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Commonwealth assistance residency requirements

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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 full fee)
  • 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

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: Holder of an Australian permanent visa (that is not a permanent humanitarian visa)
  • NZ citizen: New Zealand citizen (not an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent visa)

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 locationWhere you live while studyingCitizenship statusEligibility for CSPEligibility for HECS-HELP and SA-HELP
AustraliaAustraliaAustralian citizenYesYes
PHVYesYes
NZ citizenYesNo
PRYesNo
Outside Australia for the unit, but not the entire courseAustralian citizenYesYes
PHVNoNo
NZ citizenNoNo
PRNoNo
Outside Australia for the entire courseAustralian citizenYes, if commenced course before 1 Jan 2013

No, if commenced course on or after 1 Jan 2013
Yes, if commenced course before 1 Jan 2013

No, if commenced course on or after 1 Jan 2013
PHVNoNo
NZ citizenNoNo
PRNoNo
Outside AustraliaPrimarily at a campus outside AustraliaAustralian citizenYes, if commenced course before 1 Jan 2012

No, if commenced course on or after 1 Jan 2012
HECS-HELP:
Yes, if commenced course before 1 Jan 2012

No, if commenced course on or after 1 Jan 2012

SSAF is not charged at offshore course locations
PHVNoNo
NZ citizenNoNo
PRNoNo

Domestic full-fee students

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

Course locationWhere you live while studyingCitizenship statusEligible for FEE-HELP and SA-HELP
In AustraliaIn Australia for the unitAustralian citizenYes
PHVYes
NZ citizenNo
PR in BOTPYes
Other PRNo
Outside Australia for the unit, but not the entire courseAustralian citizenYes
PHVNo
NZ citizenNo
PR in BOTPNo
Other PRNo
Outside Australia for the entire courseAustralian citizenYes, if commenced course
before 1 Jan 2013

No, if commenced course on or
after 1 Jan 2013
PHVNo
NZ citizenNo
PR in BOTPNo
Other PRNo
Outside AustraliaPrimarily at a campus outside AustraliaAustralian citizenFEE-HELP:
Yes, if commenced course
before 1 Jan 2012

No, if commenced course on or
after 1 Jan 2012

SSAF is not charged at offshore course locations
PHVNo
NZ citizenNo
PR in BOTPNo
Other PRNo

SA-HELP for research students

Course locationWhere you live while studyingCitizenship statusEligibility for SA-HELP
AustraliaIn AustraliaAustralian citizenYes
PHVYes
NZ citizenNo
PRNo
Outside Australia at the time, but not for the entire courseAustralian citizenYes
PHVNo
NZ citizenNo
PRNo
Outside Australia for the entire courseAustralian citizenYes, if commenced course
before 1 Jan 2013

No, if commenced course on or
after 1 Jan 2013
PHVNo
NZ citizenNo
PRNo
Outside AustraliaPrimarily at a campus outside AustraliaAllSSAF is not charged at offshore course locations

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