Withdrawals and Release, Refunds

Application for Release - SCU International

Important Notes:

  • An administrative fee is charged when you apply for a refund due to visa refusal.
  • If your application for withdrawal is successful you will forfeit the non-refundable deposit.


A withdrawal means a student has abandoned their studies in the current course. In other words if the student decides that they do not want to continue to be enrolled in a course they may remove themselves from the course or fail to re-enrol in units in the current study period. Re-enrolment needs to occur prior to the end of week 2 of the study period, unless a student applies for Leave of Absence (LOA). If a student has not re-enrolled by the end of week two and a LOA has not been applied for, it would be considered a student has abandoned their studies.

If a student wishes to withdraw from the current course they must first make an appointment with the international student support staff to discuss the situation. The staff member may be able to resolve some of the concerns which may result in the student no longer wishing to withdraw. However, once the student has discussed the situation and they still wish to withdraw, the Application for Course Withdrawal form must be completed and submitted together with all required documentation. When received the application is assessed and processed. If the withdrawal is approved, the international student support staff will arrange for the course to be withdrawn.

A withdraw may constitute a breach of the student visa conditions and may have serious consequences. A withdrawal does not initiate a refund and the student will forfeit any non-refundable fees as allowed under the Refund and Remissions Procedure.


1) The date of withdrawal begins on receipt of the withdrawal application accompanied by all of the required documentation. An email notification of withdrawal is not an official withdrawal notification and will not be actioned until a complete withdrawal application is received.

2) A withdrawal application does not mean you have been approved a release (if applicable) from Southern Cross and a release application alone, does not constitute a complete withdrawn application because they involve two different processes and approvals.

3) Refund applications need to be made as a separate process.

A student can choose to withdraw from studies at SCU, but it is essential the student understands the academic, financial and student visa implications related to the withdrawal. An international student is required to remain full time enrolled in units in the principal course of study for at least six months before they can transfer to another education provider. Note: A leave of absence or gap in studies does not constitute full-time enrolment in units.

Under exceptional circumstances a student may need to withdraw from their current course within the first six months of study, under these circumstances a letter for release must be submitted prior to withdrawal. The conditions under which a letter of release is granted can be found under the International Student Transfer Request Policy

An international student may withdraw from their course of study if they are:

  1. Returning home.
  2. Approved to transfer to another course of study at SCU.
  3. Approved to transfer to another education provider.
  4. Granted an alternate visa to legally stay in Australia.

  1. Make an appointment with your international student support staff at your campus to discuss your situation and the implications of a course withdrawal.
  2. Ensure you have exhausted relevant services and information when making your decision. For example, if you are feeling homesick, you may need to access the , or ensure you are familiar with your Student Visa Conditions under which you were granted a student visa with SCU.
  3. If you are thinking of changing providers before completing six months in the principal course then an approved Letter of Release must be provided.

You must abide by visa condition 8202 which relates to maintaining enrolment and attendance. In addition, you must not change course to a lower AQF level without applying for a new visa. More information is available from the Department of Home Affairs. 

If you were granted a visa under streamlined evidentiary requirements and transfer to a provider who would otherwise require regular evidentiary requirements (evidence of English language proficiency and financial capacity) you may be asked by Department of Home Affairs to provide this evidence and reapply for a new student visa.

If you can't provide the required evidence, you could be in breach of condition 8516:  "You must continue to satisfy the requirements for grant of your student visa." This means, for example, that you continue to have the sufficient financial capacity to support your study and stay in Australia. This also means you need to be enrolled in a full-time study load while on a Student Visa.

The following paperwork/actions need to be completed in the case of course withdrawal:

  1. You have completed Application to Withdraw form; AND
  2. If you are returning home - flight itinerary and copy of boarding pass; OR
  3. If you transfer to another provider - offer letter from the provider, plus evidence of your current student visa; AND
  4. If a release letter is required - complete the Application for Letter of Release - SCU International form with supporting documentation, which may include a statement about the compassionate reason for transfer, with supporting documents where appropriate, offer letter from another provider. OR
  5. If you obtain a new visa type - a copy of the visa grant letter from the Department of Home Affairs.

A refund is where money is returned to an applicant or a student. Southern Cross University will refund or remit tuition fees and excess payments in accordance with the provisions of applicable legislation and the Refunds and Remissions Procedures.

There are a few situations under which a refund may be made. These include:

  1. An over payment of tuition fees e.g. eight unit fee was required but the student paid for 12 units upfront.

    Under these circumstances a refund will be provided once the SCU International Application Fee Refund - Student is completed and submitted along with the necessary paperwork.

  2. Under exceptional circumstances where a student had to cancel their enrolment and return to their home country e.g. death in a family, extreme case of homesickness and/or adverse medical condition etc. 

    Under these circumstances a student must complete and submit an SCU International Application Fee Refund - Student. The student must also provide the following documents to support their refund case:

      • Flight itinerary
      • copy of boarding pass
      • copy of a passport page showing stamp indicating departure date from Australia or arrival date to the student's home country
      • any other supporting documentation as required to support their case.

  3. In a case where a student has successfully been granted release to transfer to another provider and there is a residual prepaid tuition fee apart from the forfeited non-refundable deposit(where applicable).

    Under this circumstance a student must complete and submit an SCU International Application Fee Refund - Student. The student must also provide an eCOE from the new provider to support their refund case. If a student has studied at SCU for less than 6 months in their principal course, a release letter is also required.

  4. If a student is not accepted into their principal course because they have not passed their preparatory program, a refund may not be automatically approved. In most cases the student will be asked to repeat the preparatory program (unless compassionate and compelling circumstances are shown) and if they decline this request any applicable refund would be forfeited.

For every complete International Refund Application Form, an assessment will be made and further documents may be required from the student. Upon successful assessment of the application, a student's refund will be made within 28 days of receiving the complete application.

If you are applying for a refund because your visa was refused and it caused you to:

  • Miss your agreed commencement date;
  • Withdraw from your course; or
  • Fail to pay an amount which you would be required to pay before you started your course.

Please be aware that the University will refund any amounts paid minus a fee of either $500 or 5% of the amount of tuition fees received before the default day, whichever is the lesser amount. This charge is to cover administrative costs incurred in relation to processing the student application and has been set accordance with section 47E of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth) and section 9 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Calculation of Refund) Specification 2014 (Cth).