Compassionate and compelling circumstances

Compassionate and compelling circumstances are defined as circumstances outside a student’s control that impact the student’s ability to study.

What are compassionate and compelling circumstances?

In some instances, an international student must demonstrate that there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that mean they need to reduce their study load, take a leave of absence or be released from their studies at RMIT.

Compassionate and compelling circumstances are defined as circumstances outside a student’s control that impact the student’s ability to study. A student may be required to provide evidence to demonstrate that they are impacted by compassionate or compelling circumstances.

Examples of compassionate or compelling circumstances and evidence

Please note: Situations that relate to COVID-19 – such as inability to travel due to border restrictions, family or friends being ill, your place of residence or home country being impacted by COVID-19 – may be considered ‘compassionate or compelling circumstances’.

Circumstance
Evidence
Illness or injury
  • A medical certificate from the registered health practitioner who is treating your condition that includes the dates of consultation, the medical condition, impact of the condition on your ability to study, recommendation for a reduced study load or break from study, and treatment plan
Death, illness or injury or a close family member
  • Death certificate
  • Evidence of the illness from a doctor or hospital
  • Evidence of your relationship to them (e.g. birth certificate, passport, family record book, etc)
Permanent or temporary disability
  • Letter from RMIT Disability Liaison Unit recommending a reduced study load or a break from study
Incident or issue causing distress to student (e.g. political unrest, natural disaster, serious accident, witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime or incident)
  • Media reports of political unrest or natural disaster
  • Evidence of student’s residency in the affected area
  • Police report
  • Letter from psychologist that includes the dates of consultation, the outcome of the assessment, the impact on the student's ability to study, the recommendation for a reduced study load or break from study, and treatment plan
RMIT unable to offer full-time load of courses
  • Program plan from your School
Delay in receiving a student visa
Unforeseen delay to research (Higher Degree by Research students only)
  • Email/letter from supervisor outlining situation that was outside student’s control
Military service

     

  • Correspondence from military organisation
  • Note: Leave of absence can only be approved for up to 50% of the total registered duration of your program. If your military service exceeds this period, you may consider cancelling your program and re-applying for your program when you are ready to return to study

Other circumstances
  • Any relevant certified document attesting that the situation is outside student’s control and affects their ability to study

Examples of situations that are not considered compassionate or compelling circumstances

  • Work commitment​s
  • Travelling overseas​
  • Minor medical illness or condition
  • Financial hardship​

Need help?

For more information, please contact Student Connect.

Status and details

Last updated August 2021
By RMIT International Compliance (IACRR)  
In accordance with National Code 2018 Standard 7, Standard 8, Standard 9

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