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Changing Qualification Level

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Changing Qualification Level
Changing courses in the first six months

If you have not completed six months of the highest qualification course in which your visa was granted, you need a release letter from your education provider.

  •  If you are refused a release letter you may wish to access the internal appeal process with your education provider

Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.

Trung had heard a lot about Australia. His cousin had studied in Australia and Trung believed if he trained in Australia this would result in good employment prospects. His dream was to set up a boutique hotel. Trung applied to the Australian University to undertake a Bachelor of Commerce and the education agent assisted him in applying for a visa to be able to study this course.

Trung arrived in Australia on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) student visa in late July. He was excited to commence his course but as the semester progressed he felt overwhelmed by how intense and technical the lectures were. He also struggled with the Australian accent. After eight weeks Trung began to lose interest in the course and stopped attending classes.

Trung went to the Blue Gum Institute and sought to enrol in a Certificate III in Hospitality at Blue Gum Institute, which would mean he could still pursue his dream of opening a hotel. The student advisor explained to Trung that he required a release letter from the Australian University prior to being able to enrol with Blue Gum Institute. Trung applied for a release letter but was not granted one.

Trung called the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for advice. They advised Trung his current visa was granted to study in the higher education sector at the Australian University and as Trung wanted to study Hospitality at the vocational level he needed a Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa which is the correct visa for students that study in vocational education and training courses.

The department told Trung he needed to apply for this visa in his home country.

Trung decided to go home and apply for a subclass 572 student visa for the course at Blue Gum Institute. He was happy in his course once he returned to Australia on the subclass 572 visa and thinks he may go back to the bachelor course once he has completed this stage of his education.

Comments (15)


What if I come to Aus from Nepal under Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) visa & after completion of the course, joins to Bachelor or Master level, which required Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa . If subclass 573 in needed do i need to apply it again, from my home ?


Based on the information you have provided, you will need to lodge a new student visa application and you may do so on or offshore. See link: Applying for student visa


Hello sir/Madam,
I have a same problem got a letter from immigration regarding breach of visa. But i am very confused about the difference between warning letter and Noicc because at the starting of letter says " I am writing to advise" but gave me only 14 days to explain the reason to changed course and my visa will be cancelled if i will not provide information and supporting documentation which allowed me to change the course.Please explain me is that warning letter or Noicc.
If it is a warning letter and i am under process to get COe . Does it effect on my visa.

I am still under process to get a COE from SLU but not sure i will get on time due to long weakend.

Please reply me ASAP . your help is greatly appreciated in advance

Thank you


The letter you receive was a warning letter, see previous blog reply.
If you obtain a new CoE from a streamlined university, we will consider the matter to be resolved.


Hi, i was studied in La-trobe Melbourne with Elicos. but i got release latter from them before 6 month. and now i am studied in Private non SVP education provider.

Now i got email from immigration regarding course change. i have 10 days left to give them reply. what can i do now .?

1 ) if i will go back into SVP college then i will get any notice from department or not ?

2) I will go back into SVP college but not in La - trobe. then i will get any problem or not.

3) if i will go back into SVP provider then what reason i have to show to the immigration .

What is the best advise for me ..?? please reply me as soon as possible. Thanks


Visa condition 8516 requires students who were granted a visa under SVP must continue to maintain enrolment in an SVP eligible course and provider.

If you obtain a CoE from any SVP university, you will not be in breach of visa condition 8516. Please see previous blog post : Changing courses changes everything.


Respected sir/ madam,
I got email for explaination within 14 days which will complete today, for rectification i applied back in 5 svp universities but there processing standard time is long, and i contact them a lot of time but still under process status.
Now could you suggest me that may i reply the email which i got from DIBP FOR time extension or may i wait untill get enrollment in svp university and after enrolment, i send my coe to DIBP with explanation?
Please reply.


You have taken the appropriate step in obtaining a enrolment to a new SVP university.

You should try to obtain the new CoE from a SVP university as soon as possible.


Dear Sir ,

I came in streamline visa but after getting release letter I applied in diploma and bachelor in institute. As I understand , for me to be eligible for streamline visa condition my both diploma and bachelor should be package in university or streamline institute however I have already completed more than half of my diploma course in instititute so is it ok if I just apply for bachelor degree in streamline university .

Enquring behalf of my friend.

Look forward for your suggestion.


Based on the information you have provided, you can apply for a new CoE at an eligible streamlined university to remain compliant on your streamlined student visa.


So, you mean i can only apply for bachelor coe of new university and continue studying diploma with current institute. Please confirm.


I am in same situation as above please let us know is it ok if i complete my diploma from my current institute and apply for bachelors COE in SVP university now but i will start my bachelor after six months when i finish my diploma programme so i can get exemptions as well.


Based on the information you have provided, you may continue with your diploma course and commence the bachelors course at the SVP university after completing your diploma.

You will need to obtain the CoE for the Bachelors at the SVP university as soon as possible.

Please see previous blog post for more information.


In the fictional case study mentioned above, DIBP has advised Trung to go back to the home country to apply for 572 visa.

Is it not possible to apply this visa ONSHORE if Trung get CoE of 572 related course AND his current 573 visa is still in effect ??


If the application is made in Australia, the applicant must demonstrate that they have substantially complied with the conditions of their previous visa. If the client has breached visa condition 8516 they may not have substantially complied with the conditions of their current visa.

More information about application requirements is available on the department website. See link: Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa (Subclass 572)