Australian Student Visas

Australia’s Overseas Student Program allows international students to undertake full time studies in a registered course offered by an Australian education provider.  A large variety of registered courses are available through government and private education providers at the following levels:

  • English courses – for students studying stand-alone English courses
  • Schools – for students studying at primary and secondary schools
  • Vocational Training – for students studying courses at certificate, diploma or advanced diploma level
  • Higher Education Sector – undergraduate and postgraduate studies by coursework
  • Postgraduate Research Sector – postgraduate studies by research
  • Non-Award Sector – ‘bridging’ courses not leading to an Australian award

Students who have completed two years of full time study in Australia may be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Australia.


Australian Student Visa Options

English Language Course (ELICOS) (Subclass 570) Visa – for applicants wanting to complete an English Language course.

School Sector (Subclass 571) Visa – is for applicants wanting to complete a course of study at primary and secondary schools.

Vocational Education and Training Sector (Subclass 572) Visa – is for applicants wanting to study Certificate I, II, III, IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Advanced Certificates.

Higher Education Sector (Subclass 573) Visa – is for applicants wanting to study a Bachelor Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diplomas and Masters by coursework.

Masters and Doctorate Sector (Subclass 574) Visa – is for applicants wanting to study a Masters by research and Doctoral Degrees.

Student Visa Assessment Levels

The Department of Immigration considers each student visa application on their individual merits.  With visas granted to students from over 190 countries, Assessment Levels are used as an objective measure to determine the risk posed by an applicant for a particular country and also for particular education sector.

There are three Assessment Levels in the Australian Student Visa Program, with Assessment Level 1 representing the lowest risk and Assessment Level 3 the highest.  The higher the Assessment Level, the greater the evidence an applicant is required to demonstrate to support their claims for grant of a student visa.

The passport you hold and the education sector of your principal course will determine the Assessment Level of your visa application.

To identify the Assessment Level for your visa application, match your passport type with the visa subclass for the education sector of your principal course.

The The Overseas Student Program – Assessment Levels information sheet contains a list of the current Assessment Levels for all passports and education sectors. Your Assessment Level is the one in effect for your passport and visa subclass on the date that you lodged a valid application with the department.