HELP options for New Zealand citizens

Recent changes in legislation now allow New Zealand citizens (who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and long term residents of Australia) to access a HELP loan to defer payment of tuition fees and the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) from 1 January 2016.

Important notice: Higher Education reforms

The Australian Government has announced a range of reforms to improve the higher education sector. These reforms will deliver a more sustainable sector, more choices for students and increase transparency and accountability in higher education.

Visit the StudyAssist website for more information about how these changes may affect you.

More detail about the reform measures is also available via the Department of Education and Training Higher Education Reforms website.

Eligibility

If you hold a New Zealand SCV you will be able to access HELP loans, providing you meet all the long-term residency requirements:

  • First began residing in Australia at least 10 years ago and at that time you were a child under the age of 18 with no spouse or de facto partner; and
  • You have been in Australia for at least:
    • a total of eight out of the past 10 years; and
    • a total of 18 months out of the last two years.

If you do not meet all of the above criteria you are not eligible for HELP loans.

How to apply

To be assessed as eligible to defer fees you need to provide evidence to the university that you are currently a SCV holder and that you have been living in Australia for the required periods. This evidence must be received prior to the census date of your enrolled subjects to take effect from that study period.

Lodge a Request for International Movement Records with the Department of Home Affairs by scanning and emailing the form to request.movement@border.gov.au. Ensure you include a certified copy of your photographic identification in the email.

Once received, submit your International Movement Record along with your Request for Commonwealth Assistance form at the Service Centre. Don’t forget to include your Tax File Number (TFN).

Your International Movement Record must be current and complete. Records that are incomplete or do not show the certification stamp will not be assessed. You will be advised if further supporting documentation is required to assess your eligibility.

If your International Movement Record is received after you have submitted the Commonwealth assistance form/s, or you are a continuing student, email the record to efs@vu.edu.au.

If you are assessed as not eligible to defer, you will be notified and required to submit a new Commonwealth assistance form indicating your correct citizenship status.

OS-HELP loans & overseas study

Eligible New Zealand SCV holders may also access OS-HELP if you are living in Australia at the time of applying for OS-HELP and meet all other eligibility requirements. You will only be able to receive the OS-HELP loan while you are in Australia.

Once you have received your OS-HELP loan amount, you cannot subsequently be assessed as ineligible as a result of your SCV being removed once you leave Australia.

Please note that if you wish to apply for a second OS-HELP loan you must be living in Australia at the time of application, as you cannot hold an SCV while overseas.

Further information

For more information about the changes, please read the FAQs on the Study Assist website.

You can also talk to us in person by visiting your nearest Student Service Centre.