Student FAQs - Higher Education
Should I create my USI with personal contact details or school/work contact details?
I have a USI from a VET course. Do I need another USI for uni?
Do I need a USI to get financial assistance?
I’m not seeking financial assistance. Do full fee paying students have to get a USI?
By 2023, all students will need to have a USI to get their Higher Education Award (degree/qualification/certificate).
If you plan on graduating in 2023 or beyond, you need a USI, regardless of your financial payment choice.
Can I have my higher education qualifications on my transcript? Will my degree show on my transcript?
Can I email my USI to my uni?
Higher education students need to provide their USIs when the university requests it. This may be at the time of enrolment, but each university has a different process.
Do not use the email option available in the USI Student Portal to send your USI to your university unless you have been requested to do so.
I am a domestic student. What if I don’t want a USI?
Students can apply for an exemption from having a USI. However this will impact your study options.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) students who do not have a USI will not be able to apply for VET student loans and will not be eligible to obtain an authenticated VET transcript of any training undertaken whilst the exemption is in place.
Students wishing to apply for an exemption must provide reasons for doing so and accept the listed consequences of not having a USI.
I am an international student – do I need a USI?
If they meet all the criteria below, international students in higher education will be automatically exempt from needing to have a USI:
- they studied with an Australian education or training provider in Australia
- they did not access Commonwealth financial assistance for their studies
- they commenced their studies before 1 January 2023
- they are currently offshore and will not return to Australia.
- international students who completed all of their studies outside of Australia through an Australian education or training provider do not need a USI.
International students who commenced their study in Australia after 1 January 2023 with an Australian education or training provider will need a USI. They can only create a USI when they are in Australia using their passport and Australian visa.
An international student who commenced study in Australia after 1 January 2023 but objects to getting a USI can request an exemption. However, this will mean that they cannot apply for a Commonwealth supported place or Commonwealth financial assistance.
I am an international student who has not entered Australia yet. My university is telling me that I need a USI but I cannot create one.
A USI is not a mandatory requirement at enrolment for international students. International students can only create a USI when they are in Australia using their passport and Australian visa.
Until they are in Australia, international students cannot be required as a condition of enrolment to provide a USI, or be advised to seek an exemption to a USI.
Can you retrospectively apply a USI to a person who had their visa validated (was in Australia studying) then returned home (overseas) and now need a USI
You cannot retrospectively apply a USI to a person. Current identity documents are required at the time a USI is created.
We use the Document Verification Service (DVS) to verify all documents used to create a USI. An Australian Visa would only be valid whilst the person is in Australia.
If the person has left Australia, the Visa would no longer be current and would not be accepted as a valid form of documentation by the DVS to allow for the creation of a USI.
Can I use my Australian Visa to create a USI when I have left Australia?
No. The Australian Visa is only valid for the time the student is in Australia.
An international student can only create a USI when in Australia, using their international passport and Australian Visa as a form of identity – both documents which are verified through the Document Verification System (DVS).
The Australian Visa will be validated once the person enters the country and is cleared by Australian customs.
The DVS is used to verify identity documents for the creation of a USI. Once the student leaves Australia, their Visa document is no longer valid and cannot be verified through the DVS.
International students and USI.
An international student can only create a USI if they are onshore in Australia. This is because they need to use their international passport and Australian visa (granted to students travelling to Australia to study) as proof of identity to create a USI.
The visa will only validate when they enter the country and go through customs. The Australian visa will not verify if the student has not entered the country and therefore they cannot create a USI.
If the non-Australian overseas student came to Australia and completed one unit in their course, they would be expected to create a USI when they land in Australia by using their international passport and Australian visa.
If they then left Australia and completed the rest of their course overseas they would already have a USI as created when they came to Australia to complete the first unit of their course. Even if they move back overseas, their USI will still be active as created whilst in Australia.
I am an international student studying in Australia. Do I need a USI?
If you complete your studies in Australia and are to receive your award after 1 January 2023, you need a USI.
After you have landed in Australia and passed customs, you can use your non-Australian passport and visa as identification to get a USI.
If you are not in Australia yet, please contact your higher education provider and let them know you will get a USI after you have arrived in the country.
I am a full fee-paying higher education international student who was previously but not currently in Australia and do not expect to return. I do not have a USI. Can I receive my award?
If you commenced your studies before 1 January 2023, you do not need a USI and you will be able to receive your award.
I am a full fee-paying higher education international student. My studies have all been done overseas. Do I need a USI?
There is no requirement for international students who complete 100% of their studies with an Australian education or training provider offshore to have a USI.
I started my university studies before 1 January 2023 in Australia. I am now overseas still studying with the university and will not return to Australia. Do I need a USI to get my award?
You do not need a USI to complete your studies and receive your award. You are automatically exempt.
I haven’t started my studies and am overseas. My university is asking me for my USI. How do I create it?
International students cannot create a USI until they have entered Australia.
Once they have arrived in Australia, international students can use their non-Australian passport and
Australian visa as two forms of identification to create a USI. The USI can then be provided to the university.