Hundreds of thousands of temporary visa holders in Australia, including international students on student visas are affected by consequences of the coronavirus epidemic. Are you an international student stuck in this predicament?
The coronavirus outbreak, more widely known as COVID-19, has affected many temporary visa holders in Australia including international students who hold Australian Student Visas. Although an $84 billion stimulus package was enacted to help workers, students and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, this financial aid has seen international students miss out. Not only this, international students who have come back to Australia within the time limit of Australian borders closing, have been required to self-isolate for 14 days further putting a strain on students.
How will the travel restrictions affect you?
If you are currently on a subclass 500 student visa, and you are affected by the travel restrictions, you should immediately contact your education provider or university to find out what options are available to you. The Department of Home Affairs has advised that students on a student visa that are unable to return to Australia to continue their studies, may need to have their study deferred. But do not be alarmed, as this deferral will not affect your visa status. Universities and education providers have also been working towards implementing an online learning environment as a way of continuing education. See full details here: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus
How will your work be affected?
This 14 day self-isolation has proven to be a major setback for those international students who work and study, pulling back their source of income. The Department of Home Affairs have announced that working international students who are currently employed at major supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths may be temporarily offered more hours to help keep the shelves stocked in the supermarket. Because of the serious ramifications of this outbreak, the Australian Government has allowed working international students to work longer than the fortnightly 40 hour limit.
This is an initiative that will help keep up with the high demand of shoppers who have been racing to buy essentials. If you are an international student currently employed by Coles or Woolworths, you need not apply at the Department of Home Affairs for an extension of hours, the Department has advised that you contact your employer directly. See the full media release here: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/davidcoleman/Pages/more-help-aussie-shelves-stocked.aspx
Similar concessions have been applied to international student nurses who already work in Aged Care where the 40 hour per fortnight limit has also been overridden, and students are needed to help fill in the temporary staff shortages. There are approximately 20,000 international student nurses in Australia. As always, students will have the same rights under Australian workplace law as any other Australian employee. See the full media release here: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/davidcoleman/Pages/international-students-ready-to-fill-critical-staff-shortages-in-aged-care.aspx
Need professional migration advice?
Amid the chaos that this coronavirus crisis is giving everyone in the country, you might be wondering: What is going to happen to my student visa? What if they cancel my student visa? What do I do if I’m not even in Australia yet? I am about to graduate and the borders are closed, what do I do? I am already in Australia but my student visa is about to expire!
This can be an emotionally challenging moment and our Registered Migration Agents at Migration Centre of Australia are ready to listen and answer all your questions. Let us help you with your visa options and let us do the hard work for you. With years of experience in the immigration industry, our migration agents are experts in Australian Migration Law, student visas and visa cancellations. Having trained other registered migration agents and lawyers, we know how to help. Contact us today on 02 4626 1002 and speak directly to one of our Registered Migration Agents.