STUDENT VISA CONDITIONS
Any student visa contains various conditions as a part of the grant of the visa. It is obligatory for student visa holders and their dependents to comply with the conditions defined on their visa. Any breach of these rules can lead to a visa cancellation procedure, the worst nightmare of any international student.
Schedule 8 in the Migration Regulations define the laws covering the conditions imposed with the grant of a visa.
Student Visa Condition 8202
In general terms condition 8202 requires students to:
- Be enrolled in a registered course
- Achieve satisfactory course progress and
- Achieve satisfactory course attendance
These requirements are encapsulated in various clauses, which cover most circumstances a student might face.
A visa holder will not meet satisfactory course progress requirement if the following occurs:
The education provider has certified the holder, for a registered course undertaken by the holder, as not achieving satisfactory course progress for:
i) Section 19 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
ii) Standard 10 of the National Code for Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007.
The following information comes from the DIAC Procedural Advice Manual (PAM) on one of these conditions imposed, 8202.
Compliance with 8202 (Part 1)
If the course finishes at the end of the year
Students who are:
- Completing a course that finishes at the end of the standard academic year and that is a full academic year in duration (that is, a course that starts in February/ March and ends in November/ December) and
- Enrolled in a course commencing at the beginning of the following standard academic year
are considered to be complying with the clause 8202(2) of this condition.
The National Code permits the accrediting authority to determine the length of an academic year. If no period is set by the accrediting authority, it is 36 weeks.)
Students completing a course that:
- finishes at the end of the standard academic year and
- was less than an academic year in duration
may be considered to be complying with clause 8202(2) of this visa condition if:
- the course was part of a package of courses in relation to which a visa has been previously granted and
they are enrolled in a course commencing at the beginning of the following standard academic year.
If the course finishes during the academic year
Students completing a course that finishes during the standard academic year may be considered to be complying with clause 8202(2) of this condition provided no more than two months elapse before they begin another course.
Accelerated course completion
Students completing their course ahead of schedule may be considered to be complying with clause 8202(2) of this condition provided no more than two months elapse before they begin another course.
Students who have accelerated course completion up to one month ahead of the course's scheduled completion date at the end of the academic year should be considered as complying with clause 8202(2) of this condition.
Satisfying course requirements
If a student does not maintain studies during the academic year their visa may be subject to cancellation.
If the student falls ill
Leave from their course
Students who fall ill during semesters should apply to their education provider for permission to take leave from their course. If the student's leave is not approved and the are absent for more than 20%of the scheduled hours for their course they may be subject to visa cancellation procedure.
Students deferring or suspending their course
Registered providers may only enable students to defer or temporarily suspend their studies, including granting leave of absence, during the course through a formal agreement in certain limited circumstances.
Students who fall ill and are expected to require leave from their studies for a significant period should apply to their education provider to defer their studies.
If during a deferral period the student continues to be enrolled, they remain compliant with condition 8202.
Student visa holders may be subject to visa cancellation if they education provider has deferred/ suspended the student's study for any of the following reasons:
- the conduct of the student
- the student deferred or suspended their studies for reasons other than compassionate or compelling circumstances.
- the compassionate or compelling circumstances which warranted the deferral/ suspension of studies have ceased to exist;
- the deferral/suspension was based on fraudulent evidence or document/s given to the education provider.
If the student needs to leave Australia for compassionate reasons
Students who need to leave Australia for compassionate reasons during semesters should apply to their education provider for leave from their course.
If the deferral/suspension is approved, the education provider reports this approval via PRISMS to the department. If during this period of deferral the student continues to remain enrolled, they remain compliant with condition 8202.Family members of students deferring or suspending studies for up to six months are permitted to stay in Australia during this period (once the deferral/suspension has been approved).
Approved research/fieldwork outside Australia as part of a course is permissible, provided the primary applicant remains enrolled for the duration of the fieldwork/research.Family unit members of the primary applicant can remain in Australia while the primary applicant is conducting research/fieldwork outside Australia.
Students on exchange programs in a third country
Student visa holders in Australia are allowed to participate in an international exchange program provided:
* the study or training to be undertaken is an assessable part of the student's full-time course in Australia and has been approved as part of the registration process for the course and
* the exchange is for no more than 12 months and
* family members who are in Australia accompany the student if the exchange is for more than 6 months
Next week we will cover the PAM's on Attendance Requirements