Changes to study and visa requirements

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19), some study conditions and visa requirements have changed for international students. Go to the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to find out more. For the latest information on RMIT's response to coronavirus, go to the RMIT Coronavirus webpages.

International students may be eligible for Coronavirus financial support and assistance. Additional support services and resources are listed below.


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COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In response to COVID-19, Australian regulators have enabled additional study flexibility, which means that students can study online in Australia or from outside Australia without impacting visa requirements or their ability to attain their Australian qualification.  

If you cannot come to campus and want to continue studying remotely, you will not be penalised for doing so.   However, your study progression or graduation may be delayed if you need to complete required practical-based learning activities on campus  at a later date. 

It is important to think carefully about your personal circumstances if you decide to return to your home country, because the continuing travel restrictions may mean you are unable to return to Australia for some time. 

 If you decide to return to your home country, please contact your Course Coordinator as soon as possible to discuss the impact on your studies. 

If you have questions about your program and the options available to you, please talk to your  Program Manager. 


For current information about the Australian Government’s student visa requirements, including temporary changes to requirements in response to COVID-19, go to the Department of Home Affairs student visa webpage.

You may also seek advice from an Education Agent, Migration Agent, or Lawyer who is registered by the Migration Agent Registration Authority (MARA). 

If you're an international higher education or vocational education student, you may reduce your study load or take a leave of absence for compassionate or compelling reasons. These include the impact of COVID 19.  If your request for a reduced study load or leave of absence is approved, you may need to apply for a visa extension in the future.

How to I reduce my study load?
  • Before reducing your study load, talk to staff in your School or your Course Coordinator. They can tell you what impact this will have on your progression, and whether  you will be able to catch up in an accelerated mode later. 
  • Make sure you keep comprehensive records of any evidence submitted or agreements made with your School or Course Coordinator about reducing your study load or taking a leave of absence. You may need this information to extend your student visa and apply for a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) in the future. 
  • You must apply to reduce your study load or to take a leave of absence by your census date to avoid fees or penalties. Find out more about how to apply to reduce your study load or  take a leave of absence. 

If you are under 18 years of age and living in an RMIT-approved accommodation or homestay, your application will need to be first approved by your parent or guardian.  A leave of absence period without this approval may breach your visa conditions.  

If you are studying on a scholarship, you must get permission from your scholarship provider before applying. 

The Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) has confirmed that qualifications will be recognised for online studies, provided students are currently enrolled at RMIT and their studies have been disrupted by COVID-19. Students are advised to maintain records, wherever possible, of their communication with RMIT to provide to the CSCSE, verifying they have been impacted by COVID-19. 
If your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) has expired, please contact RMIT Student Connect. We can assist you with applying for a new eCoE. For more information, see RMIT’s Apply for a new eCoE page. 

Temporary visa holders (including students) in Australia can depart at any time.  However, the Department of Home Affairs advises that there are only very limited circumstances under which they will be permitted to return to Australia.  

Detailed information about travel exemptions for can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.  

If you're unable to travel to Australia due to ongoing travel restrictions, you may be eligible for the International Tuition Fee Bursary. The bursary covers 10% of tuition fees.

To find out if you’re eligible, go to the International Tuition Fee Bursary web page. 

Need help?

Speak to one of our friendly team members at RMIT Connect, your student support service.