In Australia, visas are granted by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), and different types of visas are available to individuals who study.

For example, courses under three months duration can be undertaken on a visitor visa, and courses under four months duration on a working holiday visa. If you intend to study for more than three months, you must apply for a student visa.

Failure to comply with the conditions of your visa could result in its cancellation.

Further information about the different types of visas available to those who wish to study in Australia is available below. You can also visit the DIBP website to find out more about these visas and Australia’s other visa options to help you decide which visa is right for you. Alternatively, talk to your local Australian government office in your home country.

Student visa (subclass 500)

A student visa is required if you intend to study for more than three months. This visa allows you to stay in Australia to study full-time in a recognised education institution for the duration of your course, and permits multiple entries to Australia.

The student visa application process can be complicated, and for students in some countries it may be better to submit an application with the assistance of an accredited education agent.

To be eligible for this visa you must have:

  • applied for and been accepted to study in a registered full-time course at an approved educational institution in Australia, and
  • have overseas student health cover insurance.

This visa allows you to:

  • study in your course full-time
  • bring eligible family members with you to Australia
  • work part-time (up to 20 hours per week), and
  • your family members can also work up to 20 hours per week while you are studying.

Visitor visa (subclass 600)

This visa lets you visit Australia for tourism or as a business visitor. It can be granted for up to three, six or 12 months.

You may be eligible for this visa if you are travelling to Australia:

  • as a visitor
  • for business visitor activities
  • to visit family, or
  • on a tour with a registered travel agent from the People’s Republic of China.

This visa allows you to:

  • have a holiday
  • visit family and friends
  • undertake business visitor activities, and
  • study for up to three months.

Working holiday visa (subclass 417)

The working holiday visa (417) is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to one year. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.

To be eligible for this visa you must:

  • have an eligible passport
  • be 18 to 30 years of age
  • meet education and English requirements (first visa only)
  • have the support of your home country government, and
  • not have come to Australia previously on a working holiday visa (417).

This visa allows you to:

  • work for the duration of your visa but only up to six months with each employer
  • visit as a tourist
  • visit family and friends, and
  • study for up to four months.