Information for Principals and School Staff

Approvals for inbound and outbound exchange

The decision to accept or decline a place for an inbound exchange student is at the school principal's discretion, provided the below program requirements are met. NSW students need their principal's support to participate in student exchange and are not marked absent while overseas on exchange.

NSW Secondary Student Exchange Program requirements for school approvals

  • Only registered student exchange organisations are permitted to operate inbound and outbound student exchange programs in NSW.
  • The maximum study duration for student exchange to/from NSW is one year.
  • The minimum study period for student exchange is:
    • 3 months or one full school term for inbound students
    • 10 weeks for outbound students.

Programs that do not meet the above requirements cannot be approved under the auspices of the Secondary Student Exchange Program. Organisations promoting 'student exchange' programs to NSW students that do not meet these requirements should be reported to

Please see the document Information for Principals and School Administrators for detailed information and processes.

What is an AASES form?

AASES stands for 'Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student'. The AASES form is the official student exchange visa/immigration document distributed by the NSW Department of Education. It is the equivalent to an 'Authority to Enrol' form and is only used for secondary student exchanges.

The AASES form is used for the processing of the 500 visa and for enrolment in NSW schools. Without an AASES form, a student cannot be considered an exchange student and should not be enrolled.

On enrolment of an exchange student, the Principal completes Section D of the AASES form, keeps a copy of the AASES form with the student's file and returns a signed copy to the exchange organisation so that it may be returned to the NSW Registration Committee.

Exchange student questions

The exchange student has a Visa - Subclass 500, isn't this for fee paying students?

Exchange students and international students are both issued with Subclass 500 Student Visas as long as they are enrolled as full time secondary students in a recognised course of study.

The proof that a student is an exchange student is the AASES form.

Please note that an exchange student is NOT a student on a Temporary Visa or a full-fee paying international student.

Are exchange students eligible for free travel passes?

In NSW, secondary exchange students are entitled to free student travel passes if they meet the requirements applicable to NSW school students. Applications to travel companies for travel concessions should state that the student is on a secondary student exchange program. The AASES form can be used as proof.

What do I do if I have an issue with any part of the student exchange program?

If an issue related to a student exchange cannot be dealt with satisfactorily at the school level, contact should be made with the registered organisation. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with the organisation then contact should then be made with DE International.