Changing Courses Changes Everything
Some international students may find the course they enrolled in to study isn’t what they anticipated and would like to change their course. If this is you, it is important you do your research and are fully informed before you change courses. We’ve developed fictional scenarios to help you understand the conditions of your student visa and what it could mean when you change your course. We will post one of these scenarios each week for the next month on the Migration Blog.
The first scenario is about changing courses if you are struggling with the requirements of your university course and find an alternative vocational course is more practical for your learning ability and career aspirations.
Moving from a university to a vocational education course
- You must complete six months of the highest qualification course in which your visa was granted before changing courses with a different education sector.
- You must obtain a new visa to study in a different educational sector.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Mandeep was enrolled with the Eucalyptus University to study a Bachelor of Accounting. She was granted a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa.
After commencing her bachelor degree, she was informed by a friend she could study her course faster and cheaper at a different institution. Mandeep thought this sounded like a good option as she wanted to get her degree as fast as possible. She thought she may have a problem with her visa if she changed her course.
Mandeep phoned the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to see if she could move to this cheaper institution. After confirming all the details of Mandeep’s case, the immigration officer told Mandeep her visa was granted under streamlined visa processing arrangements with the Eucalyptus University—if she changed to a non-streamlined education provider while holding a streamlined student visa, she may be in breach of a condition of her visa (condition 8516).
The immigration officer informed Mandeep that if she wanted to change education provider she would have to choose one of the following options:
- transfer to another streamlined institution
- remain in her current course and apply for a new student visa (after completing six months of her principal course) with a letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the new provider
- depart Australia, request the voluntary cancellation of her student visa and then apply for a new student visa with a letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the new education provider.
Mandeep decided to move to the cheaper institution, regardless of the information she had found out about her visa. Shortly after, the department contacted her and issued a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation for her student visa. Mandeep responded to the notice and provided reasons why her visa should not be cancelled. The department considered her response and proceeded to cancel her student visa for breach of condition 8516.
Mandeep was upset and regretted not abiding by the conditions of her visa. Mandeep no longer held a visa to remain lawfully in Australia and made arrangements to return to her home country.
Stay tuned for another scenario next week about changing courses in the first six months of study.