Renewing your student visa

If your student visa will expire before you complete your course

You must hold a valid student visa whilst studying in Australia.

You may need to apply for a further student visa if:

  • Your current visa will expire before you can complete your course (due to failed subjects, leave of absence or reduced study load)
  • If your research candidature has been extended
  • You have submitted your postgraduate research thesis for marking, but your current student visa will expire before thesis marking can be finalised
  • You have commenced a new course of study
  • Your first visa has been cancelled administratively by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection DIBP (if cancelled for breach of your student visa conditions, we recommend you seek assistance from a suitably qualified migration agent/lawyer)

When to apply

We recommend applying no earlier than 4 months before your current visa expires. Changing levels of study may require an immediate visa application, see information on changing courses.

Applying in Australia

If you apply in Australia, you will usually be granted a bridging visa A (BVA). BVA allows you to remain lawfully in Australia whilst your new visa is processing. A BVA will only come into effect when your current visa expires.

If you hold a BVA and need to go outside of Australia, you must apply for a bridging visa B (BVB- permission to travel) before departing Australia. An application can be made via ImmiAccount.

Before applying in Australia, check that you don’t have a “no further stay condition” and you hold a prequalifying visa.

You may also have to pay a subsequent temporary application charge based on your visa history.

Applying outside of Australia

If you have no other visa, you must wait until your visa is granted before coming back to Australia. Plan ahead and factor potential processing delays into your intended return date.

Step 1

Read our webpage “Your First Student Visa” in conjunction with Student Visa (subclass 500) website

Step 2

Extend your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy to align with visa grant periods. You can continue with your existing insurer or find a new provider. The University’s preferred OHSC provider is BUPA.

Tables below indicate how long your new policy should be:

Coursework (undergraduate or Masters by coursework)

Completing in Extend your OSHC until
Semester 1 30 August of the same year
Semester 2 15 March the following year
Other 1 month after your course end date

Researchers (Masters by research or PhD)

DIBP allows 6 months stay for your interactive thesis marking period.

Completing in OSHC required
CoE is greater than 10 months in duration 8 months on top of your expected submission date
CoE is for less than 10 months in duration 7 months on top of your expected submission date
CMT letter 1 month after the date on your CMT letter

Step 3

CoE request Form

CMT request (Researchers who have submitted their thesis for marking)

Step 4

Start collecting the documentation you are required to provide with your application by checking the Document Checklist Tool on the Student Visa (Subclass 500) website.

DIBP’s visa support page has summarised various useful links on how to apply for a visa, information on preparing your application, including family, using ImmiAccount and much more.

After you submit your application

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will send you an acknowledgement letter along with a copy of a bridging visa A (for applicants in Australia only).

  • Check the Health Assessment tab in your ImmiAccount to see if health examinations are required. Instructions on how to complete the medical questionnaire and organise a health examination are provided on Arranging a health examination website.
  • Check your nominated email account regularly for correspondence from DIBP regarding the status of your application.

Visa Granted

Once your student visa is granted, update your student visa status:

  • Log into my.unimelb > Student Admin > my personal details > Select ‘Update my citizenship and residency details’ and update your visa status

Refused or application issues

If your student visa is refused or if you experience any difficulties with the application, contact us.