When you have finished your course, you may decide to stay in Australia for further study, for a holiday, to attend a graduation ceremony, or for work.

Depending on why you stay, you would need to apply for a different kind of visa. Students are not automatically entitled to apply for permanent residence in Australia. Priority is given to applicants who are sponsored by an Australian employer.

Note: you are eligible to hold OSHC only if you are on a student visa.

Visa expiry date

The length of your current student visa, for the course you are completing, depends on the length of the Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) you used to apply for your student visa.

For coursework students:

  • If your COE was less than 10 months in length, your visa is usually valid for another 28 days after your COE expires.
  • If your COE was greater than 10 months your visa is usually valid for 2 months from the date your COE expires. The general exception is when your COE expires at the end of the academic year (after November 1). The expiry date on your student visa will usually be March 15 of the following year. If this situation applies to you, you can stay in Australia on your student visa until this expiry date.

For research students:

  • If your COE was less than 10 months in length, your visa is usually granted for extra seven months after your COE expires.
  • If your COE was greater than 10 months (finishing between January and October), your visa is usually granted for extra eight months after your COE expires.
  • If your COE was greater than 10 months (finishing between November and December), your visa is usually granted until 15 September of the following year.

Early completion

If you have fast-tracked your course and completed a month or more earlier than scheduled, your student visa will be valid for 28 days after your final results are released.

Make sure you know the date your student visa expires. You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

Please note: If you have condition 8534 or 8535 No Further Stay on your student visa, you will NOT be able to remain in Australia after that visa expires, except in very limited circumstances. Contact DIBP for more information.

Further study

If you apply for a new course at La Trobe University or any other institution, you must accept your offer first. Then get a new Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) issued, and apply for another student visa before your current visa expires. Make sure you allow enough time (minimum 4 weeks) to submit your application and undertake your medical examination and x-rays (if required).

Attending a graduation ceremony

If you wish to stay in Australia until the next available graduation you can apply for a visitor visa. Visitor visas are available for 'short stays' (up to 3 months) and 'long stays' (3-6 months). You will need to provide evidence of financial ability to support yourself during your stay, and confirmation you have completed your studies at La Trobe University.

You can request a To Whom It May Concern (TWIMC) letter, which includes confirmation of completion, by  applying [PDF 64KB] to Ask La Trobe (at the Melbourne, City and Bendigo Campuses) or the Student Administration Office (at the Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura Campuses) any time after your official final results have been released and the Student Information System shows that you have qualified for your degree.

Please note: La Trobe University cannot confirm in a letter that you will be attending (only that you are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony and state the next applicable date) until you have accepted your invitation to graduate. Standard TWIMC letters take up to 48 business hours to complete.

If your family members or friends are applying for visitor visas to attend your graduation ceremony, they may wish to include a TWIMC letter confirming you have completed your course at La Trobe University and are eligible to graduate. La Trobe University can write a TWIMC letter:

  • confirming that you have completed your course
  • for graduation purposes
  • for the purpose of applying for visa.

Please note: you can request one letter that can be used for all of the three purposes above.

Visit DIBP for more information on applying for a visitor visa.

Taking a holiday

After you've finished your studies, you might choose to spend some time travelling around Australia before you return home. If your student visa is due to expire before you plan to finish travelling, you should apply for a visitor visa (see 'Attending a Graduation Ceremony' above). For information on applying for a visitor visa see DIBP.

Working in Australia

If you have a Permission to Work (condition 8105) on your student visa, this allows you to work unlimited hours after the end of the official examination period, up until your student visa expires, or is no longer valid.

Please note: Visitor visas do not include work rights.

General skilled migration

If you decide to apply for General Skilled Migration, you must read the detailed information on the Department of Home Affairs website for the most up-to-date information.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
T: 131 881 (general enquiry)
T: 1300 364 613 (for GSM enquiry)
Migration agent:

Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre
Level 1, 121-123 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
T: (03) 6413 0100 (free telephone advice)
Wednesday: 10am-4pm
Friday: 2pm-4pm