Navigating Australia's Student Visas

Trying to wrap your head around Australia’s visa system can be overwhelming. However, understanding the system is incredibly important, because if you want to study in Australia, chances are you will need to apply for a student visa.

There are 11 different student visa subclasses available, depending on your home country and the course you are planning on studying. The Australian Government Department of Immigration have created a helpful tool to help students determine which visa is correct for them. The subclasses most likely to suit to you are:

ELICOS Visa (570)
This visa subclass applies to those studying English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). This can include general English, business English, Cambridge and IELTS preparation courses.

Schools Sector Visa (571)
This visa subclass is only applicable if you are enrolled to study in a secondary school.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Visa (572)
This visa subclass is for students enrolled in VET courses, such as Certificates (I, II, III, IV), Diplomas or Advanced Diplomas.

Higher Education Visa (573)
This visa allows students to study a full time higher education (university) course. The common courses under this subclass include Bachelors Degree, a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma, or a Masters Degree.

Postgraduate Research Visa (574)
This visa subclass applies to those staying in Australia for postgraduate research, including a Masters Degree by research, or a Doctoral Degree.

A student visa allows you to work and study in Australia for the duration of your course, plus an additional month after the date of your last class. The minimum student visa duration is 12 weeks and the base cost for most visa types is AU$535. For many students, the visa system is now online under the VEVO service (visa entitlement verification online), allowing students access to their visa entitlement and status information 24 hours a day. This means there is no need for a visa label printed in a passport.

Keep in mind that Spiible is available to help you through the visa process. We understand that it can all seem very confusing, and it is exceedingly important to get correct, so we encourage students to enrol through so that we may handle the visa process for you.   


If you have any questions about this, or about any aspect of studying in Australia, please don’t hesitate to ask! Feel free to ask questions below in the comment section, or email us directly a We are here to help!

Words by Carla Brugliera

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