Student orientation - subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Version number 3.0 | Version effective 08 July 2024
Student orientation - subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure


Agents, Education Queensland International (EQI), EQI staff, overseas students, school staff, parents/Department of Home Affairs (DHA) approved guardians.


This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities of EQI and schools when welcoming overseas students prior to, upon arrival and continued through their study to support the adjustment required for student success.


Overseas student orientation starts prior to arriving in Queensland to study at an EQI accredited school. School staff are responsible for developing and distributing orientation information that is age and culturally appropriate to support the wellbeing and academic success of overseas students.

EQI informs schools of the essential information to be conveyed to overseas students and parents when developing school-specific orientation programs. Orientation templates are developed by EQI and maintained by school staff to continue to support overseas students as they integrate and transition into study and life in Queensland. Orientation materials and practices are reviewed regularly to ensure currency, accuracy and effectiveness of delivery.

For information about overseas student enrolment processes, refer to the Enrolment procedure.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Student management procedure.

This procedure aligns with Standards 5 and 6 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code).



  • liaise with EQI and school staff to assist in the delivery of pre-arrival information to overseas students and parents.


  • read and understand pre-arrival information provided by EQI and school staff
  • participate in the arrival orientation program provided by school staff, if required.

Overseas student

  • read and understand orientation information provided by EQI and school staff
  • participate in orientation program provided by school staff.

EQI staff

  • develop orientation templates
  • ensure the accuracy, relevancy and availability of pre-arrival and orientation information
  • provide ongoing support to schools in the development and delivery of the orientation program
  • approve the publication of pre-arrival information on the EQI website.

School staff

  • ensure links to essential information regarding school policy and procedures and non-tuition fees are available on the international tab of the school website
  • develop and coordinate the delivery of pre-arrival and arrival (orientation) information and materials for overseas students
  • review and update orientation information, ensuring relevance and accuracy as well as the ease-of-use
  • provide ongoing support to overseas students and parents to adjust to study and life in Queensland
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date orientation information and records.

School principal (or delegate)

  • meet overseas students and parents/DHA approved guardians and welcome to the school
  • approve the orientation program and orientation handbook
  • oversee the ongoing support provided to overseas students to adjust to study and life in Queensland.


Image 1 : Flowchart - Student orientation process

1. Pre-arrival

  • EQI staff ensure pre-arrival information is relevant, accurate and available to the general public on the EQI website and the Your Passport to Queensland mobile application, including (but not limited to):
    • welcome
    • about Queensland and arriving in Queensland
    • communicating
    • schooling in Queensland
    • homestay
    • 1800 QSTUDY
    • Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) information
    • Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) information.
  • EQI staff provide pre-arrival information to the overseas student, via their parent/agent, once an enrolment has been confirmed.
  • School staff prepare for overseas student arrival:
    • ensure that the school’s code of conduct refers to the ISP Terms and Conditions and that students are to always abide by these standards (including the homestay, if applicable)
    • update templates developed by EQI
    • develop and maintain pre-arrival information
    • ensure relevant information is available on the international tab of the school website as per the International Student Programs (ISP) school website checklist (DoE employees only)
    • issue the pre-arrival information for their school to overseas student/parent/agent prior to overseas student arrival.

2. Arrival

  • School staff refer to ISP student orientation checklist and International student handbook high school and primary school templates (DoE employees only) to assist preparation of age and culturally appropriate overseas student/parent arrival orientation program and orientation handbook that includes (but is not limited to):
    • introduction to the school
    • introduction to EQI, ISP
    • school contact details including international student support staff
    • student visa conditions 
    • support services and school staff available to assist overseas students
    • how to seek help and report incidents which occur at school and outside school
    • orientation to local area
    • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
    • Student code of conduct
    • student behaviour expectations
      • compliancy with the school’s code of conduct and the ISP Terms and Conditions
      • student misconduct or unsatisfactory behaviour (for example, while at school and/or in homestay, if applicable) will be managed as per the Student management procedure - see unsatisfactory behaviour section
    • homestay, if required
    • safety, awareness and actions that overseas students can take to enhance their personal security and safety (for example, water safety, beach and sun safety, personal wellbeing, safety with adults).
  • School staff and principal meet overseas student and parent/DHA approved guardian and welcomes to the school.
  • School staff commence the delivery of orientation to overseas student, parent and DHA approved guardian on the first day of attendance at school and continues to deliver orientation as per the ISP student orientation checklist (DoE employees only).
  • School staff maintain up-to-date records by completing the ISP student orientation checklist (DoE employees only).

3. Ongoing

4. Review

  • EQI staff ensure pre-arrival information is up-to-date and relevant and notifies school staff of any changes when conducting regular reviews of:
  • EQI staff provide appropriate advice and support to schools when required.
  • School staff review orientation materials, at least annually, to ensure accuracy and relevancy and provides to school principal for approval.
  • School staff update relevant information as advised through communications and training from EQI.
  • School principal (or delegate) approves or requests amendments to orientation materials.
  • School staff implement approved changes to orientation materials





A hotline for managing incidents involving overseas students across Queensland, students participating in a study tour program and Queensland students and teachers travelling globally on a Department of Education International (DEi) program.


Education agent is a person or organisation (in or outside Australia) who EQI has entered into a written agreement with to formally represent EQI for the purpose of recruiting overseas students to participate in EQI programs.


Principal delegates are a classified officer (for example head of department or deputy principal) nominated by the school principal who is authorised to make specified International Student Program decisions on the principal's behalf.

Department of Education International (DEi)

The international branch of the Department of Education.

The Department of Education, trading as Education Queensland International (EQI).

Department of Home Affairs (DHA) approved guardian

A parent, legal custodian or a relative over 21 years old approved by the DHA to be responsible for the accommodation and welfare of overseas students under the age of 18 years.

Education Queensland I nternational (EQI)

EQI is the trading name of the Queensland Department of Education used by commercial business units within Department of Education International (DEi).

EQI Staff

Department of Education (DoE) employees working in Department of Education International (DEi), trading as Education Queensland International (EQI). Employees from the following units include but are not limited to:

  • International Student Programs (ISP)
  • Corporate Services
  • Office of the Executive Director.


Homestay is accommodation services offered by a person (and their residing family) that have been approved to deliver supported and supervised in-home accommodation to an overseas student. Homestay is arranged by schools and DEi staff.

For International Student Programs: when overseas student accommodation has been arranged for student visa 500 holders, EQI is responsible for the welfare of the overseas student at all times, including outside school hours.

International Student Programs (ISP)

A study pathway that offers overseas students the opportunity to study within a Queensland state school with dedicated support services to meet individual student needs. International Student Programs include a variety of different study options.


A program delivered to overseas students prior to, upon arrival and throughout their study in Queensland. The program assists students to access the information and services they require to adjust to study and life in Queensland.

Outside school hours

Generally, before 9 am and after 3 pm on school days, and on weekends and school holidays.

Overseas student

A person (whether within or outside Australia) who holds a student visa subclass 500 (schools sector) enrolled in an EQI course.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Mandatory insurance cover for student visa holders that can help towards the cost of doctors' visits, hospital stays, medicines, mental health support and emergency support if needed by overseas students while studying in Australia. Exemptions exist for students from Norway, Sweden and Denmark who have a reciprocal government arrangement. Cover must be provided for the entire duration of the student’s visa period.


A parent of a child is any of the following persons:

  • the child’s mother
  • the child’s father
  • a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child.


For ISP: Queensland state schools accredited by DEi to deliver ISP.

For Study Tours: Queensland state schools accredited to deliver study tours.

For Global Engagement Programs: Queensland state schools and non-state schools.

School staff

Employees of EQI schools with responsibilities to support overseas students. For example – international student coordinator, homestay coordinator, guidance officer, specialist staff, EALD support staff, head of department, line manager, deputy principal, accredited officer (study tours).

Student code of conduct

A document developed by every Queensland state school outlining the school's behaviour policy. The overseas student agrees to adhere to their school's standards of behaviour outlined in the document as a condition of their enrolment.



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Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 Student orientation – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Review date

08 July 2027
Attribution CC BY