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. There is no administration fee or charge to apply for or be granted a release from TAFE SA for international students.


  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. 

If the international student is aged under 18 years, a request to transfer form must:
  • be approved by a parent or guardian, or
  • include written evidence to confirm that the receiving training/education provider accepts responsibility for approving the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements (this option only applies where a parent/guardian is not in Australia).

The International Unit may grant a release for an international student to transfer to another provider in circumstances including, but not limited to:

  • the international student has been reported because they are unable to achieve satisfactory course progress even after engaging in a TAFE SA intervention strategy to assist the student in accordance with Standard 8 of the National Code (Overseas student visa requirements)
  • TAFE SA fails to deliver the course as outlined in the written agreement
  • there is evidence that the international student’s reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met
  • there is evidence that the international student was misled by TAFE SA or an education or migration agent regarding TAFE SA 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 international student
  • a notification of Intention to Report to DoHA has been issued to the student
  • 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
  • the transfer is supported by the relevant education unit, typically due to academic course progress or student behaviour
  • a student does not successfully complete a prerequisite course as part of a package of programs
  • 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
  • evidence of other compassionate and/or compelling circumstances.

The International Unit will inform the international student (and parent/guardian if student is under18) in writing (email is acceptable) that:

  • the release has been granted, and that
  • the international student should contact DoHA to seek advice on whether the change in the student’s enrolment:
    • breaches a visa condition; and/or
    • requires a new student visa to be sought;
    • requires a change in the responsibility for the student’s welfare and accommodation by the new provider (if student is under 18 and a parent/guardian is not assuming this responsibility) and confirmation of the dates when this responsibility change is effective.

The International Unit may refuse a request for release and transfer in circumstances including, but not limited to:

  • the international student’s fees are outstanding
  • the international student is currently in a complaints and resolution process for unsatisfactory progress or for not meeting course attendance requirements
  • the international student is not genuinely engaging in their studies or with any intervention strategy
  • the international student has caused severe damage to TAFE SA property
  • the international student is under police investigation
  • the international student has breached a student visa condition(s) and has been reported on PRISMS
  • the transfer may jeopardise the international student’s progression through a package of courses
  • a valid offer letter from another provider has not been received
  • TAFE SA perceives the transfer to be detrimental to the international student
  • the transfer request is based on change of course and that same course is also offered at TAFE SA
  • the commencement date on the letter of offer from the transferring provider has passed (that is, after the start date of the program of study into which the international student wishes to transfer)
  • the international student has simply changed their mind
  • the international student living a long distance away from campus
  • the international student has not utilised TAFE SA’s support services or academic resources and assistance
  • TAFE SA suspects that the international student is trying to avoid being reported to the Australian Government for failure to meet the pathway provider’s academic progression rules
  • the international student is experiencing difficulties adjusting to living in South Australia and the demands of academic work at TAFE SA without having exhausted all of TAFE SA’s student support services.

The International Unit will inform the international student by email within 10 working days of:

  • the reasons for the refusal
  • the international student’s right to access, within 20 working days, TAFE SA’s complaints and appeals process, in accordance with the National Code