Substantial Part of Course
As is often the case, the MRT takes a robust view in favour of the student in interpreting the complex student visa regulations.
Alam  MRTA 1110 (24.11.08) concerned the interpretation of ‘successfully completed a substantial part of a course’. Here is what cl.5A404(d)(iii) says in full:
the applicant had, less than 2 years before the date of the application:
(iii) as the holder of a student visa – successfully completed a substantial part of a course (other than a foundation course) that:
(A) was conducted in English; and
(B) was leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV level or higher
The essence of the MRT decision is that completing 30% of a course amounts to ‘substantial part’ of a course:
•41. The Tribunal will consider the successful study of the applicant in the two years prior to the date of lodging the visa application. As at 17.10.07, the applicant had successfully completed 3 out of 10 units towards the Certificate IV in Business (Management) at SCIC. He had therefore successfully completed 30% of this Certificate IV course.
•42. The applicant had also successfully completed 12 units out of the 30 units required for the Certificate III course at AHBC (ie 40 % of the course).
•43. Substantial is not defined in the Regulations. According to the MacquarieDictionary it is defined as: “of a corporeal or material nature; real or actual; of ample or considerable amount, quantity, size…” The Tribunal takes the view that successful completion of the 12 out of 30 units (40%) of the Certificate III course at AHBC is substantial. The Tribunal considers that the applicant had successfully completed a substantial part of the Certificate III course as at 17.10.07.
•44. According to information supplied by the AHBC Coordinator, the Certificate III course is a course leading to the Certificate IV, which in turn leads to the Diploma qualification. It is part of a package. The Co-ordinator stated that the applicant could not have enrolled in the Certificate IV course without first completing the Certificate III course. He could only complete the Diploma part of the course after completing the Certificate IV.
•45. The Tribunal accepts the applicant’s evidence given during the hearing that his intention was always to study to the Diploma level at AHBC. His evidence is supported by the visa application which states that his intended course was the Diploma course.
•46. The applicant’s representative submitted that the AHBC Certificate III course is “a course” that is “leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV level”. In the view of the Tribunal the wording of cl.5A404(d)(iii) is loose enough for Ms Begum’s submission to have merit. The requirement is that the applicant has “successfully completed a substantial part of a course (other than a foundation course)..” The Tribunal accepts Ms Begum’s submission.
•48. The Tribunal also finds that a Diploma of Hairdressing Salon Management is a higher qualification than a Certificate IV.
•49. The Tribunal considers that as a holder of a student visa, the applicant “successfully completed a substantial part of a course…. that was conducted in English and was leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at Certificate IV level or higher”, and that he did so less than two years before the date of the visa application.
Cl.5A404(d)(iii) is one of an alternative set of criterion that a level 4 applicant has to meet.