HELP Loan Eligibility

Please note

19 October 2017

The Nick Xenophon Team wants a comprehensive review of higher education before it would support the Government’s plans to increase university fees from 1 January 2018.

A review effectively kills off any chance of the Higher Education Bill being passed by Parliament before the end of 2017.

The issue

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.

Please note

If an SCV Kiwi becomes a permanent visa holder they will lose their eligibility for a HELP loan.

How you can help

Contact the Minister for Education and the Shadow Minister for Education and Training.

You can also email a PDF of your letter the New Zealand Minister of Education.

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

Find the contact details for a Federal MP or Senator

Download our HELP letter template

Include a copy of the Oz Kiwi Rights Comparison TableOz Kiwi Rights Comparison 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


Oz Kiwi is run by volunteers and entirely funded by public donations. Please consider donating to help Oz Kiwi advocate on behalf of New Zealanders living in Australia.

Thank you for your support.

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