It has definitely been a few good weeks for international students so far, with the 5 visa changes introduced by the Morrison Government.
However, some of you may still have some questions. In order to give you more clarity on the situation for international students, our expert counselor Bijaya has spoken to Sanjeeb, a migration agent.
Below are the most FAQs and the answers to them:
- Are the 5 visa changes applicable to international students anywhere outside Australia?
Ans: The offshore application was put on hold, and travelling wasn’t allowed either. But now, the Government has announced that they will start processing applications for overseas students as well. However, even if the visa is granted, they won’t be able to travel immediately until the travel ban is lifted.
- Will student visa application fees be waived for eligible international students?
There are many students whose visas are expiring in August or September. The Government hasn’t yet given clarity on whether international students offshore will be eligible for a student visa application fee.
There is a possibility that for those students whose studies have been impacted by the pandemic, their application fee will be waived off.
However, the Government needs to provide more information on this and we will keep you updated.
- What is the criteria for those students, impacted by Covid-19, to attain a student visa fee waiver?
Ans: There is the possibility that the student can attain a student visa application fee waiver, and the criteria for this is:
- Providing evidence from their education provider that their study has been impacted by Covid-19. With this evidence, the Immigration office will process the visa application without any charges.
For instance, the student can get a letter from their educational provider saying that their course was delayed or impacted due to Covid-19, and the student is expected to complete their studies within the next six months or one year.
Personal reasons may not be accepted as an eligibility to attain a student visa application fee waiver.
- For international students who have been granted their student visa, offshore, will their studies online back home be counted toward their Australian study requirements?
Ans: Although the date hasn’t been set, nor has there been an official announcement, this is still good news for students who are studying online, outside Australia. As, whatever studies are being completed online and outside Australia will certainly be counted towards the student’s two year requirement.
Moreover, the student can even apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa as well.
- Will graduate students stuck in their home country be able to apply for a subclass 485 visa (Temporary Graduate visa) offshore?
The current rule is that an international student cannot apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) offshore.
But now, the Government has introduced changes to the regulations. So, if the student is offshore and has completed their course, they can apply for the subclass 485 visa.
Moreover, once the travel ban is lifted they can travel to Australia with the subclass 485 visa.
That said, the next criteria to be considered w.r.t this, is the course completion date, as the student has to apply for the subclass 485 visa within 6 months of their course completion. So, if the 6 months is already over, the best thing to do is contact Immigration.
- Does the above regulation apply for subsequent entrant a well?
Generally, a subsequent entrant doesn’t have any such requirement in the first place. They can apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa, offshore or onshore. They only can’t travel within Australia
- What are the new changes announced to accommodate the limited availability of English tests and health examinations?
The Government has announced that they will be providing additional time for those students who are unable to book a date for medical, bio-metrics, English tests.Students can, however, process their applications.
Stay tuned for updates and you can always contact us for more information.