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Australian Student Visas

Breaking news: Australian post-study work visas and student visa work hours.

The Australian Government has announced a significant increase to post-study work rights for international graduates studying eligible degree courses.

The changes, which come into effect from 1 July 2023, will allow international graduates with specific qualifications to work in Australia for an additional two years on their subclass 485 visa (otherwise known as the Post Study Work Visa).

So that is two further years, on top of the time that this visa already allows eligible students. This will take the allowance from:

  • Two years to four years for specified Bachelor degrees;
  • Three years to five years for specified Master degrees
  • Four years to six years for all PhDs.

The list of qualifications eligible for the additional PSWV time can be viewed here

The Australian Government is also set to increase the number of hours a student visa holder can work during their studies from the current cap of 40 hours per fortnight to 48 hours per fortnight.

If you have any questions about the changes and how they might affect you and your plans to study in Australia, please contact us for free expert advice

Anyone enrolling as an international student on a course lasting four months or more in Australia will need a student visa. Here are the key things to know.

Please note that in order to apply for an Australian student visa, you must have an unconditional offer of place at a university, have accepted that place in writing and paid the required tuition fee deposit. It is therefore one of the last parts of the process to organise.

What type of visa do I need?

For all levels of study you will need to apply for a subclass 500 student visa. This must be applied for using the online system at

When should I apply?
You can only apply after you have received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your chosen university in Australia. To get a CoE, you must have received a formal offer from the university, accepted it in full and paid a deposit toward your tuition fees.
Is there an age limit?
No, there’s no age limit on applying for a student visa for Australia.
Can I still get a student visa if I’ve already had a working holiday visa for Australia?
Yes, your working holiday visa status has no impact on a student visa application, assuming that you didn’t break any immigration rules during your working holiday visa (such as overstaying, or working when your visa didn’t allow you to). If you had any such issues during or after your WHV please contact Study Options to discuss your case.
How much does it cost?
The student visa application fee is currently A$710, which needs to be paid when you submit your online application. If you have dependents joining you on your visa, such as your partner, there will be additional fees to pay. If you are already in Australia on a different visa there may also be an additional fee to apply for your student visa. The application fee is reviewed every year on July 1.
How long does the visa last?
Your student visa will be issued for the length of your course (including holidays) and will allow you some time to remain in Australia at the end of your course.
How long does it take to get?
Visa processing times vary. Many are granted automatically but you should allow at least four weeks if applying by yourself and up to eight weeks if applying with dependents. We recommend applying for your visa as soon as you have your CoE but please don’t book any travel (unless the details can be easily amended) until you have been granted a visa.
When can I travel to Australia?
You can book your flights and travel to Australia as soon as your visa has been granted.
What will I need to apply?

Your country of passport and the university you will be going to will determine what evidence you need to show for your student visa application. Please check the criteria at before you begin. As a start point, however, you will need your CoE, the application fee, your passport number, and evidence that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance. You will also need to write a genuine temporary entry (GTE) statement and you may be asked to provide supporting documents to show you are a genuine student. Please contact Study Options if you want to discuss these requirements.

Do I need to provide any health documents or checks?
Citizens of the UK or Ireland are not currently required to have a health assessment except in certain circumstances, for example if you are going to Australia to train as a doctor, dentist or nurse, or if you are likely to work or train in an Australian childcare centre during your course. You may also be required to do a health assessment if you have spent more than three consecutive months in another country in the last five years.
Can I apply for another visa when my course ends?
Under current Australian visa rules if you have completed a university bachelors, masters or research degree that was at least two years long you will be able to apply for a Post Study Work Visa.
Could I stay permanently in Australia once my course has finished?
It may be possible to apply for other temporary or permanent visas at the end of your course. Please visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs (Immigration and Citizenship) at to check your options. We also recommend speaking to a registered migration agent who will be able to advise on options based on your individual circumstances.
Can I take my partner with me to Australia on my student visa?
Yes. In order to do this you will need to prove you have been in a genuine and exclusive relationship with them for at least 12 months. This usually requires you to have been living together for at least 12 months and to be able to show proof of that using, for example, formal bills (such as council tax) issued in both your names, utility bills going to the same address, rent agreements in both names and so on. Please contact Study Options if you want to discuss the requirements for travelling on a student visa with your partner.
Can I take my children with me to Australia on my student visa?
Yes. You will need to show evidence that you have enrolled them into an Australian school when applying for your student visa. Please be aware that you will also need to pay fees for them to attend state (or private) schools. State school fees vary hugely. Some levels of study mean that dependent children do not have to pay school fees. Western Australia is the only state to allow school fee exemptions for the children of masters students.
What do I need to know about taking my family with me to Australia?
On an Australian student visa, your partner and any dependent children will be included in your student visa application as your dependants, they will not need to apply for their own individual visas. Australian Immigration defines a dependent child as one under the age of 18 and in full time education (there are exceptions to this definition – please contact Study Options if you have queries).

If you (as the student) are going to be studying a bachelors degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma, your partner will be allowed to work for 48 hours per fortnight for the duration of your student visa. If you are studying a masters (by coursework or by research) or a PhD, your partner will be able to work full-time for the duration of your student visa.

Can I work while on this visa?
A student visa usually allows you to work up to 48 hours a fortnight during term, and full time in the holidays. The visa will be issued with ‘permission to work’, though you are not allowed to begin working until your course has started. Work that is a formal, registered part of your course is not included in the limit, but unpaid or voluntary work is included in the limit.

All information is correct at time of going to press (September 2023) but is subject to change. Please check the Australian Department of Home Affairs (Immigration and Citizenship) website at for the most up-to-date information.