Leave of Absence (LOA)
We understand that your circumstances can change. If you wish to take time off from your course you may be able to apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA).
On this page, you will find frequently asked questions regarding the LOA application form and its procedure, terms and conditions, and outcomes.
What's the difference between a Leave of Absence and a Deferral?
A leave of absence is a period that allows you to take a temporary break from studies once you have completed one or more terms of your enrolled course.
If you cannot commence your course as planned or enrol in your first term, you should apply for a deferral. Please get in touch with our Admission team for further information via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that both deferral and LOA applications must be lodged before the census date.
Who can apply for a Leave of Absence?
Students can apply for a Leave of Absence if they have reasonable or compelling circumstances. Examples include a sustained medical condition preventing attendance or a personal matter requiring absence from campus. Please note that approval of LOA applications is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Compassionate or compelling circumstances are generally those beyond the control of the international student and which have an impact upon course progress or wellbeing. The following may be considered ‘compassionate or compelling’ circumstances and must be supported by documentary evidence:
- Serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that the international student was unable to attend classes;
- Bereavement of close family members such as parents, siblings 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 clearly impacted on the international student’s studies;
- A traumatic experience, which could include:
- involvement in, or witnessing of a very serious accident or incident; or
- witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime, and this has impacted on the international student's ability to engage in their studies. (These cases should be supported by police or psychologist’s reports.
For how long can I take a Leave of Absence?
Normally, a Leave of Absence will only be granted for a maximum of:
- One Term for a one-year course (full-time duration);
- Two Terms for courses two years or longer (full-time duration).
How long does it take to process a Leave of Absence application?
All applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Based on the grounds of the materials provided, an application may take up to 7 working days to be processed. Please note that your application will be rejected if you do not fill out the form correctly. You can resubmit a new application, but it will then require another 7 working days to be processed.
My supporting document is not written in English. Can I use it to apply for a Leave of Absence?
No, documents in languages other than English must be translated. Translations must be certified by an accredited translator with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). If the translation is provided by non-accredited translators outside of Australia, the translator must provide their full name, address, telephone number and a brief statement outlining their experience in the language being translated. This statement may be attached to the translated copy of the documents.
I'm an international student. Will applying for a Leave of Absence affect my student Visa?
This depends on your case. If your LOA has been approved and you are a student visa holder, your CoE may be extended. You will need to use the extended CoE to renew your Visa, if you cannot complete your course before your student Visa expiry date.
For advice on your Visa obligations and how your Leave of Absence may affect your obligations, please directly contact the Department of Home Affairs.
I'm a scholarship or other academic award holder. Will applying for a Leave of absence impact my scholarship?
Please be aware that any leave of absence may adversely impact your scholarship. For example, your scholarship may be revoked. Please read the terms and conditions of your scholarship here: https://www.imc.edu.au/future-students/scholarships. If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please contact our Fees Department via email@example.com.
If I fail to enrol in the Term which I am scheduled to resume my study, what will happen?
Failure to re-enrol or obtain the approval for LOA application before the census date of the term that the student is due to resume their studies may result in financial and/or academic penalties. Furthermore, the school may consider you would like to discontinue your study and your enrolment will be cancelled.
What should I do if I cannot resume my study on time?
We understand that some circumstances are beyond your control. The school is always here to help plan your study. If you think you cannot resume your study as planned, please contact our Student Services team via firstname.lastname@example.org.