Last Updated Apr 12,2022

New Change of Course Rules for Australian Study Visa (Subclass 500) Holders


Student Visa


As per the latest update from Australia, the Australian government is changing the course rules. The new rules are expected to be implemented from July 2022.

According to the new rules, international students in Australia who are holding Australia Study Visa (Subclass 500) are unable to change their course or research topic without Minister’s approval.

The Statement of Change of Rules

In this context, the portal explained the legislation and the federal home minister has issued a statement quoting “inserts a condition for Subclass 500 (Student) visa holders studying, or intending to undertake, higher education studies that they must not change their course of study, or research topic unless approved by the Minister.” Also added that “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.”

Here international students need to understand that, risk will be there on any change of request because your visa may also be declined if the Minister does not satisfied and find that the request is an unwanted transfer of critical technology and includes unreasonable risk. However, the visa cancellation will be discretionary for the relevant visa types, which excludes certain protection visas and related bridging visas but according to the statement, it is mandatory for all the other visa types.

Check Your Eligibility Now!

The department of home affairs has added these new visa conditions under the legislation formation. Section 8204A and 8204B will be applicable for all the Australia Student Visa holders who are currently pursuing higher education courses or postgraduation programs, research-based courses, and applicable for all of them who would like to change their study course, thesis or research topic.

Impact On Australia Study Visa with This New Change

  • The new rule strengthens the power of the Minister. Now the ministry can decide not to approve the change of course application in terms of public interest.
  • Although, as Australian Student Visa holders students have a right to challenge the decision and claim the report.
  • These new visa conditions will be applicable for those candidates only, who received their student visa after July 1st.
  • Those applications will not be affected, which has been received before this date.

About The Condition 8204

As per condition 8204, these limitations will apply to all the Australia Study Visa holders. According to 8204 condition notes international students cannot change their study course, thesis or research topic without the approval of the Minister. The listed below courses will need an approval

  • 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

Apply Now for Australia Study Visa

The students’ change of course or thesis or research topic applications will only come into consideration, if

  • Students who has completed the Form 1221
  • Secondly, the change will be not likely to be directly or indirectly put “Australian national security” into a risk.
  • To submit the form 1221 candidates need first complete the form and email it to the ( with subject line “8203/8204 assessment

Applicable Visa Subclass

The latest change of rules will be applicable on the following visa subclasses as well after the provisions will be applied to the Australian Student Visa (subclass 500).

  • Training (subclass 407)
  • Temporary Activity (subclass 408)
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (subclass 400)
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482)
  • Temporary Graduate (subclass 485)
  • Recognised Skill Graduate (subclass 476)
  • Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494).
  • Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) (Subclass 191) (expected to commence 16 November 2022)
  • Global Talent Independent Program visas: Employer Nomination Scheme (Permanent) (subclass 186) visa
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Permanent)(subclass 187) visa
  • Skilled Independent (Permanent)(subclass 189) visa
  • Distinguished Talent (permanent)(subclass 858) visa.

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