As a student in Australia you have a number of rights as well as a number of obligations and student visa conditions you must follow.
Education services for overseas students (ESOS)
Australia’s laws promote quality protection and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws are known as the ESOS framework. The ESOS framework outlines your rights and responsibilities as well as services that Australian education providers must provide to International students.
See the Department of Education website for an overview of the ESOS framework.
Special rules apply to student visa holders. Breaking the student visa conditions and regulations may lead to cancellation of your visa. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website has information about your rights and responsibilities.
Student visa and enrolment
All international students need to maintain satisfactory academic progress during their program. Failure to achieve this will lead to you being considered "at risk" and can lead to exclusion from your program. See Academic progress policy and procedures for more information.
Unsatisfactory academic progress
If you are found to have unsatisfactory academic performance for a second teaching period in the same program, RMIT may formally identify you as having ‘unsatisfactory academic progress’. RMIT is required to report students who have made ‘unsatisfactory academic progress’ to the DIBP. Such a report can lead to the cancellation of your student visa.
In these circumstances you will be notified of the University's decision to report to DIBP, and of your right to appeal this decision. If you are reported to DIBP for unsatisfactory academic performance you should contact RMIT International for advice. Time frames apply.
Use RMIT’s free services:
- The Study and Learning Centre can help you with English language study skills, academic writing, undergraduate Maths and Science
- The Student Wellbeing Advisory Service provides guidance, support and advice to International students.
Change of RMIT program
International students may be eligible to change programs. Changing programs may have visa implications so discuss your plans with RMIT International at the time of change.
Contact address in Australia
You must advise RMIT of your home address within seven days of arriving in Australia. If you change your address during your stay in Australia, you must update your details within seven days.
Program enrolment and full-time study
- You must be enrolled in a full-time registered program
- Some programs (VCE and Foundation) have 80 per cent attendance obligation
- You need to complete your study within the expected program time. The expected duration is shown on your eCoE (Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment). To complete your program in the expected duration, you may need to be enrolled full-time each semester.
There are some situations where you can enrol in a less than full-time load, including if you:
- are participating in a documented academic performance improvement plan with your School and authorised by the Dean, Learning and Teaching
- have compassionate or compelling circumstances, approved by your School
- have undertaken extra study (i.e. summer semester courses)
- only have a few courses left to complete and these do not constitute a full-time load.
- Note: If you don’t maintain a full-time load, and don’t complete your program within the expected duration you may not have grounds to apply for a new eCoE from RMIT. See Visa renewal process.
Deferral of programs (before enrolment)
If you are not able to start your accepted program contact RMIT International immediately to discuss your options. In some cases it may be possible to defer for one or two semesters (a maximum of up to one year).
If you complete your program early or decide to exit with a lesser degree you will be reported to DIBP for early completion. You will need to enrol in an alternative program or leave the country. The visa expiry date in your passport is no longer valid in these instances.
Extension for post-graduate research students
Postgraduate research students may apply for an extension while their thesis is being marked. Special conditions apply:
- you should not be enrolled for this period and will not be given an eCOE
- you may only apply for an extension up to six months long
- the program supervisor is required to write a letter for you to take to DIBP. The letter must contain certain information and the template is available from RMIT University, RMIT International.
Leave of absence
Leave of absence is an approved period of time during which you are not enrolled in any subjects. To apply for leave of absence, you must show that you have “compassionate or compelling" circumstances. Your Head of School and RMIT International must approve your leave.
Taking a leave of absence will affect your student visa. You must contact the DIBP for visa information before applying. For more information, refer to the Leave of Absence webpage or visit RMIT International.
Online and distance study
International students can enrol in online/distance study modes, when such modes are offered as part of CRICOS-registered programs. Some restrictions apply:
- Online and distance courses can only make up 25 per cent of your total program; and
- In each compulsory semester, you must be enrolled in at least one unit that is delivered face-to-face
- In a non-compulsory semester (i.e. summer school), you may enrol full-time in online/distance courses. However, these will be counted towards your 25 per cent limit.
Students may only have a maximum of eight weeks break between programs. If you finish your pathway program and have more than an eight-week gap, you need to leave Australia or enrol in alternative study during the interim.
You can submit an appeal directly with RMIT International if you are unhappy with the outcomes of the following:
- Extension to study duration
- Request for release letter
- Attendance requirements
- Leave of absence.
If you submit an appeal, you must remain enrolled and attend all classes until the appeal outcome is known. Timelines apply for appeals. Find out more about Appeals.
Other visa conditions
You must have enough money to provide for all of your (and your dependents’) living expenses, tuition and travel costs while in Australia. See the Cost of living webpage.
Visa conditions for your family
Your family members' visas must comply with a number of visa conditions. For a full list of these conditions, refer to the Visa conditions for family members on the DIBP website.
You are responsible for arranging education for your school-age children. They must attend school while they are in Australia. International post-graduate research students don’t have to pay fees for their children’s education if the go to a public school. See Support for international students for more information.
You and your family must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) during your stay in Australia. RMIT International will arrange health cover through Medibank Private for you at the start of your program.
Students under 18 years of age
If RMIT approved your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements, you need RMIT’s written approval prior to changing these arrangements. See the Students under 18 years of age section for more information.