If the proposed Higher Education Reforms are passed by an act of Parliament, New Zealand citizens and permanent residents enrolling in a new course from 1 January 2018 will pay the full domestic course fees.
If you are currently enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). You can either:
- continue your course in a CSP and continue to pay your student contribution amount upfront; or
- transfer your enrolment to a domestic full fee paying place and access a HELP loan to pay your fees.
New Zealand Special Category Visa holders who meet the long-term residency requirements (outlined below) for a CSP/HELP are not affected.
The information provided below outlines the current situation.
New Zealanders residing in Australia as special category visa-holders (SCV) have been unable to access HELP loans since 2005. As of the 1 January 2016 some New Zealanders can now access HELP loans, subject to meeting all of the eligibility criteria. To access HELP loans New Zealand citizens must have:
- first entered Australia at least 10 years ago as a dependent child aged under 18 years of age;
- been ordinarily resident in Australia for the previous 10 years, that is, you have been physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the past 10 years, and for 18 months out of the last two years at the time of application for the loan; and
- are otherwise eligible for the loan.
The government estimates that only 2,500 New Zealanders currently meet the eligibility criteria.
If an SCV Kiwi becomes a permanent visa holder they will lose their eligibility for HECS. Find out more here.
How you can help
Explain how not being eligible for HELP loans affects your family. Ask what their position is on allowing all New Zealanders residing in Australia to access HELP loans. You can:
- write to them using our HELP letter template
- meet with them, or a staff member, at their electorate office
- speak to them at a mobile office or public event
- call their electorate office or Parliament House office
- message them via email or their website
- post a comment on their Facebook or Twitter
Find your Federal electorate
Download our HELP letter template
Include a copy of the Oz Kiwi Rights Comparison Table March 2016 with your letter or email
Include a copy of the Oz Kiwi Policy Options Paper with your letter or email
Download our follow up letter template if you get no reply or no clear answer your questions.