Australian Student Visa: Its subclasses and key requirements

The Student visa comprises 8 subclasses.  Subclasses 570–576 are based on the education sector of your main course. The subclasses and the prescribed courses for each subclass are as follows:

1. Independent English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) (Subclass 570)
Students undertaking ELICOS as a pre-requisite to another course must apply for a visa under the subclass appropriate to the main course.

2. Schools (Subclass 571)
Primary school, Secondary school, approved secondary exchange programs.

3. Vocational education and training  (VET) (Subclass 572)
Certificate I, II, III, and IV; VET diploma; VET advanced diploma.

4. Higher Education (HE) (Subclass 573)
Bachelor degree; associate degree; graduate certificate; graduate diploma; HE diploma; HE advanced diploma; masters by coursework.

 5. Postgraduate research (Subclass 574)
Masters by research degree; Doctoral degree.

6. Non-award (Subclass 575)
Enabling course; non-award foundation studies; other full-time courses or components of courses not leading to an Australian award.

7. AusAID or Defense (Subclass 576)
Full-time courses of all types undertaken by AusAID or Defense students sponsored by the Australian Government.

8.) Student Guardian (Subclass 580)
A further subclass of student visa, the Student Guardian  visa, provides for certain persons to reside with a student in Australia, where that student requires a guardian. Applications for student guardian visas should be made on form 157G Application for a student guardian visa.

To acquire a student (Subclass 570–576) visa, you must meet key requirements. These include a genuine temporary entrant requirement, your financial capacity, English language proficiency, likely compliance with the conditions of your visa and any other matters considered relevant to assessing your application.
A student visa application will be assessed against one of the following:

  • One of five assessment levels for each visa subclass
  • The streamlined visa processing requirements if you are an eligible student.

Assessment levels are prescribed according to the passport you hold and the education sector of your course. Assessment Level 5 has the most toughest requirements.

For assistance in your application for a student visa, contact the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) 


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