CRICOS - frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is CRICOS?

The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) is the official register of all Australian education providers that are permitted to offer courses to students studying in Australia on student visas. For more information visit the CRICOS website, which lists registered providers and registered courses.

Where can I find information about the ESOS transition to compliance?

In recognition of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, TEQSA approved regulatory flexibility in relation to delivery mode to allow providers to deliver courses online to overseas students. Based on a review of the current situation, TEQSA now expects the sector to transition to compliance with all requirements relating to delivery mode (under the National Code and ELICOS Standards) by 30 June 2023. TEQSA has now published answers to frequently asked questions on the ESOS return to compliance. For any further questions, please contact the CRICOS team at

Who can submit CRICOS applications via the TEQSA Provider Portal?    

Your organisation’s Principal Executive Officer can make a request for access to the Portal on behalf of other staff within the organisation. All requests for Portal access should be sent to and include the names and email addresses of the users to be added. Once the request has been actioned by TEQSA, the new users will receive instructions on how to access the Portal. 

Providers can nominate more than one ESOS Application Contact to have access to the Portal but it is important that these contacts are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain current. Please notify as soon as possible if Portal access needs to be cancelled, for example if the contact has left the organisation or access is no longer required.  

For further information on using the Portal, access our Provider Portal – Frequently Asked Questions.  

What should I do if I receive an error message or I am unable to upload documents to the TEQSA Provider Portal due to the file size exceeding the limit?     

Check that the documents you are trying to upload do not:

  • include a file name that exceeds 128 characters in length
  • include a file name that contains any special characters 
  • exceed the size limit for each file of 10MB.  

For further information on using the Portal, access our Provider Portal – Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unable to upload documentation via the TEQSA Provider Portal please contact or your assessment manager for assistance. Please do not provide links to drop boxes or other document sharing platforms.

Where can I get help in using PRISMS?      

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has published a Provider User Guide for using the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) which provides step by step instructions for performing various functions.

What does TEQSA consider when reviewing arrangements with other providers (third-party arrangements)?

Higher education providers with an arrangement with another party (in Australia or overseas) to deliver some or all of a higher education course must have effective mechanisms to manage and quality assure all aspects of that arrangement. Where an arrangement is for the delivery of a course that is also delivered directly by the primary provider, the outcomes of the course are expected to be substantially the same and materially equivalent, irrespective of where the course is undertaken.

In reviewing an application, TEQSA will consider:

  1. The background of all parties involved in the arrangement
  2. The provider’s rationale for entering into the TPA and evidence of due diligence undertaken by the provider
  3. The nature and purpose of the arrangement, including how it will ensure ongoing compliance with the Standards of the National Code, with clear information about the responsibilities of each party
  4. How the provider’s monitoring and quality assurance processes will provide oversight of the third party
  5. How the provider plans to mitigate risks to quality.

TEQSA has published a guidance note on Third-Party Arrangements (TPA), providing general information in relation to obligations under the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

How do I change a registered business/trading name? 

To make a change to the registered business/trading name, providers should notify TEQSA via a Material Change notification procedure.

For more information view our Material changes page.

How do I register an ELICOS course on CRICOS?

In order to deliver an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course, your organisation must be a registered higher education provider, or a provider that has an entry arrangement with at least one registered higher education provider. To add an ELICOS course to CRICOS, providers should submit an Add ELICOS on CRICOS application via the TEQSA Provider Portal. The application will be assessed against the requirements of the ESOS Act, the National Code and the ELICOS National Standards.

Should exit awards be registered on CRICOS?

TEQSA highly recommends that providers register all nested courses that are available to overseas students as exit awards on CRICOS. While this is not required, it serves an important function in institutional quality assurance, allowing oversight of student transfers to lower qualifications. For example, if a student completes their study with an exit award that is not registered on CRICOS, the provider must report this on PRISMS as non-completion of the primary course. In addition, providers should advise students of the possible visa implications of exiting with a lower qualification not registered on CRICOS. A more accurate record would be created if the student were transferred to the exit award, which can only occur if the course is registered on CRICOS.

TEQSA expects providers to closely monitor the transfer of overseas students into lower qualifications. In particular, TEQSA expects providers to ensure that overseas students are not being admitted into qualifications beyond their ability to perform at the required standard. Further, TEQSA expects providers to ensure that robust strategies are implemented to support student progression alongside any options to exit with a lower qualification. Given the minimal administrative burden involved in registering courses on CRICOS, and the importance of doing so to effectively monitor student transfers, TEQSA highly recommends that providers register all exit award courses on CRICOS.

To register exit award courses on CRICOS, please submit the Add Course to CRICOS form via the provider portal. Once these courses are registered on CRICOS, TEQSA recommends that providers ensure their website and other marketing materials tailored to overseas students makes a clear distinction between courses students may apply to and exit only qualifications.

For further information about registering exit awards on CRICOS, please contact TEQSA at

How do I register a Foundation course?

TEQSA has regulatory responsibility for all Foundation programs. Foundation programs for international students are nationally recognised courses that equip students with the skills for entry into Australian higher education programs. They provide an academic entry pathway to first year undergraduate study or its equivalent.

Please submit an Add Foundation Program/s on CRICOS application.

Foundation programs must comply with requirements set out in the:

Exemption - U17s in Foundation Programs

Providers seeking to apply for an exemption to enrol students under the age of 17 (minimum acceptable age is 16) in a Foundation program, must submit an Application for exemption to enrol students under the age of 17 in Foundation Programs application detailing arrangements in place to support younger students.

The application must meet the necessary requirements, include all information requested and be submitted through the Provider portal. No fees apply for seeking an exemption.

For international students 

How do I find out about course availability, admission requirements and fees?

To find out about course availability, admission requirements, associated fees or any other course details or requirements, you should contact your higher education provider directly. TEQSA is not able to provide this information.   

Can TEQSA provide advice about my student visa?

No, TEQSA is not able to give advice on any visa queries nor comment on the impact that individual circumstances may have on particular visas. For all visa enquiries, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs, or seek assistance from a student advisor at your higher education provider. 

Last Updated:

10 Mar 2023

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