Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances

If you hold a student visa, you may need to make adjustments to your enrolment due to compassionate and compelling circumstances.

To confirm whether your situation is considered 'compassionate and compelling circumstances' for University purposes, please read through the below information.

Examples of compassionate and compelling circumstances include but are not limited to:
Circumstances Example supporting documentation
Serious medical conditions (physical and mental health) or injury Medical certificate or GP letter clearly outlining the period for which you were affected by illness/injury (you do not need to go into detail about your illness/injury); completed Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment (MACA) forms. See below for further information about the information required in supporting documents for medical conditions.
Bereavement of close family members, such as parents or grandparents Where possible a death certificate should be provided.
Major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel, which has impacted on your studies Copies of plane tickets for your flights home; letter from your Counsellor
Critical situations within your family Documents relating to the critical situation; letter from your Counsellor
Victim of crime and/or domestic violence Police reports, hospital reports; letter from your Counsellor
Military service in your home country Military service notice from home country
Course structural reasons (e.g. a core course is not available in a study period) Correspondence with Faculty Program Advisors; approved Study Plan 

Examples of situations that are not considered compassionate and compelling circumstances:
  • Making more time for a part-time job
  • Failing a course that is not mandatory for your program
  • Timetable clashes
  • Wanting to under-enrol to improve your grades
  • Wanting to under-enrol to save money
  • Having trouble with English
  • To undertake an internship
  • Wanting additional time to finalise your thesis


  • Supporting documentation for medical conditions

    If you have a medical condition necessitating a change to your enrolment, you will need to provide a statement from your treating doctor. If it is due to other compassionate reasons, including family or personal circumstances, you can provide a statement issued by your Counsellor. Please ensure your supporting documentation includes the following information:

    1. Date of assessment of medical condition and compassionate circumstances;
    2. Confirmation that your study ability has been significantly impacted by your health condition or current circumstances;
    3. A recommendation or support for you to either take a leave of absence or reduce your enrolment load for certain study period. If a load reduction is required, please indicate the recommended load, e.g. 75% or 50%;
    4. The date range or timeframe required for your adjusted study arrangement, e.g. “for Semester 2, 2022”. 
    5. Please note the supporting statement does not need to include specific details about your medical condition or compassionate circumstances, but rather needs to confirm that your ability to study has been significantly impacted by these circumstances.
  • If your situation isn't listed here...

    You can discuss your situation further with an International Student Advisor to determine whether it constitutes compassionate and compelling circumstances.

    Book Advisor appointment

  • Documents not in English

    All supporting documentation submitted as part of a compassionate / compelling circumstances application must be either in English, or (if in another language) translated into English. Translation must be conduced by a NAATI-accredited translator.