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Australia’s national Census compulsory for all international students

Meld Magazine

Thu Aug 04 2016


INTERNATIONAL students will be required by law to participate in Australia’s upcoming Census on August 9. Find out why the Census is important to you and future students.

UPDATE (August 10, 2016): Following server outages on Census night, which restricted Australians and international visitors from completing their form, the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed on Twitter that fines would not be imposed towards anyone who was unable to access or complete the Census form on Census night.

The ABS also reminded the public that the Census could be completed at any time from now until “well into September”.


On August 9, all international studentswill need to participate in Australia’s national Census to help create a snapshot of the nation by counting every house and person in the country.

The census is not exclusive to Australian citizens and includes every single person currently in the country as Annette Kelly, Victorian Census Director, explained.

“The census is compulsory for everyone in Australia on Census night and that includes all people who are visiting the country, whether they’re tourists or here for a longer term such as international students, or those who are on working visas,” Ms Kelly said.

International student participation will not only help to determine how many overseas students currently reside in Australia but will also go a long way in helping businesses and government provide the right services to the international student community. Information provided by students may help prospective students with their future education experience abroad as previous Census’ have helped to plan Australia’s health, transport and infrastructure.

Students concerned about giving their personal details on the Census need not fear however as Ms Kelly was quick to reassure that all information would remain private and confidential.

“By law, [Australia has] very strong legislation that says the data provided to the Australian Bureau of Statistics cannot be provided to any other government agency, court or tribunal,” she said.

Ms Kelly further emphasised that personal data collected from the Census can not be shared between housing bodies, the Department of Immigration or the Australian Taxation Office.

All households will soon receive instructions on how to complete the Census, which for the first time in Australian history, can be completed using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device.

If students live in a share house, they must make sure that they are included on the online household form, or ask for a personal login by calling 1300 214 531. If students live in a residence, their accommodation provider will have a personal form with login details.

International students who wish to learn more about the national Census can do so by visiting its official website, where information is available in 25 languages. If students need further language assistance, the Translation and Interpreter Service is also available on 131 450.