Student Visa Conditions

The Australian Government wants overseas students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia’s laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws include the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the ESOS National Code.

ESOS compliance is a university-wide responsibility, led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

As an international student on a student visa, you enjoy various rights, including: receiving accurate information about your course, tuition fees and refund policies, access to support services and complaints processes, and information about academic progress and changes to your enrolment.

The ESOS Act also provides obligations and restrictions on students. Under the Act, students must comply with the conditions of their student visa and the University is required to monitor and report on some of these conditions to the Australian Government Office. Information provided by students may be made available to Australian Government agencies as required by the ESOS Act and related legislation.

Find out about the visa conditions, study and work entitlements that apply to you and your family members' visas online using VEVO, a free service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

ESOS Fact Sheet
The Providing Quality Education and Training and Protecting the Rights of International Students fact sheet describes some of the main elements of ESOS and gives you an overview of what you should expect, and your rights when you pursue an education in Australia.

Your rights

The ESOS laws protect your rights, including:

  • Your right to receive from UNSW, before enrolling, current and accurate information about courses, fees, modes of study etc. If you are under 18: to ensure your safety, you will be granted a visa only if there are arrangements in place for your accommodation, support and welfare.
  • Your right to sign a written agreement with UNSW before or as you pay fees, setting out the services to be provided, fees payable and information about refunds of course money. Keep a copy of your written agreement.
  • Your right to get the education you paid for. You are eligible for a refund or to be placed in another course if your provider is unable to teach your course.
  • Your right to know:

Can I lose my visa if I seek legal or medical advice? What about if I have a rental dispute?

There are lots of myths around visa cancellation, particularly when it comes to seeking legal or medical advice, tenancy and bond disputes, mental health help or drug and alcohol related rehab, and being a bystander during a physical altercation or emergency and calling emergency services for help. These are simply untrue.  None of these things will impact your visa. Only the Minister can cancel your visa.

Your visa may be cancelled if:

  • you were non-compliant with visa conditions
  • you did not meet Home Affairs' character requirements
  • you provided false information on your visa application

If you are in Australia or immigration clearance we will usually notify you of their intention to consider cancelling your visa and give you the opportunity to put forward reasons why your visa should not be cancelled. More information. 

Contact the Nucleus or Student Support if you have questions or your visa has been threatened. 

Your responsibilities

As an overseas student on a student visa, you have responsibilities to:

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