The Australian Government is working continually to improve International students’ rights and facilities. In continuation to that, the Australian Government Department of Education would like you to share the following information with international students studying at your institution.
Unique Student Identifier
From 1 January 2023, all higher education students, including those who commenced prior to 2021, must have a Unique Student Identifier (USI).
When must a student have a USI?
Students seeking Commonwealth support, in the form of a Commonwealth-supported place and/or a HELP loan, must submit their USI when they apply for support. Other students will need a USI to confer their degree.
International students planning to study onshore but who have not yet arrived should not be directed to provide a USI as a condition of enrolment. Commencing and returning international students must land in Australia and go through customs before they can create a USI using their non-Australian passport and visa as a form of ID.
Onshore, international students should be encouraged to acquire a USI as soon as possible.
Create a USI at: www.usi.gov.au
Offshore international students’ exemption
The Minister for Education has, by legislative instrument, provided an exemption for offshore international students being required to have a USI in order to have their degree conferred. This provides an exemption for students who are unable to create a USI because they do not have the necessary supporting documentation and will not complete any of their studies onshore in Australia. The exemption also provides that international students who have completed their course of study in Australia prior to 1 January 2023 and have returned to their home country are exempt from the conferral of award requirement.
International onshore students
Students who have partially studied onshore prior to 1 January 2023, but will complete the remainder of their study offshore in their home country, are not exempt from the conferral of award requirement. These students should be directed to create a USI as soon as possible. If one of these students has already returned to their home country to complete their study offshore, they will need to apply for an individual exemption through the Student Identifiers Registrar. It is the expectation that only students in this situation or students who have a genuine personal objection will seek an individual exemption and that the vast majority of students studying in Australia will apply for a USI during their enrolment or study period.
Providers should confirm the status of their international students before informing them that they are required to provide their USI to receive their award.
More information can be found at www.usi.gov.au or by emailing PolicyDataCompliance@usi.gov.au.
The Australian Government warmly welcomes international students to study and live in Australia and to have a positive experience while accessing a world-class education.
We know finding suitable accommodation can be a challenge for international students at this time of year. Austrade publishes a range of tools and resources on the Study Australia website on accommodation options within Australia, including:
- Tips on creating a strong rental housing application.
- Tips for finding the right home and housemates for you.
- Know your rights as a tenant in Australia.
- Costs of accommodation will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation.
- The cost of living calculator on the Study Australia website helps students calculate their expenses.
Getting a job and your work rights.
Education providers have responsibilities to international students to support their health, well-being and adjustment to living in Australia, including providing information about their work rights and how to seek support for workplace issues.
- International students have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia.
- You must be paid at least the minimum wage.
- You must pay tax on your income.
- You must receive a payslip.
Casual work means you don’t have a fixed number of hours every week.
The Australian Government Department of Education has a range of videos and resources for international students about workplace rights which have been translated into different languages.
There is a temporary relaxation of student visa work limits until 30 June 2023. Further information about this can be found on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.
International students can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or phone 13 13 94 for help if they’re having workplace issues without fear of their visa being cancelled.
Austrade’s Employability Hub provides international students with resources to enhance their employability and job readiness and information on their work rights.