Detail Question Of The Week

2 years study requirement - points test - Permanent Residency

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Question asked

Hi there, I have a question about 2 years study requirement under point test.

Does it has to be 2 years full time study? I have checked the border website

It says" It is a measure of the amount of study you have completed rather than how long it took you to complete the study. The requirement that you complete two academic years study does not mean that you need to study full-time to meet the Australian study requirement." However, every immi agent I consulted told me it has to be full time study. I had 1.5 years degree already, and I am holding a 457 visa currently, which is not allowed to full time study. I intend to apply for independent immigration(189/190) afterwards. I think I can study part time to earn that 5 points.

But I still need double check can I legally part time study a relevant degree to reach 2 years study requirement to get the 5 points under 457 visa? Thanks

Answer provided by our agents

Dear J.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to assist you on the matter.

The two year study requirement is complex and there are several points of consideration wile determining one's eligibility and that heavily also depends on one's situation, as applicable, under the Migration Law and Regulations.

In your case, from the information provided, the following is applicable and important for you -
1. To demonstrate 2 years study you must study a course that is registered on CRICOS register for overseas students.
2. The registered duration of course(s) on CRICOS register must be not less than 92 weeks.
3. You must not have take less than 16 calendar months to have completed the course(s)

Points to keep in mind -
1. The course must result in award of a degree, diploma or trade qualification.
2. More than one courses or qualifications can be completed and combined together to fulfil the 2 year/96 weeks requirement.

Full time/Part time situation -
1. Courses registered on CRICOS registered have full time study load and hence you will not be able to find a part time course that is registered on CRICOS register to fulfill this requirement.
2. If you are able to apply and successfully obtain RPL in your new course for any prior studies that you may have completed, then in that scenario, your study load may not be full time and you may still be able to obtain a qualification on completion of those studies.

In simple terms, the Migration Act and Regulations do not require you to have studied full time, but all CRICOS registered courses have full time study load and only way to reduce that is RPL.

This is a matter of careful consideration and selection of course accordingly. A Registered Migration Agent who is also an Education Agent for overseas students can certainly help you out further in your course selection to achieve this.

I believe I have answered your question satisfactorily. For any further clarification please do not hesitate to ask.

========= Request for Clarification ============


Many thanks for your reply. I still have a question about it.

Take a example, If I registered a 2 years course and got exemption for 1.5 years, only 4 units left, which normally should complete in half year.

Can I study those 4 units in a year, which is 2 courses every half year? For instance, drop 2 courses in the first semester. Does that mean it is not full time study and also match the CRICOS registered courses requirement? I don't want breach 457 clause, but also want to get that 2 years study points.

In addition, I have no idea about RPL, could you please recommend a migration agent to me to get further information? I did contacted many migration agents before, none of them told me about that. Thank you so much.

=========== Clarification by our Migration Agent ==============

Dear J.,

The usual visa subclass 457 conditions does not prohibit you from studying unless there is a special condition placed on your visa to prohibit this. I suggest you go through your visa grant letter and the conditions attached to it and find out what each condition mean.

RPL means "Recognition of Prior Learning". For example if you have a Diploma in Accounting and then enroll for a Degree in Accounting, than your education provider (on request) can go through your previous qualification subjects and assess what you studied. If you have sufficiently undertaken any subjects in the previous qualification which are also part of new qualification, then the subjects already competed previously can be exempted under RPL. You will not have to study them again if your education provider excepts the previously undertaken subjects at sufficient level.

The exemption under RPL is given as exemption of subjects and not the duration of study.
For example - You have previously completed a diploma consisting 6 subjects and now enroll for a degree that has 8 subjects. When you apply for RPL the education provider assess 4 subjects from previous diploma to be equivalent of those in your degree. They will exempt you from those 4 subjects and you will still be awarded a degree after having successful completed the remaining 4 subjects in the degree.

If the full time study load of your degree is 4 subjects in each semester than you are required to comply with this to fulfil Australian Study Requirements. You cannot study 2 subjects each over two semesters and still claim it as full time study as that is less than the required full time study load. However if after getting subject exemptions due to RPL you are required to complete only 3 subjects than that will be taken to be full time study load as there are no further subjects that you can study due to subject exemptions through RPL.

So in short, if your course require you to study 4 units in a semester than you cannot drop 2 and still claim that towards Australian Study Requirement but, if you are only required to complete 2 units due to RPL and exemption than it is OK to do so and that will be counted towards Australian Study Requirement.

If you need further services from myself or a registered migration agent, please contact Amy at or visit - and don't forget to mention your Question ID so that I can keep providing immigration services to you.
I believe you will be given an option to contact me to hire my services once this question has been finalized.

I hope I have been clear enough to answer your questions.

Migration Agent / Education Agent