Until 13th April 2013, student visa holders faced automatic and mandatory cancellation of their visas if they failed to abide by the conditions of the visa. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has just announced via their website that a discretionary framework relating to breaches of visa conditions will now replace the previous automatic and mandatory student visa cancellations relating to breaches in student visa conditions. An immigration officer may now examine a report and take the individual circumstances of the breach into account when making a decision on whether or not to cancel the visa. This allows DIAC officers to distinguish, for example, between a student visa holder who never genuinely intended to study in Australia from one who may be struggling with their educational choices and may therefore benefit in a change in their course of study or institution.

Student visa holders are still responsible for meeting the conditions of their visas, and the educational providers will have to both inform students should they breach these conditions, and report the information to the DIAC for action.

Up until 13th April, 2013 education providers issued students who breached their visa conditions a notice under section 20 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act), known as a ‘section 20 notice’. Students who have received a section 20 notice on or before midnight 12th April 2013 must comply with it by attending one of DIAC’s offices within 28 days of the date specified in the notice. If not, their visas will be automatically cancelled.

Education providers will still need to report students who breach course progress or attendance requirements to us through the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS) and must continue to inform the student that they intend to report the visa condition breach.

DIAC will take into account all information provided by a student at the time we consider cancellation. If a student is able to provide evidence to satisfy the decision maker that they should not cancel the visa then the visa will not be cancelled.

Further information can be obtained from DIAC website at

For personal advice and help on the issue of student visas contact Perth Immigration lawyers Putt Legal.


Putt Legal are your specialists in Immigration Law. We can assist you in making your migration to Australia seamless.

The Australian visa process can be complex and confusing; our lawyers work with you to guide you through every step of the way.

We are highly qualified and experienced in immigration law matters and are committed to providing expert advice in every individual case.

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