Release guidelines

Read the following guidelines carefully before submitting your application for release.

Transferring between registered providers guidelines

Under the National Code 2007, providers are restricted from enrolling transferring students prior to the student completing six calendar months of their principal course. The principal course is one for which a student visa has been issued as the highest level of study in the program.

Applications can ONLY be submitted after attending a face-to-face interview with a Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer will give you details of the email address to which you must submit your application once they have checked and signed your application form.

Your application will take up to 10 working days to assess upon receipt of a complete application (including all supporting documents). The letter advising the outcome of your application will be  emailed to you at the email address you provided in your application. If a release letter is refused, the letter will outline the reason(s) for refusal and the appeals procedure.

Your application should include all relevant supporting documentation. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. Requests for transfers from currently enrolled students who are in an adjustment period should not expect approval prior to enrolling for six months in the principal award course, except where there is evidence of compassionate or compelling reasons.

You will be free to pursue a change of study without having to apply for a letter of release after completing six calendar months in the originally intended award course at Deakin University.

Acceptable reasons for release

Where a release letter is granted, the letter will be provided at no cost to the student.

Normally all students who are issued a Student visa as a result of a Deakin generated Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be expected as a minimum to complete the first six months of the Deakin principal course.

The following criteria are the only circumstances in which Deakin will grant a release before the completion of the first six months of the Deakin program:

  • Deakin University's CRICOS registration has been suspended;
  • A student on a packaged Deakin pathway course fails to meet Deakin entry requirements after a minimum of two trimesters at their pathway education provider (please be advised that release may be refused if you provide an offer to a non-SVP provider. See information about transfer to non-SVP Eligible providers below);
  • A government sponsor deems that the transfer is in the best interest of the student;
  • There are both grounds and evidence for compassionate and/or compelling circumstances (see below); and
  • An applicant under 18 years old presents a valid offer from a receiving institution (which also acknowledges the responsibility to provide accommodation, support and general welfare) and provides written evidence of parent/guardian support for the transfer.

What are compelling and/or compassionate circumstances?

Compassionate and/or compelling circumstances are defined as a sudden change of circumstances, beyond the student's control, that impact on plans for on-campus study in Australia. Such circumstances must be supported by documentary evidence and may include;

  • Illness of the student or immediate family member evidenced by a medical certificate;
  • Death of a student's immediate family member evidenced by a death certificate;
  • Other compassionate circumstances where adequate evidence can be provided to show reason for release.

Transfer to non-SVP eligible providers

Under the Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) guidelines, Deakin will generally not release a student (including a student who fails to meet the requirements of their Deakin pathway program) who has entered Australia on a visa for an SVP-eligible course who, after visa grant, is seeking to transfer to a non-SVP eligible course at another provider unless the student has either:

a) been on their current student visa for at least 12 months; or

b) is the holder of a passport for an Assessment Level 1 country (See the Department of Home Affairs website for a list of country assessment levels.)

Student visa holders who arrive in Australia under SVP arrangements and then purposefully transfer to a non-SVP eligible course without applying for a new student visa will likely be in breach of their student visa and may be subject to visa cancellation. Details of the SVP program can be found on the Department of Home Affairs' website. Students who fail to meet pathway entry requirements will be required to show evidence of a new offer that is either for an SVP eligible course or is a packaged offer that leads to an SVP eligible course. Please read the information on the Department of Home Affairs website about changing courses for streamlined visa holders.

Pathway students who fail to meet Deakin entry requirements after 2 trimesters will need to apply to study a course at an SVP-eligble provider if they do not meet the above conditions, otherwise a release may not be approved.

Non-acceptable reasons for release

Please note that the following circumstances will not generally be considered compassionate or compelling circumstances:

  • Transfer to a non-SVP eligible provider (see above).
  • Transfer to a similar course with another provider will generally not be accepted.
  • More than 1 (one) XN  result on your Deakin or pathway provider transcript. (Such results indicate that you have not tried to pass your course.)
  • Lack of understanding of Deakin University Transfer between Registered Providers Guidelines or Tuition Fee and Refund Policies.
  • Lack of understanding of Deakin University's enrolment procedures.
  • Failing to complete a minimum of two trimesters at a pathway provider if you are on a packaged Deakin offer.
  • Distance of your residential address from the Deakin campus at which you study.
  • Changing to a course that is outside your previous field of study.
  • A desire to change to a new course with lower fees.
  • Where your CoE has already been cancelled for non-commencement of study or for an inactive enrolment status
  • A desire to move to another University to live/be with friends
  • Matters unrelated to your study at Deakin (such as car accidents, accommodation issues, or personal matters not affecting your study)
  • The applicant requesting a release letter will be advised of the decision in writing within the agreed time frame.

Appeals against a decision

Legislation determines that a student has the right to appeal a decision by the University. This includes a decision not to grant a letter of release.

If a release letter is not granted, you have two options. You may lodge a new application for a release letter if the reasons for your release application have changed (for example, you are now applying to a different provider to the one in your initial application or your circumstances have changed), or you may lodge an appeal.

Appeals against a decision not to grant a letter of release are considered by an independent person who was not involved in the original decision.

Under the National Code, a student may appeal a decision not to grant a release by writing to Appeals Administration via email at within 20 working days of the date on the outcome letter. If a student wishes to appeal, they must attach any previously unsubmitted new evidence with their appeal.

Refund of fees

Refunds are assessed separately. It is important to note that an approved release does not mean you will be automatically approved for a refund. If you believe you are eligible for a refund and you are a current Deakin student, you will need to apply directly through the Division of Student Administration (DSA) through the Fees and Invoices web page.

If you are a currently enrolled Deakin student and believe you are eligible for a refund of fees, please complete the Remission of Debt form on the Refunds and Remissions webpage.

If you are not yet enrolled in your Deakin University award course, and you have applied for a refund, your refund request will be forwarded to the Deakin International Finance Office and will be assessed according to the refund policy. This request will be processed within 28 days of your application. Any questions regarding your refund should be directed to the Deakin International Finance Office at

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