Know your visa conditions

When travelling to Australia, you'll need to apply for a visa. A visa is official permission to enter a country.

Visa types

Your type of visa may depend on what country you are coming from and what course you intend to study. For information on the different visas available for Australia, you should view the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs.

Confirmation of Enrolment

In order to maintain a valid Student Visa, you must have a valid Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). You will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment as part of your enrolment process before you leave your home country. If your Confirmation of Enrolment is ever cancelled due to a breach of University Rules or Requirements, this may lead to your Student Visa being cancelled or expiring. If you experience difficulty with your student visa or requirements or have questions regarding your Confirmation of Enrolment, you can find out more at our support page.

Please note University staff cannot provide advice on other types of Visas or provide migration law advice.


Each visa type has its own conditions, or rules you need to follow. You must know your visa conditions to ensure you are satisfying any requirements. Visa conditions are set by Australian law and must be followed as the Department of Home Affairs may cancel your visa if you breach these conditions. For a full list of your student visa conditions go to the Australian Government - Student Visa information.

You must also be aware that the University has legal obligations to provide information to the Department of Home Affairs in specific circumstances. For example, the University must inform the Department of Home Affairs if you are no longer studying, or the University may inform the Department of Home Affairs if you have breached University rules.

Course duration and Study Load

Student visa holders are required to complete their course within a set period of time, indicated by your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).The course duration is based on a full time study load. A full time study load usually requires a student to take 4 subjects in each compulsory study period.

Visit Coursefinder for details about your course duration.

If you experience academic difficulties, or situations which are considered to be compassionate or compelling, then you may be eligible to reduce your study load. If you wish to request to reduce your study load submit a form via AskMQ.

While we can give you general advice about your student visa, we are not trained migration agents. If you have further questions, or need advice regarding non-student visas, or spousal visas, please contact the Department of Home Affairs.

Extending your course duration

If you have difficulties during your studies, you may require additional time to complete your program. This may occur if you:

  • fail a subject/s and need to retake the subject
  • have been granted a Reduced Study Load

You may then require an extension of program which will require an updated Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). To request a new CoE go to AskMQ.

With the change in the duration of your study program, you may need to extend your student visa.

Maintain enrolment and course progression

You must remain enrolled in your course and you must satisfy course progression requirements. If you are at risk of not satisfying course progression requirements you will be contact by the University and asked to take part in a program. The program is designed to help you improve your academic performance.

If you do not meet progress requirements, defined by the degree rules, you may be excluded from Macquarie University. Students who are excluded have the opportunity to appeal. Students who do not appeal, or who are not successful in their appeal, are reported to the Department of Immigration. This may result in the cancellation of your visa.

You should make sure you understand the undergraduate and postgraduate degree rules and Academic Progression information.

Changing address or contact details

You must notify Macquarie University within 7 days via eStudent:

  • of your new address when you first arrive in Australia
  • if you change your address at any time during your enrolment
  • of any new contact details

If you do not update your address details and there is a problem with your visa, you will not receive communication from the Department of Immigration and your visa may be cancelled without you knowing.

Macquarie University will contact students via their official Macquarie student email address. You should regularly check your student email for important updates and information. The University will not email your private email address.

Remain with Macquarie University for 6 months

You must study with Macquarie University for at least six calendar months, if your visa was obtained for study at this institution. If you have come to study an English course (eg ELC), or a preparatory course (eg MUIC Foundation program) on a package offer, you must complete this course and then continue your studies at Macquarie University for at least six calendar months.

Find out more about transfer and release conditions.

Work limitation

Student visa holders are able to work up to 40 hours each fortnight while your course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of their course of study or training). You can also work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Postgraduate Research students are able to work up to 40 hours each fortnight during any preliminary courses. You can work unlimited hours once your masters by research or doctoral degree has started.

Family members are not allowed to work until you begin your course. They are allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight at all times. Family members of students who have started a postgraduate research course may work unlimited hours. The Department of Home Affairs will check work places to make sure that students are not exceeding their hours. Employers are also legally required to provide information to the Department of Home Affairs.

See details on work limitations for international student visa holders.

Overseas student health cover

All international students and their families (on student dependent visas) are required to have medical insurance or Overseas student health cover (OSHC) while in Australia as part of their visa conditions. If you are granted permission to extend your program you will need to arrange for additional cover.

Change of welfare arrangements - under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 years of age and do not live with a parent or legal guardian in Australia, you must not change your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements without consulting your Student Support AdviserStudents Under 18 years of age must meet with a Student Support Adviser twice a week during their studies.

Visit our support page for further information.

External or distance study

You can study up to one-third of your course online. You must study at least one unit that is face-to-face in each compulsory study period. The only exception is if you are completing the last unit of your program that is only available online. It is important that you check the teaching method when registering for units to make sure you meet this rule.

Suspending study

A Suspension of Study allows students who are experiencing compassionate or compelling circumstances to take a break from study and return to their home country. If approved to suspend your program, you are required to contact the Department of Home Affairs to ask about your student visa status.

Find out more about Suspension of Studies requirements. To request permission for a suspension of studies go to AskMQ.

Withdrawal from Macquarie University

Should you wish to withdraw your enrolment from Macquarie, you can submit a Student Withdrawal and Release form online via AskMQ.

Students who have studied with Macquarie University for more than six calendar months are able to stop their studies by notifying the University (using the above form). Students who have not studied for more than six calendar months must request permission to be released from their studies. A release will only be granted in exceptional and specific circumstances.