Australia study visa updates in 2024

Australia has long been a destination favoured by international students. It’s known for its high-quality education and vibrant and multicultural environment. Additionally, it maintains a reputation for openly welcoming international students. This is evidenced by its high approval rate for student visa applications. To continue upholding the integrity of the highly coveted Australia study visa, the Australian government consistently enhances application rules and processes. These updates ensure that approval is granted exclusively to authentic students with a genuine interest in pursuing their studies in Australia.

Staying informed about all the Australian study visa updates and adjustments is imperative to secure a successful and compliant study experience in the Land Down Under. In this article, we’ll go through the latest 2023 updates for Australia study visa that could affect students applying in 2024.


The Australian student visa: subclass 500

The subclass 500 visa stands as the gateway for international students pursuing educational endeavours in Australia. The importance of comprehending the nuances of the subclass 500 visa cannot be overstated, as it forms the bedrock of a student’s legal stay in the country.

Before applying for this visa, students will first need to be accepted in a course at an Australian education or training provider. They can then use the confirmation of enrolment (CoE) issued by the provider to apply for a subclass 500 visa.

As detailed in the Australian government’s official website, this visa allows holders to:

  • study a course at an Australian education provider
  • include family in your application
  • stay in Australia for the duration of your course (maximum five years) and travel in and out of Australia
  • work up to 48 hours a fortnight while your course of study is in session.*

* Students who have started a master’s degree by research or Doctoral degree have no work hour limits.

The subclass 500 visa covers the following types of study:

  • higher education
  • Vocational and Education Training (VET)
  • pathway courses
  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
  • primary and secondary school
  • secondary school exchange programs
  • postgraduate research
  • non-award courses (such as Study Abroad and Exchange semesters)
  • postgraduate research programs

It also applies to international students sponsored by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) or Defence.


Australia study visa updates in 2023

As highlighted earlier, the Australian government is continuously taking measures to administer changes to the Australia study visa process as needed. To provide thorough guidance to aspiring international students, it’s crucial to stay updated on all the changes concerning the visa they need to apply for.

Last year alone, the Australian government announced three major Australia study visa updates:

New working hours cap: July 2023

A pivotal change in the Australian student visa policy is the reintroduction of a capped limit on working hours. Effective 1 July 2023, international students can only work a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight (or 24 hours per week) during study terms and semesters. The limit on working hours was previously relaxed during the lockdown. This allowed students to work unlimited hours to account for workforce shortages. The new measure aims to strike a balance between academic commitments and part-time employment opportunities, while providing students with eight more hours to work compared to their pre-pandemic limit of 40 hours per fortnight.

Expedited visa processing times: August 2023

In a positive turn of events, the Australian government has streamlined the processing times for student visas. As of August 2023, student visas are being processed within an impressive 16 days. This marks a notable improvement from the earlier processing period, which could take up to 49 days at the beginning of the year. The expedited processing times reflect the government’s commitment to providing a more efficient and responsive visa application system. Prospective students can now anticipate quicker turnaround times, facilitating better planning and preparation for their academic pursuits in Australia.

Increased financial requirements: October 2023

Acknowledging the rising living expenses in Australia, the government has announced an increase in the financial requirements for student visa applicants. Starting 1 October 2023, international students must demonstrate evidence of AUD$24,505 in savings, representing a 17% increase from previous levels. This adjustment accounts for indexation since 2019 and aims to align financial criteria with current living standards.

Staying informed about the latest updates in the Australian student visa landscape is extremely important when supporting prospective students through their study abroad journey. To better understand the Australia study visa updates, connect with Global Study Partners’ business development experts today.

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