New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and long term residents of Australia (for a minimum of 8 years) may be eligible to access a HELP loan to defer payment of their subject and SSA Fees.
The Australian Government is proposing changes to Higher Education from 1 January 2018 and to the test for Australian Citizenship (for applications made after 20 April 2017). To find out how these changes may affect you if the legislation is passed, refer to the StudyAssist and the Department of Home Affairs websites.
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible to defer payment of your fees from 1 January 2016, provided you:
- are a New Zealand citizen;
- hold a Special Category Visa (SCV);
- moved to Australia as a dependent minor (under 18 years of age and without a spouse or de facto partner);
- have been physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the past 10 years, and 18 months out of the last two years at the time of applying; and
- are otherwise eligible for a HELP loan.
How do I apply?
To be assessed as eligible to defer fees you need to provide evidence to the university that you are currently a SCV holder and that you have been living in Australia for the required periods. This evidence must be received prior to the census date of your enrolled subjects to take effect from that study period.
Lodge a Request for International Movement Records with the Department of Home Affairs and attach this document when you submit your Commonwealth assistance form/s in eStudent. Don’t forget to include your Tax File Number (TFN).
The Department prefer you to scan and email your application form and a certified copy of your photographic identification to email@example.com. International Movement Records supplied to JCU must be current and complete. Records that are incomplete or do not show the certification stamp will not be assessed. You will be advised if further supporting documentation is required to assess your eligibility.
If your International Movement Record is received after you have submitted the Commonwealth assistance form/s, or you are a continuing student, email the record to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are assessed as ineligible, you will be notified and required to submit a new Commonwealth assistance forms indicating your correct citizenship status.
Applying for OS-HELP
Eligible New Zealand SCV holders may access OS-HELP if resident in Australia at the time of applying for OS-HELP and meet all other eligibility requirements. An eligible SCV holder will only be able to be paid their OS-HELP loan amount before they leave Australia. Once you have been deemed eligible and paid your OS-HELP loan amount while in Australia, you cannot subsequently be assessed as ineligible as a result of your SCV being removed once you leave Australia.
Please note that if you wish to apply for a second OS-HELP loan you must be resident in Australia at the time of application, as you cannot hold an SCV while overseas.
What if my citizenship/residency status changes?
You should notify JCU by completing a change of personal details form and providing relevant supporting documentation to the Student Centre.