Exploring the Visa Options for Studying in Australia

Learn about Australian student visas, application process, types, and eligibility criteria for studying in Australia. Plan your education journey abroad.

Published on: Mar 16, 2024

Studying abroad opens doors to various new opportunities and experiences in diverse fields. For students who have migrated to Australia; their dream destination, it was never and is never a simple cup of tea, a proper malfunction of actions and activities is necessary for staying and implementing things in Australia. You can not just move your magic wand while sitting at ease on your couch. Not just Australia but to move out of your country you need to have a visa. The requirement of a visa depends from one country to another. There are a few countries which might not require a visa based on their specification whereas there are countries that require proper visas and accurate details of your stay. If you are travelling to another country for vacation then this can be applicable whereas on the basis of study, you need to apply for the visa and fulfil the requirements to assess the visa and utilize it as per your choice. 

The academic excellence and the standardized education rendered by the institutions in Australia make it a top destination amongst international students. There are aspiring scholars who are drawn to the renowned institutions, cutting-edge research facilities, and diverse cultural landscape of Australia. However, there are a cluster of issues that may arise in the path of students but the complex terrains of Australian student visa requirements and options can not be neglected. Let us understand the intricacies of studying in Australia as a university student with the help of this blog. Have a look into the various visa options available to students to study in Australia depending upon their suitability. 


Is a visa the primary requirement for studying in Australia?

Well, there are many other essential requirements for a student to fulfil including academic qualifications, English language proficiency, health insurance, and financial capacity. However, obtaining a visa is often considered the primary requirement for international students. Here's why:

1. Legal Authorization: A visa grants legal permission for international students to reside in Australia for the purpose of studying. You can utilize it for availing various benefits if accessible and is also proof while you seek your permanent residency in Australia.   Without a valid visa, students may not be legally allowed to enter or stay in the country for educational purposes.

2. Enrollment Prerequisite: Australian educational institutions typically require proof of a valid visa as a prerequisite for enrollment. Without it, there are high chances of being investigated by Australian police. There are some institutions that may request evidence of visa approval or issuance as part of the admissions process to verify the student's eligibility for enrollment. Thus, securing a visa is a fundamental step in the process of applying and being accepted to study at an Australian university or college.

3. Access to Services: A valid visa grants access to essential services in Australia, such as healthcare, accommodation, and employment opportunities. For the students who come overseas, it is important for them to work and bear their recurring expenses. These services are the pillars of their well-being and academic pursuits while studying abroad.

4. Compliance with Regulations: Australian immigration laws mandate that international students must hold an appropriate visa category corresponding to their intended course of study. This governs the stay of an international student, ensuring that they comply with visa regulations and maintain lawful stay throughout their course. Compliance with visa regulations is crucial to avoid legal complications, such as deportation or visa cancellations.

5. Visa Conditions: Student visas often come with specific conditions, such as restrictions on working hours or requirements for maintaining a certain level of academic progress. Adhering to these conditions is necessary to remain compliant with visa regulations and maintain lawful status in Australia. Going against this legislation can highly impact a student's academic and personal life in Australia.

Visas can be considered less important for the native Australian population but for the international, it is something as essential as their security. A small notepad of paper carries the whole identity of the migrants. Therefore some individuals fear the idea of losing their visa as well. You can not neglect its role as it is an essential step for international students to embark on a successful educational journey in Australia. 


Overview of different types of visas 

There are multiple types of student visas available for international students studying in Australia. Each visa has its own benefits and drawbacks. Also, these are customized keeping in mind the standards and interests of international students. These are some of the main types of Australian student visas available, each catering to different educational and research purposes: 

1. Subclass 500 Visa:

The visa is beneficial for individuals who intend to undertake full-time study in Australia registered under educational institutions in Australia. These are generally applicable till the onset of your course. The day your semester ends the prestige of your visa will also decline. You can apply for any other type of visa depending on your credibility at that point in time.

Eligibility: The university must have accepted the applicant into a registered course of study at the first then he/she must demonstrate their proficiency in English language and provide evidence of financial capacity to cover tuition fees and living expenses. Also an individual should have  maintained Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).


a) Allows holders to study a full-time course in Australia.
b) Permits work rights but for limited hours (up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks).
c) Duration of the visa corresponds with the length of the course of study.
d) Secondary school students enrolled in specified secondary courses can also apply under this visa category.

Subclass 590 Visa:

This visa is for individuals engaging in non-award courses or research activities in Australia, including student exchanges, vocational training, or research projects. It gives the benefit of allowing one of your parents to come along if you are under 18 or any other person to support them if they are 21 or above.

Eligibility: Available for individuals participating in specific non-award educational or research programs, including training, research, and professional development activities.


a) Allows holders to participate in a non-award course or research activity in Australia.
b) May include limited work rights depending on the nature of the program.
c) The duration of the visa depends on the duration of the program or research project.
d) Family members accompanying the primary visa holder may be eligible to apply for this visa as well.

Subclass 485 Visa (Temporary Graduate Visa):

This visa allows international students who have recently graduated from an Australian institution to study, live and work in Australia on a student visa temporarily after completing their studies. It gives rights the graduates to work on full-term basis, have the chance to gain local work experience and increase the chances of obtaining a skilled stream visa (skilled or employer-sponsored visa).

Eligibility: Applicants must have completed a degree, diploma, or trade qualification from an Australian institution within the last six months, meet health and character requirements, and hold an eligible visa.


a) Offers a post-study work stream and a graduate work stream, each with different visa durations and eligibility criteria.
b) Allows holders to gain work experience in Australia relevant to their field of study.
c) Provides a pathway for skilled migration through the Temporary Residence Transition stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187).
d) It has two streams; the post-study work stream and the graduate work stream. Post-study work allows graduates to work full-time in any occupation and for any employer in Australia and the graduate's workstream allows graduates to remain in Australia temporarily to gain valuable work experience related to their field of study. 


How to apply for a student visa in Australia?

Choose a course and an institution: You need to research and analyse the courses and the university that offers courses as per your interest. There are several universities to choose from so you can refer to various factors that determine their authoritativeness across the globe. The one that might be in the top ranking amongst the other universities in Australia but their rank might decrease while narrowing the search to subject-wise ranking. Make sure that the institution and course are registered with the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs.

Meet the eligibility criteria and apply for the course: Each university has its own set of rules and criteria to assess students' capability to align with the basic requirements of the course. Several factors are included while meeting the eligibility of an individual such as their English language proficiency, financial capacity, health, and character requirements.

Other Than the criteria one must prepare necessary documents, such as proof of enrollment, passport, financial statements, and health insurance. After you have actively fulfilled the eligibility requirements, a student can apply for their respective course by following the instructions on the university portal. 

Letter of Offer:

After you have chosen your particular field of study you now need to wait for the letter of offer from the university chosen. You need to read the letter properly and aptly before accepting it. It should be informative and should include the necessary details of your course such as fee structure, enrollment conditions and much more. 

Receive commitment of enrollment:

The institute is responsible for issuing a confirmation of enrollment, it basically verifies your enrollment in the course. You need to attach a file of CoE in your visa application so that the Australian Government has proof that you are registered in your declared course.

Create an ImmiAccount:

Create an ImmiAccount on the Department of Home Affairs website if you haven't already done so. The website outlines all the requirements for a student visa. This is the online portal through which you'll submit your visa application online.

Complete the Visa Application Form:

Log in to your ImmiAccount and complete the online student visa application form (Form 157A).

You are responsible for the documents you are sharing, therefore ensure that you provide accurate information and upload the required documents, including your CoE, passport, financial evidence, health insurance, and any additional supporting documents.

Pay the Visa Application Fee:

Pay the required visa application fee. The fee amount may vary depending on the type of visa and your country of citizenship.

Attend Health Examinations (if required):

Depending on your country of origin and individual circumstances, you may be required to undergo health examinations as part of your visa application process. Some applicants may need to attend a biometric collection appointment to provide fingerprints and a photograph as part of the visa application process.

Submit and Monitor Your Application:

Before clicking on the click button, make sure that you review your visa application thoroughly till you do not feel content. And once satisfied, submit your application and wait for the results. You can monitor the progress through your ImmiAccount. 

Receive Visa Grant Notification:

Once your visa application is approved, you will receive a visa grant notification via email or through your ImmiAccount. Plan your travel arrangements to Australia and ensure that you arrive before the commencement of your course. 



And the blog concludes here! The blog gives details about the various visa options available to students who want to study in Australia. Australia is not just a desired destination for international students but is preferred by its natives too. The resources available and the educational standards maintained by the Australian government and universities are unbeatable. Other than this if an international student wants to pursue their desired courses in Australia then they are required to fulfil the visa requirements to study in Australia. A student visa not only grants legal authorization but also serves as a gateway to enrollment, essential services, and compliance with regulations. The different types of visas cater to various educational and research purposes, providing flexibility and options for students. The purpose of each of the visa options including Subclass 500, 590, or 485 visas, differs with their unique benefits and opportunities. You should do the required analysis and conduct proper research before applying for a visa.

Read More

1.  A Comprehensive Guide to Student Visas for Australia
Your Go-To Guide for Visa Applications: Everything You Need to Know
Australia: The Third Most Popular Destination for International Students

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