Student visas and health cover

International students require a student visa and health cover to study in Australia for more than 12 weeks.

Student visas

The student visa (subclass 500) can be issued for students coming to Australia to study at a registered education institution in the following sectors:

  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
  • Schools
  • Vocational education and training
  • Higher education
  • Postgraduate research
  • Non-award
  • DFAT or Defence.

All student visas are granted by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.

Contact the department if you have any questions about student visas.

Visas for short courses

Some short courses (less than 12 weeks) can be studied on a Visitor visa.

Students from eligible countries may be able to study a short course (up to 17 weeks) on a Working Holiday visa or Work and Holiday visa.

Student Guardian Visa

International students studying in Australia on a student visa are required to provide evidence of appropriate accommodation and welfare arrangements if they are under 18 years of age.

If the student has nominated a parent, legal custodian or immigration approved relative to provide accommodation and welfare support, that person may be required to hold a Student Guardian visa.

Health cover

International students must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance while in Australia.

International students must not arrive in Australia before the commencement of their health insurance cover.

Students can obtain cover from an approved OSHC provider or through their education provider if this service is offered.

Find out what your OSHC insurance will cover by visiting the Australian Government Department of Health website.