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Transfer – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Version number 2.3 | Version effective 23 December 2021
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Transfer – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Audience

Education Queensland International staff (EQI staff), school staff, Overseas students, EQI homestay providers, parents/Department of Home Affairs (DHA) approved guardians of Overseas students and their agents.

Purpose

This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities of employees of EQI and school staff and the process they follow to manage student transfer requests to another Eschool (internal transfer) or another Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registered provider (external transfer). 

Overview

EQI assesses written requests from students to transfer to either another school (internal transfer) or a different CRICOS registered provider (external transfer), and will only approve requests as outlined in the student’s International Student Programs (ISP) standard terms and conditions and in this procedure.

EQI considers a transfer to be in the Overseas student’s best interests in circumstances including where:

  • the Overseas student will be reported because they are unable to achieve satisfactory course progress at the level they are studying, even after engaging with the school's intervention strategy to assist the Overseas student 
  • there is evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • EQI fails to deliver the course as outlined in the Enrolment agreement
  • there is evidence that the Overseas student's reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met
  • there is evidence that the Overseas student was misled by EQI or an education or migration agent regarding EQI or its course, and the course is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives
  • an appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the Overseas student
  • the Overseas student is experiencing personal difficulty or education problems that cannot be addressed by the current school
  • the school/provider that the Overseas student wishes to transfer to will better meet their academic capabilities and their long-term goals
  • the transfer will allow the Overseas student to follow their stated educational pathway (for example, whether they will remain eligible for a Queensland Certificate of Education or an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank)
  • the transfer will give the Overseas student access to better support while studying in Australia (for example, if they moved to a school where family or friends are enrolled or if they moved to another region where they would have a better cultural support network).

Overseas students seeking to transfer from another CRICOS provider to an school are required to enter the program via the regular application process and should refer to Enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure.

Incoming Transfers

Students seeking to transfer from another CRICOS provider to an school are required to enter the program via the regular application process and should refer to Enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure.

Overseas students seeking to transfer from another CRICOS provider will not be enrolled with EQI prior to the student completing six months of his or her principal course except where any of the following apply:

  • the releasing registered provider, or the course in which the overseas student is enrolled, has ceased to be registered
  • the releasing registered provider has had a sanction imposed on its registration by the ESOS agency that prevents the overseas student from continuing his or her course at that registered provider
  • the releasing registered provider has agreed to the overseas student’s release and recorded the date of effect and reason for release in PRISMS
  • any government sponsor of the overseas student considers the change to be in the overseas student’s best interests and has provided written support for the change.

Responsibilities

School staff (for example International Student/Homestay Coordinator or Line Manager) and guidance officer

  • counsel and support Overseas students who seek to transfer
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records (for example, adding a record of contact in OneSchool for each contact with Overseas student). 

Director, EQI

  • make decisions on transfer requests.

EQI staff

  • manage requests to transfer within timeframes
  • ensure external provider accepts responsibility for approving Overseas student’s accommodation, support and general welfare, where required
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records in the international student management system and Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)
  • provide advice and support to school staff implementing this procedure.

School principal (or delegate)

  • appoint enough suitably qualified school staff to counsel and support Overseas students who seek to transfer (for example, an international student coordinator)
  • ensure school staff and teaching staff take appropriate action within a timely manner to support Overseas student transfers.

Process

Process:   1. Apply 2. assess 3. approve 4. transfer

Image 1 : Process - Student transfer

1. Apply

School staff and guidance officer

  • meet with the Overseas student regarding the proposed transfer:
    • determine reasons for the transfer
    • consider when the proposed transfer would need to take effect and whether there is enough time for a transfer to be assessed and processed
    • consider the Overseas student’s accommodation and welfare arrangements
  • attempt to resolve any issues ensuring appropriate intervention is provided to assist the Overseas student and negotiate a timeframe to revisit the issue
  • maintain detailed records of meeting/s in OneSchool.

2. Assess

EQI staff

  • commence assessing transfer request as soon as practicable, noting that a decision to approve or not approve the transfer is completed within 20 working days for internal transfers and 10 days for external transfers
  • if any fees are owing, liaise with the Overseas student/parent to obtain payment
  • if it is an external transfer request, check there is evidence including:
    • a valid offer of enrolment has been made by the new provider
    • the new provider accepts responsibility for approving the accommodation, support and general welfare for the Overseas student under 18 years of age requiring homestay
  • if it is an internal transfer request, where the request is to change school and course, determine if the Overseas student meets the entry requirements for the new course, in line with the Enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure and by liaising with school staff
  • contact the Overseas student’s current school and request them to respond promptly (to allow enough time to meet the timeframes) with confirmation of the following:
    • the Overseas student has discussed transfer with them
    • the transfer is in the best interests of the Overseas student
    • there are no fees owing
    • the school principal has endorsed the transfer
  • contact the school principal at the proposed new school, via email, and request them to respond promptly (to allow enough time to meet the timeframes):
    • provide information regarding transfer
    • request confirmation that homestay is available, if required
    • for an external request, also confirm a valid offer of enrolment and the date responsibility for approving accommodation, support and general welfare will commence, ensuring there is no gap
  • collate transfer form with evidence of endorsement/non-endorsement and refer to the Director, EQI for a decision promptly, ensuring to meet the required timeframes.

School staff

  • determine if the transfer is in the best interests of the Overseas student
    • meet and discuss with the Overseas student whether the transfer is in their best interest
    • make a record of contact in OneSchool outlining the discussion
  • when a transfer is appropriate, seek endorsement from the school principal and respond to EQI promptly, via email.

School principal (or delegate; current school)

  • consider the request as outlined on the ISP student transfer request form and decide whether to endorse the transfer
  • if the transfer is not endorsed, provide reasons, advise what intervention strategies will be put in place to assist the Overseas student, and negotiate a timeframe to revisit the issue.

School principal (or delegate; new school)

  • consider the request as outlined on the ISP student transfer request form and decide whether to accept the transfer:
    • if the transfer is accepted, provide confirmation homestay is available with date of commencement, if required
    • if the transfer is not accepted, provide reasons.

3. Approve

Director, EQI

  • consider information provided on the ISP student transfer request form and decide whether to approve the transfer
  • approval can only be granted for internal requests if all the following apply:
    • the Overseas student’s parent or legal guardian has confirmed in writing that they support the transfer
    • the new school can provide homestay (ensuring no gap between homestay finishing at current school and homestay commencing at new school), if homestay is required
    • there is evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances
    • the transfer is in the Overseas student’s best interests
    • the transfer is endorsed by the current school and the new school
    • there are no outstanding fees owed to EQI, a school, or the Department of Education in relation to the Overseas student’s schooling
    • if the request is also to change courses, the Overseas student meets the entry requirements for the new course.
  • approval can only be granted for external requests if all the following apply:
    • the Overseas student provides a valid enrolment offer from another provider registered on CRICOS
    • EQI is satisfied the transfer is in the Overseas student’s best interests
    • there are no outstanding fees owed to EQI, a school, or the Department of Education in relation to the Overseas student’s schooling
    • EQI has written confirmation that the Overseas student’s parent supports the transfer 
    • if the Overseas student is in homestay, the new provider accepts responsibility for approving the Overseas student’s accommodation and welfare, ensuring no gap between EQI ceasing to provide homestay and the new provider approving the Overseas student’s accommodation, support and general welfare.
  • notify the Overseas student and parent/agent of the decision, in writing, (within 20 working days of receiving the complete request for internal transfer or 10 days for external transfer) by signing the request form and issuing the relevant Transfer approved letter template or Transfer not approved letter template (DoE Employees only)
  • provide EQI staff with the relevant Transfer approved letter or Transfer not approved letter (DoE Employees only)
  • provide EQI staff Transfer approved letter or Transfer not approved letter (DoE Employees only).

EQI staff

  • issue the Transfer approved letter or Transfer not approved letter (DoE Employees only) to the Overseas student, parent or DHA approved guardian and agent via email
  • notify school staff of outcome via email.

4. Transfer

EQI staff

  • follow instructions of Director, EQI
  • where a transfer is not approved:
    • support school staff to implement decision
    • for external transfer requests, do not finalise the refusal status in PRISMS until after an appeal finds in favour of EQI, the Overseas student chooses not to access the complaints and appeals processes within the 20 working day period, or the Overseas student withdraws from the process
  • where the internal transfer is approved:
    • revise the Overseas student enrolment and Enrolment agreement in the international student management system along with invoices (if required) and issue, via email, to the parent/agent
    • revise the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and welfare arrangements in PRISMS, within 31 days, and issue to the parent/agent, including payment receipt for refund, if applicable
    • give notice of any refund to the Australian Government within 7 days of the repayment
    • record the date the transfer will take effect and reason for the student’s release in PRISMS notify school staff via email
  • where the external transfer is approved:
    • record the date transfer will take effect and reason for the Overseas student’s release in PRISMS
    • record/ensure the accuracy of the Overseas student's residential address, phone number and email address details in PRISMS
    • inform the Overseas student of their visa obligation to maintain their current welfare arrangements until the transfer date, or have alternate welfare arrangements approved or return to their home country until the new approved welfare arrangements take effect
    • advise Overseas student to contact the Australian Government department responsible for the Migration Regulations to seek advice on whether a new student visa is required
    • process the refund as per the refund policy outlined in the ISP standard terms and conditions, if required
    • give notice of any refund to the Australian Government within 7 days of the repayment
  • liaise with school staff and the new provider to facilitate transfer.

School staff

  • liaise with the new school regarding the internal transfer
  • assist to transport the Overseas student to the new homestay provider, if required
  • update the Overseas student file in OneSchool.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Agent

Education agent registered with EQI to recruit students for EQI programs.

Compassionate circumstances

Circumstances that:

  • are not in the student’s control or created by the student; and
  • adversely impact on the student’s welfare or course progress (for example, illness, bereavement or traumatic events may qualify).

Compelling circumstances

Circumstances which, in the opinion of EQI staff or school staff, are in the student’s best educational interests.  

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

A Confirmation of Enrolment is document created in Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) by EQI as evidence of a student’s course and duration of study in a nominated Queensland state school.

Course

A course registered on CRICOS offered by Department of Education trading as Education Queensland International.

DHA approved guardian

A parent, legal custodian or relative over the age of 21 approved by the Department of Home Affairs to be responsible for the welfare of students under the age of 18 years.

Enrolment agreement

A written agreement signed by the applicant, which includes Standard terms and conditions, an Initial Invoice and Statement of fees; signed by the overseas student as well as parents or legal custodians.

EQI

Education Queensland International

EQI staff

DoE employees working in DEi, trading as EQI.

External transfer

If approved by EQI, an overseas student enrolled at an school can transfer to another CRICOS provider.

Homestay

Homestay is accommodation services offered by a family, a couple or a single person where food and shelter and a safe, caring and supportive home environment is provided to an Overseas student. Homestay is arranged by schools and/or DEi staff.

For International Student Programs: Overseas student accommodation arranged by schools for Student Visa 500 holders; where EQI is responsible for the welfare of the Overseas student at all times, including outside school hours.

Homestay provider

Homestay provider is a family, a couple or a single person who is approved by DEi or schools to host overseas students in their home.

Internal transfer

If approved by EQI, an overseas student enrolled at a school can transfer to a different school.

OneSchool

A comprehensive program to help Queensland State Schools manage key teaching and school administrative activities. Its features cover a wide range of school operations (DoE employees only).

Offer of Enrolment

Email package sent to applicant (via education agent if applicable). Package includes the Enrolment agreement (including Standard terms and conditions, Statement of fees, Initial invoice) and Payment notification form, school enrolment pack or other school enrolment information and instructions on how to accept the offer.

Overseas student

Student in Australia on visa subclass 500 (schools' sector) enrolled in an EQI course.

Parent

Natural parent or legal custodian.

School

For International Student Programs: Queensland state schools accredited by EQI to deliver international student programs.

School staff

Employees of schools with responsibilities to support international students. For example – international student coordinator, homestay coordinator, head of department, deputy principal, accredited officer (study tours).

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

24 January 2023
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