Your visa options

Different levels of education require different types of Student Visa. Here are the Visa options for your Australian education journey.
There are seven subclasses of Student Visas and each subclass is based on the education sector of your chosen course:
  • English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) - Subclass 570 : This is a subclass for students undertaking ELICOS as a stand-alone course, not as a prerequisite to commencing another course. This includes courses that lead to a certificate I, II, III, IV or courses that result in no formal Australian award.
  • Primary or secondary school course - Subclass 571 : If you are a student aiming to undertake a course of study at a primary or a secondary school, including both junior and senior secondary school then this is the Visa for you. This Visa subclass is for school students participating in a formal registered secondary exchange program. The period of exchange may vary from a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 1 year.
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) - Subclass 572 : This Visa subclass covers Certificate I, II, III and IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Advanced Certificate courses.
  • Higher Education- Subclass 573 : This Visa subclass covers all high education degrees such as Bachelor degree, Postgraduate by coursework, Associate degree, Graduate Certificate, and Graduate Diploma.
  • Postgraduate by research - Subclass 574 : This Visa is designed for international students who want to study a Masters degree by research or a Doctoral degree in Australia.
  • Non-award Foundation Studies/Other- Subclass 575 : This Visa subclass covers foundation, bridging or other courses that do not lead to the award of a degree, diploma or other formal award.

Visa change

There are some limitations on changing your Student Visa due to changes in the academic status.
  • Changing courses: Some students might decide to change to a new course at the same level of qualification; in this case, you do not need to apply for a new Student Visa unless your current Visa is about to expire.
  • Changing level of qualification: If you are changing the level of education then you are required to apply for a new Student Visa because your Visa subclass will change.
  • Changing academic institution: If you want to change provider before completing the first six months of your main course of study, you must contact your current education provider for permission. If you change your academic institution at any time you must contact the Department and provide a Confirmation of Enrollment certificate from your new institution.

Visa cancellation

Your Student Visa might be cancelled if you:
  • do not remain enrolled in a registered course; or
  • do not attend at least 80% of the course; or
  • do not achieve academic results that the provider considers to be satisfactory; or 
  • fail to pay the tuition fees as required by the education provider.

Extending your Visa

Usually, a Student Visa is valid for four weeks after the conclusion of your course. If you wish to stay longer for any reason, you need to lodge an application before the current Visa expires.

For further information please visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of the Australian Government website here.