The following frequently asked questions have been composed to assist you to understand how you can work with La Trobe University staff so that your enrolment is structured to enable you to complete your course within the duration of your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and student visa.
What is the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)?
The CoE is the document you are required to submit to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to apply for a student visa. Information about your course based on the details in the Letter of Offer issued by La Trobe International, which includes the duration, are included in the CoE.
What is the link between the CoE and the student visa?
The student visa duration has been issued by Department of Home Affairs based on expected course end date in the CoE. Except in extremely limited circumstances, it is not possible to remain in Australia beyond a student visa expiry date.
As a student visa holder, you are required to complete your course within the time granted on your student visa.
What happens if my visa expires and I don't have a valid CoE?
You need to contact the Department of Home Affairs to request what you need to do in relation to your expired student visa and La Trobe International (LTI) urgently. You will need to submit a CoE application to apply for an updated CoE from LTI. This may take up to seven working days due to peak periods.
Can I defer my course prior to enrolment?
Yes, but you need to contact La Trobe International to obtain a new Letter of Offer and a new CoE. Read more about deferring your offer.
How can I complete my course within the time granted on my student visa?
Normally, international students will need to enrol in four subjects (60 credit points) each semester and the student visa length is then calculated by Department of Home Affairs on the basis of this detail.
Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are granted a student visa with an extra 6 months, from the CoE course end date to allow for marking of their Thesis. Read more on the DHA website [external link].
Can the duration of my course vary?
Yes, the duration of the course takes into account any approved Advanced Standing that will reduce the number of subjects required to successfully complete the course.
What if I do not enrol in 60 credit points per semester?
You may not be able to complete your course within your CoE duration which could impact your student visa and you could possibly require a student visa extension. The only way La Trobe can recommend a student visa extension to Department of Home Affairs, is if you can demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances beyond your control which have not allowed you to enrol in your 60 credit points (4 subjects) during that Semester. You will need to consult with your College and develop an Agreed Course Plan (APP) so you can complete the course within the revised course completion date.
Can I enrol for an online or off-campus subject as part of my course?
You can enrol in online or off-campus subjects as part of your course as long as you are also enrolled in at least one on-campus subject exclusively during the compulsory study periods (i.e. Semester 1 and 2). Under the National Code, you may enrol in online or off-campus subjects up to a maximum of one-third (rounded to 33%) of your total course load. If you are unsure, consult ASK La Trobe or the La Trobe International Compliance team at the Melbourne (Bundoora) campus.
What if I get Australian permanent residency?
Students whose residency status changes before or after they commence their studies, must notify La Trobe International immediately.
If you apply as an international student but become an Australian permanent resident before your initial enrolment, your full-fee paying place will be withdrawn and you will have to re-apply for your course again as a local student.
If you start your course as an international student but become an Australian permanent resident midway through your studies, you will be considered as an international student until the end of that semester.
You will need to provide the evidence to the La Trobe International office by providing a copy of your passport and your permanent residency visa.
What happens if I fail a subject?
No need to panic, the College will be in touch with you as part of Academic Progress. It does mean you may need to complete an Agreed Course Plan (APP) depending on how many subject/s you have failed. You are advised to consult with your College to discuss this with them.
If I apply for a course transfer, what will be my course duration?
If you applied for a course transfer and have been granted Advanced Standing, the total course duration will be based on the number of credit points required to complete the course, which is determined by your College.
I think I want to discontinue my course with La Trobe University, what do I do?
If you have decided to withdraw from your course, you need to read the information, complete and submit the Discontinuation of Enrolment Form for approval to La Trobe International along with your student ID card.
I want to transfer my course, what should I do?
International student visa holders may be eligible to change courses within La Trobe University. To apply for a change of course please read the information, complete and submit the Application for Course Transfer Form. Changing courses may have visa implications and you may need to discuss this with La Trobe International and the Department of Home Affairs at the time of change.
Leave, working and additional information
Can I take a leave of absence from my studies?
Yes, you can apply for a leave of absence at anytime during your course. A leave of absence means taking a break from studies. This could potentially affect your student visa, so please ensure you speak with the Department of Home Affairs.
Please note: you will potentially need to leave Australia for the period of your leave of absence (if approved, within 28 days of approval date and potentially return no sooner than 28 days before your new scheduled course commencement). This is a decision made by the Department of Home Affairs and only they can advise you on this, not LTI.
Please refer to the detailed guidelines on leave of absence and how to apply under the sub-heading 'International Students’ Responsibilities'.
Each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis according to the University's Leave of Absence policy and procedures La Trobe International will report any period of leave of absence to Department of Home Affairs, which means you will need to have a CoE in place to show you are returning to your studies.
What do I need to bring to an appointment with a staff member for advice (e.g. College Student Support Coordinator, International Student Services Coordinator, Student Counsellor, etc)?
It is useful to bring the following:
- your passport with evidence of visa
- any supporting documentary evidence (certified and in English and please do not send photo evidence, as this is not required.) which supports your circumstances that may have affected you.
Can I work while I am studying?
As student visa holder, you are permitted to work in Australia to supplement your income. During the semester, you will be permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight. There is no limit on the number of hours you are permitted to work when the University is not in session, provided it does not interfere with studies and you are not enrolled in a Summer or Winter Semester.
Please visit the Department of Home Affairs website [external link] for detailed information on work conditions for student visa holders.
Where can I get more information?
You can speak to staff at the campus office of La Trobe International for advice on your studies and Department of Home Affairs about visa related matters.
What is Academic Progress?
'Academic progress' is about you and La Trobe working together so that you can do well in your studies and complete your course smoothly. Visit our Academic Progress webpage for more information.
To re-apply for a student visa, please read the information on our Applying for a student visa page.