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Australian Visa Requirements

The Australian Government operates an Overseas Student Program (OSP) that allows people who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to study in Australia.

  • Any person who is not an Australian resident may apply to study in Australia under the OSP.
  • A person who wants to study under the program must obtain a student visa before they can commence a course of study in Australia.
  • You can be granted a student visa only if you wish to undertake a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis.
  • A registered course is an education or training course offered by an Australian education provider who is registered with the Australian Government to offer courses to overseas students.

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations can provide details of registered courses.

The Australian education system is divided broadly into four levels of schooling:

  1. Primary;
  2. Secondary;
  3. Vocational Education; and
  4. Training and Higher Education.

There are also other options available to students from other countries wishing to study in Australia, such as English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) and non-award courses.

Types of Visa's

Student visa subclass Courses/qualifications
Subclass 570
Independent ELICOS
English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) undertaken as a stand-alone course, not leading to an Australian award
Subclass 571
Primary school
Secondary school including junior and senior secondary
Approved secondary exchange programs
Subclass 572
Vocational Education and Training


Certificate I, II, III, and IV
Diploma, Advanced diploma
Former RATE system qualifications: Certificate, Advanced certificate and Associate diploma
Subclass 573
Higher Education
Bachelor degree
Associate degree
Graduate certificate
Graduate diploma
Subclass 574
Masters and Doctorate
Master degree including master coursework and master research
Doctoral degree

Subclass 575
Non-award Foundation Studies/


Enabling course: non-award foundation studies
Other full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian award
Subclass 576
AusAID and Defence
Full-time courses of all types undertaken by AusAID or Defence students sponsored by the Australian Government

If you would like more information about the Australian Immigration System in relation to students, you can visit their government info page.

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