The Australian Student / Study Visa

Want to come to Australia to study at uni or to learn English? Confused about the 7 different Study visa and the 4 Assessment levels? I have got all the basics covered right here - keep reading to find out more!

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When it comes to Student or Study visas for Australia it is no easy task to find out which is correct for you and what it entitles you to. In fact there are 7 different Study visas types and they are then divided into 4 different 'Assessment Levels' depending on what country you come from.

This page deals with people from an Assessment Level 1 country AND who are interested in either the Higher Education (Subclass 573), which is 'Study at University/College' or the ELICOS (Subclass 570), which is 'Study English in Australia.

If you come from an Assessment Level 2 - 4 country, or want information on the Schools (Subclass 571) - Study at a Primary or Secondary school level, the VET (Subclass 572) - Work Place Training, the Postgraduate Research (Subclass 574), the Non Award (Subclass 575), or AusAID/Defence (Subclass 576) visas, you can find the appropriate links at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions don't forget to Check out the Student and Study Visa Forum for more details.

The Australian Higher Education (Subclass 573) visa

If you want to study a Bachelor degree, associate degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, Masters by coursework, Higher Education diploma, or a Higher Education advanced diploma at an Australian University, AND are applying for your first student visa, renewing an existing student visa, or applying to join a family member who is already in Australia on a student visa, AND come from one of the below Assessment Level 1 countries then this is the visa for you!

Assessment Level 1  
 approved countries 
Hide Box
 approved countries 
Show Box


The complete list of approved level 1 countries.

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Citizen
  • British Nat. (Overseas)
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • (South) Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau (SAR)
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • PNG
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City State
  • Venezuela






Basically it entitles you to:

  1. Eligible dependant family members can accompany you to Australia.
  2. Work up to 20 hours a week while you are enrolled in your course and you are NOT on semester break.
  3. Work as many hours as you want while you are enrolled and you ARE on semester break.
  4. Family members can work up to 20 hours a week when you have started your course in Australia.
  5. Family members can work unlimited hours if you are doing a postgraduate course.
  6. Your partner can study in Australia for up to three months, but should they want to study for longer they have to apply for their own Study Visa.

So that's the Australian Higher Education (Subclass 573) visa at a very quick glance. However, there are lots of other details involved with it, for example:

  1. You must already have applied for and been granted a full time offer from a university before you can apply for the visa.
  2. You can stay in Australia for the duration of your course.
  3. You must have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy for the full duration of your visa.
  4. If your course goes for 10 months or less it will usually be granted for 1 month longer than the course duration.
  5. If your course goes for more than 10 months and ends in November - December it will usually be granted to March 15 of the following year, else it will usually be granted for two months longer than the duration of your course.
  6. If your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy expires before these dates your visa may also become void forcing you to leave Australia.

You also have to meet several other criteria to be considered eligible for this visa, see below for more details.

Visa Requirements


Tip: Check them off as you go so you know if you meet them all!
  •   You must provide proof of acceptance into an approved CRICOS course. If you are lodging your application online you will need your code from your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment.
  •   You must provide proof have enough money to pay for travel, tuition and living expenses for yourself, your partner and your dependent children for the duration of your stay in Australia. You must also have enough money to support your partner and dependent children, even if they do not travel with you to Australia. See below for the table of expenses related to this item - but be warned, it is not cheap.
  •   You must be in good health, and under some circumstances you will have to undergo a medical examination by a certified doctor. This will be advised to you if this is the case.
  •   You must have a Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy for the entire duration of your studies, and you must provide proof of this when you lodge your visa application (Exceptions: You do not need an OSHC policy if you are a: Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet, or a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia).
  •   You will have to meet a certain level of English language skills. Your educational institution will advise you of this level and you may have to undertake independent testing to prove you possess such a level.
  •   Your Australian education provider will advise you of the academic results (and evidence) you need to provide.
  •   You must be of a 'good character'. Details on your visa application will be used to determine if you meet this requirement. More details can be found here.
  •   And you must not have any debts to the Australian government (or at the very least have already arranged to pay any outstanding debts).

Congratulations, you should be fine to apply for this visa!

Table of expenses as outlined in point 2 above.
ExpensesPer PersonAmount required in AUD
TravelYourselfReturn air fare to your country
Family membersOne return air fare from Australia per person    
TuitionYourselfCourse fees
Children aged 5-18$8,000 AUD per year
LivingYourself$18,000 AUD per year
Partner$6,300 AUD per year
First child$3,600 AUD per year
Each other child$2,700 AUD per year


So that's the Australian Higher Education (Subclass 573) visa at a quick glance. There are many more fine details (i.e. if you are paying rent/board at an official university campus styled accommodation you can subtract those costs from the amount of living expenses you have to prove you have as outlined in point 2 above), and there are some changes being made to this visa that are expected to take up to the year 2013 to complete.

As such you should treat the above as a guide only and check the official Australian Government Visa website for more details before applying for it. At the time of writing this, an application costs $565 AUD.

If you don't come from a Assessment Level 1 country and want to find out details about your requirements, just click click here to find more details.

The Australian ELICOS (Subclass 570) Learn English visa

This is for international students who want to study English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) in Australia, and is basically exactly the same as the Higher Education (Subclass 573) visa listed above, with the exceptions:

  • - You can only study courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III or IV certification.
  • - You cannot study a course that results in a formal Australian award.

Also, the Assessment Level 1 countries differ a little from the above visa. See below for eligible countries.


Learn English Assessment Level 1  
 approved countries 
Hide Box
 approved countries 
Show Box


The complete list of approved Australian Learn English visa level 1 countries.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau (SAR)
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabiaeru
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • UK - British Citizen
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City State






What have you forgotten???


Have you got everything you need for your trip?
Don't ruin your trip to Australia!
  • - Enjoy the perfect trip to Australia.
  • - Save hours & hours of your time.
  • - Don't forget anything important.
  • - Don't stress about a single thing.

Plan the perfect trip with my "Coming Downundr" checklist.


Can you afford not to???



Once again, you should check the official Australian Government Visa website for more details before applying for it. At the time of writing this, an application costs $565 AUD.

If you don't come from a Assessment Level 1 country and want to find out details about your requirements, just click the link above to find more details.

Thousands of students study abroad each and every year in Australia, and you can as well. So go on, live the dream and get your visa application submitted!

If you have any questions don't forget that you can ask on my friendly Student and Study Visa Forum for more details.



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