Leave of absence
Leave of absence is an approved period of time during which you are not enrolled in any subjects. The University’s Leave of Absence Procedure, PhD Handbook and Master of Philosophy Handbook set out principles and procedures for leave of absence. 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.
If you are granted leave of absence, the University must notify the Australian Government Department of Education (DIISRTE) and the Department of Immigration (DIAC) of the changes in your enrolment. The reason for taking leave will affect your student visa.
On this page:
- If you wish to apply for leave of absence, you should discuss your circumstances with a Student Adviser at your Student Centre well in advance.
- Most students are able to apply for leave of absence via the Student Portal.
- If you are on a student visa, you must also submit a Leave of absence declaration form together with the necessary supporting documents.
DownloadLeave of Absence declaration form
If you are granted leave of absence for compassionate or compelling circumstances, the University will notify DIISRTE/DIAC 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.
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.
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. DIAC 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.
The University must inform DIAC that you have ceased your studies if:
- you are granted leave of absence and there are no compassionate or compelling circumstances; or
- you do not provide appropriate documentary evidence that compassionate or compelling circumstances exist
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 DIAC. Before you return to Australia to resume your studies, you must obtain a new COE and contact the nearest Australian diplomatic mission to check the status of your student visa. You may also check your visa status online via VEVO.
If your visa is cancelled you will need to apply for a new student visa.
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.