About Student Visas in Australia

There are two types of students visas in Australia:

  • Student Visa (Subclass 500) – This visa allows you to stay in Australia to study full-time in a recognised education institution.
  • Student Guardian Visa (Subclass 590) – This visa allows you to stay in Australia as the guardian of an international student younger than 18 years of age studying in Australia on a student visa.

8501 – Health Insurance Condition

The Department of Home Affairs imposes specific conditions to the range of visas available to those travelling to Australia.

Condition 8501 requires that visa holders must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.

This condition applies to both Subclass 500 and Subclass 590.

Overseas Student Health Cover – FAQ

Why is Overseas Student Health Cover important?

Student visa requirement

The Australian Government through the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) requires all holders of a student visa to maintain OSHC during their entire stay in Australia.

Maintaining OSHC is a mandatory condition

Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) is a student visa requirement guided by condition 8501. You must maintain OSHC cover for the duration you are on a student visa, that is from the visa’s commencement date through to its expiry date.

Medical treatment can be expensive

Overseas students are not eligible for Medicare (the public health system for most Australian residents). Without access to Medicare, overseas students may have large out-of-pocket expenses.

Why do overseas/international students need health cover?

Most Australian residents are covered by the Australian national health program, Medicare, which covers a significant portion of their medical costs. However, international students are not eligible for Medicare (unless they are covered under a country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia). To ensure you have some of your medical expenses covered while you’re in Australia, you need OSHC.

There are three reasons why you should take out student cover (OSHC):

  1. It is a requirement for international students while they study in Australia.
  2. OSHC keeps you protected against the costs of medical treatment if you get sick or have an accident.
  3. Your cover will help lessen the impact of costs on the Australian health system. This helps our country continue to bring in international students.
What happens if your Overseas Student Health Cover lapses?

If your OSHC cover lapses or is cancelled, you will no longer be complying with your visa conditions and your visa can be cancelled. If you have an accident or need any medical treatment while you don’t have health cover, you will have to pay the full cost of that treatment yourself.

Can international students access Medicare?

As a general rule international students do not have access to Medicare benefits. That is why the Australian government mandate that as a condition of your student visa you are required to hold OSHC. If you are from Norway, Sweden or Belgium you may not be required to purchase OSHC as your country has alternative health agreements with Australia.
To understand the requirements of your student visa and OSHC, you can book a consultation with VisaEnvoy.

Health Insurance Providers

Choosing the relevant health provider for insurance can be overwhelming. In Australia, the relevant insurance for Student visa holders is known as: Overseas Student Health Cover.

We have put together some information on the different OSHC policies that are available, see our pages below:

Book an appointment today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents to find more about your visa options.