Visa entitlements and study restrictions for international students

Determine whether your visa provides the appropriate study entitlements.

Student visa holders are required to enrol in a CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) registered course and comply with ESOS (Educational Services for Overseas Students) legislation and student visa related conditions.

Other students with permanent visas and most temporary visas (including provisional and most bridging visas) have unrestricted study entitlements.

The following information will help you determine whether your visa provides the appropriate study entitlements to undertake and complete one or more individual subjects, a course (award or non-award) or an intensive program at the University of Melbourne. We also encourage you to read about visa and study entitlements.

Evidencing of visa grants

The Department of Home Affairs will issue visas electronically and informs students via email of the class, subclass and conditions of the visa. Visas are not usually evidenced in passports.

Verify study entitlements

We have listed common temporary and permanent visas by subclass and study entitlements. Students can query their visa study entitlements using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) online system.

Studying with a visa, subclasses and restrictions

If there are no restrictions to study, students can study part-time. If there are restrictions, students must abide by the conditions of their visa (i.e. reduced study load and leave of absence.)

  • Permanent and protection visas

    Students holding a permanent or protection visa must apply as a domestic student or change their student status to that of a domestic student. Permanent and protection visas do not have study restrictions.

    Protection visas

    Visa by subclassStudy
    200 Refugee No restrictions
    201 In-country Special Humanitarian No restrictions
    202 Global Special Humanitarian No restrictions
    203 Emergency Rescue No restrictions
    204 Woman at Risk No restrictions
    785 Temporary Protection No restrictions
    866 Protection No restrictions
    790 Safe Haven Enterprise No restrictions
  • Temporary visas

    Students holding a temporary visa are considered international full-fee students. Most temporary visas do not have study restrictions, except for the following visas:

    • Tourist visas and Electronic Travel Authorities (ETA) allow study for three months. Coursework students can only enrol in an intensive program or intensive subjects that do not exceed three months in duration. Research students, who are usually undertaking research outside of Australia, may be able travel to and study in Australia for short periods (not exceeding three months) on a tourist visa or ETA with supporting evidence.
    • Holders of a student visa who undertake their principal course at the University of Melbourne must enrol in a CRICOS-registered course and are subject to ESOS legislation. Student dependants can study for three months only and should apply for a student visa as a primary holder if they wish to study for more than three months.
    • Working holidays visas (subclass 417 and 462) allow study for four months. Students undertaking a course or program (study abroad or exchange) that is not more than one semester (or four months) in duration can study on this visa.
    • Holders of a short stay business visa and ETA equivalent do not have study entitlements and cannot enrol in any course, program or subject.

    The following conditions may be imposed on temporary visas:

    • 8201: while in Australia the holder must not engage in any studies or training of more than three months' duration
    • 8207: the holder must not engage in any studies or training in Australia
    • 8548: the holder must not engage in any studies or training in Australia for more than 4 months

    Temporary visas

    Visa subclassStudy
    159 Provisional Resident Return No restrictions
    160 Business Owner (Provisional) No restrictions
    161 Senior Executive (Provisional) No restrictions
    162 Investor (Provisional) No restrictions
    163 S/T Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) No restrictions
    164 S/T Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional) No restrictions
    165 S/T Sponsored Investor (Provisional) No restrictions
    173 Contributory Parent (Temporary) No restrictions
    188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)No restrictions
    300 Prospective MarriageNo restrictions
    309 Partner (Provisional)No restrictions
    400 Temporary Specialist (Short Stay Specialist)No restrictions
    403 Temporary Work (International Relations)No restrictions
    405 Investor RetirementNo restrictions
    407 TrainingNo restrictions
    408 Temporary ActivityNo restrictions
    410 RetirementNo restrictions
    411 ExchangeNo restrictions
    415 Foreign Government AgencyNo restrictions
    416 Special ProgramNo restrictions
    417 Working Holiday4 months
    419 Visiting AcademicNo restrictions
    420 Temporary Work (Entertainment)No restrictions
    421 SportNo restrictions
    422 Medical PractitionerNo restrictions
    423 Media and Film StaffNo restrictions
    426 Domestic Worker (Temporary) – DiplomaticNo restrictions
    427 Domestic Worker (Temporary) – ExecutiveNo restrictions
    428 Religious WorkerNo restrictions
    442 Occupational TraineeNo restrictions
    444 Special CategoryNo restrictions
    445 Dependent ChildNo restrictions
    449 Humanitarian Stay (Temporary)No restrictions
    456 Business (Short Stay)No study
    457 Business (Long Stay)No restrictions
    459 Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay)Study not allowed
    461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary)No restrictions
    462 Work and Holiday4 months
    470 Professional DevelopmentNo restrictions
    476 Skilled – Recognised GraduateNo restrictions
    482 Temporary Skill ShortageNo restrictions
    485 Skilled – GraduateNo restrictions
    487 Skilled – Regional SponsoredNo restrictions
    489 Skilled- Regional ProvisionalNo restrictions
    491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)No restrictions
    494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)No restrictions
    500 Student (Independent ELICOS Sector)Study not allowed
    500 Student (Schools Sector)Study not allowed
    500 Student (Vocational Education and Training Sector)Study not allowed
    500 Student (Higher Education Sector)No restrictions
    500 Student (Postgraduate Research Sector)No restrictions
    500 Student (Non‑Award Sector)No restrictions
    500 Student (AusAID or Defence Sector)No restrictions
    590 Student GuardianStudy not allowed
    600 Visitor3 months
    601 ETA3 months
    602 Medical Treatment3 months
    651 eVisitor3 months
    675 Medical Treatment (Short Stay)3 months
    676 Tourist3 months
    679 Sponsored Family Visitor3 months
    685 Medical Treatment (Long Stay)3 months
    771 Transit3 months
    773 BorderNo restrictions
    786 Temporary (Humanitarian Concern)No restrictions
    820 Partner (Provisional)No restrictions
    850 Resolution of Status (Temporary)No restrictions
    870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary)No restrictions
    884 Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary)No restrictions
    956 ETA (Business Entrant – Long Validity)No study
    976 ETA (Visitor)3 months
    977 ETA (Business Entrant – Short Validity)No restrictions
    988 Maritime CrewNo restrictions
    995 Diplomatic (Temporary)No restrictions
  • Bridging visas

    Bridging visas will contain the same conditions as the visa that’s pending approval. A bridging visa only comes into effect when the last-held substantive visa ceases. A substantive visa is any visa except for a bridging visa, criminal justice visa or enforcement visa.

    Where a substantive visa is still valid, the student must abide by the conditions or requirements imposed on this visa. 'Bridging visa E' may have study restrictions preventing students from enrolling in a course.

    Bridging visa holders can provide evidence of their study rights by forwarding a copy of both their VEVO entitlements as well as a copy of the application acknowledgement letter for the visa they are awaiting approval for to the University.

    Bridging visas

    Visa by subclassStudy
    010 Bridging ANo restrictions*
    020 Bridging B No restrictions*
    030 Bridging C No restrictions*
    040 Bridging (Prospective Applicant) No restrictions*
    041 Bridging (Non-applicant) No* 
    050 Bridging (General) No*
    051 Bridging (Protection Visa Applicant)No*

    * Study entitlement on a bridging visa may vary and depend on the visa subclass applied for. If the visa subclass has no study limitation, the bridging visa will not contain a study limitation either.

Changes in visa status

All temporary visa holders should update their visa details. Holders of a temporary visa (other than a student visa) remain international full-fee students. However, they are not subject to study restrictions imposed by ESOS legislation.

A change of citizenship form must be completed when students convert to a permanent visa and their student status will be changed from 'international' to 'domestic'.

The Australian government has updated information regarding student visas during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see our visa FAQs.