Asylum seeker study opportunities

Programs, courses & opportunities for asylum seekers

If you meet certain criteria as an asylum seeker or refugee, you can access English-language and vocational training provided through the State government.

You can study English language, or a range of vocational training courses – it’s up to you. Our teachers and advisors will help you to make the best decision based on your needs.

Our campuses are easily accessible via public transport and we have a range of student services to support your studies.

You can take part in English-language studies, or one of many other courses, to help you gain confidence in English and improve your work options.

Enrol today in one of our courses.

Skills First program

The Asylum Seeker Vocational Education and Training (ASVET) program helps asylum seekers and refugees gain access to VET courses. Under this program, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre can refer you to a range of subsidised and free training and apprenticeship-pathway courses.

Eligible people won't pay course tuition fees in 30 non-apprenticeship courses and 18 government-subsidised apprenticeship pathway courses (sometimes called pre-apprenticeships).

VU Polytechnic courses under Skills First

We offer sponsored places to asylum seekers, including tuition and materials fees. Courses are available up to Advanced Diploma level, including Certificate and Foundation courses.

You can study English as an Additional Language classes during the day or in the evening. For further information on English courses, call 9919 8748.

Other courses include Certificate III and IV in a range of areas, including:

  • Community Service
  • Education Support Services
  • Aged Care
  • Disability Care
  • Beauty Therapy.

Pre-apprenticeship courses include:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Furniture Making
  • Certificate level Engineering, Building and Construction and Surveying.

Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses include:

  • Graphic design
  • IT
  • Nursing
  • Paramedics.


To be eligible, you need to be in one of these groups:

  • People seeking asylum on a Bridging Visa Class E (BVE).
  • Refugees with a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) or a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV).
  • People holding eligible visas with study rights.
  • People holding eligible visas with works rights for courses that require work placements.

You also need to meet these criteria:

  • have the English-language skills to participate in your chosen course
  • be able to pay any course concession fees, course materials, student amenity fees and transport costs
  • live in Victoria.

For subsidised VET courses, there are additional criteria:

  • you can't have studied in Australia at a higher level than the course you're applying for
  • you can't hold an overseas degree that is formally recognised in Australia
  • you can only complete a maximum of two courses – in a year, at a time or at the same level over a lifetime.

Verification process

We use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website to verify your eligibility.

To check your eligibility we need the following:

  • ImmiCard or passport number
  • Name
  • Date of birth


At Victoria University, we understand how important education is to achieving your potential, and that access to a scholarship can help make that happen.. VU scholarships provide financial and practical assistance for students to get a head start. Find out if you're eligible for a scholarship.

Other support

Get in touch

If you have any qeustions, contact Julie Madden (Asylum Seeker Liaison Officer) by email [email protected] or phone +61 3 9919 7090.

For further information on English courses, call 9919 8748.

For information about our other courses, call 1300 82 33 87.