International students' responsibilities

You have particular responsibilities as an international student that are related to the conditions of your student visa (should you hold one).

Below is a summary of information that should be read together with information on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website and La Trobe University’s Policies.

While it is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with your visa conditions, the University is also obliged to monitor your enrolment and notify DIBP of any breaches.

DIBP may cancel your student visa if you are found to have breached your visa conditions.

Your responsibilities include:

  • maintaining enrolment and course progress
  • paying tuition fees on time so you maintain your enrolment
  • notifying the University of any change of address
  • maintaining visa length Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • leave of absence
  • online and distance education
  • transfer of course
  • discontinuation
  • applying for a release letter
  • early completions.

For tips and information to help you comply with your student visa, read this fact sheet (PDF 62KB).

Maintain enrolment and course progress

You must be enrolled in a full-time course registered for international students that matches the subclass of your students visa. At La Trobe, this means you should study 120 credit points (generally 8 subjects) per calendar year.

According to Australian government regulations, you are also expected to complete your course by the end date specified on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). This means that you can only reduce your study load by showing “compassionate and compelling” circumstances or the Intervention Strategy has been implemented. A reduced load may result in the need to take up additional subjects in future sessions (summer/winter school, or be overloading) to complete your course in the time frame specified on your CoE.

If you think that you will not be able to complete your course by the date on your CoE, then you must see your Course Coordinator/Course Advisor immediately so that an appropriate intervention strategy can be implemented. To extend your CoE you will need to fill in the Application for Confirmation of Enrolment form (PDF 90KB) and follow the steps indicated

If you do not abide by these requirements, you may not be able to extend your student visa to complete your course.

Academic progress

All La Trobe students must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to University policy. As an international student, if you are excluded from your course because of unsatisfactory academic progress, the University must notify DIBP, which can lead to your visa being cancelled.

In these circumstances, you will be notified by the University of the decision and your rights to appeal.  If you are facing exclusion or have already been reported to DIBP, please contact the LTI Compliance team in person at La Trobe International office or via email or phone at:

E: lticompliance@latrobe.edu.au

T: +61 3 9479 3936

You can read more information about La Trobe’s academic progress regulations.

Pay tuition fees on time

It is a requirement of your student visa that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and to pay for your studies in Australia. If you do not pay your tuition fees on time, the University may cancel your enrolment and notify DIBP. This may lead to cancellation of your student visa. If you have trouble paying your fees, please contact the Fees and HECS Office at fees@latrobe.edu.au. If you need to you can also make an appointment to see the International Student Services Team by emailing studentsupport@latrobe.edu.au or by calling 03 9479 1199.

You can find more information about fees for international students here

Notify the University of any change of address

It is a student visa condition that you notify La Trobe of your residential address in Australia within seven days of:

  • arriving in Australia
  • changing your address.

You can update your contact details via StudentOnLine. All correspondence affecting your COE will be sent to the current address on file. DIBP also contacts the University to find out your current address. If you do not update your address, your visa could be affected without you knowing.

Maintaining visa length Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

You need to ensure that your OSHC is valid throughout your studies in Australia. If you need to renew your coverage and your health provider is with OSHC Allianz, you can do this by making a payment directly to OSHC by Allianz Global Assistance.

OSHC Allianz representatives are available on campus at La Trobe International on Monday, Tuesday and Friday between 10am-5pm for advice, new policies and policy renewals/extensions.

Leave of absence

To apply for a ‘Leave of absence’, you must show 'compassionate or compelling' circumstances exist or that prerequisite subjects are not offered in the semester or term you're intermitting. You will need to complete the ‘Leave of absence Application’ form and provide documentary evidence to support this. Your leave will need to be approved by the La Trobe International Compliance team and then approved by the Faculty.

If your Leave of absence is approved, and your student visa is still valid, you are permitted to stay in Australia during this time. If you do not have evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances you may be required to discontinue your studies and re-apply when you are ready to return to enrol/study.

Please note: if you are away for more than six months, your visa may be cancelled. Please contact DIBP for information about your visa before submitting a leave of absence application. For more information please refer to our website.

Online and distance education

International students can enrol in online/distance education subjects when such subjects are offered as part of CRICOS-registered programs. However, there are limitations:

  • Online and distance courses can only make up 25 per cent of your total program
  • In each compulsory semester, you must be enrolled in at least one subject delivered face-to-face.

In a non-compulsory semester (i.e. summer/winter school), you may enrol full-time in online/distance education subjects, but they will still be counted towards your 25 per cent limit of your course.

Course transfer

International students may be eligible to change courses within La Trobe University. To apply for a change of course please complete and submit the Application for Course Transfer Form. Changing courses may have visa implications and you need to discuss it with La Trobe International Compliance at the time of change. For further information please read our enrolment information.

Discontinuation of enrolment

If you have decided to withdraw from your course, you need to complete and submit the Discontinuation of Enrolment Form for approval to La Trobe International Compliance and then to your Faculty, along with your student ID card. For further information, please read our enrolment information.

Applying for a Release Letter

If you want to change universities within the first six months of your course (per the date on your CoE) and you want to continue studying in Australia, you will need to apply for a Letter of Release from La Trobe International. If you can demonstrate to the satisfaction of La Trobe University that the transfer to another provider is in your best interests, a Release Letter will be granted. For further details on how to apply please read more on withdrawal.

Early completions

If you have fast-tracked your course and completed a month or more earlier than scheduled, your student visa will be valid for 28 days after your final results are released.

Make sure you know the date your student visa expires. You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. If you are unsure please don’t hesitate to contact the La Trobe International Compliance team via email at lticompliance@latrobe.edu.au or in person at the La Trobe International office.

Please note: if you have condition 8534 or 8535 ‘No Further Stay’ on your student visa, you will not be able to remain in Australia after that visa expires, except in very limited circumstances. Contact DIBP for more information on 131 881.