Asylum Seekers and Refugees


If you're an asylum seeker or refugee, you are eligible for Smart and Skilled training from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma level if you meet the criteria below. If you are eligible and your training commences on or after 1 January 2017, you will have access to fee-free training for qualifications up to Certificate IV level on the NSW Skills List.

These arrangements are expanded to eligible partners of humanitarian visa holders for training that commences from 1 July 2021 onwards.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if you:

  • are aged 15 years or older; and
  • are no longer at school or its equivalent; and
  • live or work in New South Wales; and
  • hold one of the following visas:

    Permanent visas:

    • Emergency rescue visa (Subclass 203)
    • Global special humanitarian programme visa (Subclass 202)
    • In-country special humanitarian programme visa (Subclass 201)
    • Protection visa (Subclass 866)
    • Refugee visa (Subclass 200)
    • Woman at Risk visa (Subclass 204)

    Temporary visas:

    • Bridging Visa A (BVA)
    • Bridging Visa B (BVB)
    • Bridging Visa C (BVC)
    • Bridging Visa D (BVD)
    • Bridging Visa E (BVE)
    • Safe Haven Enterprise visa (Subclass 790)
    • Temporary Protection visa (Subclass 785)
    • Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa (Subclass 786)
    • Temporary Humanitarian Stay visa (Subclass 449).

    For a Bridging Visa to be eligible under Smart & Skilled, the bridging visa must be attached to an application for a humanitarian visa eligible for Smart & Skilled as listed above. The student must provide a document from the Department of Home Affairs acknowledging application for a humanitarian visa.

    Partner Visas:

    • Partner Visa (Subclass 820 801)
    • Partner (Provisional and Migrant) Visa (subclass 301 100)

    For a Partner visa to be eligible under Smart & Skilled, the person holding the Partner visa must also provide evidence that their sponsor holds or held one of the humanitarian visas outlined above. For further information, please view the Smart and Skilled Student Eligibility Policy.  

    (Please note: Visas types and categories are subject to change at any time by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.)

    Fee-free training

    If you are eligible and are undertaking a up to Certificate IV level) qualification on the NSW Skills List, you will not pay any course fees under Smart and Skilled.

    (Note: Training providers may still charge fees for 'incidental expenses' such as for essential tools or for field trips. Training providers must let you know of any additional fees for incidental expenses prior to enrolment.)

    For further information, view the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy.

    Proof of eligibility

    You should advise your training provider that you hold an eligible visa.

    Your training provider will ask for your visa and will confirm that it appears on the list above.

    For Partner Visa holders, your training provider will also ask for evidence that your sponsor holds or held a humanitarian visa.

    Page last updated: 3 May 2021