Visa Requirements and Legislative Framework

Non-Australian passport holders can study short courses in Australia on a variety of visas. Full details are available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. You should also refer to the ESOS Act as part of your pre-enrolment. For student visa holders, it is compulsory to purchase Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire length of your stay in Australia, not just to cover your enrolment period. International House Sydney can arrange this for you, or you may choose to purchase your own. If you travel on a Working Holiday or Tourist visa, it is not compulsory that you have health insurance, however you may choose to purchase Educover, which provides insurance cover similar to the Medicare benefits available for Australian citizens. For more information on health cover, click here.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring you have a great education experience in Australia. The ESOS Act and related laws protect international students through:

  • The ESOS legislation and recent reforms
  • The National Code
  • The Overseas Students Ombudsman
  • The Tuition Protection Service​

Further information about students’ rights and obligations under the ESOS Framework can be found in ESOS Framework Student Fact Sheet .

Further information about overseas student health cover (OSHC) can be found in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s OSHC factsheet(pdf).

Overseas Health Cover ( Single and Family Cover available)

Some of the more popular visa options include:

  • Student Visa

Your passport country and course of study determines your assessment level. Full details are available at

  • Tourist Visa (Subclass 676)

This is a temporary visa generally granted for a stay of 3 months or 6 months. In certain circumstances a stay of 12 months may be granted.  You are able to study for up to three months on a tourist visa as part of your stay. This visa is for you if you are outside Australia and want to apply for a visa to visit Australia, or if you are in Australia and want to extend your stay as a visitor.

  • Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

An ETA is equivalent to a visa, but there is no stamp or label in your passport and there is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application. Applications for ETAs can be submitted through travel agents, airlines or Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

You are only eligible to apply for an ETA while you are outside of Australia. It is valid for multiple visits within 12 months from date of issue, maximum length of each visit is three months.

  • Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) & Working Holiday Visa (subclass 462)

The *Working Holiday and **Work and Holiday Programs provide opportunities for people between 18 and 30 from arrangement countries to holiday in Australia and to supplement their travel funds through incidental employment. These visa holders are able to study for up to three months.

You can visit and view the  extensive summary of the working holiday visa regulations.

*For people from Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom.

**For tertiary educated people from Chile, Iran and Thailand to holiday up to 12 months in Australia.

  • Sponsored Family Visitor Visa (Subclass 679)

This visa is for you if you want to visit your family in Australia or to holiday in Australia for reasons other than business or medical treatment. You must be outside Australia when you apply for this visa. You can visit Australia once, usually to stay for a period of up to three (3) months or six (6) months, but in certain circumstances a stay of 12 months may be granted. While in Australia you can study for up to three months.