australia as the guardian of an international student younger than 18 years of age studying in Australia on a student visa.


You must:

 be a parent or person who has custody of the student, or a relative who is 21 years or older and has been nominated in writing by a parent or someone who has custody of the student 

not bring family members younger than 6 years of age, except under certain circumstances 

be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student unless you are applying for this visa with the support of the government your home country.

Pre-qualifying visas

If you are applying in Australia, you must hold a current substantive temporary visa, but not one of the following: 

Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Diplomatic or 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. This means 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. 

A substantive temporary visa is any visa except a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa. It allows the visa holder to remain temporarily in Australia.

Bringing children

You can only bring children under six years old if either: 

there are compelling and compassionate reasons 

the granting the visa would significantly benefit the relationship between the Australian Government and the government of another country. If this is the case, you must be at least 21 and the student must be supported in writing by a parent or person who has custody. 

The child must meet the same health requirements as you and have health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia. 

Children six years old or older can come with you but they must apply for their own student visa. 

To be eligible for this visa you must: 

be a parent or person who has custody of the student,or a relative who is 21 years or older and has been nominated in writing by a parent or someone who has custody of the student 

not bring family members younger than 6 years of age, except under certain circumstances

 be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student unless you are applying for this visa with the support of the government your home country.

 You must also: 

meet health and character requirements 

have enough money to support yourself, any dependants accompanying you and the student. 

have adequate health insurance for you and any dependants coming with you 

not owe any money to the Australian government or have arranged to repay any money owed 

only stay in Australia temporarily 

provide biometric information if we ask for it.

Financial requirement

You need to have enough money genuinely available to support you, the student and children coming with you for the duration of your stay in Australia. You will declare this in your visa application. 

You must show evidence of financial capacity by providing one of the following:

evidence of funds to cover travel costs and 12 months’ living costs for yourself and any other children coming with you 

evidence that your spouse (who is not travelling to Australia) will support you and your dependants and has an annual income of at least AUD 70,000. 

If the grant of the visa will significantly benefit the relationship between Australia and the government of your home country, you only need to show evidence of funds for yourself and dependents, not the student.

Minimum 12-months’ living cost for your stay in Australia

This is indicative of the cost of living in Australia. Actual living costs vary depending where you live.

Important: The financial capacity requirement relates to your eligibility for the grant of the student guardian visa. The living costs we ask you to declare or provide with your visa application are indicative of the cost of living in Australia. You need to be aware that actual living costs vary according to the area in which you intend to live and it is recommended that you research this yourself.

Access to funds

You must have genuine access to funds. The funds shown in the visa application must be available for use to financially support you and your family members during your stay in Australia. 

Funds to support you and your family members must come from an acceptable source such as: 

money deposits with a financial institution

 financial institution or government loans 

scholarships or sponsorships. 

When we assess your application, we decide whether the funds shown will be genuinely available by taking into account factors, such as:

 the nature of the relationship between you and the person providing the funds, where applicable 

your income, assets and employment or that of the person who is providing the funds 

your previous visa history and that of the person providing the funds.

Annual income option

The annual income requirement is AUD 70,000 or more. The income must be one of the following: 

the personal income of your spouse

 in the form of official government documentation such as a tax assessment (or country equivalent) 

showing income earned during a period ending less than 12 months before the visa application was lodged. For example, a tax assessment issued in December 2015, for a visa application lodged in July 2016, would be acceptable.

Health insurance

You must provide evidence that you have enough health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. This can be Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) or another health insurance product from Australia or your home country that provides a similar level of cover.

The student visa holder must have their own health insurance.

Identity and relationship documents

You must provide identity documents and proof of your relationship with the student. This can include a birth certificate showing the names of both parents.

You must also provide:

a birth certificate showing the names of both parents

the pages of each applicant’s current passport showing photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates

two recent passport photographs (45 mm x 35 mm):

the photograph should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background

the applicant’s name must be printed on the back of the photograph

proof of change of name, if applicable.

Genuine temporary entrant requirement

When we assess whether you plan to stay in Australia temporarily we will consider:

your personal circumstances in your home country

your potential circumstances in Australia

your immigration history

anything else that relates to your plan to remain in Australia temporarily.

Show proof that you are staying in Australia temporarily, such as:

evidence of immediate family members in your home country

your visa or residence status in your home country and your right to return

proof of property or other significant assets in your home country

a return air ticket a letter from your employer confirming your leave.

Bringing children

If a child under six years old is coming with you but someone with a legal right to decide where that child lives is not coming to Australia, also provide: 

Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (125KB PDF) that has been completed by this person, or 

a statutory declaration giving this person’s consent for the applicant to travel to Australia on this visa. 

Also attach a certified copy of this person’s identity papers such as a birth certificate, passport or driver licence.

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