From 1 January 2023, all higher education students, including those who commenced prior to 2021, must have an 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 study 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.