Release guidelines

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

Release guidelines

Under the National Code 2018, 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 their package of courses. If you have completed six calendar months of enrolled units in your principal course at Deakin University, you do not need to apply for a release, you can apply to discontinue through DeakinSync.

From Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice all completed release application can be submitted at

Please note:

  • During this period, students are not required to attend a face to face interview with a Compliance Officer or obtain a Compliance Officer signature on the release form
  • The application form must be typed, not hand written

1. Your application will take up to 10 working days to assess upon receipt of a complete application form. If you submit an incomplete application you will be asked to submit all required documents before your application will be assessed. Documents to submit with your application:

  • A valid offer letter from the new provider, valid for at least working 10 days from the date of release application submission
  • Evidence of compassionate and compelling circumstances
  • If you are under the age of 18 years, you must include written confirmation from your parent or legal guardian to support the transfer. The receiving provider must acknowledge to accept responsibility to approve your accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements.
  • If you are a government sponsored student, you must provide written support from your sponsor agreeing to the transfer
  • If applicable, evidence of failure to meet academic course progress (For example, Reporting by Deakin College for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress letter (O) or other evidence from other pathway providers)
  • Transcript from your pathway provider (Deakin College students may print a transcript  from your Deakin College student portal)

2. The outcome of your application will be emailed to your nominated email address you provided in your application. If a release is refused, the outcome email will outline the reason(s) for refusal and the appeals procedure.

3. Lodging an application for release and receiving an outcome (approval or rejection) will be granted at no cost to you.

4. If successful, you must contact the Department of Home Affairs to seek advice on whether a new student visa is required and visit to consider whether a change in enrolment breaches your visa condition.

5. Please note students seeking a release must maintain a valid enrolment while the release is being assessed. This includes re-enrolling in subsequent study periods. Students are advised not to accept an offer at another institution or pay fees until Deakin has issued a release.

6. A release approval does not discontinue your enrolment at Deakin. Upon receipt of your release approval, it is your responsibility to complete the required documentation to discontinue from your course or the pathway course if you wish to accept an offer at another institution.

7. A release approval does not guarantee a refund of tuition fees. This is a separate process and Deakin’s tuition fee refund policy should be considered prior to lodging your application.

8. If your student agreement includes a course offered by Deakin College or other pathway provider, you will be required to also apply for a release from the pathway provider if you have not completed six calendar months of the pathway course.

Acceptable reasons for release

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

1. Deakin University's CRICOS registration has been suspended, or an ESOS agency sanction on Deakin prevents you from continuing your study, or Deakin fails to deliver the course as outlined in the student agreement;

2. Your enrolment in a Deakin course or pathway course will be reported via PRISMS for unsatisfactory progress or attendance, even after actively participating in an intervention strategy;

3. Your government sponsor deems that the transfer is in your best interests and has provided written support for the change;

4. There are both grounds and evidence for compassionate and/or compelling circumstances;

5. Deakin fails to deliver the course as outlined in the written agreement;

6. There is evidence that your reasonable expectations about your course have not been met;

7. There is evidence that you were misled by Deakin or an education or migration agent about Deakin or the course and the course is not suitable to meet your needs and/or study objectives;

8. You are under 18 years old and present a valid offer from a receiving institution (which also acknowledges the responsibility to provide accommodation, support and general welfare) and you provide written evidence of parent/guardian support for the transfer;

9. An appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release you;

10. Your pathway provider has indicated you have not met academic progress requirements

Compassionate and/or compelling circumstances are defined as a sudden change of circumstances, beyond your control, that impacts on plans for on-campus study in Australia. Such circumstances must be supported by documentary evidence. Where circumstances include illness, this must be supported by substantial medical evidence

Non-acceptable reasons for release

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

1. Lack of understanding of Deakin University Transfer between Registered Providers Guidelines, Tuition Fee and Refund Policies or enrolment procedures;

2. Lack of understanding of Deakin’s course content or campus;

3. A desire to change to a new course with lower fees, shorter duration, to be closer to family and friends, or in consideration to be eligible for a future visa or residency;

4. Where your CoE has already been cancelled for non-commencement of study or for an inactive enrolment status;

5. Failure to meet your student visa conditions including your obligation to ensure you have sufficient financial capacity to fund your study and living costs;

6. Failure to actively participate in intervention strategies, transition or support services available at Deakin and make a genuine effort to be successful in your academic studies;

7. If the course you intend to undertake with the new provider is not the same Australian Qualification Frame work (AQF) level as, or at a higher level than, the registered principal course for which you were granted a student visa;

8. Where the commencement date of the new offer has passed and there is no written approval by the new provider for a late enrolment with a specific date.

Appeals against a decision

You have 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 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.

Students may appeal a decision not to grant a release by writing to within 20 working days of the date on the release outcome letter

Refund of fees

If you intend to apply for both a release and refund, our recommendation is that you should lodge your release application first and only submit your refund application after you have received a release outcome letter. The release outcome letter will provide you with the details of the refund form and how to apply. If you need more information, please visit the fees page.

You will need to check the withdrawal dates relevant to you before applying to make sure that you are eligible:

You can directly apply for a refund if you do not intend to apply for a release letter e.g. if you no longer intend to continue studying in Australia. Once received, your application will be processed within 28 days.

If you are a current Deakin University student and believe you are eligible for a refund, you will need to apply directly using the Refunds and remissions for international students process.

If you are not yet enrolled in your Deakin University award course (includes pathway packaged students) and have applied for a release, we recommend you wait for the outcome of your release application before applying for a refund, you can complete the Application for refund (PDF, 185.1KB) and submit this along with your supporting documents and passport to Please ensure you read the application carefully before submitting.

Once submitted, your refund request will be forwarded to the Deakin International Finance Office. Any questions regarding your refund should be directed to the Deakin International Finance Office at

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