8516 Cancellation Warning Letters – Students Changing from SVP to Non-SVP eligible Subclass 573 courses The Director of Student Policy Projects this morning provided clarification regarding students who received letters from the Department after changing courses from Streamline Visa Processing (SVP) eligible subclass 573 courses to non-SVP eligible course. The text of the notification appears below:
I am writing to provide a further update regarding the department’s education campaign to raise awareness amongst the international student community about visa conditions and the possible impacts of changing course. Further detail regarding this education campaign is also available at the following link: www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/mc/2014/mc210831.htm
Advice letters and next steps
As you will recall the department has been directly engaging with students who have arrived under streamlined visa processing (SVP) and then changed to a non-SVP eligible course. These students received an advice letter and have been provided with an opportunity to explain their circumstances.
Over the last few weeks we have received a large number of responses to these advice letters. The department has also received a significant amount of feedback from education providers. From the information provided it is clear that a number of students were unaware of the possible impacts of changing courses, particularly those students who have transferred to another provider or course within the higher education sector (including those students who have transferred to non-SVP eligible courses at a university).
The primary objective of the department’s education campaign is to raise awareness. As such, we consider that it would not be reasonable to penalise students who may have unintentionally breached the conditions of their visa prior to the launch of the campaign. As you will be aware, the department no longer has a mandatory cancellation regime. This provides greater discretion to ensure that we can better target integrity risk but also, deliver fairer outcomes for students.
We are keen to provide as much certainty to affected students as possible. With this in mind and following consideration of the information provided by students and other stakeholders, we have decided that we will not take any further action against students who meet the following characteristics:
Transferred from a SVP eligible subclass 573 course to a non-SVP eligible 573 course prior to the launch of the 14 January 2014 education campaign (e.g. from a bachelor degree course at a university to a bachelor degree course at a non-university provider); and Continue to meet all other requirements and conditions of their visa We will write to students who meet these characteristics on an individual basis to advise that they will not be subject to cancellation as a result of their course transfer.
We continue to consider whether further action is appropriate for other students who have received an advice letter on an individual basis, this includes students who have transferred from a SVP course to a course in another education sector. We note in this regard that irrespective of SVP such students would likely be in breach of condition 8516. We will provide a further update regarding this cohort at a later stage.
Moving forwards, from a general perspective, students who were granted a visa to study an SVP eligible course will be expected to apply for a new student visa before commencing and transferring to a non-SVP eligible course. We are currently reviewing information provided to students to ensure they are aware of this requirement in future.