Contributing $40 billion annually and supporting 250,000 jobs, the international education sector is extremely important to Australia’s economy.
While the Government has been taking careful precautions to slow the spread of Coronavirus, it has also presented significant challenges for the students and the education sector in general.
To ensure the international students are not further disadvantaged by COVID-19, the Australian Government has now announced some important changes to visa arrangements to help international students onshore as well as offshore.
The five visa changes
- The government will recommence granting student visas lodged outside Australia. This will ensure that new international students will have their visas ready and can make arrangements for travel as soon as borders reopen.
- Free student visa application: International students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19.
- Online study will be counted towards requirements for post-study work visa: Current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
- Permission to apply for a post-study work visa from offshore: Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19.
- Additional time to submit the English language test results: Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
These changes are very significant and will go a long way in providing assurance to international students both onshore and offshore, as well as supporting jobs in Australia.
We are optimistic about the impact these changes will have on instilling the confidence of our students while waiting for more face-to-face classes to be resumed and borders to be re-open.
Please note these changes have been announced, but the legislation/criteria has not been published yet. We will publish updates on our website as soon as they are available.
In light of COVID-19, the government is taking a more flexible approach to the rules and laws regulating student visas, therefore, it’s important to seek professional advice and get clarification on how the new changes will apply to your visa condition.
For more information, connect with us – AECC Global and we will help you.