Your Australian student visa

International students must hold a valid visa in order to study in Australia. Many students for this reason apply for a student visa.

When your acceptance of offer (and Guardianship Authorisation if required) and payment have been finalised, your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) will be sent to you or your agent to be submitted when applying for your Australian student visa.

A range of conditions may affect how you apply for an Australian student visa. Many students will be able to apply for their student visa online, others will be required to submit a paper application. Medical examinations may also be required. Please note that if you do not have an appropriate visa you will not be able to enrol.

All student visas have mandatory and discretionary visa conditions attached to them. For a complete list of these conditions, please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Important things to note about your Australian student visa

  • If your student visa will expire soon but you need to extend your stay for your studies, you will need to apply for an extension of your student visa. Visit Visa Applications page for more information.
  • Attached to all student visas are student visa conditions. It is obligatory for student visa holders to comply with these conditions. Make sure you are aware of these conditions.
  • Student visa holders have certain restrictions on their enrolment. Make sure you are aware of how your enrolment changes may impact on your student visa before you accept and enrol in your course. (Note that you cannot downgrade entry into a lower level course if you are applying for a visa as part of the Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) system. This means that you cannot obtain a visa for entry into a Bachelor’s degree and then upon arrival downgrade your studies to a diploma level course).

For more information on Streamlined Visa Processing visas visit the Department of Immigration’s website.

Students who are under 18

If you will be younger than 18 years of age when you arrive in Australia, you will need to provide evidence to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that appropriate welfare arrangements are in place. Please see the fact sheet for more details.

The University of Sydney is currently undertaking a review of policy relating to welfare arrangements for direct applicants under the age of 18. Transitional arrangements will be provided by Taylors College. Taylors College delivers the University of Sydney’s Foundation Studies Program (USFP) and has extensive experience in the provision of services to students who are under 18 years of age. For more details on policies and processes for supporting under 18 students by Taylors College.

If you will not be accompanied by a parent, legal custodian or suitable relative and would like assistance with services for homestay, guardianship and welfare, please provide a request with your application for admission.

Schooling arrangements for school-age dependents

If you have school-age dependents who will be joining you for more than 3 months in Australia on a student dependent visa, you must arrange and maintain adequate schooling arrangements. More information on school tuition costs is available at the Department of Immigration's website.

Changing visa status

It is important to notify the University of Sydney of any change in your current visa status.

Permanent residency

Prospective students
Your offer is valid for admission to the University of Sydney as an international student. If you are granted Australian Permanent Resident status, you must advise the University immediately via the Admissions team before enrolment.

Current students
If you are an enrolled international student who has recently been granted Australian permanent residency, you can request to change your student status from international to domestic via your Sydney Student portal. Under the tab called ‘My Details’, click on ‘Residency’; you are able to request the change here. Please also upload a copy of your visa as well as the bio page of your passport. You will then need to bring the original documentation into the Student Centre before the change can be processed.

For a comprehensive explanation of how permanent residency will affect your domestic/international student status and fees, please refer to the Coursework Policy (Part 10, clause 39).

Temporary visa

If you have been granted a temporary visa other than a student visa, you will still remain an international student but your study entitlements may change. In some cases, you may be eligible to undertake part time study and as such, you need to request a change to your visa status through your Sydney Student Portal.