Study in Australia – Subclass 500 Visa Requirements for 2024

If you are planning to study in Australia in 2024, you will need to know about the Subclass 500 requirements for your visa application!

Australia, with its world-class education system and diverse cultural landscape, continues to be a sought-after destination for international students. And from 2022 to 2023, Indian students received more than 100,000 visa approvals. This comprises the largest share of Subclass 500 visas of any nationality for this time period!

Visa requirements and the terms and conditions under them continue to change with time. In this blog, we bring you the latest updates for students aiming to apply for a student visa in Australia in 2024.

What is an Australian Student Visa?

For the length of their selected educational program, international students can live in Australia as Subclass 500 visa holders. The visa acts as a temporary residency permit, and gives you certain rights to:

  • Study a CRICOS-registered program in Australia
  • Travel within and outside of Australia
  • Work part-time as an international student

Key Requirements for the Subclass 500 Visa

To study in Australia, you first need to receive an offer from an Australian university. Once you have this offer you will need to work on the following checklist to apply for the Subclass 500 visa:

Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE):

This acts as verification of enrollment at a CRICOS-registered college or university. You will receive this from the university from which you accept an offer.

Thus, you must:

Valid Passport:

For your time in Australia, you must make sure your passport is valid. Your passport acts not only as proof of your identity but also holds your visa validation.

Proof of Finances:

To study in Australia, you have to show immigration authorities that you have the resources necessary to pay for living expenses, tuition, and any future health insurance expenditures. Sufficient evidence of funds includes bank statements or financial guarantees.

As of October 2023, visa applicants will need to show AUD 24,505 in savings to cover annual living costs. Please note that this is a minimum figure – your costs of living can vary widely depending on several factors. Study Australia, the government’s comprehensive international student support platform, offers a handy Cost of Living Calculator for reference.

Proof of English Proficiency:

Like universities, immigration authorities use your ability in the English language as an indicator of your future success when living and studying in Australia. You likely cleared this requirement when applying for your university, and many of the same test results fulfill the Student Visa Australia requirements as well.

Your scores need to be from a test no longer than two years ago for any of the following:

English Language TestMinimum Score
Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)162
PTE Academic42
Occupational English TestB for each component

Please note that the score boundaries for the English proficiency requirement are set to increase in 2024. For the Subclass 500 visa, the minimum threshold for English proficiency will rise from 5.5 to 6.0 on the IELTS Academic (or equivalent). For temporary graduate visas, the minimum score will rise from 6.0 to 6.5.

Health Insurance:

International students planning to study in Australia must hold the appropriate health coverage for their time in the country. The Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC) is a mandatory requirement for international students. The package you purchase must start on the date of your arrival in Australia and continue until you leave.

The OSHC helps you cover medical and hospital bills while you study in Australia. The minimum compulsory coverage of an OSHC plan will cover:

  • Doctor visits
  • Ambulance services
  • Select hospital treatments
  • Limited pharmaceuticals

To explore and purchase your options, look into the registered health insurers in Australia that offer OSHC.

Genuine Temporary Entrants (GTEs):

The GTE requirement aims to highlight your intention as a genuine student and applicant of the Subclass 500. This will demonstrate that your primary motivation in applying for the visa is your intention to complete your program. You will also need to demonstrate your willingness and ability to return home after completing your program.

Part of the GTE requirement includes a 300-word (or 2,000-character) personal statement. In this, you will be outlining your motivations, goals and personal circumstances explaining your decision to study in Australia.

Alongside the GTE statement, immigration authorities recommend additional evidence including:

  • Proof of previous study (including academic transcripts and proof of qualifications)
  • Reasons for study gaps, if any
  • Current employment information
  • Proof of ties to your country of citizenship/residence
  • Bank statements/income tax returns, etc.

Health and Character Checks:

  • To make sure you fulfill Australia’s health criteria, you will need to get a health check with an authorized panel doctor.
  • To demonstrate your good reputation, present a police certificate from your country of origin/residence.

Other requirements for the Subclass 500 student visa include:

Because immigration laws can change, it’s imperative to stay on top of these changes as you plan to study in Australia. Keep an eye on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website or stay in the loop with trusted study abroad consultants so you learn about changes on time!

Upcoming Intakes in Australia

Australian universities offer two main intakes:

Intake 1: Typically spanning from February/early March to late May/early June.

Intake 2: Starting from July/early August to November.

Australia Student Visa Application Process

Step 1: Gather Documents

Make sure all your documents are up-to-date, complete, and contain accurate information. You might delay your application to study in Australia if you submit incomplete or inaccurate information.

Because you may need to coordinate documents from many different sources, it’s best to start your preparations early. Put in your requests to your most recent place of study for transcripts. Research the process of requesting a police clearance certificate where you live and lodge the request with time to spare. Find the panel doctors who have authorization to conduct your health exam in your area.

There may be additional requirements depending on your application too. For example, if you are applying through an agent, you will need to fill out the right forms to appoint the agent to handle the application on your behalf.

Step 2: Apply Online

  • Create a profile: You will need to set up an ImmiAccount to apply for your student visa to Australia. Here, you will upload scanned copies of your documents.
  • Fill in your visa application: Complete the relevant sections of the visa application. The visa processing time can vary depending on when you apply, the volume of applications, and so on. On average, it can take up to and over 70 days. It’s smart to submit your application as early as four months before the start of your course so you can account for any delays.

Step 3: Pay for Your Visa Application

You must pay the visa application fee of AUD710.00 to formally submit your Subclass 500 visa request. After that, you’ll get a Transaction Reference Number that you may use to track the status of your application.

Your Rights as a Subclass 500 Visa Holder

Once you hold the Subclass 500 visa, you will be able to live, study, and work in Australia. There are, of course, terms and conditions you have to keep in mind. Here are some key details:

Duration of Stay

The validity of your Subclass 500 visa depends on your study level. Your maximum length of stay as a Subclass 500 visa holder can’t exceed 5 years. In general, not counting factors like the validity of your OSHC, your length of stay will depend on the length of your course:

Length of CourseDuration of Your Stay
10 months or more (program finishes in November/December)A visa stay period until 15 March in the following year
10 months or more (program finishes between January and October)A visa stay period of an additional two months after the completion of the program
Less than 10 monthsA visa stay period of an additional one month after the completion of the program
*For Postgraduate Research StudentsAdditional 6 months validity outside the above periods

Work Rights

Beginning in July 2023, the Australian government extended the work hour cap for international students from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight. This means that as a Subclass 500 visa holder, you can work part-time for up to 24 hours per week while you study in Australia! During the yearly semester breaks, you can work full-time.

Please note though that during this time you must maintain your status as a full-time student. If you default on your attendance and classes because of work, you can jeopardize your Subclass 500 visa status.

Post-Study Opportunities

As a Subclass 500 visa holder who successfully completes their program to study in Australia, you can explore post-study opportunities in the country. You may be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) route and continue living and working in Australia for 2 to 4 years. You may also be eligible for a second Temporary Graduate Visa if you qualify for the first!

Rounding Up

Setting out on a voyage to study in Australia is a thrilling and fulfilling undertaking. To make your academic goals come true, understanding and staying up to date with your student visa requirements is a necessity. We hope this blog catches you up on anything you may have been missing to start preparing for the exciting journey ahead!

Date Published: Feb-07-2024

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About the author

This blog was written by Gradstar Global Education.