International Student Transfer Procedures

Under Standard 7 of the ESOS National Code 2018, education providers cannot enrol students seeking to transfer from another provider before that student has completed six months of their principal course of study, except in a few circumstances.

What is a principal course?

A principal course is usually the final course of study you will undertake. For example, if you are studying an English Language Bridging course followed by a Bachelor’s programme, the Bachelor degree is your principal course.

If you have not finished six months of your principal course, but want to transfer, you need to submit a request for release from Curtin University. The six months is calculated as six calendar months from the day you begin your principal course.

You do not need to submit a request for release from the University if:

  • you have completed more than six months of your principal course;
  • you are sponsored by the government of another country and your sponsor issues a letter supporting your transfer

Requesting Release from Curtin University

When requesting release from the University, you must submit the following documents:

  1. a completed Release Letter Request Form.
  2. A written statement detailing the compelling reasons for transferring to an alternate course and education provider explaining how you expect will benefit from the transfer. You can also attach additional document in support of your request.
  3. A copy a valid offer letter from the other institution confirming that you have been offered an unconditional place.
  4. Under 18 students should include additional documents:
    • Written confirmation that your parent or legal guardian supports the transfer; and
    • Confirmation from the new provider that they will provide an accommodation and welfare guarantee, where applicable, without any gaps.

You should email your application to International Release Requests email address:

How is my request for release assessed?

The processing team will assess your application, taking in to account your personal statement and any supporting documents you provide. A release will be granted by the University only in circumstances where it is determined that the transfer would not detrimental be to your future studies and welfare. For example, release will be permitted if a student is experiencing personal difficulty or educational problems that cannot be satisfactorily addressed by the University’s support services and resources.

Release will generally NOT be granted to a student:

  • If the change of course may be considered detrimental to the student;
  • Or a transfer may jeopardise a student’s progression through a package of courses;
  • Where the student applies to transfer to another provider in a different Education sector, or another course level and the University determines that the transfer will not be in the student’s best interests. For example, if the student is downgrading or is moving to another field of study or for reasons unrelated to the student’s academic ability;
  • Where Curtin forms the view that the student is deliberately trying to manipulate the Australian student visa system;
  • Where Curtin forms the view that the student is deliberately trying to avoid being reported to DIBP for failure to meet Curtin academic progress requirements;
  • Where a transfer is requested within 6 weeks of a course beginning. (Issues such as homesickness may take time to overcome and transferring to another provider is unlikely to resolve this problem. Curtin also provides support and transition services to help students adjust to studying and living in Australia);
  • Where a request is received after the census date for that semester;
  • Where a student wishes to change to a similar program with lower fees; or
  • The student has a tuition fee or other debt to Curtin University

Release will only be granted to a student who has:

  • provided a valid offer letter from another registered provider confirming that an unconditional enrolment offer has been made;
  • provided a statement detailing the benefits to them by enrolling in the alternate course;
  • demonstrates compassionate or compelling circumstances that are beyond their control and which emerged after accepting the current offer from the University.

Other circumstances which could apply include:

  • Where the University fails to deliver the course as outlined in the written agreement or offer letter; or
  • there is evidence that a student’s reasonable expectations about their Curtin University course are not being met. Evidence can include correspondence between the student and the University or marketing materials given to the student prior to enrolment, setting particular expectations about the course; or
  • there is evidence that a student was misled by the University or its education agents regarding the University or its course, and the course is therefore unsuitable to their needs and/or study objectives;
  • Where a student will be reported because they are unable to achieve satisfactory course progress at the level they are studying in a preliminary course in a package;
  • Where an appeal (internal or external) on another matter results in a decision or recommendation to release the student.

What are ‘compassionate or compelling circumstances’ for release?

  • serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the student was unable to attend classes;
  • the death of a student’s 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 or impacting the student’s ability to study; 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 you (these cases should be supported by police or psychologists’ reports)
  • where the University or one of its pathway partners is unable to offer a pre-requisite unit or course;
  • where a student has failed a prerequisite unit and as a result faces a shortage of relevant units for which they are eligible to enrol.

Where a student is under 18 years of age:

  • Curtin University is given a written confirmation that the student’s parents or legal guardian support 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 receiving provider will accept accommodation and welfare responsibility (CAAW letter) without any gap between their guarantee and Curtin University’s.

Request for Release Outcomes

Students will be notified of the outcome of their request within ten working days of submitting their request. Please note: It is a student visa condition that students maintain their enrolment (visa condition 8202). If you are applying for release after your course has started, you should make sure you remain enrolled while your request is being assessed. If you do not maintain your enrolment, your CoE will be cancelled for that reason. Your release request will be considered separately and may still be refused. Do not risk your student visa by ceasing enrolment.

Successful Outcome

Where the University approves your request to transfer to another education provider:

  • Your Curtin University CoE will be cancelled;
  • A PRISMS record of the University’s approval for you to transfer to another provider. Without this record other education providers will be unable to issue a CoE to you.

All released students are also advised to contact the Department of Home Affairs to seek advice on whether they require a new student visa.

Unsuccessful Outcome

Where the University does not approve a request to transfer to another education provider, the student will be informed of the reasons for this decision in writing and reminded that they may freely transfer between institutions after six months of study at Curtin University.

Students can appeal the decision in writing with supporting documentation, within 20 working days of the date of the letter advising them of the outcome. The appeal process will commence within 10 working days of the lodgement of the written appeal. Send all appeals to