Is it correct that duration of the course(s) must be of 92 weeks in order to satisfy the Australian study requirement (ASR) when making a subclass 485 visa application?

In PAUDEL (Migration) [2019] AATA 3301, it was decided that a person can satisfy the ASR by using two concurrent courses registered with CRICOS for 78 weeks each. This tribunal case cited the extracts from Riaz & Anor v Minister for Immigration & Anor [2013] FCCA 2244 as follows.

Subclass 485 visa applicants need to satisfy the ASR, among other criteria. The meaning of ASR can be found in reg 1.15F of the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) as follows:

Reg 1.15F    Australian study requirement

1.     A person satisfies the Australian study requirement if the person satisfies the Minister that the person has completed 1 or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications for award by an Australian educational institution as a result of a course or courses: 

a.     that are registered courses; and

b.     that were completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months; and 

c.      that were completed as a result of a total of at least 2 academic years study; and

d.     for which all instruction was conducted in English; and

e.     that the applicant undertook while in Australia as the holder of a visa authorising the applicant to study.

 Note:    Academic year is defined in regulation 1.03.

2.     In this regulation:

 completed, in relation to a degree, diploma or trade qualification, means having met the academic requirements for its award.

Note:   The academic requirements for the award of a degree, diploma or trade qualification do not include the formal conferral of the degree, diploma or trade qualification. Therefore, a person can complete a degree, diploma or trade qualification, for subregulation (2), before the award is formally conferred.

  • degree has the meaning given in subregulation 2.26AC(6).

  • diploma has the meaning given in subregulation 2.26AC(6).

  • trade qualification has the meaning given in subregulation 2.26AC(6).

Reg 1.03 defines that an academic year is at least a total of 46 weeks, being the duration of a course or courses. Hence, does it mean that the actual duration of the course(s) must be of at least 92 weeks?

The case answered no to that because the fact that the applicant was able to complete part of the two courses concurrently indicates that at least some of the subjects were credited towards both courses and his academic transcript shows that the applicant completed the same subjects to obtain the two qualifications, was granted recognition of prior learning for other studies.

However, as long as the two courses are registered as being a total of 92 weeks duration, and were completed or met the academic requirements for award of the degrees, recognition of prior learning or credits granted are a matter for the education provider in deciding what is required for a person to complete a course for conferral of the qualification/s (Riaz v MIBP [2013] FCCA 224). Thus, the Tribunal finds that the two courses were completed as a result of at least 92 weeks and 2 academic years of study.

Please be aware that ASR is just one component and the applicants for the Graduate Temporary 485 visa need to satisfy all the other components. If the courses are completed in a total of less than 16 calendar months, the ASR will not be satisfied.

What we learn from the above case is that the 92-week requirement concerns the period of CRICOS registration. The only requirement concerning the actual duration of a course is the 16 calendar month requirement.


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