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Changing course can mean your visa gets cancelled! Scenarios to help explain this for new students


Immigration introduced streamlined visa processing to help students simplify the process for students gaining visas to study at University in Australia. This makes it easier go gain a visa to study in Australia and education providers must make sure that students are genuine students wanting to enrol in their chosen program.  Simpler processing is GREAT but it also means that students must study at least the first six months of the highest course their visa was granted for before changing (unless they can get a letter of release).

This can be confusing so here are some examples to help you understand it better.

Example 1

If a student has enrolled in the following:

  1. English (20 weeks)
  2. Diploma (1 year)
  3. Bachelor (2 years)

In this situation, the student must study all the English, the whole Diploma course and the first 6 months of the bachelor degree before they can change providers.

If you try to leave before this, there is a high probability that the student section of immigration will cancelled and if this happens, you will face a 3 year exclusion period from Australia!

Example 2

If a student has enrolled in the following:

  1. English (20 weeks)
  2. Masters (2 years)

In this situation, the student must study all the English followed by the first six months of the Masters before they change providers.

In both of the above cases, if the student gets a letter of release or finishes the first 6 months of the main course, then they can change providers.

Some agents have been telling students that if the CoE from the University is cancelled, they can change providers. This is very risky as all new colleges will still have a warning in immigration’s system (PRISMS) that tells them that they must see a letter of release before issuing a new CoE. Without the letter of release, the new provider should not provide a CoE and even if they do, the students are still at risk of having their visa cancelled.

Also, if a student changes to a non-streamlined visa processing (SVP) provider, then the student must change their visa. If they change their visa, there is a risk that immigration may find them non-genuine students as the already came to Australia to study the original program.

At EMSA, we are happy to help you find the best pathway from the start and get to where you want to go while ensuring you stay on the right side of immigration!

Happy studies!


  1. Post comment

    Hi there
    I realy appreciate your work as i receive mails. I have finished my master of business administration in managerial accounting from james cook university my visa is finishing next month.i want to meet you guys personally.
    Could you please send me how much you charge for visit? So that i can make appointment with you

    1. Post comment

      Hi Navu!

      Thank you for contacting us!

      I will send you an email in regards to this, with a more information.

      In the mean time, remember that we are located in Level 4, 160 Edward St.

      See you soon!

  2. Post comment

    what about if someone change to similar course in same provider? like enrollment in MBA and later in accounting. again what will be the fate of post study 2yr visa or permanent residence application? will it create any negative impact?

  3. Post comment

    Is there any problem in changing college in visa subclass 572 before completing 6 months in main course as i want to change my college in same svp list college

  4. Post comment

    I have student visa subclass 500. If I change my major from Master to bachelor on graduate entry, I need to apply for visa again? (I have not started my master yet)
    Please reply as soon as possible.
    Thank you.

  5. Post comment

    hi, im studying bachelor of business (Accounting and Finance)(3 years)one of university in australia. i going to finish my semester this month. now i planning to chane my course and edu.provider it s bachelor of Accounting(3 years) in one of the TAFE . is it possible? is it effect my visa?


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