The key visa requirements for an Australian student visa are the following:
As the primary visa applicant, you will need to demonstrate that you have the genuine intention to stay in Australia on a temporary basis only for the purpose of study. The Department may consider the following factors to determine if you satisfy this discretionary requirement:
Generally speaking, the Department will assess and decide whether this requirement is satisfied based on the information, forms and documents which you submit with your student visa application.
The Department may contact you to arrange for an interview and/or call to discuss this visa requirements, and/or other aspects of your application, although we generally find that such interviews and/or calls are rare.
We find that it is more likely that the Department would send you an email or letter asking you to provide further information and/or documents if this is required. If you receive such a request from the Department, then you need to respond to this within the allowed time frame which is specified in the Department’s request email or letter.
Hence, as the Department will generally assess and decide the GTE requirement based on the information and documents that you provide, we generally recommend that you prepare a letter explaining why you believe that you satisfy this requirement.
The education institute where you wish to study will provide you with a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) or a Letter of Offer, if you are successful with your course enrolment application. You can also package two or more courses together on a single student visa, where there is relevant progression from one course to another.
You will need this COE, and the reference numbers included in your COE, in order to complete your online student visa form.
If you later wish to change your course, then you can change course while you are in Australia as long as you are changing to the same or a higher study level (e.g. changing from bachelor degree course to another bachelor degree course, or a master degree or higher level course).
If you wish to change to a lower level of study, then you will need to apply for a new student visa.
For student visa applications, the table below outlines the minimum scores accepted for each test:
|English language provider test||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|
|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||42||36||30|
|Occupational English Test**||Pass||Pass||Pass|
*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.
You are deemed to satisfy the English language requirement for a student visa if any of the following apply to the primary visa applicant:
However, in addition to satisfying the English requirement for a 500 Student visa, you will need to satisfy English language requirements to gain entry into the nominated course/s as specified by the relevant school, university, college etc. The required level of English language proficient is decided by the relevant education institution.
For example, for most Bachelor degree undergraduate degrees, Australian universities will require the following minimum English language test scores:
|English language test||Indication of scores required for Bachelor degree course|
Average score of 6.0 to 6.5
No band less than 5.5 to 6.0
|TOEFL||Average score of 60 to 90|
Average score of 169 to 176
No band less than 169
|PTE||Average score of 50 to 64|
You should check the website of the relevant education institution for course entry requirements, including English language requirements. If you do not currently satisfy English language requirements for your desired course, you may consider completing an ELICOS program in order to improve your English ability.
You can package ELICOS with other courses. There is a minimum English language requirement when a course is packaged with English which depends on the amount of ELICOS undertaken (shown in the table above). There is no limit on the amount of ELICOS that can be studied. However, if your ELICOS course is more than 12 months you should provide lots of information with your visa application showing how you meet the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement.
You can demonstrate that you have the financial means to cover the cost of your course fees, and cost of living in Australia, by providing evidence of the income for yourself and/or your partner (only if your partner is not included in your visa application, and will not be travelling to Australia with you) or your parents.
If you intend to demonstrate income, then you will need to show at least AUD60,000 in eligible annual income, or AUD70,000 if you are including your family members in your visa application. The following types of documents may assist with demonstrating this eligible annual income:
Alternatively, you can provide documents to demonstrate that you have the financial means to cover the cost of your course fees, and cost of living with the following types of evidence:
The Department’s requirements define the following cost of living for student visa applicants:
All Student 500 visa applications are lodged as online applications, which you can prepare and lodge by creating and Immiaccount with the Department’s website.
Generally speaking, you need to upload the following supporting documents to your online student visa application after payment and lodgement (the actual documents that you need to upload will vary depending on your visa application and circumstances):
The Department’s current processing time is around 4-8 weeks, or potentially longer for complex applications:
|Stream||75 per cent of applications processed||90 per cent of applications processed|
|Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector||24 days||40 days|
|Postgraduate Research Sector||35 days||57 days|
|Non-Award Sector||14 days||33 days|
|Schools Sector||38 days||68 days|
|Independent ELICOS Sector||23 days||36 days|
|Vocational Education and Training Sector||29 days||48 days|
|Higher Education Sector||21 days||28 days|
Last updated 19 September 2018 (for month ending 31 August 2018)
All student visa holders, including dependent family member student visa holders, are required to hold valid Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which you can purchase from one of the five approved providers:
Swedish citizens who purchase health insurance through Kammarkollegiet will not need to purchase OSHC.
Belgian and Norwegian citizens are also not required to purchase OSHC due to existing National Health Schemes, which provide citizens with adequate health coverage while in Australia.
If your course duration that is longer than 10 months and finishes at the academic year (i.e. mid-December), then your visa will usually be valid until 15 March the following year.
If your course duration that is longer than 10 months and finishes in January to October, then your student visa will usually be valid for two months following the completion of your course.
Your student visa may also include the following conditions (you should check your student visa for the specific visa conditions that you need to comply with):
Update (28 October 2018): Department released student visa lodged application and refusal statistics:
|Approval rate – all student visas||91.97%||90.17%||86.77%||91.65%||91.52%|
|Lodged in Australia||117381||115043||120500||126886||153256|
|Granted – Lodged in Australia||112913||112298||106969||116358||144182|
|Approval rate – Lodged in Australia||96.19%||97.61%||88.77%||91.70%||94.08%|
|Lodged outside Australia||200189||217145||237733||247408||260071|
|Granted – Lodged outside Australia||179147||187242||203876||226677||234110|
|Approval rate – Lodged outside Australia||89.49%||86.23%||85.76%||91.62%||90.02%|
Number of student visa applications lodged and granted by citizenship country of primary visa applicant:
|Country||Lodged||Approved||Approval rate||Lodged||Approved||Approval rate|
|Financial year – 30 June||2016-17||2017-18|
|China (excl SARs)||81,869||80,423||98%||90,563||87,731||97%|
|United States of America||9,375||9,265||99%||9,039||8,808||97%|