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Visa updates to support international students

 

4 August 2020

The government announced a number of changes to student visa arrangements to ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international students.

The changes include:

  • The Government will resume granting student visas lodged in all locations outside Australia. This means you will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel when borders re-open.

  • International students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge, if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19. Student visa application fee waiver will be available from midnight (AEST) Wednesday 5 August 2020 

  • Eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa (Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) will be relaxed if you're enrolled with an Australian education provider and have been impacted by COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions.

Under these arrangements:

  • You will be able to count this towards the Australian Study Requirement if you're an existing or new student visa holder undertaking online study outside Australia because of COVID-19.

  • Eligible graduates affected by travel restrictions will also be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa outside Australia.

  • Extra time will be given for you to provide English language results if you're unable to take a test in their home country because of COVID-19.Additional time will also be provided to undertake biometric collection and health checks if COVID-19 has disrupted access to services.

Australia prides itself on being a welcoming nation with some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the world. We offer a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,100 institutions and 22,000 courses to choose from.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said these changes will help give international students confidence in their visa arrangements so they can make plans to study in Australia when it is safe to do so.

Please note that the legislative change and updated information on the commencement of this measure  has not been published yet. We will update you on our website as soon as they are available.

Media release - https://ministers.dese.gov.au/tudge/supporting-international-students-support-australian-jobs

Impact on student visas

Amrita and Shiva (MARN 1686773) discussed the Australian government's latest announcement about the five visa changes to ensure international students are not worse off due to the coronavirus pandemic

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the visa measures?

The Department of Home Affairs will resume visa grants for student visa applications lodged outside Australia where all requirements are met. Student visa holders outside Australia will not be able to travel to Australia until COVID-19 travel restrictions have been relaxed. Travel restrictions are set by the Australian Government and are reviewed regularly.

What are the post-study work visa eligibility requirements?

Post-study work visa eligibility requirements will be relaxed for applicants who are enrolled with an Australian education provider and have been impacted by COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions. Under these arrangements, existing and new student visa holders who undertake online study outside Australia because of COVID-19 will be able to count this towards the Australian Study Requirement.

Eligible graduates affected by travel restrictions will also be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa outside Australia.The ability to apply for a Temporary

Graduate visa outside Australia requires legislative change and updated information on the commencement of this measure will be provided on the
Home Affairs website. 

Is there a visa fee-waiver for students affected by COVID-19?

A visa fee-waiver will be available to students on student visas who have been unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity because of COVID-19 and need to lodge a further student visa application to complete their course.

The student visa fee-waiver requires legislative change and updated information on the commencement of this measure will be provided when available on the Home Affairs website.

Do I get extra time for English language testing, biometric collection and health checks?

The Department of Home Affairs will continue to allow additional time for applicants to provide English language test results if students are unable to take a test in their home country because of COVID-19. Additional time will also be provided to undertake biometric collection and health checks where COVID-19 has disrupted access to services.

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