International student transfer policy

Under the revised National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers for Education and Training to Overseas (the National Code), registered providers are only able to enrol transferring students in the first six months from the commencement of the student's principal course of study in limited circumstances. The following provides information about the University of Melbourne Policy and the International student transfer procedures.

Please note that if you are transferring to another education provider, there may be visa implications. You may need to apply for a new student visa if your new course is at a lower level. For further information, please refer to DIBP’s website or contact them on 131 881 to discuss your circumstances.

University of Melbourne Policy

This policy refers to students currently enrolled at the University of Melbourne who wish to transfer away from the University to another institution. The University of Melbourne is entitled to determine the circumstances in which it may provide or refuse to provide a letter of release. This policy took effect from 1 July 2007. A letter of release will be granted by the University only where the transfer will not be to the detriment of the student or their future studies (e.g. a letter of release will be issued if a student is experiencing personal difficulty or educational problems that can not be addressed by the University's resources).

No release required

A letter of release is not required if:

  • a student is sponsored by their government and the sponsor considers the change to be in the student's best interest and has provided written support for the change; or
  • the course for which the student has received a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will not be offered by the University and ceased to be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Issue of releases

A letter of release will be issued when the University of Melbourne is satisfied that:

  • The student is in receipt of a packaged COE and has not met the entry requirements for the principal course
  • A course is academically unsuitable for the student
  • The course the student wishes to transfer to better meets the long term goals of the student, whether these relate to future work, education etc.
  • Compassionate or compelling reasons for the transfer exist
  • The student can provide evidence that he/she was misled by the University of Melbourne or appointed the representative regarding the course or the university.

Release not granted

A letter of release will be refused if a student is unable to provide satisfactory evidence that his/her course does not meet the long term goals of the student or it is academically unsuitable, or that the student cannot demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances for the transfer exit. A release request will not be granted if:

  • The University forms the view that the student is trying to avoid being reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for failure to meet the provider's attendance or academic progress requirements;
  • The student applies to transfer to another sector (e.g. VET) or another level (e.g. Bachelor to Diploma) unless the student has discussed the request with the University's course advisor and the course advisor has made a recommendation supporting the transfer, based on an assessment of what is in the student's best interests, whether there are compassionate and compelling circumstances, and whether the student is likely to succeed in his or her present course;
  • The transfer may jeopardise the student's progressions through a package of courses; or
  • The intended course will not provide adequate preparation for further study, nor be recognised by higher education or VET providers as meeting their entry requirements and the transfer would be detrimental to the student's future study plans.

The University will assess a student's request for release against its policies and procedures and will only grant a letter of release when the student has:

  • provided a letter from another registered provider confirming that a valid enrolment offer has been made;
  • provided a letter detailing the benefits to them by enrolling in the alternate course; and
  • where the student is under 18:
    • the registered provider has written confirmation that the student's parental or legal guardian supports the transfer; and
    • where the student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or a suitable nominated relative, the valid enrolment offer also confirms that the registered provider will accept that responsibility for approving the student's accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements.


You will be notified of the outcome of your request within 10 working days of submitting your request to the Associate Director, Enquiries and Admissions. There is no charge for a letter of release.

  • Successful outcome: Students will be informed that the University has approved the request to transfer to another institution, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be informed and their University of Melbourne COE cancelled. The student must be advised that they will need to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to seek advice on whether a new student visa is required.
  • Unsuccessful outcome: Students will be informed of the reasons for this decision and informed that they may freely transfer between institutions after six months. Students can appeal the decision in writing in accordance with the University's Student Complaints and Grievances policy