The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has launched a social media campaign warning overseas students that are intentionally downgrading courses that they are risking their stay in Australia.
Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said in a recent press release that the practice of downgrading or changing courses from streamlined visa processing (SVP) eligible degree providers to non-SVP providers soon after their arrival, known as ‘course-hopping,’ is in violation of a student’s visa conditions.
‘Students who engage in this type of behaviour are likely to be in breach of their visa conditions and may, as a result, be subjected to visa cancellation,’ Minister Cash said.
‘Although only a small percentage of students have breached their visa conditions, the government wants to send a strong message to both students and education providers.’
Minister Cash also said that along with the campaign to educate students on the conditions of their visa, students that had changed from SVP to non-SVP degree providers were being sent an advisory letter asking them to explain their actions.
She says the campaign will feature regular updates on the DIBP’s migration blog and FAQs section, and will present a range of relevant scenarios so students can evaluate the correct action to take for their circumstances.
Participating education providers will also be asked to put in place strategies to minimise incentives for students to arrive under the SVP arrangements with the aim of quickly transferring out of or downgrading their course.
*For more information, including a list of likely scenarios and appropriate actions, view the DIBP website here.