COVID-19 update

International students can start their studies by digitally-supported remote learning for most courses, including those outside of Australia. When travel to Australia is allowed, you can continue your studies in Melbourne. Further information is available in our FAQs for international students.

You need a student visa (subclass 500) to study at Victoria University (VU) in Australia. The Australian Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing student visas.

The Department of Home Affairs website contains all the information you need to know about preparing your student visa application, including the documents you are required to submit.

Student visa (subclass 500) application process

The Australian Government process of applying for a student visa is now as follows:

  • all international students apply for a single student visa (subclass 500)
  • student guardians apply for the student guardian visa (subclass 590).

You will need to complete the following steps before applying for your student visa (subclass 500):

  1. Apply for your VU course. You can apply directly to VU  or through VU representatives in your country.
  2. Accept your offer. If you meet VU’s entry requirements, you will receive a letter of offer. There may be conditions attached to your offer, which you must meet before you can accept your offer.
  3. Make sure you have a valid passport.
  4. Include all the relevant documents listed on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) document checklist in your visa application. This includes your letter of offer and Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), which we will send to you once you accept your offer.
  5. Create an ImmiAccount before you submit your student visa application through DHA.
  6. DHA will guide you through the rest of the application process.

A successful student visa application should show proof of the following:

  • English language proficiency
  • evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school-aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • genuine temporary entrant requirements
  • health and character criteria
  • arrangements for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Students under 18

As an international student under the age of 18, you must have appropriate welfare arrangements in place prior to arriving in Australia.

These welfare arrangements must be maintained until you reach 18 years of age. During this period (including periods of non-enrolment), any changes to accommodation and/or welfare arrangements must be approved by VU.

Before arriving, you must choose one of the following options.

You may choose to live in Australia with a nominated student guardian. A student guardian can be:

  • a legal custodian or
  • an eligible relative.

The Department of Home Affairs states that an eligible relative is:

  • over 21 years of age; and
  • is able and has the right to remain in Australia until the student’s visa expires or the student turns 18 years-of-age (whichever happens first); and
  • of good character; and
  • is either a:
    • parent or step-parent
    • spouse or de facto partner
    • brother, sister, step-brother or step-sister
    • grandparent or step‑grandparent
    • aunt, uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle,
    • niece, nephew, step‑niece or step-nephew.

If you choose this option, you must:

  1. complete and submit the under 18 care arrangements form (PDF, 217KB) to Victoria University
  2. submit evidence to support your guardian is of good character by providing the following:
    • an original copy of a police clearance check in the country or countries in which your guardian has resided for more than 12 months in the past 10 years after the age of 16 (note that police certificates are valid for 12 months from the issue date); and
    • a statutory declaration from your parent/legal custodian or guardian, confirming the relationship between you and your guardian
    • certified copies of your of parent/legal custodian and guardian’s identification (including photograph and signature).
  3. Complete and provide your acceptance documentation.

When applying for a student visa, you will need to submit the details of your guardianship arrangement to the Department of Home Affairs website for their approval.

Your parent or legal custodian is responsible for arranging the welfare agreement with the caregiver service.

VU’s approved caregiver service is EduCARE Services Australia. It was established in 1999, to provide guardianship and welfare support to international students who are under 18 years of age. The supervision services help families who have no contacts in Australia, yet want their children under 18 years of age to study here. EduCARE provides guidance and support for students' academic, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. This offers peace of mind for parents and families, knowing that their children are being well-monitored and cared for. Please refer to the EduCARE website for information on how to apply for their services.

If you choose this option, you must:

  • complete and submit the following under 18 care arrangements form (PDF, 217KB) to VU
  • provide evidence of confirmed welfare arrangements through EduCARE
  • provide certified copies of parent/legal custodian's identification (photograph and signature must be included)
  • complete and provide your acceptance documentation.

Upon approval of your welfare arrangements, VU will issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation Welfare (CAAW) letter together with the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

Students cannot travel to Australia before the nominated start date of their approved welfare arrangements, as specified in the CAAW letter.

For further information regarding visa application requirements and welfare arrangements applicable to international students under the age of 18, please refer to the following Department of Home Affairs website.

Applying for more than one course

You can apply to study two or more courses on your student (subclass 500) visa where there is clear progression from one course to another. This is known as course packaging. The final course that you will undertake as part of your package is your main (or principal) course of study. 

Visa conditions

As an international student in Australia, you must meet the conditions of your visa throughout your entire study. Read details about visa conditions for student visa holders.

In order to meet your visa conditions you must:

  • be enrolled in a full-time, registered program*
  • complete your study within the time shown on your confirmation of enrolment
  • meet the financial requirements to cover your living costs (and costs for any dependents) during your study
  • arrange education for your children aged 6-17 years if you have children who are accompanying you to Australia (international research students can send their children to a public school without paying any tuition fees)
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress to avoid exclusion from your course. If you are reported for unsatisfactory progress during your study, please contact VUHQ (Student Service Centres) for advice.

*International students can only enrol in VU-registered programs that are listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). 

Find out if your preferred course is registered with CRICOS.

Changing your VU course

International students may be able to change their course at VU. Visit VUHQ (Student Service Centres) to discuss the possibility of changing your course.

All student visa (subclass 500) holders are required to maintain enrolment at the same course level or a higher level for which they were granted a visa. You do not need to apply for a new visa if you are changing from an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 10 course (doctoral degree) to an AQF 9 course (masters degree).

Find out more about changing courses.

If you want to transfer from VU to another place of study, you must complete six months of your principal course before you can transfer. If you have not completed six months at VU, you will need to complete an International Student Release Letter Application. All transfers from VU are assessed on a case-by-case basis in line with the university's Transfer Policy.

Find out more about transferring courses from VU to another institution.

Working in Australia

Once your course starts, you and your dependants can work up to 40 hours per fortnight (starting on a Monday) and unlimited hours during the holidays. Work that is part of your course at VU or genuine voluntary unpaid work is not included in the 40 hours.

You need a tax file number (TFN) to work in Australia – apply to the Australian Tax Office for a TFN.

Students and their families must not breach the work conditions that apply to their student visa. Read full details about work conditions for student visa holders.

If you want to share your visa details with your education provider or employer, you can do this through DHA’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

Visas for ELICOS/English language courses

If you are only studying a stand-alone English-language course with VU, you can apply to travel to Australia on a visitor visa (subclass 600). This visa may let you visit Australia for up to three, six or 12 months.

Permanent residency

If you qualify for permanent residency, we need to record any changes to your visa status. Visit VUHQ (Student Service Centres) with your passport and proof of your new visa status.