Standard 8: Overseas student visa requirements
National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
Course progress and attendance requirements
ELICOS (English courses)
Registered providers of an ELICOS must have a documented policy and process for monitoring and recording both attendance and course progress for overseas students.
The minimum requirement for attendance is 80 per cent of the scheduled contact hours for the course, or higher if required under state or territory legislation. Registered providers may also
choose to impose a higher attendance regulation through their attendance policies.
Vocational education and training (VET) (Cookery, Business, Management, Painting, Hospitality courses at PCBT)
Registered providers of VET courses must have a documented policy and process for monitoring and recording course progress for an overseas student.
By default, VET providers do not have to monitor attendance. However, they will have to monitor attendance if required as a condition of registration by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) agency. If an ESOS agency requires a VET provider to monitor attendance, it will notify the registered provider, and the minimum requirement for attendance is 80 per cent of the scheduled contact hours for the course.
Registered providers must assist overseas students through an intervention strategy if they are not achieving satisfactory course progress, and if applicable, attendance before the overseas student’s attendance falls below 80 per cent.
Reporting overseas student visa holders
Registered providers must report overseas students who do not meet course progress or, if applicable, attendance requirements.
If the registered provider has assessed that the overseas student is not meeting course progress or attendance requirements in accordance with its policies, the registered provider must give the
overseas student a written notice of its intention to report. The registered provider also needs to advise the overseas student of their right to access the registered provider’s internal complaints and appeals process within 20 working days.
There are limited circumstances where a registered provider may decide not to report an overseas student for falling below 80 per cent attendance:
- for ELICOS providers: the overseas student is still attending at least 70% of the scheduled course contact hours and provides genuine evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances; and
- for VET providers who are required to monitor attendance by the ESOS agency: the overseas student is still attending at least 70% of the scheduled course contact hours and is maintaining satisfactory course progress.
Extending course duration
The registered provider can only extend the overseas student’s enrolment if:
- the registered provider has assessed that there are compassionate or compelling circumstances and there is evidence to support this assessment;
- the registered provider has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, an intervention strategy for the overseas student who is at risk of not meeting course progress
- an approved deferral or suspension of the overseas student’s enrolment has occurred.
If the registered provider extends the duration of an overseas student’s enrolment and the student’s visa will expire prior to completion of the course, the student will need to apply for a new Student visa (subclass 500) to complete their study. More information about the Student visa (subclass 500) is available on the Department of Home Affairs website (https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa1/500-).
‘Compassionate or compelling’ circumstances are generally those beyond the control of the overseas student and which have an impact upon the overseas student’s course progress or wellbeing. These could include, but are not limited to:
- serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the overseas student was 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 home country requiring emergency travel and this has impacted on the overseas student’s studies; or
- a traumatic experience, which could include:
- involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or
- witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime, and this has impacted on the overseas student (these cases should be supported by police or psychologists’ reports)
- where the registered provider was unable to offer a pre-requisite unit, or the overseas student has failed a prerequisite unit and therefore faces a shortage of relevant units for which they are eligible to enrol.