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Changes to Student Visa Cancellation Procedures

The contents of this article are correct as at 30 April 2013.

In April 2013 a new approach to student visa cancellation was implemented by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). From that date Education Providers can no longer issue Section 20 Notices, which means DIAC no longer has the power to automatically cancel student visas. As a result Student Integrity Counters at DIAC offices have been closed.

The change was brought in, in response to the Knight review, which found a discretionary approach to student visa cancellation should be introduced to ensure fairer outcomes for students. In practice, this means that Education Providers have a greater responsibility to share information with DIAC about student enrolments and ensure they report breaches of course progress and attendance requirements.

Education Providers must advise students if they intend to report a breach of visa condition to DIAC. If DIAC receives a notification of non-compliance from an Education Provider and intends to cancel a student visa they will write to the student first and provide the student with an opportunity to respond with information showing why their visa should not be cancelled. DIAC officers will consider whether there are exceptional, compelling or compassionate circumstances affecting their ability to comply with their student visa conditions and decide on that basis whether the visa should be cancelled.

If you have received a Notice of Intention to Cancel your student visa from DIAC, or you have received notice from your Education Provider that they intend to report a breach of condition to DIAC in regard to your student visa, and you require assistance responding please feel free to contact us.