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Can You Change Your Course On A Student Visa In Australia?

Can You Change Your Course On A Student Visa In Australia

Are you an international student in Australia contemplating a change in your course of study? Maybe you’re seeking a fresh academic perspective or exploring new career horizons. While such aspirations are common among students, recent updates in the Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500) regulations have added a layer of complexity to this decision. Let’s guide these changes and understand whether you can Change Your Course on a Student Visa or not.

Understanding The Shift In Student Visa Conditions

As of 1 July 2022, the Department of Home Affairs has introduced new conditions to the Student Visa (Subclass 500). These changes affect students across all levels of tertiary education, unlike the previous regulations that applied only to specific courses. The intention behind these amendments is to safeguard Australian national security.

The most crucial alteration is that Student Visa holders can no longer change their course, major, thesis, or research topic without prior permission from the Minister. However, if your course change does not pose a risk to national security, it is likely to be approved.

What Do the New Visa Conditions Mean for You?

Now if you are a Student Visa (Subclass 500) holder and wish to change courses while remaining at the same education provider, the following are some of the key points to consider:

  • You can switch courses at the same level or higher without a new visa.
  • For visa compliance, you must apply for a new student visa to transfer to a lower-level course.

Let’s look at two situations for changing courses in Australia with a Student Visa (Subclass 500). If you’re studying a Bachelor of Science at level 7 and considering switching to a Diploma of Accounting at level 5, you’ll need a new student visa. The silver lining, though. Moving from an AQF level 10 course like a doctorate to an AQF 9 course like a master’s degree won’t require a new visa application.

Let’s discuss your new course’s duration. If you register for a program that lasts longer than your original course, you must apply for a new student visa before your existing one expires. If your new course is shorter than your first, you have 28 days to complete it. Apply for a new student visa or prepare to leave Australia during this time.

Changing Education Providers: What You Need to Know

Now some of you might plan to switch across to a different education provider. In such a case, you are required to adhere to your student visa conditions. Typically, if you have completed 6 months or more of you principal course, you may change providers at any time. But for this, you must not be under any sort of agreement that prohibits you from doing so.

However, if you’ve not yet completed six months of your principal course and wish to change providers, you must meet specific criteria:

  • Obtain a letter of release from your current provider.
  • Your provider or enrolled course should no longer be registered.
  • Your provider faces sanctions that prevent your course continuation.
  • Government sponsorship supports the change, considering it in your best interests.

Before attempting to enroll with a new education provider, it’s essential to take the time to familiarise yourself with their transfer policy and the agreements in place. If you encounter any difficulties and your current provider denies your transfer request, don’t worry. You can seek guidance and support from experienced student visa agents in Melbourne. They can help you navigate through the institution’s internal appeal process.

In case you remain unsatisfied with the outcome, these Student Visa Agents in Melbourne can also assist in escalating the matter to external complaints handling bodies, such as the State or Territory Ombudsman or the Overseas Student Ombudsman. Their expertise can prove invaluable in ensuring your transition to a new education provider aligns with the necessary regulations and your visa requirements.


To conclude, changes in Australian Student Visa conditions emphasise the importance of understanding the rules and regulations surrounding course and provider changes. When considering your educational journey in Australia, consulting with Higher Education Consultants in Melbourne can help you make informed decisions that align with your aspirations and visa requirements. If you require any assistance in changing your course on a student visa in Australia, you may consult Tilsav Migration & Education. They can help you make informed decisions that align with your aspirations and visa requirements.