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Student visas

Australia offers a range of education options for international students from primary school through to doctorates. You first need to ensure you’re applying for the most relevant visa that corresponds to the course you wish to pursue in Australia. Independent ELICOS Sector Visa (subclass 570)

International students with this visa can stay in Australia to study a full-time English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS). The Overseas Student Program (OSP) of the Australian government allows non-Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to study in Australia. Students wanting to study English in Australia on a student visa must be enrolled in a registered school of ELICOS English language programs. Here’s how you can apply for ELICOS Subclass 570 visa.

Schools Sector Visa (Subclass 571)

Through this visa, you can study a full-time school course in Australia. You’re eligible for this visa, if you’re:

  • Enrolled as a student at a primary or secondary school
  • Participating in a secondary school exchange program

Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa (subclass 572)

International students who are enrolled in a registered vocational education and training course can apply for the Vocational Education and Training Sector visa (subclass 572), which allows you to stay in Australia to study a full-time vocational education and training course.

Higher Education Sector Visa (subclass 573)

With this visa, international students can stay in Australia to study a full-time higher educational course. You’re eligible for this visa if you’re enrolled as a student in a registered course for a:

  • Bachelor or associate degree
  • Graduate certificate or graduate diploma
  • Master’s degree by coursework

Higher education diploma or advanced diploma

Streamlined visa processing for this visa means the applicants are treated as low migration risk (similar to the current Assessment Level 1) regardless of their country of origin. Read more on the Subclass 573 visa.

Postgraduate Research Sector Visa (subclass 574)

International students can also apply for the Postgraduate Research Sector visa if you’re enrolled as a student in a registered course at a participating university or non-university higher education provider for either a Master’s degree by research or a doctoral degree

If you wish to undertake another course of study ahead of your main course of study, such as an enabling course, you may also be eligible for this streamlined visa processing.

Non-Award Sector Visa (subclass 575)

This visa allows you to stay in Australia to study a full-time:

  • Non-award foundation studies course
  • Course or components of a course (other than ELICOS) that doesn’t lead to an award.

For this visa, overseas students can apply for streamlined visa processing at a participating university or non-university higher education providers in Australia for a student exchange program (semester or year) or study abroad program (semester or year). Read more on the Subclass 575 visa.

Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector Visa (subclass 576)

International students sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Defence are eligible for this visa to stay in Australia and study full time. This visa is for you if:

  • You’re applying for your first student visa
  • You’re applying for a subsequent student visa
  • You’re applying to join a family member who is in Australia on a student visa

Higher Education Visas

So you’ve gone through the course plans and reviewed the Australian University curriculum for a class you wish to pursue. To prepare yourself for a challenging experience and a valuable addition to your academic qualifications, you’ll need a visa which allows you to study in Australia.

Australian Student Visas allow you to study and work in the country for a period equal to the duration of your course plus one month (28 days from the last class). Your minimum age must be 16 to be eligible for this visa. Approval of a Student Visa is associated to the Confirmation of Enrolment (COE), which identifies the start and end date of a specific course.

This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course and permits you multiple entries. Dependent family members who accompany you to Australia are usually able to stay the same length of time as you, but they cannot stay once you’ve left the country. Student visas are granted up to a maximum duration as outlined below:

Duration of course Duration of visa
Longer than 10 months and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November – December) Your visa will usually be granted to March 15 of the following year
Longer than 10 months (finishing January - October) Your visa will be granted for two months longer than the duration of our course
10 months or less
Your visa will usually be granted for one month longer than the duration of your course    

When applying for a Student Visa to Australia, remember that:

  • Applicants need to demonstrate and also declare that they have genuine access to sufficient funds for the first one or two years. This time frame will be dependent on their assessment level.
  • An assessment level of 1 represents the lowest assessment level and a lower immigration risk while 5 represents a high immigration risk. The assessment levels align student visa requirements to immigration risks posed by applicants from particular countries
  • If you are eligible for the Student Visa under the streamlined student visa processing, this means that you’re not assigned an assessment level and your Student Visa is assessed as a low immigration risk.

The links to non-NAB third parties on this page are provided as information only. NAB cannot confirm the reliability of the information or services provided by these sites.

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