Exemptions from the USI
A Registered Training Organisation (RTO) can only issue a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or a VET statement of attainment to someone with a USI, unless they have been granted an exemption.
From 1 January 2021, higher education students will need a USI to be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and Commonwealth financial assistance (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP). All higher education students must have a USI, unless granted an exemption, if they expect to receive their award in 2023 or beyond. This includes all students who started before 2021, and all onshore international students.
If you had an exemption and then choose to create a USI the exemption will no longer apply.
We recommend you speak to your higher education provider about your options if you do not wish to have a USI.
Requesting an exemption from the USI
If you wish to apply for an exemption from having a USI, you must complete the Commonwealth Statutory Declaration form, stating:
- you have a genuine personal objection
- you understand the consequences or potential consequences of not being assigned a USI.
The actual and potential consequences of not having a USI include:
- it may impact on your ability to establish eligibility for other financial assistance to undertake vocational education and training, in particular, you will not be able to apply for a VET student loan under the VET Student Loans Act 2016 on or after 1 January 2021;
- it affects your ability to receive Commonwealth assistance under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, in particular:
- not being eligible to be a Commonwealth supported student, or for HECS-HELP assistance or FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study of a course of study that commence on or after 1 January 2021
- you will not be entitled for OS-HELP assistance for applications on or after 1 January 2021
- you will not be eligible for SA-HELP assistance in relation to student services and amenities fees payable on or after 1 January 2023.
- you will not be able to obtain an authenticated VET transcript (or an extract of a VET transcript) which details information about any VET courses, modules or units of competency undertaken since 1 January 2015
- if you did choose to get a USI in the future, any authenticated VET transcript provided will not include information on VET courses, modules or units of competency you undertook prior to creation of that USI. You must include all the information required in the Statutory Declaration and sign it before an authorised witness.
A list of authorised witnesses is included in the Statutory Declaration form.
Send your completed Statutory Declaration to:
Student Identifiers Registrar
C/- Department of Education, Skills and Employment
GPO Box 9880
Adelaide SA 5001
Or email the completed form to: BusinessStrategy@usi.gov.au
What happens after I send in the Statutory Declaration?
You will receive written advice from the Student Identifiers Registrar confirming whether your exemption is approved. The advice will be sent to your nominated postal or email address.
If you do not provide all the information required in the Statutory Declaration form, you will be asked to submit a new complete statutory declaration.
Any personal information provided in the Statutory Declaration Form is personal information protected by law, including under the Privacy Act 1988 and is collected by the Student Identifiers Registrar for the purpose of administering the Student Identifiers Act 2014 .
The collection of your personal information is authorised by paragraph 8(c) of the Student Identifiers (Exemptions) Instrument 2018, and subsection 53(3) of the Student Identifiers Act 2014.