Leave of absence

Leave of absence is an approved period of time during which you are not enrolled in any subjects. A student may be granted leave of absence for personal, compassionate or other compelling circumstances for up to one year, during which they are not expected to be engaged in any study related activities.


Applying for leave of absence

  1. If you wish to apply for leave of absence, you should discuss your circumstances with Stop 1 staff well in advance.
  2. Follow the instructions here to submit your leave of absence application.
  3. If you are on a student visa, as part of your leave application you must also submit a Leave of absence declaration form together with the necessary supporting documents.

Download Leave of Absence form


Leave for compassionate or compelling circumstances

If you are granted leave of absence for compassionate or compelling circumstances, the University will notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that your course of study is temporarily suspended. You are not required to depart Australia and your visa will remain valid to resume your studies after the approved end date of your leave.

Compassionate or compelling circumstances are generally beyond the student's control and have an impact on the student's health, wellbeing or ability to study, for instance:

  • Serious illness or injury
  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Serious illness or bereavement of close family members
  • Course structure, subject availability or approved study abroad for credits
  • Inability to commence or resume your studies due to visa processing delays
  • Traumatic experiences, such as involvement in or witnessing of a serious accident or crime
  • Political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country

Your application for leave of absence must be supported by appropriate documentation, such as medical certificates or police reports. The DIBP may cancel your student visa if the leave was on the basis of fraudulent or misleading evidence or the leave reasons have ceased to exist.

If your leave changes the expected duration of your course, you will receive a new Confirmation of Enrolment (COE). You may need to renew your student visa before it expires if the duration of your course is extended beyond the expiry date of your visa.

Leave for other reasons

If you are granted leave of absence in circumstances that are not compassionate or compelling, or you have not provided documentary evidence that compassionate or compelling circumstances exist, the University must inform the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that you have ceased your studies.Your CoE will be cancelled and your student visa is subject to cancellation. You have 28 days from the start date of your leave to depart Australia or make other visa arrangements with the DIBP. Before you return to Australia to resume your studies, you must obtain a new COE. If your visa is cancelled you will need to apply for a new student visa. You can check your visa status online via VEVO.

Circumstances that are not compassionate or compelling could include:

  • Difficulties in adjusting to living in Australia or academic life
  • Relationship problems
  • Financial difficulties
  • Travel or employment opportunities
  • Family or customary obligations such as weddings of a relative or friend.