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Student visas

While you’re studying at the University, you need to be aware of your student visa requirements. Variations to your enrolment or changes to the length of your stay in Australia will affect your visa.

All students at the University, including international students, need to understand their responsibilities and follow the student code of conduct. This is a condition of your enrolment at the University.

As an international student, you also have to meet your visa conditions.

Student visa conditions

There are strict conditions attached to Australian student visas. Read the full list of student visa conditions on the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you don’t comply with these conditions, you may not be able to stay in the country.

You can find more information on:

You need to update your local address in Australia within seven days of arrival or within seven days of changing your address.

Study load

It is a requirement of your student visa that you are enrolled in a full-time study load, where the majority of your units are completed during the standard semesters.

During Semester 1 you need to be enrolled in:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points in units from January to June
  • at least 18 credit points in Semester 1 session units, or units in sessions other than Intensive January, Intensive February or Intensive June.

During Semester 2 you need to be enrolled in:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points in units from July to December
  • at least 18 credit points in Semester 2 session units, or units in sessions other than Intensive July or Intensive December.

Any changes that you make to your enrolment, including suspending your studies or reducing your study load can impact on your student visa, so make sure you contact our compliance officers for advice.

Online/distance learning

Your student visa places restrictions around how many online or distance units of study you can undertake. A maximum of one third of your total course can be done by distance and/or online learning. In other words, 67 percent or more of your studies needs to be completed in class via face-to-face learning.

You also can’t enrol exclusively in distance or online study in any one session.

If you are a recipient of the US Federal Direct Loan, you can’t undertake any online or distance units of study to remain eligible for federal student aid.

Extend your stay

If your student visa is going to expire soon, and your faculty or school has approved your continued enrolment, you’ll need to apply for an extension of your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) and a new visa. It’s important to be aware of your visa’s expiry date and apply to extend your eCoE before your visa expires.

For information on applying for a new visa, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Apply to extend your eCoE through Sydney Student (go to 'My studies', then 'Course details').

If you’re extending your visa, remember to contact your health insurance provider to extend your Overseas Student Health Cover.

Staying for graduation

If you want to stay in Australia to attend your graduation, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs about alternative visa options.

When you apply for your alternative visa, we recommend you provide your completion letter as supporting evidence. In the weeks after the release of your final results, your completion letter will be available in Sydney Student (go to 'My studies', then 'Assessments').

Postgraduate research thesis submission

If you have submitted your thesis but still hold a valid student visa, you can stay in Australia while your thesis is under examination, as you are still considered a student.

If your student visa is going to expire and you need to remain in Australia to respond to comments or make changes to your thesis, you will have to apply for a new student visa. Your application needs to include a letter from your faculty saying that you are required to remain in Australia for thesis marking, with an expected timeframe (no more than six months).

Change of visa status

If you change the type of visa you have, alter your country of citizenship or become a permanent Australian resident, you will need to update your details as soon as possible in Sydney Student and provide supporting documentation (go to ‘My details’, then ‘Address & residency’).

Find out more about changing your visa status.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your student visa, contact our compliance officers or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Student Centre

  • Level 3, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus

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Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Extended in-person opening hours first two weeks of semester and during exams.

Last updated: 07 January 2020

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You should only use this form to send feedback about the content on this webpage – we will not respond to other enquiries made through this form. If you have an enquiry or need help with something else such as your enrolment, course etc you can contact the Student Centre.