Student visa compliance

Your study options and visa responsibilities

The Australian Government's Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act

  • The ESOS Act is a legislative framework designed to ensure that Australia’s reputation for delivering quality education services is maintained and that the interests of international/overseas students are protected.
  • Your study options are determined by the ESOS Act.

Return to on-campus learning in 2023

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, requirements for face-to-face learning were relaxed, and international students could undertake courses online.
  • The Australian Government has announced a return to face-to-face teaching requirements and international students enrolled after 30 June 2023 will need organise to study in Australia, in on-campus subjects , where it is safe and practical to do so.
  • This applies to all international students on student visas.
  • We strongly encourage all offshore students to make arrangements to travel to Australia, and UOW, as soon as possible.
  • If you are unable to return to Australia due to circumstances outside of your control you may be eligible for an exemption to the return to full compliance, known as a safe and practical exemption.

Safe and practical exemptions

  • The University determines that it is safe and practical for an international student to commence or continue their studies in Australia if there are no significant external factors that have an impact on your ability to travel to Australia to study, per the requirements of your student visa.
  • External factors are outside of your control and are not determined by convenience or choice
  • For more information please refer to the Safe and Practical Exemption Guidelines

If you wish to apply for a safe and practical exemption, you must complete the online application form and submit with evidence that supports your request.

  • You will be provided an outcome and advice on your enrolment options in writing. This may include being permitted to study online, subject to class availability.
  • An exemption is only granted for one trimester or semester.

Apply for a safe and practical exemption

Your rights

  • You receive accurate information about your course, tuition fees and refund policies.
  • You have access to support services and complaints processes and information about changes to your enrolment.

Your obligations

  • You must comply with the conditions of your student visa. The University is required to monitor and report some of these conditions to the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Breaching visa conditions may lead to visa cancellation.

Check your visa details and conditions