Category Archives: Blogs

Currently on Student Visa – Find out your options

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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.

Australia set to welcome back international students by July 2020

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Attention subclass 500 student visa holders! The Prime Minister only recently announced a 3 stage roadmap for Australia’s way out of the coronavirus pandemic. On that roadmap features a possible lifting on travel bans. The Federal Government has confirmed that it has considered exempting international students from Australia’s travel restrictions as early as this July.  There has also been considerations to approve travel between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island nations.

Compared to other countries internationally, Australia has done extremely well in mitigating the risk of spread and working towards “flattening the curve”. However, this had to come at a cost with our economy hit the hardest.

The roadmap features 3 stages. The first stage sees the reopening of restaurants, cafes and shopping centres, the second stage sees the reopening of gyms, cinemas and amusement parks and the third stage largely focuses on international travel easements. Although the only countries considered are Cross-Tasman and pacific island nations, it is an excellent start to bringing back normality in our lives.

Of course, this roadmap will be implemented through the discretion of State and Territory leaders and this roadmap still does not eliminate the 1.5 metre social distancing rule. Albeit, the easing of these restrictions and the pace that they will be enforced will be largely dependent on our responsibility to ensure social distancing measures are kept intact.

The education industry in Australia is deemed the country’s largest imports which sees hundreds of thousands of international students coming to study in Australia each year. Did you know that international students contribute AU$40 billion a year to the Australian economy? This move to reopen the doors to international students as early as July is seen as a way of allowing our economy to give relief to our educational institutions who were also affected by the pandemic.

The International Education Association of Australia chief executive has recently called for the reopening of Australian borders for international students, saying that they offer more than just economic benefits.  He specifically told SBS News that,

“International education is Australia’s fourth-largest export industry which generates nearly 240,000 Australian jobs and is a key revenue source for public universities and many other private education providers.”

He also said that reopening Australian borders to international students could give the country a “step up on the competition” in the international education market against Canada, the US and the UK for future overseas enrolments. However, despite this exception being made to international students, no considerations have yet been made on other restrictions being lifted, that is, to allow our tourism industry to once again bring in eager travellers who wish to explore Australia. This next lifting of restrictions will be something that we will just need to wait in anticipation for. Even if international students are allowed back into Australia in July, do expect that self-isolation measures will still apply.

Our Registered Migration Agents at Migration Centre of Australia have been in the migration industry for many years and have helped thousands of clients onshore and offshore. We are trained professionals in Australian Migration Law and we are trusted providers in the industry for our services. If you are a student visa holder please know that these changes will affect you.

If you want to know more about subclass 500 student visas, or if you wish to apply for a student visa, or if you are already a subclass 500 visa holder and you simply want to know about how these changes can affect you, contact us today on (02) 4626 1002 or send us an email at info@migrationcentreofaustralia.com.au and one of my registered migration agents will be ready to help.

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Visa Processing Times published By Department of Home Affairs During Covid-19

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Subclass 444 visa holders supported by the Australian Government

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What is Status Resolution Service? Will this help me with my visa is expiring?

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What is Bridging Visa E? How can I get this visa?

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