While studying in Australia on a Student Visa you may have questions about conditions attached to your visa. This information site provides answers to frequently asked questions about visa rules and regulations. From this webpage you can also access other visa related sources of information.
Some addresses you will find useful are:
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Level 3, 55 Currie Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000. Business hours - Mon to Fri 9am to 4pm, Telephone 131881. Department of Immigration and Citizenship website
- UniSA International (UI), UniSA, Level 1, 101 Currie Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000. Telephone 8302 0114
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the legal requirements for International Students on a Student Visa?
- What changes have occurred to the Student Visa Program?
- May I study part-time?
- Do I have to attend all classes?
- May I change to another program at UniSA?
- May I change to another University?
- May I apply for a student visa while I am in Australia?
- May I work while I am studying?
- May I study externally while in Australia?
- What should I do if I change my address?
- I am under 18 years of age. Are there any special requirements for me?
- What will happen if I do not satisfy the conditions attached to my Student Visa?
- Can I apply for a further Student Visa?
- How do I extend my Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)?
- What is the ESOS framework?
You must have a valid passport and student visa. This will allow you multiple entries into Australia
It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport, Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and student visa remain valid and that you abide by the conditions of your student visa. You MUST:
- Attend classes
- Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress
- Enrol in at least one internal (face to face) course per compulsory study period (this does not include summer school) ensuring that any external (eg. online or distance) courses you undertake do not exceed 25% of your total program length
- Complete your program within the duration of your CoE
- Not work without being granted a work rights visa if you were granted a student visa before 26 April 2008 (If you were granted a student visa on or after this date, you will have permission to work automatically included with your visa)
- Not work in Australia before your program commences
- *Not work for more than 40 hours per fortnight when your program is in session
- Notify the University within 7 days of your residential address after arrival in Australia - You must advise Campus Central of your residential address by lodging a Change of Address form or you can update your address via MyUniSA.
- Update your address within 7 days of any change of residential address (refer to the 'What should I do if I change my address?' FAQ)
- Have current Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire length of your visa (for yourself and all dependents/family members included on your visa.
- Maintain a current CoE document
Please note that this is not a complete list. For further details regarding your student visa conditions, please refer to your visa grant letter and/or contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (see contact details above).
*For more information on recommended hours of working once your program of study or course has commenced, please refer to the Work rights information resource.
For information on your - Passport: Contact your High Commission or Embassy. Please refer to the Embassy and Consulate websites of other nations to Australia for an alphabetical directory of list of contact addresses of overseas embassies in Australia.
OSHC renewal: Contact Campus Central, UniSA.
As of 24 March 2012, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) introduced Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) of which the University of South Australia is a participating university. Therefore, if you hold a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for an eligible program your student visa application will be assessed as a lower migration risk (similar to the current Assessment Level 1), regardless of your country of citizenship.
As of 5th November 2011, DIAC introduced the
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement. Student visa applicants
must be both a genuine student and GTE to be granted a student visa.
Please note that this is not a complete list of changes to the student visa program. For further details see the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.
In order to complete your program within the duration of your CoE, you should maintain full-time enrolment (usually 4 courses or 18 units per half year) unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so and this is reflected in your Study Plan.
If you undertake less than a full-time load without University approval, you will not be permitted to extend your CoE (Enrolment policy - Clause 5 and 7). Australian law requires that an extension be granted only where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances. (These are generally circumstances beyond your control and which have an impact on your academic progress or well-being). Documentary evidence (eg. medical certificate) must support any application for an extension CoE.
For further information, contact the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus.
Student visa regulations require that you maintain satisfactory attendance and satisfactory academic progress. The University will monitor your academic performance in accordance with the Academic Review Policy.
The University's Academic Review Policy can be found in the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual - refer to sections 10.1 to 10.5.
You may change your program with the approval of the Program Directors concerned, usually after you have completed at least 6 months of your program.
- If you are changing programs within a Division, seek approval from your current Program Director and the Program Director of your newly proposed program.
- If you wish to change to a program in another Division, you will need to complete a new application and lodge it at UniSA International. It is advisable to first seek advice from the relevant Program Director. You may also wish to speak to staff at the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus for further advice.
If you wish to change your program of study, it is your responsibility to check the fees that will be charged for your new program. You will need to pay fees that are applicable to the new program which may be more expensive than your first program.
Australian law requires the University to report all of the changes to your enrolment to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This will happen once you are accepted into a new program.
You need to take your new CoE to the Department of Immigration to have your visa information updated and in case you need to apply for a new visa for your new program (for example, if your new program finishes later than the one you were previously enrolled in).
If you require further information, please contact the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus.
If you wish to transfer to another institution within the first 6 months of your study at UniSA you must apply for a Release Letter from UniSA International using the Application for Release Letter form (PDF 29kb - opens in a new window, download Adobe Acrobat).
Your application for Release Letter does not guarantee that UniSA will release you from your program of study if you have not completed the first 6 months of study at UniSA. If you have completed 6 months of study at UniSA, you are entitled to transfer to another institution but should first withdraw from your UniSA program using the Withdrawal from Program form (PDF 95kb - opens in a new window, download Adobe Acrobat).
If you wish to change your level of qualification (i.e. Bachelor to PhD), you may need to apply for a new student visa because your visa subclass will possibly change. Please see the DIAC website for more details.
If you require further in formation, please contact the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus.
Depending on the conditions of your current visa, you may be able to apply for a substantive visa if you are already in Australia and hold a student visa. Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for more information.
Yes, all international students except AusAID students are eligible to work subject to the following conditions:
- Do not work in Australia before your program commences
- Do not work for more than 40 hours per fortnight when your program is in session (during program breaks you may work full-time)
- If you were granted your current student visa before 26 April 2008 you will need to apply to the DIAC for a work permit before you start working (including voluntary work).
Contact the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus to confirm whether you need to apply. Work rights visa forms are available from the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus.
Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for approval.
You can enrol in an external course (ie. online or by distance/correspondence) only if you are enrolled in at least one course in an internal mode (face to face) in a study period. However, you must not enrol in more than 25% of your program in an external mode over the duration of your entire program.
Lodge a Change of Address form within 7 days of the change of the address with Campus Central on your campus or change your address via MyUniSA. It is very important that you do this as soon as possible as this is a condition of your student visa.
Visa conditions require that International Students under 18 years of age have their accommodation and welfare arrangements approved by the University, unless they are living with an adult family member. The University will also be monitoring your academic progress.
Contact the Learning and Teaching Unit on your campus for approval of your accommodation and welfare arrangements.
Your Student Visa may be cancelled due to non-compliance with your student visa conditions. If your Student Visa is cancelled, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship may impose a three year exclusion period on future visa applications to Australia such as a tourist visa, or a temporary or permanent residency visa.
If you fail to adhere to the conditions of your current Student Visa you may have difficulty returning to Australia at a later date to complete your study.
If you do not complete your program within the duration of your current Student Visa, you will need to apply for a new Student Visa before your current one expires.
Follow these steps to apply for a further your Student Visa:
- Apply for a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) document. Please note that a new CoE can only be granted in special circumstances - please refer to the 'How do I extend my Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)' FAQ. Make sure you apply for your new CoE early and before your current visa expires. Your new CoE will be sent to your student email account.
- Extend your Overseas Student Health cover (OSHC) for the duration of your new visa.
- Apply for a new Student Visa by applying online or via the form 157a available online, to be lodged at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. You will need to provide a copy of your CoE document along with your passport. Please see the University's Help Sheet on 'How to have your Student Visa Application Finalised Faster' where you can find more information on the Student Visa process.
It is important that you do not let your visa expire!
You must complete your program of study within the length of time specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). The University will be able to extend your CoE document ONLY in limited circumstances, such as illness.
To apply for a new CoE, complete a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) Request form (PDF 366kb - opens in a new window, download Adobe Acrobat) available online or from Campus Central. Any CoE Request form must be supported by documentary evidence (eg. medical certificate from your doctor) and must also be approved by your Program Director. You will also require a new Study Plan which you must organise with your Program Director. The CoE Request form requires your Program Director's approval and signature. When the form, is complete you must lodge it at Campus Central, together with your new Study Plan. Also, you will have to bring along your passport to verify your present student visa status.
Your health cover should also be extended for the duration of your new CoE. For more information about extending your Overseas student Health Cover, please read the Overseas Student Health Cover FAQ online information site.
For more information about your student visa responsibilities, please make a time to see an International Student Officer at the Learning and Teaching Unit on your home campus.
The Australian Government wants overseas students in Australia to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia's laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws are known as the ESOS framework and include the Education for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code 2007.
Further information on the ESOS Framework can be found from the ESOS easy guide webpage.
Research degree students can access a list of FAQs about student visa holders.
Please also visit the Study in Australia website