Immigration Cracks Down on Students Changing Courses | EMSA

Immigration cracks down on students changing courses

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is now cracking down on students who change courses and are on the wrong visa subclass. The changes come as a move by immigration to strengthen the student visa system and prevent changes and abuse of the Streamlined Visa Processing.

In the past few weeks, we have had students coming into our office with letters received from immigration saying their visa may be cancelled because they have not complied with the conditions of their visa (for example, they have changed courses from university to vocational).


If you came to Australia on a streamlined visa processing pathway to study at university and you change to a vocational course with a not streamlined visa processing approved provider or without a university program, immigration will be likely to cancel your visa. Immigration will generally do this by sending a letter to your last know address (the address you had when you applied for the visa or the one provided to the school).

EMSA advice

  1. Continue to study the course for which your visa was granted
  2. Ensure you get permission from a provider before you change courses (Letter of Release)
  3. Ensure you are studying the appropriate course for your visa subclass
    1. 570 = ELICOS (English)
    2. 572 = Vocational Education and Training (VET – Certificate, Diploma and Adv Diploma Courses)
    3. 573 = University (Bachelor, Masters)
  4. Update your address with your school or with immigration (one issue we’ve seen, is immigration sends letters that the address on file and on occasion, students have moved and don’t receive this. This can result in a visa being cancelled as immigration will generally not make further requests by phone or email)

For more information, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website:


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