Overseas Student Transfers

The following information on students seeking transfer to another provider, or from another provider to TAFE SA is in accordance with Standard 7 of the National Code 2018. 


  1. The Restricted Transfer Period (RTP) is the period from the visa grant date to the end of the first six calendar months of the principal course from the start date identified in the COE. 
  2. The principal provider is the provider offering the final course in a package of courses.
  3. The principal course is the final course within a package of courses
  4. If student has only enrolled in one course then that is the principal course. 

Transfer from TAFE SA to another provider (within the Restricted Transfer Period)

It is recommended for students seeking a release to review the circumstances when a release will be granted to avoid disappointment of receiving a refusal to their request for transfer. 
Students should contact the Department of Home Affairs to seek advice on whether the release and, therefore, a change in the enrolment: 

  1. breaches a visa condition and/or 
  2. if a new student visa is required 

Applying for transfer:

Students must complete and submit a Request for Withdrawal/Release/Deferral form to the International Unit and must have a valid letter of offer from another provider as an attachment. 

Applications for release will be assessed against the circumstances listed below. 

Applications for release will be processed with an email decision to the student within ten working days (TAFE SA only requests). University packaged students will also need to seek release from the university, their principal provider. 

If the release is granted and a refund of tuition fee is due, students will need to follow the refund application process.

Students who release request is refused will have the right to access the TAFE SA appeal process.  

A student wishing to change provider outside of the restricted transfer period is assessed through the withdrawal process and is not covered by Standard 7 nor considered a transfer.  Using the Request for Withdrawal/Release/Deferral form students can choose the withdraw option.


Circumstances where transfers will be granted are deemed to be made with the best interest of the student in mind. The circumstances assessed include, but are not limited to: 

  1. 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 that registered provider’s intervention strategy to assist the overseas student in accordance with Standard 8 (Overseas student visa requirements)
  2. the registered provider fails to deliver the course as outlined in the written agreement
  3. there is evidence that the overseas student’s reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met
  4. there is evidence that the overseas student was misled by the registered provider or an education or migration agent regarding the registered provider or its course and the course is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives
  5. an appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the overseas student
  6. the student’s circumstances have changed and an interstate move is required 
  7. a notification of Intention to Report to Department of Home Affairs (HA) has been issued
  8. the course the student wishes to transfer to:
    • better meets the study capabilities of the student
    • better meets the long-term goals of the student
  9. transfer is supported by the program area
  10. a student does not successfully complete a prerequisite course as part of a package of programs
  11. it is in the interests of the student’s welfare, such as where a relative relocates and the student remaining alone in Adelaide is not an option
  12. evidence of other compassionate and compelling circumstances. 

Circumstances where transfers will be refused include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Student’s fees are still outstanding
  2. Student is currently in a complaints and resolution process for unsatisfactory progress or for not meeting course attendance requirements
  3. Student is not genuinely engaging with the intervention strategy
  4. Student has been legally charged for misbehaviour, including sexual harassment charges
  5. Student has caused severe damage to TAFE SA property
  6. Student is under police investigation
  7. Student has breached a student visa condition(s) and has been reported on PRISMS
  8. The transfer may jeopardise the student’s progression through a package of courses
  9. Valid offer letter from another provider has not been received
  10. Transfer perceived as detrimental to student
  11. If transfer request is based on change of program and said program is also offered at TAFE SA
  12. The commencement date on the letter of offer from the transferring provider has passed (i.e. after the program of study into which the student wishes to transfer has already begun)
  13. Student has simply changed their mind
  14. Issues such as living a long distance away from campus and travel difficulties
  15. Student has not utilised TAFE SA’s support services or academic resources and assistance
  16. TAFE SA suspects that the student is trying to avoid being reported to the Commonwealth for failure to meet the pathway provider’s academic progression rules
  17. Student is experiencing difficulties adjusting to Adelaide life and the demands of academic work at TAFE SA without having exhausted all of TAFE SA’s student support services.

Transfer to TAFE SA from another provider

A student cannot be accepted to study at TAFE SA within the restricted transfer period unless the following circumstances apply:

  1. the original provider has, agreed in PRISMS, to the release. 
  2. the original provider or course has ceased to be registered; or
  3. the student’s government sponsor supports the change; or
  4. the original provider has sanctions imposed on their registration

Students should apply via the TAFE SA online application system.

To see the full details of the TAFE SA transfer policy please review the Admissions and Enrolment Policy.