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Student visa (subclass 500)
All school students, including those participating in a secondary exchange programme will be required to apply for a Student visa (subclass 500).
Lodging your visa application
All student visa applications must generally be lodged online using
Visa application charge
You will need to pay the visa application charge unless you are in an exemption category.
Visa grant period
Generally, the maximum period for a Student visa grant is five years, with the exception of primary school-aged students where a maximum period of two years will generally apply.
The two year limit for primary school students will be an important safeguard for younger and more vulnerable students.
In circumstances where a student intends to enrol in primary school before secondary school, it would be acceptable to grant the visa for five years as long as the primary school component has not exceeded two years. For example, a student seeking to study year five and six could be granted a student visa until year nine.
School students applying for subsequent visas must meet all relevant requirements, including the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement.
Age requirements for school study
All school students must be of a certain age to the entry level for their school course, regardless of their country of citizenship.
To be granted a visa for school studies, you must meet the following age requirements:
- at least six years old at time of application
- less than 17 when commencing Year 9
- less than 18 when commencing Year 10
- less than 19 when commencing Year 11
- less than 20 when commencing Year 12.
A child younger than six years old is able to enrol in school for up to three months on a Visitor visa (subclass 600).
If you are under 18, you must have adequate
welfare arrangements in place for the duration of your stay in Australia.
Evidence of enrolment
Primary and secondary school students
If you are lodging your application from outside Australia, you must be enrolled in a registered course of study and provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) when you lodge your Student visa application.
If you are in Australia, you can still apply with a letter of offer or a CoE but must obtain a CoE to be granted the visa.
Secondary exchange students
If you are a secondary exchange student (whether you are in or outside Australia), you must provide an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form when you lodge your visa application.
Genuine temporary entrant requirement
The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement applies to all students.
GTE considers whether the individual circumstances of the student indicate that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia. When considering the circumstances of a school student, an important consideration for us to be confident that the student can effectively reintegrate to their home country on completion of their study. This may be challenging in circumstances where a student completes all their primary and secondary education in Australia. On this basis, a school student intending to study in Australia from year 1 through to year 12 would not meet the GTE requirement.