Studies in Australia: What Is Student Subclass 500 Visa? -

Studies in Australia: What Is Student Subclass 500 Visa?

Do you dream of studying in Australia? Picture this: you can pick all kinds of courses – degrees, skill training, you name it. And guess what? You can work part-time too, which means pocket money and job experience while you hit the books. And here's the cool part – after you're done studying, you might have a shot at staying in Australia to live and work more.

We’re talking about the subclass 500, a popular student visa that allows international students from Australian universities to live, work and study in Australia for a maximum of five years, in line with their studies. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about what is subclass 500 visa in Australia and how to prepare for the application.

What is student subclass 500 visa?

The student subclass 500 visa is designed for international students seeking education in Australia. It allows them to study, work part-time, travel in and out of Australia, and potentially find pathways to residency. It's a way to access quality education, diverse cultures, learn new skills, and find research opportunities in Australia. Simply put, this visa serves as a gateway for international students seeking to embrace life and studies in Australia.

Student visa: beneficial for Australia and international students

The subclass 500 visa was introduced in 2016 as part of Australia's simplified student visa framework (SSVF) reform. During this time, Australia’s goal was to make the visa process easier for overseas students while keeping the attractiveness of Australia as a premier global education destination.

Now, this visa is a bridge between international students and Australia's diverse educational landscape. It allows eligible students to undertake many different courses, including degrees, diplomas, and vocational training while fostering cross-cultural interactions and creating a rich global learning environment.

The subclass 500 visa is beneficial for Australia too. This visa helps the Australian economy by bringing funds into the education sector and associated industries. It also promotes cultural exchange and global networking, boosting Australia's international relations.

In a nutshell, the subclass 500 visa is a total win-win for both international students and Australia.

Getting started: student visa subclass 500 application form

As with most other visas, to get the subclass 500 visa, you must fill in an online visa application form. You can apply while in or outside Australia.

But before you begin, you need to:

If you meet all the criteria, you continue with the application process, which is uncomplicated and consists of four primary steps:

  1. In case you need to have health examinations, your first task is to prepare them before starting the application;
  2. The next step is gathering the necessary documents for the application. You can use the Document Checklist Tool for this;
  3. Then, apply for the visa online. Do this by creating an ImmiAccount, then attach all the documents and pay the application fee;
  4. And finally, you wait for the visa outcome and add any additional information to the form in case you forgot something. 

Preparation: student visa subclass 500 document checklist

The most important part of the student visa subclass 500 application form is having all the necessary documents. 

To make it easier for you, we made an essential student visa subclass 500 document checklist:

  • Evidence of intended study, such as confirmation of enrolment;
  • Welfare arrangements and parental consent if you are younger than 18 years old;
  • Identity documents such as passport and birth certificate;
  • Passport-size photographs;
  • Genuine temporary entrant requirement;
  • If applicable, documents proving you have been married, widowed, divorced or permanently separated;
  • If applicable, documents stating the change of your name;
  • Employment history;
  • Overseas Student Health Cover;
  • Medical examinations.

While this is just a general checklist, we also advise you to use this Document Checklist Tool and prepare all the necessary documents required for your specific situation.

Finally, here are the last things to know about the student visa subclass 500 application form:

  • Generally, it’s recommended to apply for the visa at least 8 weeks before your course starts.
  • The visa fee starts from 710.00 AUD for the main applicant. Other costs may be involved, for things like health checks, police certificates, and biometrics.
  • While going through the application process, your immigration history will be taken into account. But here's the good news: if this is your first time applying for an Australian visa, no need to fret. And if you've had any past visas cancelled, read this guide on limitations on Visa application in Australia.

Can you work on a subclass 500 visa?

working student

Simply put - yes, you can! Yet, under the subclass 500 visa category, you're allowed to  work for up to 48 hours per fortnight during your active study or training period. It's important to note that students pursuing a Master's by research or a doctoral degree, along with their families, are exempt from this work limit.

Here, you can read more about work restrictions for student visa holders.

Can I change my course in Australia in subclass 500 visa?

If you're considering changing courses, completing your studies ahead of schedule, or discontinuing due to special circumstances, you must be well-informed before taking any action. Before you proceed, take a moment to review the precise steps you should follow. Head over to this page for guidance on how to navigate changes in your study situation.

Keep in mind that altering your course can impact the terms of your visa, and you may need official permission to make any changes. Use VEVO to check your student visa conditions. 

How long does subclass 500 visa take to receive?

Typically, around 90% of vocational training applications get processed within approximately 46 days, whereas higher education applications take around 24 days. While there isn't a precise date for when you'll receive your visa, certain situations might lead to extended processing times. To keep you informed, you can refer to the regularly updated global visa processing times. These updates offer a rough estimate of how long it might take to process different applications.

The subclass 500 student visa in Australia is a significant change for international students and applying for it has never been more accessible. So go ahead and take your education overseas!

Interesting programmes for you

Explore more than 90000 Master's programmes from all around the world with Studyportals.

All disciplines


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!