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Frequently Asked Questions International Students

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There is a lot to know about international student courses & the Student Visa (subclass 500).


We share some of the most important things to be aware of.

  • What can I study on a student visa?
    International students can only study CRICOS-approved courses - this means the courses have been registered with the immigration department, and are eligible for a student visa (subclass 500). Therefore, not all institutions or courses are available to you. However, there is a huge selection of programs, at all levels of education, available across the country.
  • How much do courses cost?
    Courses range in price from: $200-$350 a week for English courses $6,000-$10,000 a year for a certificate or diploma $15,000-$35,000 a year for a Bachelor or Masters
  • Can I take an online course for my student visa?
    No, you cannot take 'online-only' courses. To qualify for a student visa, you must attend face-to-face classes. However, by visa rules, 25% of your course content can be delivered online.
  • How often will I have to go to class?
    It depends on your program: 1-2 days for a private college (certificates & diplomas) 2-3 days for university 3-4 days for TAFE 4 days English courses
  • How long does it take to enrol in a course?
    We can generally have your enrolled within 1-2 weeks, depending on the institution.
  • Do I have to pay all the tuition fees at one time?
    No, you can pay your tuition in instalments – usually every 3 to 6 months depending on the institution. ​ The exception is for English courses, where you must pay the first 3 months right away.
  • What documents do I need for the enrolment?
    This depends on your passport nationality, and the institution you are applying to. Every student will need a to provide a colour scan/photo of their passport information page, and evidence of their highest level of education. This evidence must be translated into English, by an accredited translation company. Some passport nationalities are required to show further evidence including funds to live on for a year, and the result of a formal English test. We will guide you through this process.
  • What if I have a lower level of English?
    There are many options if your English is not strong. Don't worry, you are able to apply for a certificate, diploma, bachelor, or masters, But you may have to study some English beforehand. You can put multiple courses on the same visa. With the education provider, we will work out the best plan to help you satisfy the English requirement, but also help you enrol in the course that you really want to study.
  • How much does a Student Visa cost?
    Please note these prices are valid until June 30, 2025 (updated July 1, 2024) If you are applying offshore (outside Australia), the student visa will cost AU $1,600, unless you are exempt. If you are applying onshore (in Australia): if this is the first time you are applying onshore for a visa, the fee will be AU $1,600 if you have already applied while onshore for another visa (ie. you came on a Working Holiday, then applied for a second Working Holiday while in Australia), expect to pay an additional AU $700 surcharge If you have a partner also applying (dependent), his or her fee will be AU $1,190. There will also be the $ AU700 surcharge if this is the second (or more) application onshore. Anyone under the age of 18 will be charged AU $390. Again, the AU $700 surcharge will be added for the second (or more) application onshore. All credit card payments will incur a service charge. Visit the Department of Home Affairs Visa Pricing Estimator
  • How long does it take to get the visa granted?
    The length of time will depend on various things, including where you are located, how busy it is at that time of year, and your passport nationality. Generally speaking, the lower your passport risk level, the quicker the visa could be granted. If you hold a higher risk passport, you have to show more evidence, thus it may take more time. On average, you should allow 6-8 weeks to get the visa granted. Due to the backlog since the borders re-opened, these wait time have extended. If you are already in Australia, you must begin class even if you are still on a bridging visa.
  • What is a risk rating?
    For each passport nationality, the immigration department assigns a 'risk rating'. 1 is lowest risk, while 3 is highest risk. The risk rating is based on different considerations including the past behaviour of student visa holders from that country, fraudulent documentation received in the past, and the economic/political situation in that country. The risk rating will dictate what evidence you are required to provide with your visa application.
  • What evidence will I need to show for my visa application?
    The documentation for the enrolment will be the same documentation you need to include in the visa application. Guidance through this is part of our free service during the enrolment preparation. The immigration department provides a Document Checklist to make it clear what evidence you will need to shell for your student visa. This is the link to the tool: Select your passport nationality & Education Provider, then click 'Display Evidence'.
  • What is a bridging visa?
    If you apply for your student visa onshore, if you need more time on your current visa for the decision to be made, immigration will provide you with a bridging visa. A bridging visa simply keeps your current visa legal. If you have work rights on your current visa, you will still have those work rates while you're on the bridging visa. For example, if you apply for a student visa while you hold a Working Holiday visa, you will be able to keep working on the bridging visa. However, the six-month employer rule still must be followed. If you apply for a student visa while you are on a visitor visa, you will not have any work rights while you are waiting. You cannot leave the country if you are on a bridging visa, nor can you apply for any further visas if you hold a bridging visa.
  • How many hours can I work?
    While on your student visa, almost all students will have the following work rights. Work rights begin the day the course commences as stated in the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). While classes in session: You are allowed to work 48 hours a fortnight (a fortnight is 14 days and starts on a Monday). It is up to you how you use those hours. For example, you can work 30 hours one week, in 18 hours the following week. ​ While class is not in session: If you are on official school holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc), you are allowed to work full time - unlimited hours. Just keep in mind that school is in session even through the exam period. Even though you might have finished your exams, the course may still be considered in progress. Also note that public holidays do not count for full work rights if class is in session. ​ If you are studying a Masters by Research or a PhD, you will have unlimited work rights.
  • What are the work rights for a dependent on a 500 visa?
    If the principal visa holder (the student) is studying a Masters or PhD, the dependent has full work rights. For all other courses, the dependent can only ever work 48 hours a fortnight (a fortnight is 14 days and starts on a Monday). It is up to you how you use those hours. For example, you can work 30 hours one week, in 18 hours the following week.
  • Can I work on an ABN while on a Student Visa?
    Yes, you can work under an Australian Business Number (ABN) for your own company or as a contractor. ​ However, you still have to honour the prescribed work rights hours & have a tax file number.
  • Can I work for the same employer indefinitely?
    Yes, you are able to work for the same employer for as much time as you like. Unlike a Working Holiday visa which only allows 6 months per employer, there are no restrictions while on a Student Visa.
  • What is OSHC?
    OSHC is a mandatory requirement of your student visa. You must be covered for the entire time you are studying in Australia. It must be paid in full for the entire time your will have the visa. ​ You will purchase your OSHC just before you apply for your student visa. You have to pay for it all upfront (no partial payments).
  • How much does it cost?
    There are 6 providers in Australia. The average cost per year of study in 2023 (depending on the insurance provider): $570-$690 for a single applicant $3,800-$4,500 for a couple $6,680-$9,763 for 2 parents + 1 or more children
  • Can I get Medicare on a Student Visa?
    Some passport holders get lucky and do have Medicare while on a student visa, including the UK and Italy. However, even if you qualify for Medicare, you still need to purchase OSHC. Learn more here:
  • Why do I need OSHC if I have travel insurance?
    OSHC is an unavoidable requirement for the student visa. It ensures all students have the same level of medical cover. ​You will have to cancel any other insurance cover policy you have and apply for OSHC, before you can submit your visa application.
  • Will my OSHC be refunded if I stop studying?
    Yes. Once you provide the insurance company with proof that you are no longer on a student visa, or you have left the country permanently, you will be refunded for the period of cover you did not use.
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