New Zealand Citizens: Eligibility for HELP

The Australian Government passed legislation to allow New Zealand citizens who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and long term residents of Australia to access a HELP loan from 1 January 2016.

Am I Eligible?

You may be eligible to defer payment of your fees, providing you meet ALL the following criteria:

  • New Zealand citizen;
  • the holder of a Special Category Visa (SCV);
  • first entered Australia as a dependent minor aged under 18 years (with no spouse or de facto partner);
  • physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the previous 10 years, and 18 months out of the past 2 years; and
  • meet the other eligibility criteria for a HELP loan under HESA.

A person must be an SCV holder on the day that they apply for HELP. As an SCV is a temporary visa that automatically ceases when a person leaves Australia, a New Zealand citizen must be in Australia on the date that they apply. Should a student cease their SCV status (for example, by becoming a permanent resident of Australia), they will become ineligible for HELP for all units of study with a census date after the date they cease to be an SCV holder.

Procedure for New Zealand citizens at CQUniversity

It will be assumed by CQUniversity that all current and future students who are New Zealand citizens DO NOT hold a Special Category Visa (SCV) or that they DO NOT meet the other eligibility criteria. New Zealand citizens in these categories will continue to be offered either Commonwealth supported places, in which they are not eligible for HECS-HELP but must pay their student contributions upfront in full each term on or before census date, or full fee paying places, in which they are not eligible for FEE-HELP assistance. New Zealand citizens who do not hold an SCV or who do not meet other eligibility criteria are not eligible for SA-HELP or OS-HELP assistance.

If you are a New Zealand citizen and hold a Special Category Visa (SCV) and believe you meet the eligibility criteria for HELP assistance you will be required to provide evidence to CQUniversity that establishes your eligibility for HELP.

Evidence of Eligibility

You can lodge a Request for International Movement Record with the Department of Home Affairs and attach this document when you submit your Commonwealth assistance form/s in MyCQU.

The International Movement Record provided to CQUniversity must be current and complete.  Records that are incomplete will not be considered.  You will be advised if further supporting documentation is required to assess your eligibility.   Only after your Commonwealth assistance forms are submitted (with your International Movements Record) and approved will you become eligible for HELP.

Forms must be submitted and approved on or before census date of the term in which they are to take effect. If not submitted and approved on or before census date, a student WILL NOT be eligible for HELP in that term but must pay their student contribution or tuition fee upfront in full on or before census date. The Student Services and Amenities Fee will also need to be paid upfront in full by census date.

Once the forms are submitted and approved, you will be able to defer payment of the fee/s due if you have provided your Tax File Number. HELP debts incurred by deferring payment are repaid through the Australian Taxation Office.

You will be notified in writing if you are deemed ineligible for HELP assistance.


An otherwise eligible New Zealand citizen who leaves Australia immediately ceases to be eligible for HELP assistance as the Special Category Visa applies ONLY if you are resident in Australia. You must advise the University if you leave Australia and keep your contact details up to date at all times.

A New Zealand citizen who becomes a Permanent Resident of Australia MUST notify CQUniversity immediately. A permanent resident does not hold an SCV and is not eligible for HELP assistance.

Further information is available on the Study Assist website.


An eligible New Zealand SCV holder may access OS-HELP if they:

  • have already been assessed as eligible for HECS-HELP AND
  • are resident in Australia at the time they apply for OS-HELP AND
  • meet all other OS-HELP eligibility requirements.

An eligible SCV holder will only be able to be paid their OS-HELP loan amount before they leave Australia.

A student who wishes to apply for a second OS-HELP loan must be resident in Australia at the time of application, as they cannot hold an SCV while overseas.

From 1 January 2020 the Australian Government introduced a combined HELP loan limit which caps the amount you can borrow. This loan limit includes any HECS-HELP debt incurred from 2020 onwards plus any existing and new FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans.

Learn more about the HELP loan limit and how it affects you.