Commonwealth assistance residency requirements

The Australian government provides domestic students with a range of Commonwealth assistance. The assistance available to you depends on:

  • the type of place you have been offered (CSP/domestic upfront fees)
  • your citizenship/immigration status
  • where you live while studying a unit or your whole course
  • the type of course you are doing
  • whether or not you will undertake the course primarily at a campus outside Australia

Citizenship status abbreviations

In the table below, these citizenships statuses and abbreviations are used:

  • Australian citizen
  • BOTP Bridging course for overseas-trained professionals
  • PHV Holder of an Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • PR Holders of an Australian Permanent Visa (that is not a Permanent Humanitarian Visa)
  • NZ SCV+ New Zealand citizens with a Special Category Visa (SCV), who meet all the criteria for HELP
  • NZ citizen All other New Zealand citizens (who don't meet the criteria for HELP, and are not an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent visa)
  • All NZ citizens Includes those who meet all criteria for HELP and those who don't.

The tables below set out the citizenship and residency requirements for domestic students. Please note, cross-institutional study units are not eligible for SA-HELP.

Commonwealth supported place (CSP) students

Course location Where you live while studying Citizenship status Eligibility for CSP Eligibility for HECS-HELP and SA-HELP
Australia Australia Australian citizen Yes Yes
PHV Yes Yes
PR Yes No
NZ SCV+ Yes Yes
NZ citizen Yes No
Outside Australia for the unit, but not the entire course Australian citizen Yes Yes
PHV No No
PR No No
All NZ citizens No No
Outside Australia for the entire course Australian citizen No No
PHV No No
PR No No
All NZ citizens No No
Outside Australia Primarily at a campus outside Australia Australian citizen No No (SSAF not charged at offshore course locations)
PHV No No
PR No No
All NZ citizens No No

Domestic full-fee students

FEE-HELP is available for certain types of courses: award course, enabling course, or  bridging studies for overseas-trained professionals (BOTP).

Course location Where you live while studying Citizenship status Eligible for FEE-HELP
In Australia In Australia for the unit Australian citizen Yes
PHV Yes
PR in BOTP Yes
Other PR No
NZ SCV+ Yes
NZ citizen No
Outside Australia for the unit, but not the entire course Australian citizen Yes
PHV No
PR in BOTP No
Other PR No
All NZ citizens No
Outside Australia for the entire course Australian citizen No
PHV No
PR in BOTP No
Other PR No
All NZ citizens No
Outside Australia Primarily at a campus outside Australia Australian citizen No (SSAF is not charged at offshore course locations)
PHV No
PR in BOTP No
Other PR No
All NZ citizens No

SA-HELP for research students

Course location Where you live while studying Citizenship status Eligibility for SA-HELP
Australia In Australia Australian citizen Yes
PHV Yes
PR No
NZ SCV+ Yes
NZ citizen No
Outside Australia at the time, but not for the entire course Australian citizen Yes
PHV No
PR No
All NZ citizens No
Outside Australia for the entire course Australian citizen No
PHV No
PR No
All NZ citizens No
Outside Australia Primarily at a campus outside Australia All No (SSAF not charged at offshore course locations)

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