ASVET team

Asylum Seeker Vocational Education Training

The Asylum Seeker Vocational Education and Training (ASVET) program is a Victorian State Government funded initiative which supports eligible people seeking asylum and refugees to gain access to VET courses. Under this initiative, the ASRC can directly refer eligible applicants to a range of Government-subsidised and free training and apprenticeship-pathway courses.

Under this initiative, the ASRC will refer eligible applicants to Government subsidised training courses as listed on the Skills First Victoria website.

TAFEs and Learn Locals are able to directly enrol eligible people. Private registered training organisations (RTOs) require a referral from the ASRC to enrol students into approved Skills First VET courses.

From January 2019, people seeking asylum and refugees who are eligible for Victorian Government-subsidised training will not pay course tuition fees in 30 priority non-apprenticeship courses, delivered through TAFEs across the state. A further 18 government-subsidised apprenticeship pathway courses (sometimes called pre-apprenticeships) will also be free to eligible people seeking asylum.

This web page provides specific information for all RTOs to assist them in the enrolment process and ongoing support of eligible students.

Frequently Asked Questions


The following criteria must be met for people to be eligible for to referral to a subsidised VET course:

  • people seeking asylum must be on a Bridging Visa Class E (BVE)
  • refugees must have a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) OR a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV)
  • people holding eligible visas must always have study rights and
  • works rights for courses that require work placements.

All applicants must:

  • have an effective level of proficiency in English to participate in the chosen course
  • be able to pay the course concession fees, course materials, student amenity fees and transport costs
  • live in Victoria.

There are additional limitations of eligibility for subsidised VET courses:

  • the applicant must not have undertaken studies in Australia at a higher level than the intended course
  • the applicant must not hold an overseas degree that is formally recognised in Australia
  • the applicant can only complete a maximum of two courses – in a year, at a time or at the same level over a lifetime.

Verification process

To confirm the applicant’s current visa, RTOs must use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website. Only RTOs registered as a VEVO organisation will have access to VEVO.

Registration can be completed online using the above link. Registration enables organisations to verify the type of visa an applicant holds and the status of their study and work rights.

Please ensure you have the following information ready about the applicant:

  • ImmiCard or passport number
  • Name
  • Date of birth

Available course levels

The Asylum Seeker VET initiative covers applicants who wish to complete VCE, Foundation Studies, Certificate levels 1 to IV and Diplomas.

Applicants undertaking VCE or courses at Certificate levels 1 to IV are eligible for a subsidised place, as well as a concessional tuition fee rate.

Applicants undertaking diplomas are eligible for a Government subsidised place with tuition fees at domestic student rate; unless the RTO reduces or waives the fees due to hardship or other extenuating factors.

RTO Resource Supports

The following resources have been created for RTOs to support the enrolment of eligible students. If you have any further inquiries not already answered in the FAQs or by the resources below, please refer to the Helpdesk phone or online enquiry form.

  1. Visa Verification Process Guide
  2. Understanding the Challenges faced by people seeking asylum
  3. Best Practice by RTOs
  4. ASVET 2016-2018 final report
  5. ASVET terms of reference
Helpdesk online enquiry
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RTOs can call the Heldesk on 03 9274 9807 and is open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.