New definition of ‘academic year’

‘The intention [of the new instrument] is to remove any uncertainty as to the number of weeks a course must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students’

The new Migration (LIN 19/085: Academic Year) Instrument 2019 commences on 3 April 2019 and repeals IMMI 09/040.

The purpose of the new instrument is to provide certainty relating to the definition of an ‘academic year’.

IMMI 09/040 specified that:

(a) 1 academic year is at least a total of 46 weeks, being the duration of a course or courses registered under s 9 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000;

(b) 2 academic years is at least a total of 92 weeks, being the duration of a course or courses registered under s 9 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000;

(c) 3 academic years is at least a total of 138 weeks, being the duration of a course or courses registered under s 9 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000;

for the purposes of Regulation 1.03 of the Regulations.

The new instrument does not define the meaning of 2 or 3 academic years, but only 1, as follows:

For the purposes of the definition of academic year in regulation 1.03 of the Regulations, an academic year is at least a total of 46 weeks, being the duration of a course or courses.

The meaning of 2 or 3 academic years can be deduced from the new meaning of s single academic year. The new definition does not contain the qualifying terms ‘registered under s 9 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000‘. However, course is defined under LIN 19/085 as ‘a course registered under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000′.

The explanatory statement includes the following passage:

4. The purpose of the instrument is to specify the number of weeks which determines the measure of an academic year for meeting the Australian study requirement. This requirement is relevant to the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) and the skilled migration points test as part of applying for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas. Students applying for a Temporary Graduate visa must have met the Australian study requirement in the six months prior to lodging their application. Students applying for a GSM visa can earn points under the skilled migration points test if they meet the Australian study requirement.   The intention is to remove any uncertainty as to the number of weeks a course must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.  


Disclaimer: the above is a mere extract of a new instrument. The views there expressed might not reflect the views of the Department, the AAT or the courts. The law or policies might have changed between the writing and reading of this article. The author of this article and Migration Law Updates disclaim any liability for any action (or omission) on their part based on any information provided (or not provided) in this article and are under no obligation to keep the general public nor practitioners informed about the matters discussed in this article or any other matters, or any future changes to any of those matters. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to obtain access to primary sources of law and policy by themselves and to carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions on legislation, case law, policies and more. This article is not intended for the general public.


Sergio Zanotti Stagliorio is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461003). He is the owner of Target Migration in Sydney. He can be reached at sergio@targetmigration.com.au