Visa Crunch

International Students To Australia On Subclass 500 Visa Not Allowed To Change Course Without Minister’s Approval

According to the new Australian visa requirements, international students in Australia will not be able to change their field of study unless they receive authorization from the Minister.

As per NRI Affairs, the Australian government has changed the Migration Act 1958, and the rules for Australian student visa (subclass 500) holders are scheduled to alter in July. As per the portal, a descriptive statement issued by the federal home minister states that the legislation includes a provision requiring Australian student visa (subclass 500) holders studying or wishing to pursue higher education to change their course of study unless they receive approval from the Minister.

“The Minister cannot approve the change unless satisfied that there is not an unreasonable risk of unwanted transfer of critical technology by the visa holder,” the statement reads.

The announcement also states that the cancellation will be optional for certain visas but mandatory for all other types of visas. New visa requirements The Department of Home Affairs has added 8204A and 8204B to the list of student visa holders studying higher education or postgraduate research courses who want to modify their major, thesis, or research topic.

The new visa rules, therefore, apply only to applications received after July 1, 2022. Students are not permitted to attend or change a course of study, thesis, or research topic under condition 8204 unless they have received the Minister’s approval for the following:

  • graduate certificate
  • graduate diploma
  • master’s degree
  • doctorate, or
  • any bridging course required as a prerequisite to a course of study or research for a master’s degree or doctorate

“This approval can only be given after the Minister has obtained an assessment from the competent Australian authorities that you are not likely to be directly or indirectly a risk to Australian national security,” the Department of Home Affairs notes.

Students who want to change their course, thesis, or research topic must fill out a form available on the Department of Home Affairs website and email it to A subclass 500 student visa is a temporary visa that allows students to study in Australia for up to 5 years, travel in and out of the country, and work limitless hours in any field as a temporary solution.

Previously, international students in Australia might change their course after six months or more with the agreement of their educational institution.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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