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No matter what type of study you're doing, whether you're here for a few months or a few years, Service NSW and StudyNSW are committed to helping you have a safe and rewarding experience. We want living and studying in Sydney and NSW to be a memorable time for all international students.

Use the list below as a guide for:

  • accessing support services
  • staying safe and well
  • working while you study
  • getting around by car or public transport
  • staying in off-campus accommodation.

More information is available on the StudyNSW website. Also have a look at the online version of Insider Guides.

Apply for a NSW photo card
If you don't have a NSW driver licence and don't want to carry your passport, you can use a NSW photo card to access everyday services, such as opening bank accounts or entering licensed premises. The NSW photo card has the same application process and security features as a NSW driver licence, so you should be able to use it everywhere that accepts a NSW driver licence as photo identification.

Read our website using automatic language translation

You can use the free online language translation service to automatically translate our website into a variety of community languages. Select your preferred language in the translation tool found in the top right hand corner of any page on this website. Please note, automatic translations are provided as a guide only and may not be accurate. 

Call us using an interpreter

To call us using an interpreter service, call the National Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450, give the code C974896, and ask them to call us on 13 77 88 and request to speak about 'International Students'. It’s free for non-English speakers to call us using the interpreter service.

Community languages in service centres 

At some service centres, you'll find staff who can speak languages other than English that are popular in the local community. 

Book an interpreter
You can book an interpreter using the Multicultural NSW Language Services. Language Services offers on-site, face-to-face interpreters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a wide range of situations. 

Apply for document translation services
If you need personal or information documents translated into English from another language, or from English into another language, you can submit your documents for translation at a service centre.

In life-threatening and time-critical emergencies, call Triple Zero (000) to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance. The call is free of charge from any phone or mobile.

Alternatively, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or attend the local police station.

Report to Crime Stoppers
If you have information that you think may assist the Police in relation to specific incidents or investigations, you can pass it on anonymously to Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800 333 000 Alternatively, you can submit the information online, via the NSW Police Force website.

Help for Victims of Crimes
If you're a victim of crime in New South Wales, you can find support and/or information at the NSW Department of Justice Victims Services online.

Report a scam or cybercrime
If you've been scammed, think someone is trying to scam you, or you've been the victim of a cybercrime, you can make a report online.

Find NSW hospitals and health services
You can use an online search tool to find major NSW hospitals and health services by name or surgical speciality.

Check wait times for NSW hospital emergency departments
You can use this online search tool as a guide to the expected wait times, based on the number of patients already present, in the emergency departments of participating major NSW hospitals. If you're not seriously ill, visit your local GP or contact healthdirect on 1800 022 222

Check visa entitlements and conditions
If you're an international student studying in NSW and you'd like to work while you're studying, you can check your visa rules online. You may be eligible to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time and full time during holidays. It's important to check visa rules before you apply for a job. 

Apply for an Individual Tax File Number
You can apply for an individual Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). It’s not compulsory to hold a TFN, but it will help you to start or change jobs and lodge a tax return.

Understand Award Pay Rates
Before you start work in NSW, it's important you understand your workplace rights and responsibilities. These laws are administered by the Australian Government Fair Work Ombudsman. An employee's minimum pay rate can come from an award, enterprise agreement, other registered agreement, or the national minimum wage. The Fair Work Ombudsman website will help you understand your workplace rights, and conditions at work.

Use the simple income tax calculator
You can use this online calculator to give you an estimate of the tax you owe on your taxable income.

Use the pay calculator
If you want to find out how much you should be getting paid, you can use the online pay calculator. The calculator will work out pay rates (hourly and weekly), penalty rates, casual rates, allowances, shift work, overtime, and public holiday rates, all based on the industry and role you enquire about.

Use the leave calculator
You can find out how much annual leave, annual leave loading, and sick and carer's leave you've accrued, using the online leave calculator. 

Apply for an RSA or RCG competency card
If you’re going to work in a place that serves alcohol or provides gambling services, you'll need to have completed training in Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and/or Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG). Once you have your competency card, you can access it digitally using the Service NSW mobile app.

Apply for a National Police Certificate
You may need to apply online for a National Police Certificate from the NSW Police Force for your employment, student placement or visa. 

Apply for a Working with Children Check
You'll need to complete a Working With Children Check (WWCC) if you work or volunteer in child-related work in NSW. It involves a National Police Check (criminal history record check) and a review of reportable workplace misconduct. 

Apply for a construction induction card
If you want to do construction work in NSW, you'll need to have completed training and hold a general construction induction card (commonly known as a 'white card').

Getting an Opal card
Opal is the electronic ticketing system used for travel on public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.
International students who are on an Endeavour Scholarship, or an Australian Awards Scholarship, are eligible to apply for a Concession Opal card for reduced fare travel on train, ferry, bus and light rail networks. 

Use the Sydney Trains fare calculator
You can find out how much your journey will cost from one train station to another, using the Sydney Trains online fare calculator. The calculator is for both suburban and intercity train journeys.

    Book NSW TrainLink Travel
    NSW TrainLink has train services to more than 365 destinations in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.

    Use the Cycleway Finder map
    Riding a bicycle is a popular way to commute around Sydney. Use the interactive online map to find bicycle routes in Sydney and NSW. 

    Apply for a temporary overseas visitor driver licence
    If you're a temporary overseas visitor to NSW (not a permanent resident or citizen of Australia), you can apply for a temporary overseas visitor driver licence at a service centre.

    Apply for a full Driver's Licence
    You can apply for a full Driver's Licence if you've held an overseas licence (not learner), for more than 3 years. Applications for this licence can be made at a service centre.

    Check a vehicle registration
    If you want to buy a second-hand car, you can check the vehicle's registration details online.

      Opening an E-Toll Account
      To automatically pay for tolls on all Australian toll roads, you'll need to open an E-Toll Account.

      Use the Sydney Motorways Toll Calculator
      If you're travelling on Sydney toll roads, you’ll need to pay a fee. You can quickly check the cost of using toll roads online, using the Sydney Motorways Toll Calculator.

      Open a Rental Bonds Online account (tenants)
      If you're a tenant, your property agent or private landlord can open a Rental Bonds Online account for you, usually before you sign your tenancy agreement.

      Lodge a consumer complaint
      NSW Fair Trading provides information that may help you to quickly resolve a dispute relating to tenancy issues and goods or services.

      Find a Justice of the Peace (JP)
      You can search the online Public Register for a JP close to you, by entering your postcode, or you can find a listing of scheduled JP services by suburb.  At some services centres, you'll find staff that are JPs and can witness documents. The most common functions performed by JPs in NSW are:

      • witnessing the signing of a statutory declaration, or affidavit
      • certifying that a copy of an original document is a true copy.
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