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ESOS Act 2000

Information and Tips for Enrolling Students with Visas

This information sheet has been developed to assist schools enrolling students on visas. It also reflects the introduction of the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 1 July 2016.

Changes to the ESOS Act from 14 December 2015

The Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015and the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015 received Royal Assent on 11 December 2015.

Three measures in the new legislation came into effect on 14 December 2015 to directly reduce administrative costs for education institutions and include;

Fact sheets are also available for the Streamlined Registration changes and the Internal Review changes, which have a date of effect of 1 July 2016.

Changes to the ESOS Act from 1 July 2014

Please see below information for changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework that came into effect on 1st July.

Changes to ESOS Act 2000 from 1 July 2014 (Word)

Quick Checklist:

  • Remove any reference to pre-paid fees from written agreements after 1 July, and replace with tuition fees where relevant
  • Check school refund policies and documents for any changes required, e.g. updating any references to legislative instruments for calculating refunds
  • Update any references in school documents using the full title of the National Code to National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students

Australian Government Schools International (AGSI) Homestay Standards

In 2013 Australian Government Schools International (AGSI)  developed Homestay Standards for use by government school systems. While there are no compulsory national standards for homestay in the Independent sector, it is ISCA’s aim to support high quality educational experiences for overseas students by providing these standards as a resource for the sector, with the cooperation of AGSI.

All CRICOS registered schools are required, under the National Code, to approve the accommodation and welfare requirements of under-18 year students studying with them on a student visa, unless the student is living with a parent or approved relative. Many schools fulfil this requirement by either having students in their boarding facilities or through running their own homestay programs. We hope that the AGSI Homestay Standards can either provide a ‘checklist’ for schools already running homestay programs, or provide guidance for schools thinking of setting up such a program.

AGSI Homestay Standards

Abolition of the auto-cancellation of visas and changes to sample documentation (April 2013)

In response to recommendations 24 and 25 of the Hon Michael Knight AO’s Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011 (the Knight Review), automatic and mandatory student visa cancellations ceased on 13 April 2013. Instead, a discretionary framework will allow the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to consider the individual circumstances of each student when a registered provider reports a breach of mandatory visa condition 8202.

This means providers will need to change how they manage their obligations for monitoring and reporting of course progress and attendance under Standards 10 and 11 of the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (the National Code). Providers will also need to remove any references to automatic or mandatory visa cancellation, and any advice to students about having to contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) from current policies and procedures.

If reporting in PRISMS that welfare can no longer be approved for a student under 18 years of age under Standard 5.1.d of the National Code, providers are encouraged to first contact the DIAC office in their state / territory to discuss the circumstances of individual cases.

For further information provided by DIAC and PRISMS, please see

Updated sample documents are available in both PDF and Word format. The sample documentation relates to Standards 9,10,11 and 13.

Updated Sample Documents (April 2013) – Abolition of auto-cancellation of visas (PDF)

Updated Sample Documents (April 2013) – Abolition of auto-cancellation of visas (Word)

2012 ESOS Changes – Support handbook to assist CRICOS registered non-government schools

Following the 2010 Baird Review of the Education for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, a number of changes were made to the ESOS Act and associated legislative framework. The second phase of changes came into effect in 2012. The key component of these changes is the creation of the Tuition Protection Service (TPS).

This handbook was funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIIRSTE) and is designed to assist CRICOS registered non-government schools implement 2012 changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework. This handbook aims to assist schools by providing information regarding the changes, checklists and sample documentation.

The handbook is available in PDF and Word format.

2012 ESOS Changes – Support handbook for CRICOS registered non-government schools (PDF)

2012 ESOS Changes – Support handbook for CRICOS registered non-government schools (Word)

National Code 2007: Transition support handbook for non-government schools

Following the 2004-06 review of the ESOS Act, the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (the National Code) was revised. The National Code 2007 came into effect on 1 July 2007. This handbook aims to assist schools which enrol full-fee paying overseas students to comply with the National Code 2007.

The handbook contains a guide to the requirements of each standard for providers, as well as a “quick compliance checklist” and sample documentation. It represents ISCA’s current understanding of the requirements of the National Code 2007. This handbook was updated in October 2010.

The handbook is available in PDF format. The sample documents are also available as a separate Word document.

National Code 2007: Transition Support Handbook for non-government schools (PDF)

National Code 2007: Transition Support Handbook for non-government schools – sample documents (Word)

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