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 Changes in Enrolment and Your Student Visa



The University is required to inform the Department of Immigration and Citizenship  of any changes to enrolment status for those on student visas.

The following links provide more information about the grounds on which a student’s enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled.


Deferring Commencement of Study


The University is required to inform the Department of Immigration and Citizenship if you are unable to commence your Program as indicated on your Confirmation of Enrolment (ECoE).

In some instances, you may be approved to defer (i.e. delay) the commencement of your program. This will require you to be issued with a new Letter of Offer and ECoE from the ANU Admissions Office. If you have already been issued with a student visa for your original program commencement, you will need to use your new Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (ECoE) to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of your deferral and have your student visa extended.


Student requests a deferment to commencement of studies

Maria is due to start studying her first semester of her Bachelor of Commerce. She has her student visa and has booked a flight to Australia to arrive on 24 February. On 22 February she trips over her suitcase, breaking both arms. 

As Maria will require medical treatment for the next eight weeks, she contacts the university and asks for a deferred commencement to her studies. The university cancels Maria’s current COE and gives her a new offer and ECoE which will allow her to commence in Semester 2.



Study Load


As an international student on a student visa, you are expected to complete your Program within the time given on your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (ECoE). For example,  a student enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce is expected to complete the program requirements within 3 years. With the majority of ANU's programs, this requires international students to enrol in a 24 units per Semester. This is considered a 100%, full time study load. You may only reduce your study load or extend your course duration in limited, exceptional circumstances. You will need to seek approval from your college as well as ANU Administration to reduce your study load.
For more information, visit our Study Load page



Changing to another Program within the University  


If you wish to transfer to another Program within the ANU after you have commenced your studies, you must discuss your eligibility for admission with a Student Adviser at the College for the Program you would like to transfer to, then complete the 'application for Program Transfer' form by the required deadline. The University is required to inform the Department of Immigration and Citizenship when holders of a student visa change to a different Program. This may affect your student visa and the duration of your studies.

What are the implications for my student visa?

After you have transferred to your new program, you will receive a new Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (COE). The University will notify Department of Immigration and Citizenship of the changes in your enrolment; however, please note the following points:

* If your new program end date does not affect your current student visa end date, you will not need to apply for a new visa.

* If your new program is longer in duration than your original program (e.g. you've transferred from a 3 year program to a 5 year program), you will need to extend your visa and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Note that you must submit your new Student Visa application before the expirey of your current student visa (i.e. you can choose to apply for your extension as soon as you receive your new ECoE or you can wait until closer to the expiry of your current student visa before submitting your new application).

As all visa decisions are made at the sole discretion of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), if you have any questions or concerns about your student visa, it is best that you discuss your situation directly with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. You can also contact the ANU Academic Standards and Quality Office (ASQO) to discuss any concerns you have with your ECoE.


Program Leave (or Suspending Studies)


What is Program Leave ?

Program Leave is an approved period of time when you are permitted to take a break from your studies and not have any enrolments.

This may be due to a serious illness or personal situation that prevents you from being able to study. In most cases students on Program Leave are not permitted to remain in Australia. Note that if you need to remain in Australia to undergo treatment for a medical condition or there are other reasons it would not be safe for your to return to your home country while you are on Program Leave, you will need to contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) directly to discuss provisions from remaining on shore on your student visa.

Program Leave can only be granted on compassionate or compelling grounds for a period no longer than 6 months at a time (however, exceptional individual cases may be considered on a case-by-case basis where the relevant supporting documentation requires a longer period of leave.). 

The University is required to report your period of program leave to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship which may result in the cancelation of your student visa while you are off-shore. Note that there are generally no negative implications associated with this when you wish to return to your studies - you will simply need to obtain a new ECoE from the ANU Academic Standards and Quality Office and apply for a new student visa.

How do I apply for Program Leave?

Program Leave can be requested by completing the online form before the relevant census date.

You must provide the following documentation with your application:

*Medical certificates stating that you are unable to study; or
*Evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances and how these were beyond your control.
* Certified copies of the information page of your passport and current student visa;

What will happen to my student visa?

Leave of absence can have several implications for your visa, depending on the reason for and duration of your leave.

Leave of absence for more than six months

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) usually allows for leave of absence on compassionate or compelling circumstances for a maximum of one semester or six months. A leave of absence for more than six months may result in the cancellation of your student visa. Before you return to Australia to resume your studies, you must contact the DIAC to check the status of your current visa. If your visa is cancelled, you must apply for and be granted a new student visa before you depart from your home country.

What do I have to do when my leave starts?

If your application for Program Leave is approved by ANU, you must depart Australia within 28 days after the start of your leave and remain outside Australia until the end date of your leave.
You are only permitted to stay in Australia if your leave is less than 28 days in duration or if you are unable to travel for medical reasons evidenced by medical certificates. You will need to indicate on your Leave of Absence Application Form that you intend to stay in Australia and attach the relevant documentation. You will also need to contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship direclty to advise them of your intentions.


Unsatisfactory Academic Progress


One of the more important student visa conditions is 8202 - Meeting Program Requirements. If your enrolment in your Program is terminated by the University as a result of unsatisfactory academic progress, you are in breach of this visa condition. Breaching this condition has serious implications for your student visa and will affect your possibilities for future study in Australia.

What is unsatisfactory academic progress?

The ANU has Academic Progress Rules  to determine whether a student has made satisfactory progress or not. For more detailed information, visit our Academic Progress page.

Failure to maintain satisfactory Academic Progress

An Undergraduate student who fails more than 50% of Courses attempted in a Semester (or non-standard session) will be considered to have unsatisfactory Academic Progress.

Graduate students are considered to have unsatisfactory Academic Progress if they fail only 1 course in a Semester (or non-standard session).

Students who have unsatisfactory Academic Progress for the first time will be placed on Probation.

Students who have unsatisfactory Academic Progress for the second time in the same Program will be asked to “Show Cause” or demonstrate why they should be allowed to continue in their current Program.

International students who have been excluded from their Program will be reported to the DIAC. This may result in an automatic cancellation of your Visa.

Show Cause

You will be notified in writing if it is decided to recommend cancellation of your enrolment due to unsatisfactory Academic Progress. This letter will include information about appealing the recommendation and the University's obligation to report you to the DIAC. When you receive this letter, you have 20 working days to decide on one of the following options:

Option 1: You discontinue your enrolment within 20 working days of having received the letter; or
Option 2: You appeal to the Academic Progress Committee within 20 working days of having received the letter

Appeals processes

The Academic Progress procedure contains information about the University's appeals processes. If you choose to appeal, you will need to complete the following forms - Undergraduate response to Show Cause or Graduate response to Show Cause

Your enrolment will be cancelled, if the Academic Progress Committee agrees to exclude you from your program. The Academic Progress Committee's decision is final and no further review is available from within the University.

If you believe that the University made an unfair decision, you can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman on procedural grounds only. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial, and provides a free service.

Visa implications

If you discontinue your course after you have received the written notice from your faculty/school, the University will cancel your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (ECoE) and inform DIAC that you have ceased your studies. If you want to extend your stay in Australia you will need to contact DIAC to apply for a new and appropriate Visa. 

If you have chosen to access the University's appeals processes and you are unsuccessful, the University must notify DIAC that you have not achieved satisfactory academic progress. You will be sent a non-compliance notification with instructions to report to a DIAC office and information about the consequences of failing to do so. DIAC may cancel your student visa if you have breached visa condition 8202 relating to academic progress and the breach of the condition is not due to exceptional circumstances. In addition, you may not be granted another temporary visa for a period of three years.

For more information about Academic Progress, contact the Academic Standards and Quality Office (ASQO).


Cancellation of Enrolment 


The University is required to inform the DIAC if you discontinue your enrolment. If you decide to withdraw from your Program, you will need to contact the Academic Standards and Quality Office immediately.

In certain circumstances, the University may terminate your enrolment due to misconduct, unpaid fees, serious health condition or failing to re-enrol in your Program.

Again, the University is required to inform the DIAC. If you believe that the University made an unfair decision, you can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial, and provides a free service.

You must visit or contact your nearest DIAC office as soon as possible (within 28days) to discuss your situation.