Higher Education Sector Visa (Subclass 573)

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The Higher Education Sector (Subclass 573) student visa is the main route into Australia for international students wishing to study at an Australian university. In order to apply for this visa students must have a confirmed place on a course at an Australian university which leads to one of the following awards:

  • Associate's degree

  • Bachelor's degree

  • Graduate certificate

  • Graduate diploma

  • Master's degree (taught/coursework based only, for details on research based study please see our Postgraduate Research Sector Visa page)

  • Higher Education diploma/advanced diploma


In order to be eligible for this student visa students must:

  • Provide proof of acceptance onto a Higher Education course at an Australian university or other educational insitution, such as an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment code, Confirmation of Enrolment letter, or Letter of Offer.

  • Have enough funds to pay travel, tuition, and maintenance costs for themselves and for any family members included on their application.

  • Meet the level of English Language proficiency set by the organisation they will be studying with.

  • Meet various health requirements, including having health insurance.

  • Meet the character requirements, this usually means a criminal record check

  • Satisfy Australian officials that they will not overstay their visa. This is known as the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement.

Students less than 18 years old

Students under the age of 18 must meet specific eligibility requirements to be granted a visa. These students must:

  • Have a parent or guardian sign their visa application. If the parent or guardian is unable to do this they can instead provide:

    • A statutory declaration letter, giving their permission for the student to travel to Australia, OR;

    • A copy of Australian form 1229

  • Stay with a parent/guardian, or another relative over the age of 21 (who must be nominated by a parent/guardian) while in Australia. If this is not possible other arrangements can be made, but these must be agreed with the student's education provider in Australia.

Length of Stay

The Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa allows students to stay in Australia for the duration of their studies, plus a set period determined by the length of the student's course, and what time of the year that it finishes:

  • Course length of less than 10 months: The visa will last the full length of the course, plus one month.

  • Course length of 10 months or more, and finishing between January and October: The visa will last the full length of the course, plus 2 months.

  • Course length of 10 months or more, and finishing in November or December: The visa will last until March 15th of the next year.


Students can include the following family members on their visa application

  • Partners

  • Dependent children (including partners' dependent children)

  • Dependent relatives (including partners' dependent relatives)


This visa automatically allows students to work for up to 20 hours per week during study/term time, and full time during holidays. No separate work authorisation is required.

However, students under the school leaving age for the state they are studying in cannot work during study/term time. For most Australia states the school leaving age is 15.

Family members included on the student's visa may also work for up to 20 hours per week year round.

Further Information, help, and advice

Workpermit.com has over twenty years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. If you feel that you can pass the points test and wish to immigrate to Australia, fill out our free assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.

For more information and advice on Australian immigration law and Australian visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com