Australia Student Visa Guide

Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Apr 29, 2023 3:49 PM IST

Latest Updates

  • December 13,2022 12:00 AM IST
  • The Australian government intends to adopt a new proposal that will make it easier for all worldwide corporations to bring highly trained workers to the country. According to an SBS report, the Australian Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) supports streamlining this process for intra-company transfers.

  • September 06,2022 12:00 AM IST
  • International students with in-demand skills will be able to stay back and work in Australia for a longer period of time. The post-study work rights of students will be extended by two years. 

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About an Australian Student Visa

An Australian student visa is an indispensable thing to study in Australia. An international student needs to apply for the Subclass 500 Student Visa to participate in an eligible course offered at Australian universities. The  Subclass 500 Student Visa not only gives permission to study in Australia but also allows them to travel in and out of the country.

A student visa is a temporary visa to study in Australia and its validity is up to 5 years. The length of stay in Australia for an international student depends on the type of course and its length. International students must prove their eligibility to get a student visa for Australia and also complete the application process that involves a number of steps. To ensure a smooth stay, international students must check that their visa remains valid and they abide by all the conditions mentioned in the student visa. 

 With a valid student visa, one can also work in Australia for up to 40 hours in a fortnight along with studies and for unlimited time during study breaks. However, the Australian government is now allowing international students to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight during their term times across all sectors. They can also start working as soon as they enter Australia and need not wait for the commencement of the course. 

With a Subclass 500 Student Visa, international students can study their desired programme at the university and can be accompanied by their family members in Australia. All students have simple and streamlined visa requirements. To ensure that you get familiarised with the whole process and clear out all of your confusion here’s all you need to know about the Australian student visa process.

See What Documents You Need for an Australian Student Visa!

Australian Student Visa Rules & Regulations

When on a Subclass 500 Student visa in Australia, you will have to follow these rules and regulations as mentioned below:

Stay Limit:

  • You can stay in the country for up to five years.

  • The duration of your stay in Australia will depend on your enrollment.

Work Restriction:

  • You will be allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight. A fortnight refers to the period of 14 days starting from a Monday.

  • You should not work in Australia before your course of study begins.

  • In case you are not studying masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, you would not be allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight while the course is in session.

  • Work experience is counted in the work restriction of 40 hours per fortnight whether it is paid or unpaid. As of now, the cap of 40 hours of work has been relaxed and students can work for more than 40 hours per week.

  • You can work with more than one employer in Australia as long as work hours do not exceed 40 hours per fortnight.

  • You will be considered to have worked in the country only if you have attended a workplace for a period by a timesheet or roster (but not during unpaid breaks); been clocked on to an electronic system at your workplace; or if you have received payment for work and have proof of the same.

  • You can work only over 40 hours per fortnight only if it is mandatory for the completion of your course, your postgraduate or doctoral degree has commenced, or your course is not in session.

Course Requirements:

  • You must be enrolled in the registered course, maintain enrollment in the course for which you were granted the student visa and maintain satisfactory attendance as specified by the course provider.

  • There should be no course gap of more than two months. However, it can be allowed if it is the end of the study break in the academic year, you are affected by education provider default, or you have completed your course and are applying for a new visa.

  • Students who cancel their enrollment in a university or stop attending classes or do not progress satisfactorily in their courses may breach their visa conditions.

Limited Study Change:

  • You will not be allowed to change your course of study, research topic or thesis without the Minister’s approval for a graduate diploma, graduate certificate, master’s degree, doctorate or any bridging course.

  • The approval will be granted only after the Minister has received an assessment from Australian authorities that you are not likely to be a direct or indirect risk to the national security of Australia.

  • You must not be involved in activities that are considered disruptive to the Australian community.

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

  • In case you are no longer studying or attending classes, you must either apply for a new visa or make travel arrangements to leave Australia within 28 days of ceasing study.

Defer Your Studies:

  • The education provider may let you take a leave of absence for compelling or compassionate reasons

  • Your education provider may cancel your CoE and your visa may be cancelled if you submitted false documents to defer your course or the reason for deferring has passed and you have resumed your studies.

Health Insurance:

You are required to have and maintain adequate health insurance throughout your stay in Australia.


You should make sure that you maintain the required arrangements for the education of your school-age dependents who are staying in Australia for over 3 months as a dependent on your visa.

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Eligibility Criteria to Apply for an Australian Student Visa

Every international student, including those from India must fulfil the following conditions to obtain an Australian student visa:

  • Must be enrolled in a full-time course of study registered on the  Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

  • Must have proof of Welfare Arrangement, if you are below 18 years of age.

  • Must provide a CoE or Letter of Offer for all intended courses.

  • Must meet English language requirements specified by the intended institution.

  • Must have adequate health insurance for the whole stay in Australia. The cover must start from the day you enter Australia.

  • Must have enough money to finance your stay in Australia.

  • Must be a genuine temporary resident who intends to return to your home country after completion of the course.

  • Must meet health and character requirements.

  • Must have read the Life in Australia booklet and signed an Australian Values Statement that confirms you will respect the way of like in Australia and obey their laws.

  • Must have paid back your debt to the Australian government, if applicable.

  • Must have adequate health insurance to cover your stay in Australia. You must be covered under Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider. 

  • Must not have a visa cancelled or a previous visa application refused.

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for an Australian Student Visa

All student visa applications of international students in Australia are processed online. Here are the steps that you, as an international student, should follow to obtain an Australian student visa:

Step 1: Before you apply:

  • Organise health examinations if you need to have it. To check if you need to have health examinations, log in to ImmiAccount, go to your application and click on ‘View health assessment’. There will be a link called ‘Organise health examinations’ in case you need to have them. 

  • Have a valid passport.

Step 2: Have the Documents Ready

  • Provide accurate information in the application.

  • Make sure that you have all the documents required for an Australian Student Visa beforehand. Here is a list of Australian Student Visa documents that you must refer to:

    • Evidence of your identity

    • A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) or Letter of Offer for all intended courses

    • Parental consent in case you are below 18 years of age

    • Evidence of adequate health insurance

    • Evidence that you meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirements. This may include proof of employment, academic transcripts, letter/statement from your foreign education provider

    • Certified copies of documents proving change of name, if applicable

    • Evidence of your relationship with your spouse/de facto partner, if applicable

    • Evidence of current or recent employment

    • A duly filled and signed Form 956 - Advice

    • A duly filled and signed Form 956A Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient

    • A copy of research thesis or project topic and CV/resume, if undertaking research in Australia

Step 3: Apply for the Visa

  • Log in to ImmiAccount

  • Attach documents

  • Pay the application fee using Credit Card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Diners Club, JCB or Debit MasterCard), PayPal, UnionPay or BPAY. Currently, the application fee is AUD 620.

Step 4: Post-Application

  • Wait for the application to be processed. Usually, 75% of the higher education applications are processed within 72 days of submission and 90% of applications are processed in 5 months.

  • The application may take longer to be processed in case you have not filled it properly, the submitted documents have issues, or the authority needs more time to process.

  • You might have to provide biometric information. Request for the same will be added to your ImmiAccount.

  • In case you did not attract all the required documents, attach them as soon as possible.

Step 6: Visa Decision

  • The visa outcome will be notified to you in writing. 

  • The same will include your visa grant number, expiration date and visa conditions.

  • Keep a copy of the same when in Australia.

  • Application fee will not be refunded if the application is rejected.

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Australian Student Visa Fees

As an international student, you have to pay the following fees for an Australian student visa:

Visa Subclass

Base Application Charge

Additional applicant charge under 18

Additional applicant charge 

18 and over

Student Visa (subclass 500)

AUD 650

AUD 160

AUD 485

Student visa (subclass 500) (subsequent entrant)

AUD 650

AUD 160

AUD 485

Student visa (subclass 500) – Foreign Affairs or Defence sector




Student visa (subclass 500) – Postgraduate research sector

AUD 650



Student Guardian (subclass 590)

AUD 650



The credit cards that are accepted for Australian student visa fees payment are Mastercard, Visa and American Express. Fluctuations in currency rates may affect visa fees. There are other banking and currency exchange rates that are charged to applicants. 

Australian Student Visa Processing Time

The usual time required for Australian Student visa processing is one month. The maximum time taken for the processing is three months. The Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) streamlines the visa processing time. One can refer to it below:


75% Processing

90% Processing 

Higher Education Sector

17 days

32 days

Vocational Education and Training Sector

36 days

52 days

Independent ELICOS Sector

23 days

38 days

Postgraduate Research Sector

39 days

77 days

Foreign Affairs or Defense Sector

20 days

26 days

Australia Permanent Residency (PR)

An Australian Permanent Resident is a person who holds a permanent visa that allows them to work, study and live in Australia without any restriction. However, it should not be confused with citizenship. A permanent visa holder may remain in Australia for an indefinite period of time but has certain differences in rights and entitlements in comparison to an Australian citizen. 

Australian PR is steadily gaining popularity among international students who are travelling each year to study in the land of Kangaroos. The Australian market offers increased opportunities for business and investment and there are ample job opportunities that promise a secure life.

The immigration authorities of Australia grant PR visas to foreign immigrants who wish to settle in the country. The Australian PR visa comes under the immigration visa type and the most common permanent visas include some skilled work and family visas. The validity of the same remains for five years during which time the permanent residents can leave and enter Australia as many times as they desire. After five years, they can apply for a resident return visa or Australian citizenship. 

Benefits of Australian PR

Australia being a multicultural country offers a welcoming and warm atmosphere for people who migrate to their land. They together contribute to a brilliant living experience. Becoming an Australian PR comes with its own perks and is a lucrative opportunity for Indian students to take their stay in Australia to the next level. Here are the few advantages of Australian Permanent Residency.

  • Full Work Rights: One can work with any employer they want and in any occupation, they wish to without restriction. However, they cannot join public services or the armed forces. 

  • Right to Remain in Australia: The Australian PR is valid for five years. Though its validity is timed, it can be renewed after it expires. In this way, one can remain indefinitely in Australia. They can also work and study with full freedom.

  • Access to Medical Facilities: Australian permanent residents have access to Australia’s medicare scheme. Through this, they can access free public hospitals and bulk-billing medical practitioners and subsidies for selected medical services.

  • Sponsor Relatives to Australia: One can bring their partner, brothers, sisters, parents and other relatives by sponsoring them. Also, children born to Australian permanent residents will automatically gain Australian citizenship.

  • Eligibility to Apply for Citizenship: Permanent residents are eligible to apply for citizenship and become Australian citizens. In such cases, they need to be permanent residents during application as well as during decisions.

Australian PR Points Calculator

Australian PR points calculator is a tool that measures a person’s eligibility to become a permanent resident in Australia by assessing their personal details, qualifications, experience and other features and accordingly they are awarded points. The total score on the PR calculator determines the suitability of a candidate for permanent residency. It is necessary to have at least 65 points on the PR calculator. There have been various instances where 70 points or less have been rejected. Ideally, a candidate with 75 or more points gets an Australian PR. 

The Australian PR tool is designed to determine the utility of the skills of the applicants in respect of the Australian market. The majority of applicants for PR are skilled workers who are looking for more profitable employment in Australia. However, the government also ensures that the immigrants are not a liability to the state. Since permanent residency may lead to the whole family’s migration to Australia, they take utmost care that such risk of burden is avoided. 
The three common pathways to becoming permanent residents in Australia are:

  • Family Stream Permanent Visa: This PR category is for partners, children, parents or dependent relatives of Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. 
  • Work Stream Permanent Visa: The PR category for employees sponsored by Australian employers or for those employees who have skills that are valuable for Australia can apply for this PR category.

  • Business or Investor Stream Permanent Visa: Applicants with business and investments can apply for PR through this pathway. 

There are more than 30 visa categories for Indian students or citizens to acquire permanent residency in Australia. They can apply for any of the categories based on their requirements.  There are five visa subclasses to apply under for the fastest approval:

  • Business Innovation and Investment Visa (subclass 188)

  • Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)

  • Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190)

  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489)

  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491)

The parameters that are considered while calculating Australian PR points are: 



PR Points


Below 18










English Language Proficiency









Work Experience

Less than 1 year


1-2 years


3-4 years


5-7 years


8-10 years











Masters research/doctorate in STEM for atleast 2 years


One degree or diploma physically studied in Australia


Studied Accounting, ICT/Computing, or Engineering for 12 months physically in Australia


Studied in Regional Australia


Marital Status/Spouse



Australian Citizen/PR spouse


Spouse less than 45 years old, has Positive Skill Assessment, Job code in the same occupation listed as primary and competent English


Spouse has no skill assessment but is competent in English 


How to Calculate Australian PR Points?

The Australian PR points are calculated based on the parameters given above. The table can be used as a point of reference for the calculation of PR points. Here are the steps to calculate Australian PR points: 

  • Step 1: Check the Australian PR Visa Type and Eligibility

  • Step 2: Use the PR calculator provided on the Australian Immigration authority website.

  • Step 3: Use Skill Assessment if you are unable to locate the visa subclass.

  • Step 4: Choose visa type. Provide information and proof of the same.

  • Step 5: Generate the certificate after the points calculation is over.

  • Step 6: Use the certificate to get an Invitation to Apply from the Australian consulate. 

As the process is complicated and requires applicants to cover several stages, expert guidance is absolutely mandatory. 

Application Process for Australian PR

As highlighted Australian PR is a point-based immigration system. It is important that an applicant follows all the necessary steps to apply for the PR. The application process for Australian PR is given below in detail:

  • Step 1: Check your eligibility criteria for the Australian PR. Work experience, education and points secured in the PR calculator are important factors to determine eligibility. 

  • Step 2: Apply for an English language proficiency test. It is vital to score well in any one of the English language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, CAE and others. The score will also ensure that the individual gets high scores in the PR calculator.

  • Step 3: Get your skills assessed by a Skill Assessment authority. They evaluate a person’s education, work experience and skills based on Australian standards. 

  • Step 4: Register your Expression of Interest by submitting a form through Skill Select website. This process involves answering questions based on the visa subclass under which one is applying.

  • Step 5: Get your Invitation to Apply once all the requirements are met.

  • Step 6: After receiving an Invitation to Apply, the completed application must be submitted within 60 days along with all the supporting documents.

  • Step 7: Get the medical and police clearance certificates.

All these steps will ensure that the application process for Australian PR is done in the right way and reduce the chances of its rejection. In the next section, we will discuss the Australian PR rejection reasons. 

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Australian PR Rejection Reasons

Australian PR rejection can be demoralising and demotivating. Nonetheless, it can be avoided if the causes and reasons for the same are known beforehand. Here are some of the common reasons for Australian PR rejections:

  • Applying for the Wrong Visa Type: The application process for most of the subclasses is the same but the qualifying criteria may be different. The application can be rejected if someone does not satisfy the criteria of that particular visa category. So it is imperative to apply choosing the correct visa subclass that will enable an individual to qualify.

  • Violating the Conditions of the Previous Visa: This can be a major reason for the rejection of a PR visa. An individual may have overstayed on a temporary visa or violated the norms and rules of the existing visa. The authorities might think that the person will misuse the provisions of Australian PR in a similar way and they will reject the application in such cases.

  • Incomplete or Inconsistent Information: A visa application can be rejected in case false or inappropriate or incomplete information is given. It is extremely important to check the application before submitting it. One must ensure that all the information is correct along with proofs and documents that are provided to support the application. Also one must be consistent in providing information as it will be cross-checked with previous visa applications. 

  • Failure to Meet Health and Character Requirements: The application can be rejected by Australian immigration provided they feel that the individual is suffering from a health condition that can be draining for the medical system of the country. Also, character is an important criterion for scrutiny while awarding permanent residency status. Those with criminal records, a history of harassing others or an association with criminal organisations can be disqualified from getting Australian PR.

  • Lack of Funds: Australian authorities want to ensure that those applying for PR have sufficient funds to support their stay in the country. Proof of financial status along with supporting documents is mandatory in such cases. 

  • Failing to Clear Visa Verification Process: A PR visa can be rejected in the last and final stage if one is unable to clear the verification process of the documents submitted. Australian authorities conduct a thorough checking of the documents and if an individual submits false information then they will be debarred from entering the country. The documents should therefore be verified by an expert before submission so that there are no loose ends. 

  • Poor Performance in English Proficiency Test: As English language knowledge is a major requirement in a country like Australia, failure to acquire minimum scores in the English language proficiency test can lead to rejection in the Australian PR process. Applicants must check the minimum English language score required for their stream of visa so that they can enhance their performances. 

Build Your Road for an Australian PR!

FAQs on Australia Student Visa Guide in 2024

Can enrollment in online courses be used to get an Australian Student Visa?

No, enrollment in online courses cannot be used to get an Australian Student Visa. Full online courses are not valid and recognised courses to get student visa applications approved. 75% or more of the enrolled course should be delivered offline and in-person for it to be considered a valid course for student visa rights in Australia.

When is the ideal time to apply for an Australian Student Visa?

The ideal time to apply for an Australian Student Visa would depend on the fact that a student visa usually gets approved within 3-4 weeks. Still, it is recommended that application must be made at least 5-6 months before the planned travel week. This is because the student visa process is highly sensitive to not only national but also global circumstances which might lead to delay in visa processing.

How long does it take for an Australian Student Visa to get processed?

An Australian Student Visa will get processed anywhere around 3 weeks to 3 months after application. While in most of the cases, it is the document screening process which takes time, there might also arise certain special circumstances which might cause an unexpected delay in the whole process.

Is health insurance necessary to get an Australian Student Visa?

Yes. It is necessary to apply for health insurance to get an Australian student visa. Health insurance to study in Australia should ideally cover all health-related contingencies of the student visa holder while they stay in the country. Moreover, it is required that the health insurance commences as the student visa holder arrives in Australia. There are various specific health insurance programs provided specifically for studying in Australia.

What is BVA in Australia?

Bridging Visa A or BVA in Australia is a provisional visa issued to the student visa holder who has applied for a new visa in order to get an extension on it. BVA continues to be valid during the period while the new visa is in process. It grants legal immigration rights to the holder present on-shore during the waiting period.

How much money do I need to show to get a student visa application approved?

The amount of money do I need to show to get a student visa application approved is around AUD 20,290 depending on the educational and living expenses in Australia.. So, once the applicant is able to submit their proof of funds for an Australian student visa, they can easily get an approval. This limit was introduced in 2018.

What is the approval rate of applications for Australian Student Visa?

The approval rate of applications for Australian Student Visa currently is 96%. The rate has risen over the years because of the country's support for various international students programs. Moreover, the Australian government is keen to diversify the workforce as it has proven a great growth factor for the economy. Hence, more and more student visa applications are being accepted in Australia.

What is the most common reason behind rejection of student visa applications in Australia?

Majority of the student visa applications in Australi are rejected due to failure of applicants to prove financial competency to afford educational and living economic costs. Apart from that, most Australian student visa applications are rejected because of false or improper documentation submitted. While a document might not be entirely false but a likely representation can also lead to rejection.

Is it hard to get an Australian Student Visa?

In comparison to other countries such as the US, UK and Canada, it is easier to get approval for an Australian Student Visa. The country’s immigration rules are simple and logical and mostly easy to follow up on. Except for the weekly part-time work hours cap, there is hardly any rule that is debated upon.

What is the Stay Back Period on an Australian Student Visa after course completion?

The stay back period on an Australian Student Visa is a period of three months on completion of their enrolled course. After the completion of the course, stay in Australia with a student visa expires and so do the rights of immigration attached to it. This stay back period in Australia is standard and differs on the basis of course enrolled in as well as the education level.

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