New Zealand Special Category Visa

The Higher Education Support Act 2003 was amended to allow students who are former New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holders eligibility to the Higher Education Loan Program.

From 29 June 2023, New Zealand citizens who formerly held a Special Category Visa, and have transitioned to a permanent resident visa on the pathway to Australian citizenship will retain access to the Higher Education Loan Program, if they meet the residency requirements.

This amendment will allow these students to continue, or return to their course of study, without the burden of upfront payment of tuition fees while they wait for their Australian citizenship to be granted.

This complements the new direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens, announced in April 2023, which allows New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for four years or more to apply directly for Australian citizenship.