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Can you switch courses as an international student in Australia?



Many people would ask the question as it is normal to switch paths in life. There are many different opportunities, and it is very important to know the rule and work within the rule. The last thing you want is to violate your subclass 500 visa conditions.


Condition 8202

Condition 8202 of a student visa (subclass 500) requires that a student maintains enrolment in a registered course that is the same Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level as, or higher than, the course for which they were granted their visa.


If a student changes to a lower AQF level course or a non-AQF award course, they need to apply for a new Student visa. This requirement applies even if the course they change to is with the same education provider. The only exception is that a student does not need to apply for a new visa if they change from a doctoral degree (AQF level 10) to a Master's degree (AQF level 9).


If you would like to switch a course?

Please make sure you speak to your education or migration agent before making the switch as you do not want to breach condition 8202 in your subclass 500 visa. The current education provider may not release you from the enrolment system if they are not satisfied with the condition of change.


If the new course is at a lower AQF award level, you need to apply for a new visa; but if the new course is at a higher AQF level, you don’t need to apply for a new visa, but you need to be aware of the student visa expiry date as the new course may go beyond the visa expiry.


Studying a course in a skilled occupation list may not guarantee the pathway to PR

It is also important to understand and know that even though you are studying for a course in the skilled occupation list, it may not guarantee a place in permanent residency. The requirements for skills assessment may change from time to time.


Consult your migration agent before making a decision on your study.


Ernest Ng, Registered Migration Agent MARN:1387964

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