Changes to your enrolment such as program leave, early completion, or late completion impact your student visa duration. 

Early completion and your visa

The University must report to the Immigration Department all student visa holders who have completed their program earlier than the expected program end date on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). Early completion is defined as a minimum of one term earlier than the expected end date on the CoE.

Student visa holders are reminded that once you have completed your program, and before your visa expires, you must:

  1. enrol in another CRICOS Registered Program at UNSW, or
  2. enrol in another CRICOS approved Education Provider, or
  3. leave Australia, unless you have been given authorisation by the Immigration Department to remain in Australia.

Late completion and your visa

If you are going to complete your program later than the expected date indicated on your Confirmation of Enrolment, you must request a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)An expired CoE may impact on your visa. You will also need a current CoE to apply for a new student visa.

All visas are subject to approval by the Immigration Department.

Program leave

You can take program leave for up to one year; however, during this time you must leave Australia. Please consult your program authority for further advice.

The University reports program leave as an enrolment variation to the Immigration Department.

You are encouraged to check your visa status through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

  • Coursework students - See program leave for information and application instructions.
  • Research students - Access program leave on the Graduate Research Information System (GRIS) Variations to Candidature page. Completed forms should be returned to the Graduate Research School with all relevant documentation attached.

Resuming studies after program leave

  1. You need to contact your faculty/school to inform them you intend to return to studies, and to organise your enrolment for the term/semester you wish to return to study. (UNSW Sydney—from November for Term 1 enrolment, April for Term 2 enrolment, and August for Term 3 enrolment. UNSW Canberra—from May for Semester 2 enrolment and from October for Semester 1 enrolment.)
  2. Please complete the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) Request form and submit it to your faculty/school for program authority approval.

If approved, the form will be sent to International Student Experience for processing. A new CoE will be sent to your UNSW email account.

Discontinuing your program

If you wish to discontinue your studies within the first 6 months of study and transfer to another institution, you are required to apply to UNSW for a Release Letter.

Do not discontinue until your release letter request has been approved. See Transferring to another education provider (below) for more information.

Once you have been discontinued from your studies the University will report your enrolment variation to the Immigration Department, and will notify you that the Immigration Department has been advised. We recommend you contact the Immigration Department to discuss your visa status, if you discontinue your study with UNSW.

Transferring to another education provider

When transferring to another provider, you must continue to meet the criteria for which your visa was granted and continue to comply with Condition 8516. (Check you visa details and conditions.)

If you have completed at least 6 months of study at UNSW, you can accept an offer from another education provider and transfer to that provider. You will need to submit a Program Discontinuation online application.

It is a policy of the Immigration Department that if you transfer to a course of study that is not eligible for streamlined visa processing, and you have not been granted a new visa appropriate to your new course, then your visa might be considered for cancellation.

Students who transfer to a course not eligible for streamlined visa processing at the same level as their current course would not be considered for cancellation if:

  • the country of their passport is Assessment Level 1 for their current visa, or
  • they have held their current visa for at least 12 months

For more information, visit the Immigration Department.

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