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.

VU TAFE courses

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
  • Certificate level Engineering, Building and Construction and Surveying.

Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses include:

  • IT
  • Nursing
  • Paramedics.


The Asylum Seeker VET program is changing. The program is now available to more asylum seekers in a more flexible way.

From 1 July 2023, eligibility to participate in the Asylum Seeker VET program is for individuals or dependants of individuals, who:

  • hold any humanitarian, protection, or refugee visa in Australia
  • or have applied for a humanitarian, protection or refugee visa and hold a bridging visa for this purpose
  • or have made an application under s.417 or s.48b of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) which is yet to be determined and hold a bridging visa.

Individuals must have study rights, and work rights are required for programs that include work placement.

All applicants must:

  • have a proficient level of English to participate in the chosen course
  • be able to pay for course concession fees (where applicable), course materials, student amenity fees, and transport costs
  • live in Victoria.

For any further eligibility requirements or limitations please check your Skills First contract, or contact your contract manager at the DET.

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

Hear from our students

Get in touch

If you have any questions, contact Julie Madden (Refugee and 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.