Travel outside Australia

There are rules about when you can get Austudy when you travel outside Australia.

What the rules are

If you leave Australia to live in another country, your payment will stop on departure.

If you leave Australia on a temporary basis, you need to be travelling for an approved reason. Otherwise, your payment will stop on departure.

What the approved reasons for payment overseas are

Students and Australian Apprentices

We may pay you while you’re studying or working outside Australia. This will be for the duration of your approved overseas course or work activity if all of these apply:

  • you’re getting Austudy as a student or Australian Apprentice
  • you’ve already started your approved course or work activity
  • you submitted your claim in Australia before you left the country.

Students

If you’re a student studying outside Australia, you need to give us a written statement. It must be on your Australian education institution’s letterhead and confirm all of the following:

  • your name, date of birth and Student ID number
  • the name and course code for the enrolled course at your Australian education institution
  • that you’ll remain enrolled with your Australian educational institution
  • the study load you’re enrolled in with your Australian education institution while studying overseas
  • the name of the overseas education institution
  • the duration of your overseas study, including the start and end dates for your overseas study
  • that your overseas units of study will count towards your Australian course.

You don’t need to include overseas vacation periods following the completion of your overseas study.

Australian Apprentices

If you’re an Australian Apprentice working or training outside Australia, you need to give us a written statement. It must be on your employer or State Training Authority’s letterhead and confirm all of the following:

  • the work or activity counts toward your Australian Apprenticeship
  • your Commonwealth Registration Number will remain current.

If you don’t provide a written statement or the evidence is insufficient, your payment will stop when you leave Australia.

If you leave Australia without having your overseas study or training approved, we may be able to back pay you. You need to contact us within 13 weeks of departing Australia and supply the evidence above.

If you can’t get Austudy before you leave Australia, you may become eligible to get it once you return. In some cases, you’ll need to submit a new claim on your return to Australia.

Other approved reasons for payment overseas

We may pay Austudy outside Australia for up to 6 weeks for any of these approved reasons:

  • to attend an acute family crisis, for example, to visit a family member who is critically ill
  • to get eligible medical treatment that is not available in Australia.

If you’re attending an Australian Defence Force Reserves training camp, you’ll get your payment for the duration of the training.

When to tell us about your travel

You should always tell us if you’re leaving Australia.

The easiest way to tell us about your travel plans is to use your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can get information on how your travel could affect your payments and concession cards. You may need to call us to discuss your circumstances further.

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Page last updated: 16 January 2020