How can I apply for the student visa (subclass 500)?


If you intend to study in Australia, many questions are probably on your mind. For example, how should I start? What documents should I prepare? What should be my English language test score? What is the minimum cost of living and studying in Australia?

Based on our readers’ frequently asked questions, we have compiled a list of the most up-to-date information on how to get a Student Visa (subclass 500) in Australia, which we will share with you below.


What is a Student visa (subclass 500)?

You need this visa if you are planning to study as an international student in Australia. The Student visa (subclass 500) is valid for up to 5 years, and its processing time is different.

As a visa holder, you can take an eligible course of study. You can also bring your family to this country.

Please note that when applying for this visa, you must apply online, or you must be outside Australia.

If you intend to travel under this visa, we recommend that you consider the following:

  • You must enroll in the course of study.
  • You need Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) unless there are exceptions.
  • You must be at least six years old to apply for this visa.
  • If you are under 18, you must prove your Welfare Arrangement.

Holders of this visa have no restriction in terms of traveling in and out of Australia. The visa holders can also work up to 40 hours every 2-week period once their course starts.


What are the requirements for obtaining the Student visa (subclass 500)?

  • Certain age:  You must be at least 6 years old to apply for this visa. Also note:
  • You must be under 17 at the start of Year 9.
  • You must be under 18 at the start of Year 10.
  • You must be under 19 at the beginning of Year 11.
  • You must be under 20 years old at the start of Year 12.


  • Enrollment in the course of study: When applying for a visa, you must provide proof of enrollment. Otherwise, your visa application will not be processed.
  • You must enroll in a full-time course registered in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). If you apply outside Australia, you must submit a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) for each course. If you are applying in Australia, you need to register for a full-time course before applying for a visa.
  • If you decide to enroll in more than one course, you will need to enter all the CoE codes on your visa application form.
  • You can apply to take two or more courses under your visa where a course leads to the next. The interval between courses must be less than two calendar months unless the first course finishes at the end of the usual academic year. The next course also starts at the beginning of the standard academic year.
  • If you need to apply for more than one course in your visa application, you must include all CoE codes in your form, or your visa may only cover the CoE provided.
  • You do not need to send a CoE in the following cases:
  1. Enrollment in the full-time course by the scholarship scheme approved by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (in this case, you need a letter of support)
  2. Sponsored by the Australian Department of Defense (in this case, you need a letter of support)
  3. You are a secondary exchange student. In this case, you must provide the Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form.
  4. You are a postgraduate research student and must stay in Australia while your thesis is marked. In this situation, you must provide a letter from your education provider.
  • Welfare arrangements: If you are under 18 and applying for a student visa (subclass 500), you must have sufficient welfare arrangements while you are in Australia.
  • English language requirements: You need to prove that you are proficient in English. Therefore, you must show your test score when applying for a visa unless you fall into the exemption category. Based on the information in this table, you can determine the minimum required score:


English language test Minimum score Minimum score and at least 10 weeks English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Minimum score and at least 20 weeks ELICOS
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 5.5 5 4.5
TOEFL internet-based test 46 35 32
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English) 162 154 147
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) 42 36 30
Occupational English Test B for each test component n/a n/a


You do not need to provide a language score in the following cases:

  • Citizens with a valid passport from the UK, USA, Canada, NZ, and the Republic of Ireland
  • Foreign Affairs or, Defense sponsored student or a Secondary Exchange student (AASES)
  • You have studied English for at least five years in Australia, the UK, the USA, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland.
  • Two years before applying, you completed, in Australia and the English language, the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV or higher level, under the previous student visa.
  • Health insurance: You and your family members need adequate health insurance covering the entire length of your stay. You and your dependents must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from approved Australian health insurance unless there are exceptions.

OSHC is not required in the following cases:

  • Norwegian students covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • Swedish students covered by Kammarkollegiet
  • Belgian students covered by the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia

To get OSHC, you must first find an approved provider and then pay for your policy. If the education provider provides the OSHC, you should know information such as the health insurance provider’s name and the date on which your policy begins and ends. You should also be aware of the conditions of your policy. The information of your insurance must also be included in your Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) by your education provider. If you do not give this information, the Australian Government may refuse your student visa (subclass 500) application.

If your family members come to the country after you arrive in Australia, they must show that they have an OSHC for the duration of their stay in Australia.


  • Apply from within Australia: Note the holders of these visas cannot apply for a Student visa (subclass 500) while they are in Australia:
  • Temporary Work visa (subclass 403) in the Domestic Worker stream
  • Domestic Worker (Temporary) Diplomatic and Consular visa (subclass 426)
  • Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) – main visa holder only (a family member of a Diplomatic visa (subclass 995) can apply for this visa)
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600), (Approved Destination Status or the Sponsored Family streams
  • Enough money: You need to have enough money to cover your expenses in Australia.


  • A genuine applicant: You must be a genuine applicant and prove that you will return to your home country after your student visa (subclass 500) expires.


  • Character requirement: You and your dependents who are at least 16 years old should meet the character requirements.


  • Health requirement: Applicants for all Australian visas, including the student visa (subclass 500), must meet the health requirements defined in the country.


  • Australian values statement: All persons 18 years of age and older must sign the Australian Values Statement and certify that they comply with Australian law. They also respect the Australian way of life.


  • Paid back your debt: If you or your family members owe money to the Australian Government, you must pay back your debt before applying.


  • Not have had a visa canceled: You may not be granted a visa if your visa has already been canceled or your previous application has been rejected.


  • Interests of the child: Applicants may not be granted a visa if the visa is not in the best interest of the applicants under 18.


How can I apply for the student visa (subclass 500)?

Before applying for a visa:

  • If you are outside Australia, we recommend that you apply for a visa at least six weeks before the start date of your study course.
  • If you are in Australia, make sure you have enough time to apply for a student visa.
  • You can complete your health examinations before applying for a visa.
  • You do not need a migration agent to complete and submit your visa application. But if you need help, you should ask a registered migration agent for help.
  • You and your family members must have a valid passport. If you are in the country and your current passport is expiring, you must first renew your passport before applying for a new visa.
  • Complete the required documents based on the type of visa you intend to obtain.


Apply for the visa:

  • You must apply online to obtain a student visa (subclass 500). But you can stay in Australia or abroad when applying for a visa. The application steps are:
  1. Creating an account on ImmiAccount is the first step.
  2. Then you must attach your documents.
  3. In the last step, you have to pay your visa application fee.


After you apply

  • Once you have applied for a visa, you will have to wait for the Australian Government to process your visa application.
  • In some conditions, you may be asked for biometrics. You are usually given 14 days to submit your biometrics.
  • If you have made a mistake in your visa application form, let the Australian government know as soon as possible and complete Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answers.
  • Notify the Australian Government if there is any change in the information you have entered, including phone number, address, your relationship status, and the birth of a child.


Visa outcome:

When a Student visa (subclass 500) is granted, the visa number, expiration date, and visa conditions will be specified. The Australian Government will notify you if your visa application is rejected. They will explain to you why your visa application was rejected and whether you have the right to review the decision.


How long is this visa valid for?

Note Student visa (subclass 500) is a temporary visa that is valid for up to 5 years. However, the validity period also depends on the type of course and its duration. Primary school children who enroll in 1 to 4 years will receive a student visa with three years of validity.


How can this visa be extended?

In general, you should know that if you intend to continue your studies in Australia, you must reapply for another student visa (subclass 500). If your current visa expires before your graduation, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). In this case, it is enough to provide a letter from your education provider stating the date of your graduation.

  • If you have a student visa and have completed your qualification in the last six months, you must apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).
  • If you are an engineering graduate from a well-known institution, you may be able to apply for a Skilled Recognition Graduate visa (subclass 476) to stay longer in Australia.
  • Depending on your purpose for staying longer in Australia, you should choose the right visa and then apply for it.


Can I bring my family members to this country as an Australia student visa holder?

Yes. You can bring your family members, including your partner and partner’s dependent children or your unmarried children under the age of 18, with the student visa (subclass 500). Please note that if your child has turned the age of 18 at the time of your visa finalization, he or she can no longer travel to the country under your visa and must apply for a separate one.

Note whether you are planning to come to Australia with your family or alone, you must include your immediate family members in the visa application. Otherwise, your family members will not be able to come to Australia with you, even if they qualify.

Your family members should also be able to meet the health and character requirements.


How much do I have to pay to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500)?

You, as a principal applicant, must pay at least AUD620 unless there are exceptions. You must also pay a fee for each member of your family. In addition, you have to pay other fees for a police certificate, biometrics, and health checks.

Those who have not been able to complete the original student visa validity period due to the COVID-19 pandemic and must apply for another visa may be exempt from paying the visa application fee. You can also determine the exact amount of application fee by the Visa pricing estimator.


What is the processing time of this visa?

As mentioned at the beginning, the processing time of this visa is variable. 90% of the submitted requests will be processed within the time period specified in the table below.

Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector 4 months
Postgraduate Research Sector 8 months
Non-Award Sector 10 months
Schools Sector 8 months
Independent ELICOS Sector 8 months
Vocational Education and Training Sector 6 months
Higher Education Sector 4 months


How you got your student visa: First-hand experience

Have you applied for an Australia student visa (subclass 500)? How was your experience? Have you encountered any obstacles in your visa application process? Your unique experience can be instructive for many readers.

You can share your story with our readers and help them make better decisions.


Let’s sum up …

In this section, we reviewed the process of applying for a student visa (subclass 500) and its requirements. If you need information about other Australia visas, you can visit the left sidebar. You can also go to the list at the top of the page for more information on visas from other countries.

Don’t hesitate that you can also ask your questions. Our specialists will be accountable as soon as possibl

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