Student Visa (subclass 500)

The Student Visa allows you to study and work in Australia for up to five years, while studying in a full-time education programme registered with Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). You must:

  • Be enrolled in a course of study in Australia
  • Hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall in one of the exemption categories
  • Be 6 years or older
  • If below 18 years, prove that you have financial and welfare arrangements for your study period

Visa Update - Temporary Graduate Visa (SUBCLASS 485)

Last updated 16 December 2021

In response to international students affected by COVID-19 border closures the Australian Government is making changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa.

Replacement Visas

If you have a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa and have been unable to travel to Australia due to international border closures you can now apply for a replacement visa. This allows current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders whose visas expired on, or after 1 February 2020, to re-apply for a new subclass visa of the same duration as their original visa.

VET Graduates

If you’re a VET student your temporary graduate visa has been extended by a further six months, now giving you up to two years of post-study work rights.

Masters Students

If you are undertaking a Masters by Coursework, you will now receive an additional year of post-study work rights. For Gold Coast students that means you will be able to access up to four years of post-study work rights compared to only three years in other Australian destinations like Sydney or Melbourne.

Online study

If your study has been completed online it now counts toward qualifying for a temporary graduate visa. This applies to existing and new student visa holders both in and outside of Australia, however you must lodge your application within six months of completing an eligible qualification.

*While we endeavour to provide as much accurate information as possible the situation is changing rapidly as the Australian Government updates regulations with the reopening of international borders. We recommend seeking independent professional advice to ensure your eligibility meets the Australian Government’s requirements and that your study and career goals align with the current regulations.

Visa Types

If you have decided to study in Australia, the type of visa you will need to apply for will depend on the type of study you choose and sometimes the length of the course.

Some study options you could apply for include:
  • Primary and Secondary School
  • English (ELICOS)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Higher Education
  • Postgraduate Research
  • Non-award

Australian student visa holders are normally eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during a semester and full time during semester holidays. If you have a scholarship, check the conditions to make sure you are allowed to work.


Even if you hire a registered Migration Agent, it is your responsibility to make sure you supply accurate information throughout the visa application process. If you make any false claims or provide any false documents, your visa may be cancelled.



In Australia, Migration Agents must be registered with the office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). If you choose to use a Migration Agent, you should make sure you are using a registered Migration agent.


The office of the MARA has a list of all agents with a valid registration. Go to “Find an Agent” where you can search by Personal Details (Family Name, Given Name, or Business Name) or Location Details (Postcode, Suburb or Country).

HOW TO APPLY for a visa

The Department of Home Affairs accepts all applications lodged, regardless of who lodges them. This means you do not necessarily need to use a Migration Agent. You are able to lodge any kind of visa application or asylum claim yourself and most applications can be lodged online.

However, a Migration Agent can be very useful if you do not feel confident in lodging an application yourself, or if your case is complex. They cannot influence the outcome of your visa, make the processing of your application any quicker, or guarantee you a visa. The MARA website can be found here.

Working in Australia

Australian student visa holders are normally eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during a semester and full time during semester holidays. To support the supply of certain services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Home Affairs have introduced some temporary changes to allow student visa holders working in specific sectors to work more than 40 hours a fortnight. For more details visit the Department of Home Affairs. If you have a scholarship, check the conditions to make sure you are allowed to work.


There are many different scholarships available to international students on the Gold Coast. Scholarships are available directly through the education institutions as well as numerous other scholarships opportunities. It is best to contact the institution directly, see the list of opportunities below.