Student Visa Conditions

Student Visa Conditions

Understanding and adhering to your student visa conditions is an essential part of studying and staying in Australia

Important information

We want to ensure you are aware of your student visa conditions so that you can maintain a positive study experience. However, you must also be aware that the University has legal obligations to provide information to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in specific circumstances.

For example, the University must inform DIBP if you are no longer studying, or the University may inform DIBP if you have breached University rules.

Student Visas and Confirmation of Enrolment

In order to maintain a valid student visa, you must have a valid Confirmation of Enrolment. You will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment as part of your enrolment process before you leave your home country. If your Confirmation of Enrolment is ever cancelled for a breach of University Rules or Requirements, then this may lead to your student visa being cancelled or expiring.

If you experience any difficulties with your student visa or requirements, or have questions regarding your Confirmation of Enrolment please contact your Student Advocacy and Support Adviser. Your adviser can explain the University's rules and processes to ensure you are meeting the requirements. Your adviser cannot provide advice on other types of visas or advise on migration law.

What are visa conditions?

Visa conditions are the rules of your visa. They are set by Australian law and must be followed as DIBP may cancel your visa if you breach these conditions.

For a full list of your student visa conditions please visit the DIBP website.

Course duration and study load

Student visa holders are required to complete their course within a set period of time, as indicated within your Confirmation of Enrolment. The course duration is based on a full time study load. A full time study load usually requires a student to take 4 subjects in each compulsory study period.

Visit the Course Database for additional details about your course duration.

Applying for a reduced study load under exceptional circumstances

If you experience academic difficulties, or situations which are considered to be compassionate or compelling, then you may be eligible to reduce your study load.

To apply to reduce your study load, please log in to ask.mq.edu.au and look under International Student Forms.

Extending your course duration

If you experience difficulties during your studies, you may require additional time to complete your course. This may occur if you:

  • fail one or more subjects and need to retake them
  • have been granted a reduced study load

To apply for an extension, please log in to ask.mq.edu.au, look under International Student Forms and complete the eCoE Application.

Maintain enrolment and course progression

You must remain enrolled in your course and satisfy course progression requirements in order for your student visa to remain valid.

If you are at risk of not satisfying course progress requirements you will be contacted by the University and be asked to take part in a program. The program is designed to help you improve your academic performance to the required standards.

If following this program, you still continue to not meet progress requirements, as defined by the degree rules, you may be excluded from Macquarie University. Students who are excluded have the opportunity to appeal. Students who do not appeal or who are not successful in their appeal are reported to the Department of Immigration. This may result in cancellation of your student visa.

Click here for information on undergraduate and postgraduate degree rules

Changing address or contact details

You must notify Macquarie University within seven days via eStudent:

  • of your new residential address when you first arrive in Australia
  • if you change your residential address at any time during your enrolment
  • of any new contact details

If you do not update your address and/or contact details and there are any problems with your student visa, you may not receive important communications from the Department of Immigration, and subsequently become at risk of your visa being cancelled without you knowing. 

However, in these circumstances Macquarie University will also attempt to contact you via your student email address, so you should regularly check your student email inbox for important updates and information. The University will not email your private email address.

Must remain with Macquarie University for six months

You must study with Macquarie University for at least six calendar months, if your visa was obtained for study at this institution.

If you have come to study an English course (e.g. ELC), or a preparatory course (e.g. SIBT) on a package offer, you must complete this course and then continue your studies at Macquarie University for at least six calendar months.

Find out more about transfer and release conditions.

Work limitation

Student visa holders are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of their course of study or training). You can work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Your family members are allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight at all times, but not before your course has commenced.

Postgraduate Research (subclass 574) visa holders are allowed to work unlimited hours once your course has started. The same condition applies to your family members.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will check work places to make sure that students are not exceeding their hours. Employers are also legally required to provide information to the Department of Immigration.

See details on work limitations for international student visa holders.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

All international students and their families (on student dependent visas) are required to have medical insurance while in Australia as part of their visa conditions.

All international students will be required to have OSHC cover for the length of their visa. If you are granted permission to extend your program you will need to arrange for additional cover.

Click here for more information on Overseas Student Health Cover.

Change of welfare arrangements - under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 years of age and do not live with a parent or legal guardian in Australia, you must not change your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements without first consulting your Student Advocacy and Support Adviser.

Students under 18 years of age must meet with a Student Advocacy and Support Adviser twice a week during their studies.

External / Distance study

You can study up to 25 per cent of your course by online and/or distance learning, but in each compulsory study period you must be studying at least one unit that is face to face teaching and not online or by distance. It is important that you check the teaching method when registering for units to make sure you meet this rule and discuss any queries with your Student Advocacy and Support Adviser.

Suspending study

A suspension of study allows students experiencing compassionate or compelling circumstances to take a break from study for six months and resume their studies afterwards. To find out more about the requirements for suspension of studies please contact: Student Advocacy and Support.

To apply for a suspension of studies, please log in to ask.mq.edu.au, look under International Student Forms and complete the Request Suspend Studies form.

Withdrawing from Macquarie University

Students who have studied with Macquarie University for more than six calendar months are able to stop their studies at any time by notifying the University. Students who have studied for less than six calendar months must request permission to be released from their studies. A release will only be granted under exceptional and specific circumstances.

To apply for a withdrawal, please log in to ask.mq.edu.au, look under International Student Forms and complete the Student Withdrawal and Release form.

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