Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

Student Visa Update

Monday, May 22 2017

A record number of student visa applications is expected to be lodged in June and July 2017, with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) advising they are currently preparing for a mid-year peak.

Between 1 January and 31 March 2017, over 111,240 student visa applications were lodged, an increase of about 19.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

The increase in lodgements from students within Australia in March was very high. DIBP advises that students who need to lodge a further application or depart Australia must do so before their current visa expires. Students should be reminded that they should not be in Australia without a valid visa.

The number of student visas finalised from 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017 also increased when compared to the same period in 2016. Over 111,025 student visas were finalised in this period – an increase of almost 18.9 per cent compared to 2016.

Other tips and reminders recently issued by DIBP include - 

Course commencement and late arrival letters

The Department can lawfully grant a visa based on a valid CoE even if the course has commenced. The Department has no obligation to request a late arrival letter. The Department will not request late arrival letters except in very exceptional and sensitive circumstances.

DIBP reminds providers they must cancel the CoE in PRISMS if they are no longer willing to admit the student after course commencement has passed. Providers may also amend or issue a new CoE if the course dates change before a visa is finalised.

Finishing a course early

Students must remain enrolled or they are in breach of student visa condition 8202. Three common scenarios are:

  1. The student has changed course to a shorter course. In this case, the student is required to leave Australia or make a valid application for a new visa within 28 days of the end of their enrolment.
  2. The student completes study of the course, for which their visa was granted, early. The Department will not take any action against the student for being unenrolled for three months. Students should be aware that if they breach other conditions, their visa may be cancelled.
  3. The student finishes one of the courses in their package early. Long gaps between courses are not acceptable, see our website for more information.


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