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Hi Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on this forum. I found this forum helpful and supportive throughout the PR process last year. I am again in need of some help and information that I cannot get elsewhere.

Just to put things into context. I applied to 189 early last year after my GF's family arranged for her to study at TAFE in WA. As part of her packaged course (Cert III, Cert IV and Diploma) she was granted 572 Visa valid for 2 years.

We initially planned to apply for partner visa during the last 6 months after we got married. Although, after completing Cert III and Cert IV, and working in the industry, she has realized that the Diploma she had chosen would not add much to her job prospects. She would like to pursue a Diploma in a different course of the same AQF at the same institute. However, this other Diploma is 18 months long which would imply that we need an extension of 6 months. The Diploma starts in exactly 1 month.

We have spoken multiple times to DIBP and have received somewhat conflicting information.

  • Switch Course and Apply for new visa using COE immediately
  • Switch Course and Wait until the end of the current visa and then apply COE
  • Switch Course but Cancel current visa and apply for new visa.

In the above options, I would apply for partner visa during visa extension.

Another possibility is
- Switch Course and Apply for partner visa 820before her current visa expires, a bridging visa should kick in at the end of her current visa if a decision is not made.
I am not sure if she can study on a bridging visa.

Apart from DIBP I have dug up some information here.
https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/english/australian-education/education-system/transfer-process
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud/More/Changing-courses

I would appreciate your valued opinions and personal experiences.

Thank you.

Austin
 

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Firstly, never contact DIBP for advice. They are notorious for providing incorrect information and they are not qualified or trained to provide immigration advice. If you want accurate and helpful advice, your best source is a registered migration agent.

I don't know much about student visas, but I think if she switches courses, she'd need to get a new COE and then apply for a new visa before the current one expires. If she cancels her current visa, that causes enormous complications (basically she is considered an illegal resident until the new application is lodged, even if it's a matter of minutes and the headaches this causes will not be worth it).

If it was me, I'd apply for the partner visa. The bridging visa takes effect when her current visa expires and the bridging visa comes with full work and study rights.
 
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