Latest information and updates

Australian government agencies will continue working closely to support and inform students and education providers and explore every possible option for the safe return of international students to Australia.

Recent updates

7 October 2020

Return of international students

  • The Australian Government is committed to the return of international students to Australia when it is safe to do so, and careful consideration is being given to how and when that can happen.
  • Australian states and territories are working with education providers to develop small-scale pilot programs to welcome international students back onshore, in accordance with Australian public health advice.
  • The Northern Territory has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to start a pilot program.
  • If you hold a student visa and you are currently offshore, we encourage you to continue studying online, as restrictions on travel to Australia are still in place.
  • Please note that the Australian Government has recommenced granting student visas. If you don’t yet have a student visa, we encourage you to apply for a visa and commence your studies online, so that when borders re-open you can travel to Australia to continue your studies here.
  • Remember that if you hold a student visa, online study done outside Australia due to COVID-19 can count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
  • We recognise this is a challenging time for international students, particularly for those students and families who have made significant sacrifices to embark upon a world-class education in Australia.
  • Australia prides itself on being a safe, welcoming and multicultural country and we will continue to provide updates on Australia’s plans to welcome you back.
  • We encourage you to stay in contact with your education provider and seek support as needed.
  • We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

21 July 2020

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.

We are here to help you make informed decisions about studying and living in Australia. No matter where you are in Australia or around the world, we are all #InThisTogether.

We encourage international students to visit the Department of Home Affairs website for visa updates and http://australia.gov.au for the latest news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia (English and in-language).


Know where to go for the right information.

1.     Download the Australian Government’s "Coronavirus Australia" app for the latest official advice and real-time updates directly to your mobile phone. It is available via the Apple App StoreGoogle Play, or via a WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

2.     Whether you're in Australia or abroad, follow us at @StudyAUOfficial for the most up to date information. 

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3.       If you are concerned about your enrolment, fees or other issues related to your studies, contact the Australian Government dedicated email international.students@dese.gov.au or hotline for international students 1300 981 621 (8am to 8pm AEDST Monday to Friday - calls within Australia only).

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