Student visa

This visa is for international students who want to study English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) in Australia. This includes:

  • courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III or IV
  • courses that result in no formal Australian award.
If you are studying ELICOS as a pre-requisite to another course, you must apply for the visa appropriate to your main course of study. If you are studying several courses, the main course is the higher level course.

With this visa:
  • you can study in Australia
  • eligible dependant family members can accompany you to Australia
  • when you have commenced your course of study in Australia, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks.
  • your family members can work up to 40 hours per fortnight provided you have commenced your course of study in Australia.

This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course. It permits multiple entries to Australia. Dependent family members who come with you to Australia are usually able to stay the same length of time as you, but they cannot stay once you have left the country.

Your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy must cover the full period of your visa. Your student visa can be granted up to the maximum duration outlined in the table below.

Duration of course Duration of visa
Longer than 10 months and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November – December) Your visa will usually be granted to March 15 of the following year.
Longer than 10 months (finishing January - October) Your visa will usually be granted for two months longer than the duration of your course.
10 months or less Your visa will usually be granted for one month longer than the duration of your course.

Student visa applications are assessed according to Assessment Levels. The higher the Assessment Level, the more evidence is required for the grant of visa.

Your Assessment Level is determined by your student visa subclass and country of passport. If you intend to undertake more than one course (packaged courses), your visa application will be assessed for the subclass that corresponds with your principal course of study (the last course) and the highest Assessment Level of your course package.

Related links:

Click here for more information about the Student Visa.

Tourist visa

The Visitor visa (subclass 600) lets you visit Australia for tourism or business visitor activities.

You must choose the correct stream that is consistent with the purpose of your proposed visit to Australia when you apply for this visa. If you apply for a wrong stream it is highly likely that your application will be refused and you will need to make a new application and pay a new visa application charge.

  • Tourist stream: for people travelling to Australia for a holiday, recreation or to visit family and friends. If you apply for this visa in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is decided. If you apply for this visa outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.
  • Business Visitor stream: for business people travelling to Australia for a short business visit. This includes going to a conference, negotiation or meeting. You must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is decided.

Visitor Visa - Tourist Stream

This visa lets you:
  • have a holiday or visit family and friends in Australia
  • study in Australia for up to three months
  • work as a genuine unpaid volunteer, but only if an Australian resident would not otherwise be paid to do the work (you can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as meals and accommodation).
When your visa is granted, we will tell you how long your visa lasts and how many times you can enter Australia.
  • You could be allowed to enter only once. If so, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to return to Australia again after you leave.
  • You could be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid, but the time you spend in Australia cannot be more than the period of stay that you have been granted.
You must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.
  • You must not work in Australia (you might be allowed to work as an unpaid volunteer).
  • You must not study or train in Australia for more than three months.
  • If you are sponsored by your family, you will need to meet same the obligations as someone who is granted this visa in the Sponsored Family stream.
Click here for more information about the Visitor Visa.

Working Holiday visa

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

First Working Holiday visa: You must be outside Australia when you apply for your first Working Holiday visa and when the visa is decided.

Second Working Holiday visa: If you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. If you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

This visa allows you to:
  • stay in Australia for up to 12 months
  • work in Australia for up to six months with each employer
  • study for up to four months
  • leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.

First Working Holiday visa

With this visa, you can:
  • enter Australia within 12 months from the date your visa is granted (this cannot be extended or deferred)
  • stay in Australia for up to 12 months from the date you first enter Australia
  • leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.
You must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws. You cannot be accompanied by your dependent children at any time during your stay.

Working in Australia

If you hold a Working Holiday visa, the main purpose of your visit must be for an extended holiday. You can do any kind of work over the course of your 12 month stay in Australia, however all Working Holiday visa holders are limited to a maximum period of six months work with any one employer. This limitation applies to all employers and all forms of work.

Study

You can study in Australia for up to four months. Four months means 17 weeks of actual study.
Click here for more information about the Working Holiday Visa.

Dependent visa

Dependant family members

The Department of Immigration (DIAC) allows most students to bring their family members to Australia as their dependents. Dependent family members include your spouse or de facto partner and dependent children. You must declare all your dependant family members in your student visa application, even if they do not travel with you.

Issues to consider

There are many important issues to consider if you plan to bring your family while you study. These include additional financial responsibility, employment opportunities for your spouse, accommodation, schooling and childcare.

Visa application

For your dependant family members to obtain a student visa you can either include your dependant family members in your visa application or they apply for a visa after you have started your course.

Click here for more information about bring your family members to Australia as your dependants.