Can I apply for a student visa before my Working Holiday Visa ends?

Can I apply for a student visa before my Working Holiday Visa ends?

If your Working Holiday visa (417) or Work and Holiday Visa (462) is coming to an end, but you are not quite ready yet to go back home … you are not alone! By the way, we call these visas WHVs!

Lots of WHV holders want to extend their stay in Australia and a large number choose to do so through studies. It is not hard to see why – Australia is home to some of the World’s Top 100 universities and had received over 800,000 enrolments from international students as of July 2019. That’s a huge number!

Why do WHV holders choose to study in Australia? Well that’s easy, Australia is a really, really nice place to live whilst you study, rentals are relatively inexpensive and there are lots of well-paid part-time jobs for international students.

What’s more, Australian colleges and universities don’t mind if you are a little bit older than your average college student. In many countries, it’s hard to gain access to VET studies as a slightly more mature student … but that’s certainly not the case in Australia. In Australia, lots of Australians decide to go back to college or university in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and even older! A friend’s mum, who has grown up on a farm and finished school at 15 years of age, decided to take her herself off to university at the grand old age of 80. She graduated with a Bachelors’ Degree and now she is studying for a Masters!!

Australian qualifications are highly regarded the world over and this is one of the many reasons why do many people choose to study in Australia at the end of their WHV.  If you want to gain some valuable qualifications and, if you can afford it, why not study in Australia? It’s warm, clean and wonderful!

What are the most popular courses?

Some WHV holders use this as an opportunity to further their existing qualifications (e.g. study a Master’s) while many others embark on a new career and study something that they may have not thought of or didn’t have the opportunity to do in the past. Courses available to international students include:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Commercial Cookery and Patisserie
  • Hospitality Management
  • Yoga
  • Trades (carpentry, bricklaying, etc.)
  • Human resources
  • Social Worker
  • Teaching
  • T (web development, cyber security, etc.)
  • And lots more!
What are the main student visa requirements?

Similar to applying for a WHV, student visa applicants must meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Evidence of genuine access to funds – ($21,041 for a 12-month stay plus course fees for the first year). This amount is calculated pro-rata and will vary if your course is shorter
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant Statement – a letter explaining your choice of course and your intentions once you finish your studies
  • Overseas Student Health Cover – you will need to purchase an approved OSHC insurance policy which must cover the duration of your course
  • English language test – you may be required to provide results for an English language test such as IELTS or PTE (or equivalent) meeting minimum entry requirements. You may be able to do an internal English test at the institution you wish to study at or qualify for an exemption (UK, USA, Canada, NZ and Republic of Ireland passport holders do not need to provide evidence of English).
  • Translations – you will need to translate any original documents accompanying your application
  • Medical exams – you may be asked to undergo a visa medical
How does the transition from a WHV to a student visa work?

When you apply for a student visa in Australia, you will be granted a bridging visa that will allow you to stay in Australia until there is a decision on the student visa application. This bridging visa will not replace your WHV visa. The bridging visa will sit quietly in the background and it will not come into effect until your WHV expires. As long as you apply for a student visa before your WHV expires, you will receive a Bridging Visa A (BVA), which will have the same work rights as your WHV. However, the BVA will not allow you to travel out of Australia and come back in. If you need to travel, you will need to apply for a Bridging Visa B (BVB).

Once your BVB is granted, you will be able to leave Australia and return within the timeframe provided on your BVB grant letter.

While you are on your bridging visa you can continue to work. Your WHV work rights will continue until a decision is made on your student visa application. If your student visa hasn’t been granted by the time your course starts, don’t worry! You can start studying on your bridging visa.

Once your student visa is granted, it’s important to ensure that you read the conditions attached to your student visa and that you comply with them!

Things to be mindful of:
  • The majority of international student visa holders can work 20 hours a week on a student visa whilst your course is in session and unlimited hours during holiday breaks.
  • When you lodge your student visa onshore, you will usually be granted a bridging visa – BVA.
  • Your BVA won’t allow you to travel overseas whilst your student visa application is being processed. If you intend to go overseas, you will need to apply for travel rights – BVB.
  • Your work rights won’t kick in until your course commences. If your student visa is granted before the course start date, you will not be able to work until your course actually commences.
  • You may be able to include a partner on your student visa.
  • There is no upper age limit to apply for a student visa.
  • You will be able to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) upon completion of a certain* courses.

*Please feel free to ask us for more information.

Example Timelines  

How can EasiVisa help you?

We are here to discuss your study and life goals with you. One we understand who you are and what you hope to achieve, we can suggest courses that will put you on the path to achieving those goals, whatever they may be.

We can strategically organise an enrolment and the timing of your visa application to help you make the most of your WHV and WHV work rights. We can suggest course options at our multiple partner institutions, organise the enrolment and prepare and lodge your student visa application.

If your WHV is coming to an end and you’d like to find out more about your study options in Australia, send a quick email to and one of our friendly team will get back to you.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to have a quick chat first, you are welcome to call us on +61 8 9429 8860.

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