500 Student Visa
This visa is for students who want to come to Australia to study at a registered education institution.
- You can study a registered full-time course in Australia.
- Eligible family members can accompany you to Australia.
- You and your family members can generally work a specified number of hours.
- You can generally stay in Australia until your course is finished.
Important: Before you apply for this visa, you must have been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia.
Genuine Temporary Entrants
The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa programme is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.
The GTE requirement applies to all student visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will and consider whether the individual circumstances of the student indicates that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia.
- You must satisfy us that you have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily.
- When assessing the GTE requirement, we will consider the requirements set out in Ministerial Direction 69. To assess this, we will consider:
- your circumstances
- your immigration history
- if you are under 18 years old, the intention of your parent, legal guardian or partner
- any other relevant matter.
The GTE requirement provides a useful way to help identify those applicants who are using the student visa programme for motives other than gaining a quality education. The requirement is not designed to exclude students who, after studying in Australia, go on to develop the skills required by the Australian labour market and apply to become permanent residents.
If you need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency, we will accept the following minimum English language test score:
|English language test providers||Minimum test score||Minimum test score where combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS||Minimum test score where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS|
|International English Language Testing System||5.5||5||4.5|
|*Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper based||527||500||450|
|TOEFL internet based test||46||35||32|
|Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)||162||154||147|
|Pearson Test of English Academic||42||36||30|
|Occupational English Test||Pass**||N/A||N/A|
Financial RequirementsYou need to have enough money that is genuinely available to you, to pay for your course fees, and travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia.
If you need to provide evidence of financial capacity, you will be able to demonstrate this by providing one of the following:
- evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
- evidence that you meet the annual income requirement
- an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students (AASES) form (secondary exchange students only)
- a letter of support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Department of Defence.
Twelve months' funds optionEvidence of funds can include money deposits, financial institution or government loans, scholarships or sponsorships.
Annual income optionThe annual income option requires a student to provide evidence of personal annual income of at least AUD 60,000. For students accompanied by family members, the requirement is at least AUD 70,000. The income demonstrated must be the personal income of your spouse (who is not coming with you) or parents. Where both of your parents are working, their combined income can be considered for this requirement. Evidence must be in the form of official government documents such as tax assessments. Evidence in the form of bank statements or information directly from an employer is not acceptable.
Living costsFrom 1 July 2016, the 12 month living cost is:
- student or guardian - AUD 19,830
- partner or spouse - AUD 6,940
- child - AUD 2,970.
Where school aged children are included in your student visa application, schooling costs of at least AUD 8,000 per year for each child will need to be added to the amount of funds required. You are responsible for researching schooling costs, which vary between states, territories and schools in Australia.
You do not have to provide evidence of schooling costs if you are:
- a PhD student and can show you have enrolled your child in an Australian government school where the fees have been waived
- received an Australian Commonwealth Government scholarship, including Foreign Affairs and Defence sponsored students, and you can show you have enrolled your child in a government school where the fees have been waived.
Genuine access to fundsYou and your accompanying family members must be able to access the funds shown while you are in Australia.
When considering whether the funds will be genuinely available, we will take into account:
- the nature of the relationship between you and the person who is providing the funds, where applicable
- your income, assets and employment or those of the person providing the funds
- your previous visa history and that of the person providing the funds.
You must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. Students can show this by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance.
You can select an approved OSHC provider and pay for the policy yourself. Some education providers might offer to arrange OSHC for you.
You do not need OSHC if you are:
- a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
- Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
- a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.