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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.

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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.

Comments (170)

I'm in the same situation like her which I wanted to changed into another cheaper and faster course in another Institute and I'm doing that course now. I'll graduate within this year and got a warning email from Immigration that they think I'm in unclassified visa now. What Should I do to prove them that I'm not going with my first purpose to come to Australia?
I'm looking forward to hear from you,
Thank you in advance,
Best regards.

As a streamlined student visa holder, changing courses changes everything. You must continue to study the courses at the education providers that you submitted with your visa application.

If you have already changed courses, there are two things you can do to avoid visa cancellation:

1. Transfer to a streamlined university. see link: List of streamlined universities
2.If you decide not to transfer back to a streamlined university, you should depart Australia, request the voluntary cancellation of your student visa and then apply for a new student visa with a letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the non-streamlined education provider.

I actually did not meet the requirement to enrol - I did not meet requirement to study Master degree in Deakin University after pathway course at MIBT which links to Deakin.
I want to study Bachelor of Business ( Hospitality and tourism Management) but Deakin University does not have this course.
In addition, I successfully enrolled into Kaplan Business School for Hospitality and Tourism Management Stream in March, 2013. Then I have kept pursuing this course non-stop with quite good results until now.
Moreover, the Immigration knew that I'm under Kaplan now but they said that I'm doing non-streamlined course at Kaplan. And here is what makes me don't understand :"You are not enrolled in an eligible course with an eligible education provider as required under the terms for which your visa was granted, and you are now considered to be in breach of visa condition 8516." They ask me to explain, and I did. They they asked me to find useful information from here. I don't really know what to do now.
So in this case, should I come and bring all documents to explain to them or I need to apply for a new visa?
Thank you for your helps a lot.

Your visa was granted for your studies in Deakin University under streamline visa processing, this means you had reduced evidentiary requirements when your visa was assessed and granted. When you did not meet the requirement to enrol in Deakin University your options were to enrol in another streamlined university to stay compliant on your streamline student visa. See link: List of Streamlined Universities.

If you wish to continue your studies at the new non-streamlined education provider (Kaplan) you are required to obtain a non-streamlined student visa. You can do this by:

1.Depart Australia
2.Requesting Voluntary Cancellation of your student visa
3.Apply for a new student visa with a letter of offer or CoE from the new education education provider (Kaplan).

You will need to meet all criteria for the grant of a new visa.

how about in cases of courses discontinued and students released by provider?
thanks and regards

If you were granted a streamlined student visa and your course is discontinued by the university or you were granted release by the university (received a release letter/CoE Cancelled), your options are to study in another streamlined univerisity. See Link: List of Streamlined Universities

Another option would be applying for a new student visa on the baisis of current non SVP COE. Then there will be an issue of substantial compliance with condition of previous visa. That needs to be addressed carefully. It is a complicated case. I stronlgy urge you seeking assistance of a registered migration agent.

I am in streamline visa 573 and applied to study Master of Accounting at UWS for 6 months until 2/2013, after 6 months until March 2013 I transfer to study Master of Accounting at Kaplan. I went to Sydney DIAC to ask about the visa changing at that time however DIAC said my visa is still on 573 ( master course level even for Kaplan is not in streamline), so i do not need to change to another visa because my visa 573 still valid. I now have another 1 year to finish my master course at Kaplan. I received the email saying I could be in breach of visa condition. Could you please advise what should I do? Do I need to apply for another visa 573 ( my visa 573 still valid until September 2014). Or I have to go back to UWS. DIAC make it really confused here when the 573 is the same and the policy streamline visa changing is really new for us. Please advise ASAP.

Thanks and best regards,

Ryan Nguyen

Changing courses changes everything for streamlined student visa holders.

There are two pathways for the grant of a 573 student visa, these are streamlined visa processing and assessment level framework.

When changing courses or education providers, you need to ensure that you continue to meet the conditions of your 573 student visa, depending whether your visa was granted under the streamlined visa processing or the assessment level framework pathway.

Your course of action would be the same as the reply to VO MINH TAM PHAM.

1. Transfer to a streamlined university. see link: List of streamlined universities

2.If you decide not to transfer back to a streamlined university, you should depart Australia, request the voluntary cancellation of your student visa and then apply for a new student visa with a letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the non-streamlined education provider.

You will need to meet all criteria for the grant of a new visa.

Now i understand all the procedure of changing streamline course . but when i was want to change my course then no body has given me even a hint that i can't change my course from SVP to Non SVP. This is already 10 months now to start my new course, if i will leave this course now then it will be wastage of my time, money and dedication to study. please forgive me this time. i haven't done anything intentionally. please give me the permission to carry my diploma in hospitality. after finish this diploma i will straight way get the admission in streamline university. please reply.

Thanking you!

Kind Regards
Sarbjeet Kaur

When a visa holder is in breach of a visa condition, they may receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of their visa. The visa holder will have an opportunity to explain why they have not breached their visa conditions or circumstances lead to the breach. The case officer will take all information into consideration and make a decision whether to cancel the visa.

For your situation, to avoid receiving the NOICC, a confirmation of enrolment to a streamlined university is required.

Dear officer,

Regarding my case, after receiving the Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC). Could I do in the two options:
1. apply for the new 573 visa assessment level framework in Australia although my streamlied 573 visa valid until Sep 2014. I used to go to DIAC office last year and they said visa 573 still valid so I could not log another 573 visa

2. Could I just apply to study at UWS again to get the new CoE from UWS ( SVP) and cancel the CoE at Kaplan? Will case officer allow me to do it and not cancel my visa ( as they said I breach the visa condition for 1 year)

Please advise me ASAP since if I just reply case officer wrong, my visa will be cancelled and i have no choice

Thanks and best regards,

Ryan Nguyen

In response to your questions:

1: You may wish to consider Option 2 in our previous reply to your posting. If an application is made in Australia, you must have substantially complied with the conditions of any visa held or previously held. The breach of visa condition 8516 could mean you have not substantially complied with the conditions of your current visa.

2:Yes, that is correct.

Thanking for your reply,

So it means that i have to leave my course in the middle and i have to get confirmation of enrollment from streamline university.

May i know that how much time i have to find a streamline university and appropriate course for me.

To avoid receiving the NOICC, a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) to a streamlined university should be obtained within 14 days.

The department has access to a database to view your confirmation of enrolment, you are not required to submit the CoE to the department.

dear,
thanks for your reply, regarding my option 2: Will case officer who emailing me allow me to reapply for SVP university or case officer just consider about the past that i did not comply? if they not consider about the past ( when I study at non SVP institution), how long do I need to find SVP.

We just would like to follow the rule so the visa will not be cancelled.Please help me find the solution about changing back to SVP that i mentioned above.

Thanks

Ryan

To avoid visa cancellation you should within 14 days either:

1: Obtain a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) to a streamlined university if you would like to remain on your current visa.

OR

2: Depart Australia, request voluntary cancellation and lodge a new visa application to continue to study at your non-streamlined education provider.

I’m in the same situation like her which I wanted to changed into another cheaper and faster course in another Institute and I’m doing that course now. I’ll graduate within this year and got a warning email from Immigration that they think I’m breach my visa now. According the email, they said if i dont provide an explanation within 14 days, my existing visa to be cancelled. Once I replied my explanation, what is my visa due day now? Do i have time to apply another student visa?

I’m looking forward to hear from you,
Thank you in advance,
Best regards.

Streamlined student visa processing is for students who are seeking an education at a streamlined university. When making a visa application, ensure you choose the appropriate visa for your studies.

If you would like to continue with your current non-streamlined provider, you should:

Depart Australia,
Request voluntary cancellation of your student visa
While offshore, lodge a new visa application to continue to study at your non-streamlined education provider.

OR

Obtain a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) to a streamlined university if you would like to remain on your current visa.

If you do not take this action within the next 14 days, you may receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation of your student visa.

Hi I have got the same situation as above as I was here in Australia in 2012 September in curtain college in a pathway program which was I was entitled to do a diploma in commerce leading to bachelor of commerce as after studying there for 3 months I was juss not satisfied and planned to change my course to business so I took a release from curtain and took admission in diploma in business and advance diploma in business and associate degree in business which comes under 573 and was updated in immigration last year and after 1 year I recieved an email saying I have breached my visa condition almost when I have already finished my diploma in business I just have one question how to sought it out

To resolve your situation, refer to the options above and take the appropriate action suitable for your circumstances. See link: Changing Courses Changes Everything

I was studying BBus (Accounting) in Southern Cross University and I had completed 8 units from there. Before my one last semester they force me to enrol in BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration) which was not possible for me as I have already finished 8 units in Accounting. The university was going to shut down in Accounting at Sydney only five students were there.

Then, none of the university gave me credit transfer of what I had studied. Finally I found Kaplan Business School where they offered Masters in Accounting.I joined that school without wasting time.

Now I have 5 weeks left for my final exam. I am finishing course in 5 weeks.
Could you please advice me what should I need to do now?

If you receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your visa, you will be given an opportunity to explain your circumstances that lead to the breach. The case officer will take all information into consideration and make a decision whether to cancel the visa.

You may wish to gather documentary evidence to support your reponse if you receive a NOICC.

i completed my diploma in hospitality only now to see that a cook/chef is off the sol my current student visa expires in march and my employer cant sponsor me for another 6 mths what do i do until then i also have two children who came here with my parents and they are all Australian citizens im desperate for some answers ad advise

Please visit the department website www.immi.gov.au using the "Find a Visa" function to find a visa that is most suitable for you. You should lodge a new visa application prior to expiry of your current visa.

I have recently received an email from immigration department that I am breaching the visa subclass 8516 and I have 14 days to reply back and give reasons along with the documents that why I had changed my course from SVP to non SVP... to be very honest I didn't even know about these complications before .. after almost a year I am receiving this email from immigration deptmnt that I am breaching this visa condition...
so if I get release from my existing institute and get enrolled in the Stream line institute within 14 days and attach my new updated coe along with my reasons to change the course from stream line to non stream line...will there be any chances of visa cancellation or I will be given relief of this situation'

That's correct, if you obtain a CoE from a Streamlined university within 14 days, you will not receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation of your student visa in relation to the breach of visa condition 8516.

bundle of thanks sir.. I really appreciate your instant response ...
kind regards
Danish Bhatti

its a bit confused here. The solution to get back the Coe from Streamline SVP Uni is for the person who received a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation or to avoid receiving the a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation ( which allow 14 days)

Please advise

If you obtain a new CoE to an eligible streamlined university prior to 28 January 2014, you will not receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your student visa. If you take actiion within this time period, you will no longer be in breach of visa condition 8516, and your matter will be regarded as resolved.

In your reply to the first comment made by Vo Minh Tam Pham and many other subsequent comments above, you clearly stated:

If you have already changed courses, there are two things you can do to avoid visa cancellation:

1. Transfer to a streamlined university. see link: List of streamlined universities

2.If you decide not to transfer back to a streamlined university, you should depart Australia, request the voluntary cancellation of your student visa and then apply for a new student visa with a letter of offer or confirmation of enrolment from the non-streamlined education provider.

Your above reply is to suggest students who have already changed the course to apply for another SVP university COE to avoid cancellation. Could you please kindly confirm if this only applies to students who changed course but have not received NOICC or it also applies to students who changed course but have RECEIVED NOICC?

However, in your above reply to Danish Bhatti, you stated:

If you obtain a new CoE to an eligible streamlined university prior to 28 January 2014, you will not receive a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your student visa. If you take action within this time period, you will no longer be in breach of visa condition 8516, and your matter will be regarded as resolved.

Many thanks in advance!

Kind Regards,

An advice letter (not a NOICC) has been sent out to streamlined student visa holders providing an opportunity to explain their circumstances and rectify their visa breach.

If the student wishes to change education providers, they should consider the information available on the department website. see link: Changing Courses.

You may also be interested in the Minister's press release in relation to this education campaign. See link: Minister's press release

I have recently received en email from Immigration department that I have breached the 573 visa condition 8516. I had no idea about this condition being related to the SVP when I decided to change my education provider to Holmes Institute in March 2013. Only till recently did I come to know about Streamlined Visa processing because of the email from Immigration department. When I ceased studying my course at VU, unfortunately during then I didn't receive any advice on the issue of my visa being granted on SVP.

I have finished my Master of Professional Accounting with Holmes Institute in Oct-Nov 2013. I am a genuine student who have successfully completed my course. Last year, I put in the effort and due diligence to study and pass all my units.

What are my options, or what should I do next? Can I request for a revoke of the Breach of this visa condition? Will this situation affect applying for 485 visa or PR in the future?

If your student visa is cancelled due to breach of visa condition, you will incur an exclusion period which will prevent the grant of another temporary visa to Australia for 3 years.

Despite completing a course, you are still in breach of visa condition 8516 as you did not maintain your enrolment in a streamlined university. Your options are :

1. If you plan to continue studies, depart Australia,request voluntary cancellation of your student visa , While offshore, lodge a new visa application to continue to study at your non-streamlined education provider.

OR

2. If you do not continue your studies, you should review the department website to find a visa that is suitable for you. However, no indication of the possible outcome of that application can be given. Applicants must meet all criteria for the grant of a new visa.

Am studing in cic and doing diploma but have the bachelor coe but non svp. I want to finish the diploma . Is it possible that i finish my diploma and take a coe now but for the next intake . Please guide me tx

You must obtain a new CoE to an eligible streamlined university prior to 28 January 2014, otherwise a Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation (NOICC) of your student visa will be issued.

i have granted visa in subclass 573 in June 2013 in course master of professional accounting in Sydney due to some personal problems i can not continue course their cancel the COEs & i move in melbourne & take admission in diploma of child care in 572 COE yet now not anything inform to immigration now i am studying in 572 course because i was not know about course changing conditions. So now what i do? If i take again admission in Master of professional accounting in Melbourne is this right for me.

If you're a the holder of a streamlined student visa, you will need to obtain an enrolment to a streamlined university. You may choose any course at the eligible streamlined university. See link: List of Streamlined Universities.

My visa was approved in non SVP master of professional accounting i have change the city & college. Now i am studying in Graduate certificate in Accounting & Master of Professional accounting. Is this any problem for me.Kindly guide me.

Hi, I am studying in a SVP institute but now I need a leave of absence for one semester from the university due to some family matter. My 573 visa is valid till August 2015 but after this leave of absence I would need 6 more months to complete my degree. My question is when should I apply for extension and what documents will I be needing to support my application. Another thing is I will be back in Australia after a couple of months so will I be eligible to work full time until my next semester which will start after 3 months?

Kind Regards

Zohaib

I have received an email in regard of my course. I was a student of Charles Darwin university doing bachelor in professional accounting. They didn't gave me 12 subject exemption but they have it to someone else. Holmes institute offers the same course and they gave me 12 subject exemption on the bases of adv diploma in accounting.
I am almost about to finish my course I was planning to do masters.
If I join the Charles Darwin university to do my masters which will be end up before my visa so is that will be helpful to avoid cancellation?

To avoid visa cancellation you should take one of the actions below by 28 January 2014:

1: Obtain a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) to a streamlined university if you would like to remain on your current visa.

OR

2: Depart Australia, request voluntary cancellation and lodge a new visa application to continue to study at your non-streamlined education provider.

Hi.. I came here in 2012 oct. I was enrolled in ecu. But found it difficult so changed it and went to non svp institution. Right now am in mid of my diploma and got the mail but after 1 year. Am ready to go to uni but what of this study. Can you please suggest me something.

Visa Condition 8516 requires you to maintain enrolment at a eligible streamlined university see link: Streamlined Student Visa Processing

You should obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment at a streamlined university to avoid cancellation of your student visa.

If I have already completed my course with the non-streamlined provider, what should I do? Is there a way to avoid cancellation of my student visa which expires in March 2014, or to or to request for a revoke of the 8516 visa breach?

As you did not complete the course for which your visa was granted and your visa expires in March 2014, you should make arrangements to depart Australia and request voluntary cancellation before its expiry date in March 2014.

i came here in 2011 under non SVP under 573. i have changed from bachelors degree to diploma course leading to bachelors degree. Am i breaching any visa condition because right now i am doing diploma course and i have only an offer letter for my degree course. do i need a COE for my degree course or can i get that later after completing my diploma course?
Kindly help me thanks.

Yes, you are correct. You do require a CoE for your Bachelor Degree and you will need to obtain the CoE for the Bachelor degree as soon as possible. See link: Changing courses

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