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Professionals and Other Skilled Migrants

Australian Study Requirement


To meet this requirement, you must have completed in no less than 16 calendar months either:

  • a single qualification requiring at least two academic years study
    or
  • more than one qualification resulting in a total period of at least two academic years study.

The two academic years study must contribute towards the award of an acceptable qualification that is closely related to the occupation you nominate on your General Skilled Migration application. Check the registration of your course(s) on Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) website.
See: CRICOS

The 92 weeks of study could contribute towards the award of one or more acceptable qualification. In this instance, the courses of study need not have been undertaken within a 24 month period. It is possible to have a break between completing the first course and commencing the second.

The department will use CRICOS to determine the standard duration of a course. A course that has a registered duration of 92 weeks is considered to meet the two academic years requirement.

What is meant by two academic years study?

Two academic years study is defined as 92 weeks of registered study.

It is a measure of the amount of study you have completed rather than how long it took you to complete the study. The requirement that you complete two academic years study does not mean that you need to study full-time to meet the Australian study requirement.

You can take longer to complete those requirements if you so choose. That is, if you take 92 weeks to complete a course registered with CRICOS for only 78 weeks, that course will still only count for 78 weeks towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

There is no upper limit on how long you can take to meet the Australian study requirement. It is a measure of the amount of study you have completed rather than how long it took you to complete the study. Only study successfully completed counts towards the two academic years.
Example: You cannot fail a subject with the hope of counting the same subject twice.

If you are given credit for prior learning it will reduce the amount of study you have completed. In such a situation the exempted units can not be counted towards meeting the Australian study requirement if:

  • they are already being used towards meeting the Australian study requirement as part of another course
    Example: Periods of study can not count more than once towards meeting the Australian study requirement
  • the credit was granted on the basis of study undertaken either overseas or within Australian in a non-CRICOS registered course.

This means that credit granted on the basis of study undertaken in Australia in a course registered with CRICOS may contribute towards meeting the Australian study requirement, but only once.

Example 1:
If a course is CRICOS registered for 138 weeks (three years) and consists of 24 equal weighted units, you will have completed two academic years when you have successfully completed 16 units of that course. That means that if you are enrolled in that course you can be given credit based on non-CRICOS registered study of up to eight units and still complete two academic years of study.

Example 2:
If a course is CRICOS registered for 92 weeks (two years) and consists of 12 equal weighted units, you would be required to complete all 12 units to meet the Australian study requirement.

If you were granted credit based on study in another course also registered with CRICOS, then these exemptions could still contribute towards meeting the Australian study requirement regardless if a qualification was awarded for this other course.

However, if you are enrolled in this course and given any credit based on non-CRICOS registered study you will not have completed two academic years study and would fail to meet the Australian study requirement.

If you fall short of the 92 weeks of study due to exemptions you have received, you have several options to meet the Australian study requirement. Options could include:

  • have the university rescind the exemptions so you must now successfully complete these subjects to be awarded your qualification
  • complete additional units that are at the same level as the exempted units (or higher) and which are accepted by the university as award units for the qualification, such as an elective unit.
    Note: If the education provider specifies the units as 'Non-Award' units, then these units will not be able to count towards meeting the Australian study requirement. Also the additional units would need to be of sufficient registered CRICOS duration to take you to a total of 92 weeks of registered study.
    Also note: The academic transcript should indicate that the elective is contributing towards the award of the degree for this unit to be counted towards meeting the Australian study requirement to ensure that there is no doubt about the electives being part of the award of the qualification
  • complete an additional qualification that is closely related to the occupation you nominate on your General Skilled Migration application. This additional qualification must be of sufficient CRICOS registered duration to make up for the exempted units from the students course(s).

Course requirements

Each qualification that you have completed and are relying on to meet this requirement must:

  • be either a degree (a bachelor or any higher degree), a diploma, an advanced diploma, or a trade qualification
  • have been undertaken at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  • have been conducted in English
  • be registered on CRICOS.

Note: English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.

Qualifications must be closely related to nominated occupation

The Australian qualification(s) you have completed must be closely related to your nominated skilled occupation. This means that the subject matter and the skills gained from your qualifications can be applied at the level you achieved them in your nominated skilled occupation. Some examples of this are:

  • Diploma in Business and Certificate IV in carpentry would be consistent with nominating carpenter as your occupation as you could find those qualifications genuinely useful in operating their own business as a carpenter.
  • Masters in IT and Certificate III in carpentry would not be consistent with nominating carpenter as your occupation as you have attained skills at a significantly higher level in a professional field and skills at that level will not have any practical application in working as a carpenter.

Overlap of qualifications

Where qualifications overlap, you cannot count periods of study more than once.

If you complete more than one 'acceptable' qualification but use only the last qualification to meet the Australian study requirement, then any credit received in that qualification from the previous qualification(s) will count towards meeting the Australian study requirement, while the actual study within the previous qualification(s) on which the credits were based is used towards meeting the regulation 1.15F(1)(b) 16 month requirement.

Alternatively, you can choose whether to use the overlapping study from the first or second qualification with respects to meeting the Australian study requirement if, for example:

  • two qualifications are used to meet the Australian study requirement
  • credit has been granted in the second qualification based on the first qualification, that is, the qualifications overlap.

What if you have completed study outside Australia?

If you have undertaken study while not physically present in Australia, this study cannot be used to satisfy the Australian study requirement.

However, if you undertook some study overseas but nevertheless completed at least two academic years of study in no less than 16 calendar months while in Australia you can still meet the Australian study requirement.

Example 1: You would have completed two academic years study in Australia if you undertook a three year, six semester Bachelor degree in the following pattern:

  • semester 1 - outside Australia
  • semester 2 - in Australia
  • semester 3 - in Australia
  • semester 4 - in Australia
  • semester 5 - outside Australia
  • semester 6 - in Australia

The pattern of study does not matter as long as the Australian study requirement is met. In the example above, you could have commenced studies in Australia and completed the studies outside Australia and still met the Australian study requirements.

Example 2: If you have studied at an overseas campus of an Australian educational institution, or undertaken study online or by correspondence with an Australian educational institution while outside Australia, this study will not be accepted. This is because all study must be undertaken while you are physically present in Australia.

Evidence to attach to your application

You must obtain the following documentary evidence to attach to your application:

  • certified copy of the completion letter from your educational institution, including:
    • the date that the course commenced and ended
    • the date that course requirements were met
    • the location of the campus where the study was undertaken
    • whether the study involved any distance learning
    • whether the study was full-time or part-time
    • the language in which instruction was given
    • certified copies of course transcripts
    • where credit has been granted, it must specify if the credit granted was on the basis of study in a course which also met the conditions of the Australian study requirement.
      Example: The course was registered with CRICOS, undertaken in English and undertaken in Australia.

Lodgement of application

If you are an overseas student, you must lodge an application for this visa within six months of the date of completion of your course.

The date of completion is the first date on which the educational institution publicly notifies you that you have met the requirements for the award of your degree, diploma or trade qualification.

This notification can occur by:

  • letter
  • publication in a newspaper
  • publication on the internet
  • email
  • bulletin board at the tertiary institution.

This date should not be confused with the date of conferral of your award. The date of conferral is the date that you actually receive your degree, diploma or trade qualification.
Example: Graduation ceremony.