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. You are not required to provide a USI as a condition of enrolment as you cannot create a USI until you have entered Australia.
International students need their non-Australian passport and their Australian visa to create a USI once they are in Australia.
A USI must not be a mandatory requirement at enrolment for international students.
This policy applies to international students applying to university or vocational education and training (VET).
Auto-exemptions to the USI – higher education
International higher education students who started their study 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 not in Australia 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 not in Australia using their Australian passport.
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) can provide assistance with over 160 languages and dialects.
If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English, call TIS National on 131 450 and ask them to contact the USI team on 1300 857 536 for assistance with your USI enquiry.
Alternatively, contact us on 1300 857 536 and we can connect with TIS National while you are on the phone to resolve your USI enquiry.
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