Staying in Australia - Section contents

Once you complete your studies, you may want to spend some time in Australia, whether for a holiday, to live and work, or to pursue further study.

When you must depart the country

Here is how long you can stay in the country after your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) expires (and if your visa is still valid):

CoE end dateHow long you can remain in Australia
30 June30 August of the same year
31 December15 March the following year
Other28 days after your CoE end date

Graduate research students are also entitled to remain in Australia during their thesis marking period.


Applying for a new visa

Registered migration agents

The University of Melbourne can only advise you about the student visa and how changes to your enrolment may affect it.

If you need to apply for a new visa after completing your course, you can engage a registered migration agent to assist you. Legally, only registered migration agents can provide immigration advice and assistance.

The University does not recommend any particular agents. It is good to do some research, look at the migration agent's website and call them for a quote.

Lawyers who are accredited immigration law specialists are the most qualified agents. You can find the list on the Law Institute website.

Visa types

Prior to engaging with a registered migration agent, you may want to do some research of your own. Different types of visas may be available to you depending on how long you wish to spend in Australia and what you'd like to do while you're here.

If you need to return to Australia to attend your graduation ceremony or to holiday, you can generally make an application for a visitor visa. A visitor visa does not allow you to work.

Other visas you may be eligible for include:

Visa type Description
Temporary Graduate visa

Allows those who have recently completed an Australian qualification to work, travel or study in Australia.

You can only apply for and be issued this visa while in Australia, and you must satisfy the Australian study requirement within six months of making the application.

Skilled workers visas

A permanent visa that allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

To obtain a skilled workers visa, you must submit an expression of interest to the Department of Home Affairs and then be invited to apply.

You be eligible, you must:

  • have an occupation that is on the list of eligible occupations for this visa
  • obtain a successful skills assessment for the occupation
  • meet the points test pass mark, primarily for age, English, qualifications and work experience
  • receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply.
Employer sponsored visa             

A prospective employer may sponsor you to work in Australia if they cannot source appropriately skilled staff within the local labour market.

The position you are being sponsored for must be full-time, and you must have at least two years of work experience (after qualifications).

Short Stay Specialist visa

Allows you to travel to Australia to do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work. This visa can be granted for up to six months, but it is usually only granted for three.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be invited (or supported) by the organisation for which you will be working
  • have specialist skills, knowledge or experience that is needed, but cannot be found in Australia.
Training visa

Allows you to:

  • take part in workplace-based training to enhance your skills in your current occupation, area of tertiary study or field of expertise
  • participate in a professional development training program in Australia.

This is not an appropriate visa for those whose sole intention is to work.

Temporary Activity visaAllows you to come to Australia on a temporary basis to work in a variety of areas, including to participate in or observe an Australian research project.
Working Holiday visa

Allows you to holiday and work in Australia for up to one year, and study for up to four months.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be at least 18, but not yet 31 years of age
  • not have a dependent accompanying child
  • hold a passport from an eligible country.
Work and Holiday visa

Similar to the Working Holiday visa, but available to nationals of a different group of countries.

Eligibility requirements, including required education levels, vary according to agreements Australia has with each country.

Student visaFor those who have accepted a new offer of study in a CRICOS registered course. 

Use the Department of Home Affairs website as a guide for information.