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Understanding your student visa

As a student in Australia you have a number of rights, as well as a number of obligations and student visa conditions you must comply with. The University of Canberra is required to report students that fail to comply with their visa conditions to the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration and Citizenship). For detailed and up-to-date information on student visa requirements, please visit Immigration & Citizenship's website.


See OSHC page

Study Load

International student visa holder are expected to enrol in a study load that will enable them to complete their course by the end date, as specified on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). At the University of Canberra, this generally requires a student to enrol in 12 credit points over a six month period. In addition, students must not exceed one third of their attempted enrolment via online or distance learning and must be enrolled in at least one on-campus unit each compulsory teaching period.

Academic Progress

It is a visa condition for all student visa holders to maintain satisfactory academic progress in line with the University's Academic Progress Policy

If in need, make sure you take advantage of the University's Study Skills service!

Change in Address

Student visa holders must notify the University of their current Australian residential and mailing addresses within 7 days of arrival in the country. If you change your address or contact details, you need to update these via your MyUC portal, at your earliest convenience. Please be sure to include a mobile number and Emergency contact details.

Working in Australia

Student visa holders cannot work until their course has started. When your course is in session:

To see the visa conditions that affect your work situation, see VEVO.

If you would like to learn more about your workplace rights, please visit our 'Working whilst studying?' area of our website.

The Australian Government wants to ensure that the rights of overseas students studying in Australia are protected. Australia has laws to promote quality education and consumer protection for our overseas students. Together these laws are known as the ESOS Framework and they include:

  1. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000; and
  2. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001; and
  3. National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 – these standards set out the obligations on registered providers in delivering education and training to overseas students.

To access the above three ESOS Framework legislation, please refer to the Federal Register of Legislation's website.

University's responsibilities:

The Universityof Canberra's policy library sets out the key documents for grounds and procedure for students' change in enrolment status, fees issues, general and academic conduct and course progress. The University is required to report international students who breach their student visa conditions.

The University of Canberra's International Student Fee Policy outlines sets out the University of Canberra's requirements for charging, collecting and refunding international student fees.

Information provided by students may be made available to Commonwealth and State agencies as required by the ESOS Act and related legislation. You have the right to gain access to your personal information held by the University. For further information please refer to the University's Privacy Policy.

The University's Student Central, located in Building 1 is your 'one-stop-shop' for guidance on international administrative matters.

Students' rights & responsibilities:

The University of Canberra Student Charter sets out the main rights & responsibilities of students within the University context. All students are required to comply with the University's relevant policies and procedures. If you hold a student visa, you should also be aware of the following:

  • You are required to finish your studies by the end date on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). The University can only extend the enrolment of your course if you have reasonable grounds; and
  • You must hold a valid visa at all times in Australia. Remember to renew your visa if it is about to expire; and
  • You must adhere to the conditions of your student visa, including those related to work limitations, health insurance requirements, course progress and notifying the University of any changes to your address and contact details.

The Department of Home Affairs (Immigration) requires all international students who will be under 18 years of age when entering Australia on a student visa, to have appropriate accommodation, support and welfare arrangements in place. For broad information about Under-18 student welfare arrangement please visit Immigration's website.

When you apply for a student visa, you will need to provide evidence of one of the following, namely that:

  1. A parent/legal custodian or relative over 21 years will accompany you as a Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) holder. This person must apply for the Student Guardian visa; or
  2. You will be living in Australia with a parent/legal custodian or a relative over 21 years. This person must have a visa to remain in Australia for the duration of your student visa or until you turn 18; or
  3. The University has approved your care arrangements and hence issued a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter.

In all instances, applicants to the University of Canberra must complete the Welfare Arrangement Form for Under-18 Students before a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) can be issued. This form is provided to applicants when they receive a letter of offer.

UC Approved Care Arrangements:

The University of Canberra will only issue a CAAW letter where the applicant has provided evidence of making guardianship and accommodation arrangements through both:

  • The ISA Guardian and Welfare Service, which provides guardianship to students under the age of 18 who may not have any relatives in Australia. Further information on this service and how to apply can be found at
  • The Australian Homestay Network (AHN). See for more information and to register.

Applicants are not required to finalise these arrangements until they are directed to accept an offer to the University of Canberra. Applicants who have received a Provisional Offer cannot accept their offer until they have passed the University’s Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) assessment.


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