Student Visa

There is one student visa class with eight visa subclasses. Seven of the visa subclasses relate to specific educational sectors and one relates to student guardians. The student visa subclasses are:

Subclass 570    Independent ELICOS Sector Visa

Subclass 571    School Sector Visa

Subclass 572    Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa

Subclass 573    Higher Education Sector Visa

Subclass 574    Postgraduate Research Sector Visa

Subclass 575    Non-award Sector Visa

Subclass 576    AusAID or Defence Sector Visa

Subclass 580    Student Guardian Visa

Students are required to meet different criteria according to their nationality and listed subclasses above. Student visa applicants are assessed for the visa subclass appropriate to their principal course of study. So, for example, if an applicant is intending to enrol in a bachelor of arts degree (whether or not they are intending to under­take a foundation course first), they will have to satisfy the criteria for the sub­class 573 visa.

Visa expiry date

The length of your current student visa, for the course you are completing, depends on the length of the Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) you used to apply for your student visa.

For coursework students:

  • If your COE was less than 10 months in length, your visa is usually valid for another 28 days after your COE expires.
  • If your COE was greater than 10 months your visa is usually valid for 2 months from the date your COE expires. The general exception is when your COE expires at the end of the academic year (after November 1). The expiry date on your student visa will usually be March 15 of the following year. If this situation applies to you, you can stay in Australia on your student visa until this expiry date.

For research students:

  • If your COE was less than 10 months in length, your visa is usually granted for extra seven months after your COE expires.
  • If your COE was greater than 10 months (finishing between January and October), your visa is usually granted for extra eight months after your COE expires.
  • If your COE was greater than 10 months (finishing between November and December), your visa is usually granted until 15 September of the following year.

Early completion

If you have fast-tracked your course and completed a month or more earlier than scheduled, your student visa will be valid for 28 days after your final results are released.

Assessment Level

Student visa applicants are subject to different Assessment Levels (AL) depend­ing on the passport they hold and what subclass of student visa they apply for. The ALs reflect risks of visa non-compliance. AL 1 is the lowest risk level and AL 3 is the highest. Students holding passports from countries not given a specific AL are allocated AL 3 as a default assessment level. The higher a student visa applicant’s AL, the more evidence they will need to provide to prove that they are a genuine stu­dent visa applicant. The evidence required covers English language ability, finan­cial capacity and other matters such as academic record, age and emp­loyment/career requirements. The evidence required by the Assessment Level is briefly:

  • The students of AL1 country passport: COE, Health Insurance and Medical Examination
  • The students of AL2 country passport: COE, Health Insurance, Medical Examination and Financial Capacity
  • The students of AL3 country passport: Health Insurance, Medical Examination, Financial Capacity and English Proficiency

Streamlined Student Visa Processing

Under the streamlined student visa processing arrangements, eligible student visa applicants from participating education providers are not assigned an assessment level. If you are eligible for streamlined visa processing you will generally have reduced evidentiary requirements, similar to those that apply under Assessment Level 1, regardless of your country of origin. You can find a list of universities and non-university higher education providers participating in the streamlined visa processing arrangements and their nominated educational business partners at

Visa Application

AL 1 applicants can also make an initial student visa application while in Australia (if they meet other requirements) without having to establish exceptional reasons for the grant of the visa. AL1 applicants can also lodge initial student visa applicants (either offshore or onshore) via the internet using the student eVisa system.  Those from AL2-3 countries usually are not entitled to apply for their initial student visa in Australia. Please contact a registered migration agent for further information. You can include your partner or children in your student visa application and bring them to Australia together. The different number of visa applicants will bring about different visa application cost. On 1 July 2013, the new pricing structure of visa application charge has been introduced. DIAC website shows it in detail.


In most cases, the students are subject to various conditions imposed on the visa. You are required to follow these conditions while holding the visa;

  • Student visa holders usually are not allowed to work more than 40 hours fortnightly (14 days). Family members of the primary visa applicant are imposed the same condition. But there are some exemptions. Please contact a registered migration agent for further information.
  • If the intended course is less than 10 months and you are from AL 3 or 4 countries, you may not be able to apply for another student visa in Australia.
  • It is a mandatory condition for all student visas that the student notify their education provider of their residential address within seven days of arriving in Australia and also notify the education provider within seven days of any change of residential address.

Students who have a school-age children (5-17) with them in Australia for more than three months must maintain adequate arrangements for their education which means that the school-age child is enrolled in school.