Australian Visas:

Student Visa subclass 500

Why overseas students use Visa Jobs to study in Australia

International students have the option to choose from thousands of courses from different Universities or Colleges all across Australia. Every institute has their own requirements in addition to the government’s eligibility criteria. Visa Jobs will find you the best course based on your goals and then take care of your course enrolment and the visa application so you don’t have to.

About the Student Visa subclass 500

The Student Visa subclass 500 is a temporary visa that allows international students to travel and study full-time in Australia for the duration of their course. 

The Student Visa subclass 500 also grants the visa holder Australian work rights whilst studying. For most students this will be 40 hours per fortnight during term time and unlimited hours during school holidays. For students studying Masters or Doctorate degrees, they will be granted full and unlimited work rights.

Family members and partners can be included in the visa application. This means they can travel to Australia with you and will also be allowed to work whilst in Australia.

With the Student Visa you can

Study and work in Australia: Whilst studying you can work 40hrs a fortnight during term time and as many hours as you like during school holidays.

Bring your family: Your family or partner can be included and will be able to work in Australia. 

Stay in Australia up to 5 years: Your visa will be granted for the length of your chosen course which can be 4 months to 5 years.

Transition onto Post-Graduate Visa (if eligible): If you graduate at a higher education level, you can apply for a Post-Study Work Visa. This will allow you to stay in Australia and work full-time for two years so you can gain further experience.

Student Visa requirements 

Proof of Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) – you will need to get confirmation of enrolment for a full-time CRICOS course

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement – you must provide proof you are a genuine temporary entrant and plan to return home after studying

Demonstrate the required level of English language proficiency 

Meet the health and character requirements

Proof of funds – you will need to prove that you have enough money for the first years tuition fees plus living expenses. See FAQs for more information.

Adequate health insurance – you and anyone included on your visa must be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) by an approved Australian health insurance provider for the duration of your visa

Course enrolment is required before applying for the visa

As one of the key visa requirements is proving you have been accepted and enrolled onto a course (CoE), it’s important you spend some time researching your course options.

Every education institute will have their own requirements meaning there will be a number of documents and application forms that will need to be submitted in addition to meeting the Student Visa requirements. This will involve a lot of work and can be time consuming, learn how Visa Jobs can take care of your enrolment and visa application. 

Types of courses you can study on the Student Visa

The three most common types of courses you can enrol in through the Student Visa are:

English Courses – General English courses or English test preparation (ELICOS, IELTS, PTE, OET etc)

Vocational Courses – Certificate I – IV, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, and Vocational Graduate Certificates and Diplomas

University Courses – Undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications including Bachelor’s Degree, Masters and PhD

Deciding what and where to study

Once you have decided what type of course you would like to enrol in, you must then decide which subject, institute and location is best for you. There are over 1,100 educational institutes across Australia offering over 22,000 courses, so there are plenty of options available. 

When choosing which course to study, it’s worth considering the following factors;

Will the course help you achieve your goals from studying in Australia? I.e will it help you with career progression, will it help you apply for other Australian visas, it is required to enrol in other academic courses etc 

Does location matter?

Do you have a financial budget for tuition fees?

Average costs for tuition fees

Tuition fees will vary depending on what course you take and where you plan on studying. The following should be used as a guideline for costs per qualification:

English language Courses: Around $300 AUD per week depending on course length 

Certificate I – IV: Ranges between $7,000 to $20,000 AUD per year

Diploma Courses: Ranges between $7,000 to $25,000 AUD per year

Bachelors and Master Degree Courses: Ranges between $25,000 to $35,000 AUD per year

Doctoral Degree: Ranges from $25,000 to $45,000 AUD per year

The Student Visa process

The main costs for the Student Visa subclass 500

Visa processing times for the Student Visa subclass 500

Updated: June 2021



As for all Australian visas the processing times fluctuates each month based on a number of different factors such as volume, complexity and the time of year. The Department updates the estimated processing times for each visa every month but should only be used as a guideline.

* The Student Visa subclass 500 has a number of different streams depending on the level of study. For more accurate processing times for each stream visit the Global Visa Processing Times page.

Contact Visa Jobs for help getting your Student Visa 

If you are interested in learning more about the Student Visa subclass 500 feel free to contact us today. We will send you more information about the visa, available courses and help you decide the best option for you. Our experienced team can guide you through the process of gathering your documents, enrolling you in your chosen course and lodging your visa application on your behalf. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – About the Student Visa subclass 500 Visa

When should you apply for the student visa?

You can only lodge a Student Visa application after you have received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your chosen College or University. We would suggest applying for your visa no later than 8 weeks before your course begins. It is advised to lodge the visa application as soon as you have your CoE.

How can I find out about available courses?

Contact us here or email and let us know you are interested in a Student Visa. We can then send you some further information as well as available courses.

Who can I include in my visa application?

You can include your spouse, partner or dependent children (yours or your partners) that are under the age of 18 year old and unmarried

When am I allowed to travel to Australia once my Student Visa is granted?

You will be allowed to arrive in Australia up to 90 days before your course is scheduled to start.

Am I able to apply for another visa once my course finishes?

Depending on what course you have finished or your previous experience, you might be eligible to apply for a different visa. As each Australian visa has different requirements its worth discussing your visa options with a Registered Migration Agent to assess your situation. Contact us to discuss your visa options further.

What is the minimum English test score required?

You can see the score required for the Student Visa in the following Table of scores. Please note that if you are unable to score 5.5 a score of 5 or 4.5 (IELTS) plus an ELICOS course can be accepted. 

How long are the English Test results valid for?

Two years from the date issued

Are there any exemptions for the English language requirement?

Yes, if any of the following is applicable to you, then an English test is not required:

    • 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
How much money is required to prove you have sufficient funding?

You will need to prove you have sufficient funds to pay for your first years tuition fees plus living expenses for you and anyone included on your visa. You will need to provide bank statements to prove you have sufficient funds. The following is a guide for how much is required:

    • Single Student (Primary applicant): $21,000 AUD
    • Primary applicant plus spouse or partner: $28,000 AUD
    • Additional children: $3,000 AUD each
What are the main costs involved?
    • The government fees (DIBP) is $620 AUD, if you are including a spouse or partner they will need to pay $460 AUD and any children under the age of 18 will be charged $150 AUD each. 
    • Other fees you will need to consider are tuition fees, these will vary from $200 – $400 AUD a week for English courses, $6,000 to $12,000 AUD a year for certificates or Diplomas, and $14,000 to $35,000 AUD a year for a Bachelor or Masters 
    • Professional fees for Registered Migration Agents if used to lodge the visa application usually around $2,000 AUD.
Am I able to work whilst studying?

Yes, you will be able to work 40 hrs per fortnight during term time and then full time during the holidays. You must make sure you do not start working before your course starts. If you are studying a masters by research or doctorate course, then you are able to work unlimited hours.

If I include family members or a partner will they be able to work?

If the primary visa holder is studying a masters or PhD then the secondary visa holder will have full work rights. If the primary visa holder is studying any other course, then the secondary visa holder will only be allowed to work 40 hrs per fortnight.

What should I do if I want to change or leave my course?

Before making any changes, make sure you tell the Department of Home Affairs to make sure you do not breach any of your visa conditions. We would advise contacting a Registered Migration Agent to get professional advice prior to making any changes. If you would like Visa Jobs to put you in contact with a Registered Migration Agent please let us know.

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