Policy International and Admissions Enrolment Requirements for International Student Visa-Holders Policy

Enrolment Requirements for International Student Visa-Holders Policy

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To specify the enrolment requirements for international student visa-holders, and the responsibilities of such students and Deans, in order to be compliant with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.


This policy applies to:

  • all international student visa-holders, and

  • Deans who monitor the enrolment of these students.


Compulsory study period or trimester:  study periods 1 and 2 and trimesters 21, 22 and 23.

Non-compulsory study period or trimester: all study periods and trimesters in effect at campuses, study centres or alliance institutions operating in Australia, other than study periods 1 and 2 or trimesters 21, 22 and 23.

Online, distance and external study: at James Cook University this means subjects with an attendance mode of ‘External’ or ‘Limited’.

Compassionate and compelling circumstances:  circumstances beyond a student’s control which have had, or would have, an impact on a student’s course progress or well-being.  These circumstances may include, but are not limited to:

  • serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate or psychologist’s report states that the student was/will be unable to attend classes;

  • bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (where possible a death certificate should be provided);

  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in the student’s home country;

  • a traumatic experience which has impacted the student, and which is supported by police or psychologists’ reports;

  • unavailability of subjects required for the student to progress in their course; and

  • inability to begin studying on the course commencement date due to delay in receiving a student visa.

Policy and Procedures

Students who are international student visa-holders must meet specific enrolment requirements in order to comply with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students, which is administered by the Department of Education and Training (Department of Education).  These enrolment requirements are established to ensure that students complete their course within the expected duration of study, as specified in the student’s Confirmation of Enrolment issued by the Department of Education.  These requirements are in addition to the award requirements applicable to each course, and to the University’s undergraduate requirements or postgraduate requirements, as applicable.

1. Enrolment Requirements

1.1 International student visa-holders must enrol in the full load for each of the compulsory study periods/trimesters, unless:

a) they have been advised in writing by a Dean to take a reduced load, as a result of an intervention strategy implemented to assist students who are not making satisfactory academic progress, or

b) their enrolment in non-compulsory study periods/trimesters, within the same academic year, sufficiently compensates for the reduced load of the main study periods/trimesters, or

c) they have been given an approved leave of absence or approval for deferment due to compassionate or compelling circumstances, or

d) they have only one or two subjects remaining to complete their course.

1.2 International student visa-holders must not enrol in more than 25% of the total credit points for the course in online, distance or external study.

1.3 International student visa-holders must not study entirely through online, distance or external study in any compulsory study period or trimester.

2. Responsibilities of international student visa-holders

2.1 International student visa-holders must ensure that they are aware of the requirements of this policy, and that their application to enrol in subjects is consistent with these requirements.

2.2 International student visa-holders must be available to meet with the Dean when requested, and must follow the enrolment advice provided by them under clause 1 above, within 5 working days of receiving that advice, or risk cancellation of enrolment as outlined below.

a) International student visa-holders who do not follow the enrolment advice of the Dean when requested may be notified in writing by the Director, Student Services that their enrolment will be cancelled.  Such notification will be provided as soon as practicable, and other than in exceptional circumstances, no later than the census date for that study period.  A copy of this notification will be provided to the Manager, Academic Administration and Enrolment.

b) A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the Dean made under the provisions of this policy may lodge an appeal (see Student Review and Appeals Policy).

3. Responsibilities of the Dean

3.1 The Dean will consult with international student visa-holders, at the start of the course and as required during the course, to develop and maintain a study plan which ensures that students complete the course within the expected duration of study.

3.2 The Dean will monitor the enrolments of international student visa-holders prior to the start of and during each compulsory study period/trimester to confirm that they comply with the enrolment requirements specified above.

3.3 Where the enrolment of an international student visa-holder does not comply with the enrolment requirements then the Dean will contact the student in a timely manner to discuss the subject selection and to provide written advice regarding appropriate subject selection.

3.4 Where the study plan shows that a student will not complete their course within the expected duration of study, then the Dean will:

a) provide such advice in writing, and in a timely manner, to the Manager, Academic Administration and Enrolment outlining the reasons why the student will not complete in the expected timeframe, and

b) provide a revised date for the expected completion of the course by the student.

Related documents, legislation

Coursework Enrolment Policy

National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students

Student  Review and Appeals Policy

Approval Details

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Policy DomainInternational and Admissions

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



21-117/06/202129/07/2021Minor amendment to update Approval Authority after Council approved changes to Policy and Delegations Responsibilities Map placing Academic Board as the Approval Authority for International policies.Policy Officer
19-109/03/201822/03/2019Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect Council resolution 09/03/2018Quality, Standards and Policy Officer
18-201/11/201803/12/2018Minor amendments to reflect establishment of Student Appeals PolicyChair of Academic Board
18-1 30/04/2018

Changes made to reflect headline restructure 30/04/2018.

Quality, Standards and Policy
16-122/08/201623/08/2016Minor amendments to align with Council approved Academic and Student Delegations RegisterAssociate Director, Enrolment and Client Services




Policy sponsor amended to reflect Council approved Policy and Delegations Framework.

Quality, Standards and Policy Unit




Date notification sent by Approval Authority to University Secretary: 01/09/2013

Approved by Academic Board





Approved by the Vice-Chancellor on an interim basis prior to consideration by Academic Board





Approved by the Vice-Chancellor on an interim basis prior to consideration by Academic Board


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