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Student visas

While you're studying at the University, you need to be aware of your student visa requirements. Variations to your enrolment may affect your visa.

Potential delays in visa processing

Some international students may be experiencing delays in visa processing. Student visas are processed and assessed by The Department of Home Affairs and the University is unable to assist with processing times or outcomes. For more information we recommend that you check the guide to processing times on the Home Affairs website.

If you have specific concerns and would like to discuss your options, please contact

All students at the University, including international students, need to understand their responsibilities and follow the Student Charter. This is a condition of your enrolment at the University.

As an international student, you also have to meet your visa conditions.

Student visa conditions

There are strict conditions attached to Australian student visas. Find out more information about student visa conditions on the Department of Home Affairs website. If you don’t comply with these conditions, you may not be able to stay in the country.

You can find more information on:

You need to update your local address in Australia within seven days of arrival or within seven days of changing your address.

Please note if you have the following Conditions attached to your student visa, you must not change the course of study, thesis or research topic without approval from the Minister of the Department of Home Affairs:

  • 8203 – Limited study change
  • 8204 – Study limitations

You can check your Student Visa status and Conditions via Check visa conditions online (VEVO).

Study load

It is a requirement of your student visa that you are enrolled in a full-time study load, where the majority of your units are completed during the standard semesters.

During Teaching Period 1 you need to be enrolled in:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points in units from January to June
  • at least 18 credit points in Semester 1 session units, or units in sessions other than Intensive January, Intensive February or Intensive June.

During Teaching Period 2 you need to be enrolled in:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points in units from July to December
  • at least 18 credit points in Semester 2 session units, or units in sessions other than Intensive July or Intensive December.

The following are examples of a study load that meets these requirements:

  • enrolling in 24 credit points during Semester 1
  • enrolling in 18 credit points during Semester 1, and 6 credit points in Intensive June
  • enrolling in 6 credit points in Intensive March, 6 credit points in Intensive April, 6 credit points in Intensive May and 6 credit points in Intensive June.

You need to have an active eCoE and visa that covers any period that you're studying in. This means you can’t select units held in an intensive session before the commencement date outlined on your offer letter. If you were approved for a suspension in your first semester of study, you can't select units held in an intensive session before the start date of the standard semester.

Any changes that you make to your enrolment, including suspending your studies or reducing your study load can impact on your student visa.

Online/distance learning

Your student visa places restrictions around how many online or distance units of study you can undertake. A maximum of one third of your total course can be done by distance and/or online learning. In other words, 67 percent or more of your studies needs to be completed in class via face-to-face learning.

If online or distance learning is offered, you must study at least one unit that is face-to-face in each study period. The only exception is if you are completing the last unit of your course that is only available online.

If you are a recipient of United States Federal Student Aid, you can't engage in any study that uses online learning e.g. a class taught via Zoom and remain eligible for federal student aid.

Extend your stay

If your student visa is going to expire soon, you'll need to request for an extension of your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) in order to apply for a new visa. An eCoE extension can only be issued if compassionate or compelling circumstances impacted your study. It's important to be aware of your visa's expiry date so that you can request the eCoE extension before your visa expires. To apply for eCoE, please submit the request via Sydney Student (go to 'My studies', then 'Course details').

For information on applying for a new visa, visit the Department of Home Affairs website. Please remember to check and contact your health insurance provider to extend your Overseas Student Health Cover.

Applying for a further student visa application (Subclass 500) due to COVID-19 – Form 1545

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) may consider waiving your visa application fee if you are extending your student visa. If you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and need to lodge a further student visa application (Subclass 500) and your extension is a consequence of COVID-19 conditions, DHA may waive your visa application fee. Information regarding eligibility is available from the Department of Home Affairs website.

How to obtain Form 1545 from The University of Sydney:

  • eCoE requests that are eligible for 1545 will receive one, however, if you require a 1545 form but have a valid eCoE for the duration of your course, you need to email and quote your SID.
  • Be aware the University can only provide you with Form 1545 if your approved Suspension or Reduced Study Load application was due to the impacts of COVID-19, and your eCoE end date is within 3 months of your current visa expiry date.

Staying for graduation

If you want to stay in Australia to attend your graduation, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs about alternative visa options.

When you apply for your alternative visa, we recommend you provide your completion letter as supporting evidence. In the weeks after the release of your final results, your completion letter will be available for you to download in Sydney Student (go to 'My studies', then 'Assessments').

Postgraduate research thesis submission

If you have submitted your thesis but still hold a valid student visa, you can stay in Australia while your thesis is under examination, as you are still considered a student.

If your student visa is going to expire and you need to remain in Australia for your thesis marking, you will have to apply for a new student visa. Your application needs to include a letter from your HDRAC team saying that you are required to remain in Australia for thesis marking, with an expected timeframe (no more than six months).

Change of visa status

If your visa type or country of citizenship changed, please update your details as soon as possible in Sydney Student and provide supporting documentation (go to 'My details', then 'Address & residency'). Find out more about changing your visa status.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your student visa conditions, contact our compliance officers by sending an email to or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

Find out more about how we can help

Last updated: 09 February 2024

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