Go to top of page

Non-Australian citizens

Non-Australian citizens

The Department of Home Affairs manages all immigration matters, including the approval, status and timing of visas. If you have any questions about your visa or other immigration matters, contact the Department of Home Affairs.

You can use VEVO to find out whether your visa is temporary or permanent.

For non-Australian citizens, your eligibility to access a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and/or a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loan depends on your visa and residency status:

 

New Zealand citizens

New Zealand citizens are eligible to access a CSP, but do not meet the eligibility criteria to access a HELP loan.

However, some New Zealand citizens can get a HELP loan. To be eligible for a HELP loan you must:

  • be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder;

  • meet ALL of the long-term residency requirements; and

  • be living in Australia while you study.

Long-term residency requirements

Your higher education provider will ask you to supply documentation to assess whether you meet all of the long-term residency requirements. The long-term residency requirements for New Zealand SCV holders are that you:

  • first began to be usually resident in Australia at least 10 years ago,

  • were a child under the age of 18 with no spouse or de facto partner when you first began to be usually resident in Australia, and

  • have been in Australia for at least:

  • a total of eight out of the past 10 years (from when you apply for the loan), and 

  • a total of 18 months out of the last two years (from when you apply for the loan).

If you do not meet ALL of the above requirements, you cannot get a HELP loan.

Residency requirements during study

As a New Zealand citizen and/or NZ SCV holder, you must be resident in Australia for the duration of your unit(s) to meet the CSP and HELP residency requirements. However, any period of residence outside Australia will be disregarded if:

  • it cannot be reasonably regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside Australia for the duration of the unit, or

  • it is required for the purpose of completing a requirement of that unit.

Permanent residents

As a permanent resident, you are eligible to access a CSP. You are not eligible to access a HELP loan.

If you are a permanent resident who gained their professional qualifications overseas, and is seeking to meet Australian standards for professional practice, you may be able to access HELP for a very specific bridging study.

Permanent humanitarian visa holders (and eligible former)

Permanent humanitarian visa holders and eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holders can access both a CSP and a HELP loan if they meet the residency requirements.

An eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder means a person who is:

  • not a permanent humanitarian visa holder;and

  • was previously a permanent humanitarian visa holder; and

  • is the holder of a visa of the subclasses 155 and 157 (Resident Return).

     

Residency requirements during study

As a Permanent humanitarian visa holder (or eligible former), you must be resident in Australia for the duration of your units(s) to meet the CSP and HELP residency requirements. However, any period of residence outside Australia will be disregarded if:

  • it cannot be reasonably regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside Australia for the duration of the unit, or

  • it is required for the purpose of completing a requirement of that unit.

Temporary visa holders

Temporary visa holders are classified as international students. International students cannot get a CSP or a HELP loan, and must pay the international student fees set by their higher education provider.

Contact your higher education provider to ask about any other financial assistance such as scholarships you may be eligible for.

Information for international students who want to study in Australia can be found on the Study in Australia website.

Have you thought about

Checking your provider's website for the scholarships they offer

Using the Payment and Service finder at Centrelink to see if you can get payments while you study

Finding the course that's right for you at Course Seeker