Visa update for students
Student visa holders must apply for ministerial approval if they want to change courses.
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Written by Sonder
Updated over a week ago

The Department of Home Affairs has announced a new condition for Student visa (subclass 500) holders, which is due to come into effect in July 2022. Under this condition, student visa holders must apply for ministerial approval if they want to change their course.

The Home Affairs Department has said that the new regulations will only relate to a very small number of critical technology courses that might have national security implications. They are likely to also relate only to a very limited number of postgraduate students from a small number of countries.

Once the change comes into effect, you can still apply to change your course as an international student on a Student visa (subclass 500) holder studying one of these critical technology courses. However, before you do so, you’ll need to gain approval from the Minister for Home Affairs if you’re pursuing any of the following degrees in the critical technology courses:

  • 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

You can read more about this condition here under ‘8204 – Study limitations’. If you’re considering changing your thesis, major or research topic and you are in one of these critical courses you must complete Form 1221 – Additional personal particulars information (PDF) and submit it to In your email, the subject line must be ‘8203/8204 assessment’.

The Minister can only provide approval once he/she has obtained an assessment from the competent Australian authorities that you aren’t likely to pose a direct or indirect risk to Australian national security.

For more information on visa requirements and updates, visit the Department of Home Affairs website. You can head to the ‘Your study situation has changed’ interactive web page for a more detailed look into your responsibilities when it comes to changing your course.

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Article originally published by: Insider Guides

Image credit: John Schnobrich on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

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