Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector Visa (Subclass 576)

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The Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector (Subclass 576) student visa allows immigrants who are sponsored by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or Australia's Department of Defence, to enter Australia to study on any type of full time course. This includes award courses, such as a degrees, as well as non-award courses, and vocational/training programs.


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

  • Provide proof of acceptance onto a full time course at an Australian educational institution or training centre, 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 Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector (Subclass 576) student visa allows students to stay in Australia for the full duration of their studies. Students on this visa will usually be granted entry for a set period of time as determined by their sponsoring government department. If no set period is suggested by their sponsor then this visa will last for the length of the student's course, plus one month.

Sometimes the student's sponsor will impose a 'no further stay' condition on this visa, meaning that it cannot be extended beyond the initial period.


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 student 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 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