Student visa (subclass 500)

To see the latest 18th of March 2018 changes and how they affect this visa please click here

Effective from 1st July 2016, international students who want to come to Australia to study full-time at a registered educational institution must apply for a Student visa (subclass 500). A new immigration risk framework, simplified student visa framework (SSVF) has been implemented to assess Student visa applications. The applicant will be assessed as regular or streamlined based on the provider and country of passport.

If the visa applicant falls under regular category, it is mandatory to satisfy English language and financial capacity requirements in addition to the general requirements. If the visa applicant falls under streamlined category, it is not mandatory to provide the evidence of English language and financial capacity.

Who could get this visa

    Before you apply for this visa, you must have:

  • been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia
  • organised appropriate welfare arrangements for the duration of your intended stay in Australia if you are under 18 years of age.

English language requirements

English language test score

English language test providers Minimum test score Minimum test score where combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS Minimum test score where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS
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 42 36 30
Occupational English Test B for each test component N/A N/A

The test must have been taken no more than two years before you apply for your student visa.

Financial capacity requirements

You need to have enough money that is genuinely available to you, to pay for your course fees, and travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia.

    If you need to provide evidence of financial capacity, you will be able to demonstrate this by providing one of the following:

  • evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • evidence that you meet the annual income requirement
  • an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only)
  • a letter of support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.

Subsequent entrants – family members who apply after the primary applicant has been granted their visa must also provide documentary evidence of financial capacity. This must be one of the options above.

Twelve months’ funds option

Annual income option

Genuine access to funds

Packaged courses

You can apply to undertake two or more courses on your Student visa (subclass 500) where there is clear progression from one course to another. This is known as course packaging.

You must provide a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) or prove that a CoE is not required for each intended course with your visa application.

The final course that you will undertake as part of your package of courses is your main (or principal) course of study. Your main course of study will be used to determine your financial and English language evidentiary requirements.

GTE requirement

As part of your student visa application the department will assess to see if you are genuinely going to stay in Australia temporarily.

In order to prove this, we need evidence such as: 

  • statement of purpose 
  • evidence of your/your family economic circumstances in home country (this is very important, you can show your family’s financial situation in home country by bank accounts, whether they have a business, house, etc.)
  • ties to your home country (evidence of financial and personal ties to your home country, such as evidence of assets in home country consistent with your family background, family or social ties that would provide sufficient inducement for them to return to home country at the end of your studies). Please provide a list of your family members and other social ties (friends, previous co-workers, etc.)
  • evidence of past study (we have your accounting diploma)
  • work experience (we do not have any work experience evidence) – Please provide evidence of employment for at least the previous

12 months, evidence of an offer of employment upon your return home, tax returns or financial statements

  • letter from your employer or statement from the applicant attesting to a need by the applicant for (improved) skills for the purposes of their employment or career prospects
  • evidence of a range of professional or academic outcomes supporting the need for a new career direction.

GTE requirement samples and FAQ for student visas:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. How long is result of English tests valid for student visa application?

The results are valid for 2 Years and the test must have been taken no more than two years before the student visa application.

Q. Can the applicant use their Diploma or Cert IV level certificates in lieu of English test score for a student visa?

Yes, applicant can satisfy the English language requirement the applicant has fully completed or completed substantial component of a course at the Certificate IV or higher level in Australia within two years before applying for the visa.

Q. What is the major difference between regular and streamline categories?

The mandatory document requirements for English and Financials Capacity differs for applicants in regular or streamlined category. Applicant can also check the mandatory documents using Document Checklist Tool from https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500-

Q. Can student visa be lodged using offer letter?

Only if the applicant is in Australia, s/he can apply for student visa with a letter of offer; however, the applicant must obtain a CoE to be granted the visa.

Q. How is the applicant assessed against the character requirements?

Visa applicant(s) must answer a number of character related questions on the visa application form and the information provided will be used to assess the character. Applicant(s) might be asked for more information by DIBP, if required.

Q. Who does not require Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for Student visa?

The applicant does not require OSHC if s/he is:

a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
a Swedish student(s) covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

Q. What is requirement for welfare arrangements for an applicant under 18 year old?

To be granted a student visa, the applicant must demonstrate that s/he has adequate welfare arrangements in place for the length of the student visa or until they turn 18 years of age. They can do this by demonstrating that they will be accompanied by a parent or legal custodian, a suitable relative or that the student’s education provider approves the arrangements for the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare.

Q. What is satisfactory test score to meet the English language requirement?

The student applicant needs to provide evidence of English language proficiency and DIBP accepts the following minimum English language test scores:

English Language Test Providers Minimum Test Score (MTS) MTS where combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS MTS where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS
nternational English Language Testing System

5.5

5

4.5

*Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper based

527

500

450

TOEFL internet based test

46

35

32

Cambridge English: Advanced(Certificate in Advanced English)

162

154

147

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)

42

36

30

Occupational English Test

Pass**

N/A

N/A

*The TOEFL paper based test will only be accepted from limited countries

**The Occupational English Test includes a mark between A and E. An A or B is considered a pass.

Q. Are there any exemptions for the English language requirement?

If one of the following applies, the applicant does not need to provide evidence of an English test score with the visa application:

  • If the applicant is enrolled in full-time school studies as a principal course including in a secondary exchange programme, a postgraduate research course, a standalone English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), and Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored students
  • If the applicant has completed at least five years’ study in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland
  • If the applicant is a citizen and holds a passport from UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Republic of Ireland

Q. What is the amount of living and schooling cost required for student visa purpose?

For student visa purpose, the living costs for main student or guardian is AUD 19,830,for partner or spouse is AUD 6,940 and for each child is AUD 2,970. Where school aged children are included in the Student visa application, schooling costs of at least AUD 8,000 per year for each child needs to be added to the amount of fund required.

Q. What is the pre qualifying visa for student visa for the applicants in Australia?

If applicant is applying student visa in Australia, applicant must hold a current temporary substantive visa, but not any one of the following:

  • Domestic Worker (Temporary) Diplomatic and Consular visa (subclass 426)
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) in the Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or consular) stream
  • Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) – primary visa holder only. This means a family member of a Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) can apply for a Student visa in Australia.
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the sponsored family stream or in the approved destination status stream.

A substantive temporary visa is any visa other than a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa, which allows the visa holder to remain temporarily in Australia.

Q. What are the major visa conditions applicable to the main student visa holder?

The following are the major visa conditions applicable to the main visa holder.

  • 8105 – Work LimitationS/he cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight when the course is in session (other than work which has been registered as a part of the course). A fortnight means any period of 14 days commencing on a Monday and ending at the end of the second following Sunday.

    S/he can work for more than 40 hours per fortnight during recognised vacation periods offered by the education provider.

    S/he cannot start paid work until s/he has started the course in Australia.

    No work limits apply if s/he is studying a Masters by research or Doctorate course in Australia.

  • 8202 – Meet course requirementsS/he must remain enrolled in a registered course (unless applicant is a Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored student or secondary exchange student in which case s/he must maintain full-time enrolment in the course of study or training).

    Note: A registered course is one that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

    S/he must maintain enrolment in a registered course that is the same level as, or at a higher level than, the registered course for which s/he was granted a visa. S/he must maintain satisfactory attendance in the course and course progress for each study period as required by the education provider.

  • 8501 – Maintain health insuranceS/he must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance during the stay in Australia.

    Note: Under policy, you must maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

  • 8516 – Must maintain eligibilityS/he must continue to satisfy the requirements for grant of the student visa. For example, s/he should continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support the study and stay in Australia.
  • 8517 – Maintain education for dependentsS/he must maintain adequate schooling arrangements for the school-age dependents who joined in Australia for more than 3 months as part of student visa application.
  • 8532 – 18 approve welfareIf s/he is younger than 18 years of age, s/he must have accommodation and support, and general welfare must be maintained for the duration of stay in Australia.
  • 8533 – Inform provider of addressS/he must inform the education provider:
    • the address where s/he lives in Australia within seven days of arriving in Australia
    • if s/he changes the address, where s/he lives within seven days of the change
    • if s/he changes education provider, within seven days of receiving the electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate or evidence of enrolment.