australian student visa
International students on the Subclass 500 student visa in Australia are not entitled to a visa extension. Source: William West/AFP

Is your Australian student visa expiring soon? 

If you are an international student studying in Australia, you might wonder: “Are there other ways to extend my student visa?”

The truth is it’s not possible. Unlike the UK or the US, extending your Australian student visa isn’t an option. 

Luckily, it’s not the end of the road — especially if you are graduating soon and are struggling to decide whether to continue your postgraduate studies. 

Though renewing or extending your Australian student visa isn’t possible, there’s another way. The simple answer is to apply for a new one.

In other words, if you want to continue studying in Australia, you must go through the whole student visa application process.

Do note that there are certain requirements when applying for a new student visa. Other ways to stay in Australia post-graduation includes applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa.

Looking for alternatives on extending your Australian student visa? Read on to find out how:

Extending your Australian student visa: A guide

extending australian student visa

If your Australian student visa is expiring, you are expected to apply for a new one three to four months before. Source: Robert Wallace/AFP

As mentioned, extending or renewing your Australian student visa is not an option. You can apply for a new one if your old one expires before you complete your course.

To avoid last-minute surprises, apply for a new visa at least three to four months before your visa expires. 

Here are a few other reasons to apply for extending your Australian student visa: 

  • Your current visa will expire before you can complete your course due to failed subjects in your final study period
  • You have started 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 (a request for a letter from your supervisor is required)
  • Your first visa was cancelled administratively by the Department of Home Affairs.

If you are applying from inside Australia, you’ll be granted a Bridging Visa A (BVA), allowing you to legally reside in Australia while your visa is being processed. Your new visa will come into effect once your current student visa expires.

Those applying from outside Australia will have to wait until their student visa application is approved before re-entering Australia. 

In this, you might ask: “What do I do when my student visa expires and I am finishing my course?” 

Temporary Graduate Visa: Another alternative to staying in Australia after graduation

Instead of extending your Australian student visa, you can opt to stay and work in Australia once you’ve graduated. 

For this, you’ll need to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485), which costs 1,730 Australian dollars.

The Temporary Graduate Visa allows graduates to work in the country for up to 18 months. The visa is mainly catered to recent graduates with skills and qualifications relevant to specific occupations in Australia, such as agricultural engineer, carpenter and cardiologist.

It’s best to check if you’re eligible to apply for this visa. Here are some of the requirements: 

  • You must be below 50 years old
  • You hold an eligible visa
  • You have held a student visa in the last six months
  • You must provide evidence of adequate health insurance for all applicants when you apply
  • You must provide evidence you have applied for an AFP check when you apply. All international students are required to get a national police check (also known as a police certificate, police clearance certificate, criminal history check or criminal record check). Read more about that here.  
  • You should achieve a minimum score in various English language proficiency tests — click here to view the list of approved tests  

Check the full eligibility requirements here.

Still unsure of how to apply? This step-by-step guide may help.