While it is not possible to renew your student visa, you can apply for a new one if your old one will expire before you can complete your course.
Department of Home Affairs (DHA) update on visa processing
- If you are waiting for your visa approval, please check your ImmiAccount regularly and act quickly on requests for further information or documentation. Delayed action may result in your application being declined and a two-year wait to reapply.
- If you haven’t started your visa application, make sure that your application is complete and includes all relevant documents before submitting.
Reasons to apply for a new visa may include:
- Your current visa will expire before you can complete your course due to failed subjects in your final study period, a Leave of Absence, or Reduced Study Load
- You have commenced a new course
- Your graduate research candidature has been extended
- You have submitted a graduate research thesis for marking, but your current visa will expire before the marking can be finalised
- Your first visa was cancelled administratively by the Department of Home Affairs.
If you're changing courses or levels of study, please see Changing courses or providers for more information.
How to apply for a new visa
We generally recommend applying for a new visa no earlier than four months before your current visa expires. This does not prevent you from requesting a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
If you've had a previous visa cancelled by the Department of Home Affairs for a breach of your visa conditions, we recommend seeking assistance from a qualified migration agent or lawyer.
Student visa fee waiver eligibility (Form 1545)
The Department of Home Affairs will waive the visa application fee if you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and aren't able to complete your course within the original visa dates due to the impacts of COVID-19. The fee waiver is only valid for situations where you:
- had to take leave from your course due to travel restrictions,
- were forced to reduce to a part-time study because the University of Melbourne couldn’t provide you with a required or core subject(s), or
- were unable to complete your work-based training or placements.
If you needed to apply for a student visa prior to 2020 due to ordinary reasons, such as being suspended, taking leave of absence, a reduced study load, or failing subjects, you won't be assessed as eligible. This includes students who voluntarily reduced their study load or had leave due to the impact of COVID-19.
How to apply
If you meet the eligibility requirements, please submit an enquiry here – select 'Student visa' and follow the instructions under the "Can I get a 1545 visa fee waiver form?" section."
Step one: Extend your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
Extend your OSHC policy to align with your new visa periods. You can continue with your existing insurer or find a new provider.
See Overseas Student Health Cover page for information about the length of cover you'll require and OSHC providers. The University's preferred OSHC provider is Bupa.
Step two: Request a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
Before applying for a new visa, check your current CoE end date. This may already cover the period you need to extend by. You may need to review your student email for the most recent version of your CoE. If this is not long enough for you to complete, you'll need to request an extended CoE.
Step three: Consider your location
Applying while in Australia
If you hold a current student visa when you apply for a new student visa, you'll be able to stay in Australia for as long as it takes to process your new visa application.
When you pay for your new visa, you'll receive an acknowledgment letter and a Bridging visa A (subclass 010) (BVA). Your BVA will only become active when your previous student visa has expired, and if your new visa application has not yet been processed.
If you hold a BVA and need to leave the country temporarily, you must apply for Bridging visa B (subclass 020) before departing Australia.
If you have had several temporary visas granted to you while in Australia, you may also have to pay a subsequent temporary application charge.
Before applying for a new visa, check whether you have a 'no further stay condition' on your current visa. This prohibits you from applying for any further visas while you are in Australia.
Applying from outside Australia
If you don’t have a current visa and you are applying from overseas, you must wait until your new student visa is granted before returning to Australia. Plan ahead and factor potential processing delays into your intended return date.
Step four: Submit your application
See Applying for your visa for instructions on how to apply.
After you apply, check your email regularly for correspondence from the Department of Home Affairs regarding your application status.
Medical examinations may not always be required for student visa re-applications. For this reason, we recommend you submit your student visa application, then check the “Health Assessment” tab in ImmiAccount to confirm if a medical examination is required. Instructions for the medical questionnaire and organising a health examination can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Step five: Update your visa status
Once your student visa is granted, make sure to update your visa status with the University:
- Log in to my.unimelb.
- Go to Student admin > My personal details > Update my citizenship and residency details.
- Update and save your new visa status.
Extending your visa for thesis submission
Finishing on time
Graduate researchers must finish their thesis within their expected course duration.
If you don't submit your thesis by the expected date, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will finish and you will have 28 days to depart the country or make other visa arrangements.
If you submit your thesis and receive notification that it has been accepted for examination within 28 days after your expected submission date, you should request a Confirmation of Marking Thesis (CMT) letter immediately. This will confirm your eligibility to remain in Australia during the examination period. Your work rights will also continue. If your candidature was confirmed after 31 December 2017 and you submit after reaching your maximum course duration your thesis will only be accepted for examination if you have approval for late submission.
If your visa expires before submission
If you have had multiple extensions to your candidature, your visa may not be long enough for you to submit your thesis. If this happens, you need to request a new CoE and apply for a new student visa.
If your visa expires during examination
If you submit your thesis while still in Australia, but your visa will expire before examination can be finalised, you will need to request a Confirmation of Marking Thesis (CMT) letter and apply for a new student visa. Doing so will entitle you to stay in Australia until examination is concluded.
If your student visa is refused, please contact our student visa team.
Staying in Australia
If you've finished studying but want to stay on in Australia, there are a range of visas you may be able to apply for. See Staying in Australia for more information.
Need help with a Confirmation of Enrolment?
Submit an online enquiry to Stop 1 and we'll get back to you within 10 business days.