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CoE & Student Visa FAQ

This section contains questions students frequently ask about their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and student visa.

The rights of international students on a student visa are covered by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act. For more detailed information on the ESOS Act, please see the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.

You can find out more about student visa conditions by visiting the website for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). For your program duration and other information regarding your program, please refer to your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

  • 1. What should I do if I move?
    • You must update your contact details on Access Adelaide within 7 days of changing your address or phone number
  • 2. When do I have to enrol?
    • You must enrol every year promptly during the online enrolment period
    • You must enrol for the full academic year at the beginning of the year
    • You must be enrolled the whole time you are in Australia (apart from scheduled breaks in teaching)
  • 3. Can I take more courses than I need for my degree?
    • You may undertake more courses than are required to complete your degree – as long as the extra courses and the required courses can be completed before your visa expires
  • 4. Can I undertake online, distance or cross-institutional study?
    • You can undertake a maximum of 25% of your program by online or distance education if it is allowed under the program rules 
    • You can not be enrolled only by online or distance education unless it's during a non-compulsory study period such as summer school
  • 5. Do I have to be full-time in every semester?
    • If you are a higher degree by research student you need to be enrolled full-time in every teaching session
    • Coursework students are strongly advised to enrol in a 100% study load, which is 12 units in a semester or 9 units per trimester, to ensure that you will complete within the duration specified in your CoE
    • If you don't maintain a 100% study load you might not complete your program within the duration specified in your CoE
    • If you are unsure about whether you are enrolled in a full-time load, speak to a Program Advisor in your Faculty office
    • If you don't complete your program in the duration specified in your CoE, your visa can only be extended as a result of:
      • compassionate or compelling circumstances e.g. illness supported by a medical certificate stating that you were unable to attend classes
      • the University implementing an academic intervention strategy because you were at risk of not making satisfactory academic progress
      • you were granted an approved deferment or suspension of studies

    • If you have been granted credit and cannot enrol ‘full-time’, you must still be enrolled in at least one course per semester / trimester and this must not be via online or distance education.
    • If you enrol in less than a full-time load during a semester / trimester, and you will not complete within the duration specified on your CoE, you must take extra courses in another study period, such as summer school, to ensure that you will complete within the duration specified in your CoE
  • 6. Can I participate in a student exchange program?
    • You are eligible to undertake any study abroad, exchange or in-country studies program offered by the University, in a country other than your home country. However, if you are accepted into an exchange program, you must strictly follow the instructions in the offer letter that will be sent to you by the Program Manager, Study Abroad, or you may be prevented from returning to Australia
    • It is your responsibility to apply for a visa to the exchange country and check the possible impacts on your student visa for Australia with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
    • If you spend fewer than 6 months on exchange, any dependants who have been residing with you can remain in Australia while you are on exchange. However, you must make adequate provision for their care, schooling and financial support in your absence
    • If you spend more than 6 months on exchange, any dependants who have been residing with you cannot remain in Australia while you are undertaking the exchange program
    • You cannot undertake an exchange program in your home country
  • 7. Can I take time off from my studies?
    • You are expected to complete you studies without interruption. However, in limited circumstances, the University considers compassionate and compelling you may be entitled to a Leave of Absence
    • There are different University requirements for leaves of absence for coursework and research students
    • Not enroling may result in the cancellation of your student visa, unless there are documented medical or compassionate grounds for the leave
    • You must discuss any plans to take a leave of absence from your studies with an International Student Advisor at International Student Support
    • For more information on taking a break from your studies, please see here.
  • 8. What happens if I fail?
    • Your student visa requires you to maintain satisfactory academic progress
    • Simply failing a course will not usually mean you will be deemed to have made unsatisfactory academic progress
    • If you make continued unsatisfactory academic progress, your progress will be reviewed and you may be excluded from further study
    • If you are excluded from further study the Unviersity will report on your Confirmation of Enrolment which may affect your student visa
    • Read more about Unsatisfactory Academic Progress
  • 9. Can I stay in Australia for a holiday when I finish my degree?
    • You must depart Australia before your visa expires
    • If you wish to stay after your visa end date, for example to attend graduation, have a holiday or further studies, you must apply for a new visa
    • If you are not going on to further study in Australia you will not be able to extend your student visa for this purpose
    • Comprehensive information about visa types and application procedures is provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • 10. What happens if I complete my degree earlier than expected?
    • The University will report your early completion to DIBP
    • You will have 28 days from the date you are notified your CoE has been reported of the University's report to DIBP to either leave Australia or to apply for a new visa - regardless of your student visa's original end date
  • 11. What happens if I know I will not complete my degree by the expected date?
    • If you don't complete your program in the duration specified in your CoE, your CoE can only be extended as a result of:
      • compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. illness supported by a medical certificate stating that you were unable to attend classes)
      • the University implementing an academic intervention strategy because you were at risk of making unsatisfactory academic progress
      • you were granted an approved deferment or suspension of studies
    • If you believe that you will not complete in the duration specified in your CoE, you must discuss your options with your Faculty
  • 12. Do I have to attend classes?
    • You are expected to attend all scheduled lectures, tutorials, workshops and other classes
    • If you are in a Foundation Studies program, a Pre-Enrolment English Program, or a VET course (Music or TESOL) the University will systematically monitor your attendance and report to DIBP where your attendance is unsatisfactory
    • If you are in a degree or diploma, the University may monitor your attendance and will report to DIBP where your attendance is unsatisfactory
    • In all cases if you do not attend classes you will risk failure and review of academic progress
  • 13. Can I transfer if I don't like my program?
    • Generally, student visa holders cannot change their program within the first 6 months of their study, unless they obtain a letter of release from the University. This means you will need to spend 6 months studying a program at the University of Adelaide, in addition to any time you spend completing bridging studies or Foundation Studies
    • Students will be required to provide evidence that exceptional circumstances exist justifying their change of enrolment if they wish to transfer to another institution before this time has elapsed
    • Download the Application to Transfer Education Provider Form.
    • This condition does not apply to changing academic program within the same University. If you are considering changing your program, fill in the online Change of Academic Program form (please note: the online form is only active at certain times of the year).
    • Students who wish to change their principal program of study to a different level (such as from a Bachelor to a Diploma) are usually required to apply for a new student visa
  • 14. What if I am studying on a business or tourist visa?
    • The ESOS Act only applies to students holding a student visa. If you are not holding a student visa you should consult your visa conditions on your visa grant letter and DIBP for further information
  • 15. When will I be reported to the Federal Government?
    • You will be reported to the Department of Education and DIBP whenever there is any change to your enrolment status. This is usually through cancellation of your CoE. Some of these reports are for record-keeping only and will not have any impact on your student visa. Others may impact on your student visa status.
    • Examples of when you may be reported to the government include where you:
      • do not commence your studies
      • start your program late
      • need to extend the duration of your program
      • withdraw
      • fail to pay tuition fees
      • take an approved leave of absence
      • complete your program early
      • do not enrol at the required time
      • do not enrol in at least one face-to-face course per semester in Adelaide (online and distance education is not considered face-to-face)
      • transfer to another University of Adelaide program
      • transfer to another institution
      • make unsatisfactory academic progress
      • fail to meet attendance requirements for Foundation Studies or PEP
  • 16. What happens if my CoE is cancelled?
    • Your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) may be cancelled by the University for several reasons. For example, your CoE may be cancelled because you have:
      • failed to enrol in any courses
      • failed to pay your tuition fees
      • been precluded from further study under the University's Unsatisfactory Academic Progress policy
      • decided to defer your studies to a later date
      • decided to withdraw from studies at the University
      • deicded to transfer to a different education provider
      • completed your studies early
    • If your CoE is cancelled by International Student Support, you will be notified on the date of this cancellation. You will then have 28 days from this date to either:
      • leave Australia
      • apply for a different visa
      • apply to have your CoE reinstated
    • After 28 days, your student visa may be cancelled at any time by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
  • 17. Will cancelation of my CoE affect my student visa?
    • Decisions regarding the cancellation of your student visa are the sole responsibility of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)
    • The University of Adelaide does not and cannot cancel your student visa
    • Your student visa may be cancelled by DIBP in the event that you breach your visa conditions.
    • If your CoE is cancelled by the University for any reason and you think this may affect your student visa please contact DIBP 
  • 18. Where should I go if I am having problems?
    • If the problems are directly related to a course or program, you should go to your Faculty office
    • If your problem is CoE or student visa-related, you should visit the International Student Support office
    • For any other problems please visit Ask Adelaide, who will refer you to other University services as appropriate
  • 19. Can I complain if I am not satisfied with a service or area of the University?
  • 20. Can I change to another University once I have completed the Pre-Enrolment English Program (PEP)?
    • Generally, student visa holders cannot change their program within the first 6 months of their study, unless they obtain a letter of release from the University and permission from DIBP before they change. This means you will need to spend 6 months studying a program at the University of Adelaide, in addition to any time you spend completing the Pre-Enrolment English Program
    • Students will be required to provide evidence that exceptional circumstances exist justifying their change of enrolment if they wish to transfer to another institution before this time has elapsed
    • To apply for a letter of release, you will need to fill in the application form
  • 21. What happens if I fail the PEP program?
    • You can sit the IELTS and try to qualify for entry to a University of Adelaide program that way, or
    • You can apply to retake the PEP program 
    • You can apply for a place in a CRICOS-registered program at another institution, or
    • You can leave Australia
 

International Student Support (Kenneth Wills Building)

Call us +61 8 8313 4828
Opening Hours: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm
 
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