Migrating to Australia through Student Visa (Subclass 500)

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No doubt, migrating to Australia can be very challenging. If you are the type that gives up  easily its best you don’t even venture into it.


With this visa you can:


How long you can stay

This is a temporary visa to study up to 5 years. The type of course and its length will determine the length of stay

Primary school children enrolled in years 1-4 will generally only be granted a student visa for a maximum period of 3 years.

Stay longer

To continue studying in Australia, you must apply for a new Student visa.

If your Student visa will expire before your graduation you might be eligible for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). You will need a letter from your education provider with the date of your graduation.

If you hold or held a student visa and completed specific qualifications in Australia in the last six months, you might be eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

If you are a recent engineering graduate of a recognized institution you might be eligible for the Skilled Recognition Graduate visa (subclass 476).

If you want to stay longer for other reasons, you must apply for a new visa that suits your circumstances. Explore your visa options.

Include family

You can include family members when you lodge your visa application. For student visas, your family member is:

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

We cannot grant a student visa to your child if they have turned 18 years at the time your visa is finalised. They need to apply for their own visa.

You must declare your family members in your student visa application even if they do not plan to travel with you to Australia. If you do not do this, your family members will not be eligible for a student visa to join you in Australia.

Your family members can also apply as a subsequent entrant (at a later time, separate from your application) in ImmiAccount.

Family members who apply for the visa must meet our requirements for health and character.

Check the annual school costs you will need to pay for any dependent children to go to either public or private schools in Australia.

For more information see ‘Evidence you have enough money for your stay’ section under Gather documents.



The visa costs from AUD650 for the main applicant, unless they are exempt.

There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa.

Students who were unable to complete their course within their original student visa validity due to COVID-19 and need to apply for a further student visa to complete their study may be eligible for a fee-waiver. See COVID-19 and the border – Student visa.

You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.

To work out what your visa will cost use the Visa Pricing Estimator. The estimator does not take into account the other costs.


Apply from

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when we decide on your application.


Packaged courses

You will need to give us Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for each course. The last course you take as part of the course package is your main course of study. We use your main course of study to work out what financial and English language skills evidence you must give us.

If your visa application includes a package of courses, course gaps must be less than two calendar months, unless the first course finishes at the end of the standard academic year and the next course commences at the beginning of the standard academic year.

For example, the academic year generally ends in November and starts again in February the following year, three to four months is an acceptable gap between courses.

Standard visa grant periods apply to packaged courses.

Processing times


We process:

  • Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector
    • 25% of applications in 3 Days
    • 50% of applications in 11 Days
    • 75% of applications in 21 Days
    • 90% of applications in 39 Days


  • Postgraduate Research Sector
    • 25% of applications in 22 Days
    • 50% of applications in 38 Days
    • 75% of applications in 3 Months
    • 90% of applications in 9 Months


  • Non-Award Sector
    • 25% of applications in 8 Days
    • 50% of applications in 21 Days
    • 75% of applications in 42 Days
    • 90% of applications in 79 Days


  • Schools Sector
    • 25% of applications in 22 Days
    • 50% of applications in 56 Days
    • 75% of applications in 84 Days
    • 90% of applications in 4 Months


  • Independent ELICOS Sector
    • 25% of applications in 32 Days
    • 50% of applications in 59 Days
    • 75% of applications in 3 Months
    • 90% of applications in 5 Months


  • Vocational Education and Training Sector
    • 25% of applications in 42 Days
    • 50% of applications in 3 Months
    • 75% of applications in 5 Months
    • 90% of applications in 9 Months


  • Higher Education Sector
    • 25% of applications in 14 Days
    • 50% of applications in 35 Days
    • 75% of applications in 72 Days
    • 90% of applications in 5 Months


Your application can take longer to process if:

  • you do not fill it in correctly
  • you do not include all the documents we need or we need more information from you
  • it takes us time to verify your information

The department can’t process your application if you do not pay the correct visa application charge. They will notify you if this is the case.


Processing times are available through Global Visa Processing Times.


Your obligations

You and your family must meet all visa conditions and follow Australian laws.

See which conditions will and might be attached to this visa.



You can travel outside Australia and return as many times as you want while the visa is valid.

The time you spend outside Australia does not extend the visa.


Visa label

The Immigration department will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport.



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