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Ensuring you do not breach your visa

International students in Australia need to be careful not to breach their visa conditions, or else they risk being deported.

Federal government statistics this month revealed that immigration officials cancelled 10,949 foreign student visas in the last year for reasons such as supplying false documents, providing false information, posing a risk to the health and safety of the community and not being a genuine student.

Given there are so many conditions that students must adhere to, it is important to make sure you are aware of what you have to do so that your visa does not get cancelled.

Below is a checklist that applies to most international student visas. Some exceptions may occur depending on your type of visa, so this is intended as a guide only. Click here for the full list of conditions.

Generally speaking, here are some “dos” and “don’ts” to make sure your visa remains active:


  • Be enrolled in a course that is registered with the Commonwealth Register for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  • Maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Make sure you have enough money to maintain your studies and living expenses
  • Notify your education provider of your residential address in Australia within 7 days of arriving in Australia
  • Notify your education provider of any change in your residential address within 7 days of the change


  • Work more than 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session (vacation work is fine)
  • Change your course, or your thesis or research topic, without approval. Continue your studies in a course that matches your student visa. There are certain steps you need to take if you wish to change your course. 
  • Become involved in any activities that are disruptive or threaten harm to the Australian community

For more guidance on student visa issues, you can speak with your nearest student services office.

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