Education provider default

We have special arrangements in place to help you if you are affected by an education provider default. This occurs when a registered provider in Australia has closed or is not able to deliver your course because of a sanction imposed on them (not just if your provider does not run your course due to low enrolments).

We understand that you might be concerned about how this affects your student visa as you must maintain course enrolment as a condition of your visa.

We recognise that this situation is beyond your control and have put in place special arrangements to give you the opportunity to study with a different education provider.

If you would like information about your right to a refund of your course fees or placement in an alternative course you should refer to the Department of Education and Training - Education Services for Overseas Student legislative framework.

Students studying at the time of provider default

If you were studying when your education provider's registration for that course was removed or your education provider closed and you are over the age of 18, we will allow you extra time to enrol in an alternative course.

You should obtain a letter of offer or a confirmation of enrolment for alternative studies within three months of the date the course was deregistered, cancelled or your provider closed. It is important that you read information on the ESOS legislative framework before seeking alternative enrolment.

You must enrol in a course that is at the same Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level as your current course or apply for a new visa.

Your education provider should offer you a place in an alternative course that is acceptable to you and at no additional expense or pay a refund of any unspent pre-paid tuition fees you have paid to them. We encourage you to work with your education provider to ensure you achieve alternative enrolment.

If your education provider fails to place you in an alternative course or give you a refund of any unspent pre-paid tuition fees, you may be assisted by the Tuition Protection Service (TPS).

We are aware that in some cases, the process of being placed in an alternative course or obtaining a refund might take longer than three months. If you are not able to obtain new enrolment within three months, you must contact us and provide the letter from the Tuition Protection Service to confirm that you are awaiting the outcome of these processes. You can travel outside Australia while waiting to be placed with a new provider as long as you return while your visa is valid.

Check your visa expiry date. Your visa would have been granted based on the information supplied in your original student visa application. There is no provision to automatically extend a visa where an education provider is unable to deliver a course and your new course has a longer duration than your visa. You can check your visa details using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

If you have obtained enrolment in an alternative course but the new course duration extends beyond the expiry date of your existing visa, you will need to apply for a new student visa before your current visa expires. This will include submitting evidence of enrolment. You may be eligible for a Visa Application Charge exemption.

Students not yet studying at the time of provider default

If you were not actively studying with the education provider at the time when the provider ceased teaching your course, and you have not yet commenced your studies elsewhere, you will need to secure enrolment in an alternative course.

If your visa has been granted but you have not yet travelled to Australia, you are encouraged to defer travel to Australia until you have obtained alternative enrolment. Your visa will not be considered for cancellation if your education provider has defaulted. You will be given an opportunity to secure alternative enrolment.

It is important that you read information on the ESOS legislative framework before seeking alternative enrolment.

Pending student visa applications at the time of provider default

If you have applied for a student visa to study a course that is affected by a provider default, you will be given an opportunity to obtain new enrolment before a decision is made on your application. You should respond promptly to requests by the visa processing office and provide updated enrolment information as soon as possible.

Students under the age of 18

If you are under the age of 18 you must maintain welfare arrangements at all times as a condition of your student visa. If you are under the age of 18 and your education provider issued a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) to take responsibility for your welfare in Australia, you will need to seek alternative enrolment immediately and put in place alternative welfare arrangements. You, your parents or your authorised representative must contact us as soon as possible to discuss your visa options.

Visa Application Charge exemption

If you need to apply for a further visa due to an education provider default, you might be eligible for a Visa Application Charge (VAC) exemption. You must hold a student visa or your last substantive visa must have been a student visa.

Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) applicants might also be eligible for a VAC exemption where the nominating student has been affected by provider default.

Indicate on your student visa application that you are affected by a provider default and attach evidence of your enrolment with that provider, such as your confirmation of enrolment.

Your family members will only be eligible for a VAC exemption if they are included in your application, not if they apply separately.

Provider default day

To be eligible for a VAC exemption, you must apply for a further student visa no more than 12 months after the provider default day.

If you have commenced studying with the provider, the provider default day is the day on which the course officially ceased to be provided by the education provider.

If you have not yet commenced studying with the provider, the provider default day is the ‘agreed starting day’ of the course. The agreed starting day will be the commencement date on your confirmation of enrolment.