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International students and students studying overseas

The information contained in this page is for international students studying vocational education and training (VET) and higher education.

It is essential for all students – international and domestic – to have a USI if they are accessing Commonwealth financial assistance.

Studying in Australia

International students studying in Australia with an Australian education or training provider need to get a USI to receive their award. 

International students cannot create a USI until they have arrived in Australia.

International students travelling to Australia to study are issued with an Australian visa and must land in Australia and go through customs before creating a USI. Once in Australia, an international student can create a USI using their non-Australian passport and Australian visa as forms of ID. Both documents are required to create a USI.

For more information click here.

Planning to study in Australia but have not arrived yet

If you are an international student planning to study in Australia but are not in the country yet, contact your education or training provider and let them know you will create a USI when you arrive. 

International students need their non-Australian passport and their Australian visa to create a USI once they are in Australia.

Auto-exemptions to the USI – higher education

International higher education students who started their study onshore in Australia before 1 January 2023, but have returned to their home country to complete their study are automatically exempt from needing a USI.

Studying outside of Australia

International students who have completed all their study outside of Australia do not need a USI. 

Studied in Australia but have since left the country

International higher education students who completed part or all of their studies in Australia before 1 January 2023 but are currently offshore do not need a USI to receive their award. 
International vocational education and training (VET) students currently not in Australia but who completed part of their studies in Australia and did not get a USI will need to apply for an exemption, as they cannot get a USI. They can apply for an exemption using our exemption form.

Australian students studying overseas

Australian students studying overseas with an Australian education or training provider need to get a USI. Australian students can create a USI whilst they are offshore using their Australian passport.

Resources and related links

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If you need help, please call us on 1300 857 536 or from outside on Australia +61 2 6240 8740. Our contact centre is open between 8:30am-6.30pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), Monday to Friday (excluding national and South Australian public holidays).


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Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar (OSIR)
Last Modified on Friday 8th September 2023 [143]