Student visa program - July 2020

On July 20, the Australian Government announced changes to the student visa program to support international students.

On 20 July the Australian Government announced a number of changes to student visa arrangements to support international students.

The changes are:

  • The Government will recommence granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia. This means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel.
  • Eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa (Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) 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.
  • Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services. Additional time will also be provided to undertake biometric collection and health checks where COVID-19 has disrupted access to services

Australia prides itself on being a welcoming nation with a world-class education system and some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the world. These changes will help give international students confidence in their visa arrangements so that they can make plans to study in Australia when it is safe to do so.

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

Webinarwww.ieaa.org.au/events/event/qa-with-the-department-of-home-affairs (note that the session is full - however a downloadable recording of the webinar will be available at this link following the session).


Student visa arrangements - social tiles

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the visa measures?

The Department of Home Affairs will recommence 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.

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.

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.

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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