In a recent joint media release, the Government acknowledges that International students are important to Australia and to the Australian economy. In response to the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic, the Government announces changes to the student visa arrangements to ensure that ‘international students are not worse off due to the coronavirus pandemic’ and Australia remains a priority study destination.
The five key changes include:
- Recommencing the grant of student visas lodged outside Australia to enable students to make travel arrangements as soon as the border reopens.
- Waiving off a further student visa application fee for International students who were unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19.
- Counting online study undertaken by current student visa holders outside Australia due to COVID-19 towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
- Making the graduates holding a student visa eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19.
- Giving additional time to the applicants for providing English language results where access to these services has been disrupted due to COVID-19.
The Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Hon Alan Tudge MP, said, “These measures back the international education sector – our fourth largest export sector – and will assist its recovery.”
These changes will come into force upon making relevant legislative changes and are currently not applicable.