Are you studying part-time this semester?

Before you decide to study part-time or as we call it “under load”, we strongly suggest you meet a La Trobe International ISS Coordinator and your Course Coordinator to find out if you are allowed to under load or not.

Please be aware that all international student visa holders need to comply with their student visa obligations. Which include:

  • Maintain a full-time enrolment, which is equal to 60 credit points per semester and 120 credit points per year.
  • Be enrolled in at least one subject each compulsory study period (eg. Semester 1 or Semester 2) that is delivered on campus, only once approval has been granted to reduce your study load (under load).


There are severe penalties for being non-compliant with your student visa. For more information on how to be compliant, please read Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS): your rights and obligations.


  • Can I study part-time?

You can only enrol in less than 60 credit points (‘underload’) with permission from your College documented in an Agreed Progression Plan (APP). Your College will only approve underloading for compassionate or compelling circumstances, academic intervention or if you are in your last semester of studies.

  • I have advanced standing, can I underload?

Advanced standing may change the duration of your course or result in a reduced study load during one or more study periods. Advanced standing may change the expected end date of your course and the amount of study that you complete in Australia. If this is the case, the University is required to inform the Department of Home Affairs and issue a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). As a result, the validity of your student visa may change according to the new course end date on your new COE:

  • If the new course end date is before November, students are usually permitted to remain in Australia for two months after course end date or until their student visa expiry date (whichever is earlier).
  • If the new course end date is in November or December, students are usually permitted to remain in Australia until 15 March of the following year or until their student visa expiry date (whichever is earlier).


  • I have underloaded previously without permission, what can I do?

If you under loaded without permission, you need to catch-up during the summer and winter terms. Remember that you need to complete your course within the duration of your eCoE. To catch-up, enrol in subjects offered in Summer 1,2 or 3 or Winter terms. Ask La Trobe or your Course Coordinator can guide you if you are having doubts.

  • What will happen if I underload without Compassionate and Compelling circumstances?

As a student visa holder, you are required to have a CoE that covers the duration of your course. The University can only extend your course duration and issue a new CoE for approved reasons.

If you extend the duration of your course for unapproved reasons, the University will not be permitted to issue you with a new CoE. You may not be able to complete your course in Australia.

  • I can’t study a full-time load, to whom should I talk?

If you think you might have compelling or compassionate reasons that prevent you from enrolling in a full study load in any given semester, contact La Trobe International Support Services as soon as possible.
Contact us via online via Ask us a Question or call us on 94791199.