International students on a Student Visa who have not completed the first six months of their principal course at ACU must seek approvals from the university if they wish to enrol at another education provider. The request will be formally assessed as per this Release Policy in accordance with the National Code 2018.

Students do not require a release under the National Code 2018 once they have completed six calendar months of their principal course. The six calendar months are calculated from the first day of the principal course. The principal course is usually the final course of study that you will undertake. For example, if you are studying a pathway program followed by a Bachelor program, the Bachelor program is your principal course.

Students seeking release should refer to the Study in Australia – Transfer institute or course information.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) requires that students who are granted a student visa must comply with Condition 8516 and 8202. Students considering moving to a lower AQF level course are urged to seek advice from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) prior to finalising their decision.

Education providers are not permitted to enrol students seeking a transfer from another provider prior to the student completing six months of their principal course, except in limited circumstances as provided in Standard 7 of the National Code 2018.

Student should remain enrolled in their current course of study until such time they receive an outcome of their application.

How to apply for a release

  1. Download and complete the Application for Release form at the bottom of this webpage.
  2. Provide a copy of the new provider's valid unconditional Letter of Offer and any other supporting documentation with the completed Release Application Form.
  3. If you are under 18 of age, please also provide the following:
  • Written confirmation that the student's parent or legal guardian supports the transfer; and
  • Where the student is not being cared for in Australia by a parent or suitable nominated (blood) relative, the valid enrolment offer also confirms that the receiving provider will accept that responsibility for approving the student's accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements, and to ensure that there is no gap in the welfare arrangements as per Standard 5 of the National Code 2018.


The University will not grant release in the following circumstances:

  1. Change of mind: students are able to apply for a transfer to other courses offered by ACU, but will not be granted a release to enrol with another provider on the basis of change of mind;
  2. If the student applies to transfer from an ACU course/package to a lower AQF level course;
  3. If the student has not exhausted access to ACU’s support services for assistance with study or personal issues;
  4. Claims of financial hardship or transferring to another provider with lower tuition fees;
  5. Change of study location due to accommodation difficulties, distance, transport and/or living arrangements;
  6. If the request is considered detrimental to the student's well-being;
  7. If the student is under non-academic sanctions; or
  8. No Unconditional Letter of Offer from another education provider has been provided. Note: conditional offer will be accepted where the only condition is provision of a release from ACU.

Students who are refused have the right to appeal in accordance with the University's Student Appeals Policy.


Release will normally be granted on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. The University not being able to provide a course;
  2. The student not being able to proceed in their course due to not meeting the prerequisite(s) and the student can demonstrate that they have exhausted the University’s support services to address these issues;
  3. The student’s enrolment is terminated due to unsatisfactory course progress as governed by the Academic Regulations and will be reported to the Department of Education;
  4. The University believes the student has a compassionate or compelling circumstances and there is evidence to support the claim;
  5. There is evidence that the student’s reasonable expectations about their current course are not being met;
  6. There is evidence that the student was misled by the University or an ACU authorised education agent regarding the University or its course and the course is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives;
  7. An appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the student; or
  8. Written advice supporting a change from a government sponsor (sponsored students only).


Students will be advised of an outcome within 14 days of the formal request for release.


Application for Release (PDF file, 182KB)

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