Today the Australian Government announced that they are making a number of changes to student visa arrangements to ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international students as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
These five visa changes will ensure international students are not worse off due to the coronavirus pandemic and that Australia remains competitive with other countries.
The changes include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
In close consultation with the state’s universities and the WA Government, StudyPerth is leading the consultation and planning for a proposal to allow international students to enter WA to commence or resume their studies, when conditions permit.
“These changes to visa arrangements will ensure that Australia remains a first-choice education destination and Western Australia’s positive handling of COVID-19 will keep us at the forefront” StudyPerth Chief Executive Officer said.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the changes would give international students confidence in their visa arrangements so they can make plans to study in Australia when it is safe to do so.
“Our remarkable efforts in controlling the spread of the virus mean we can begin to welcome back international students in a COVID safe way once state borders re-open and face-to-face learning resumes,” Mr Tehan said.
For the official media release please see: https://ministers.dese.gov.au/tudge/supporting-international-students-support-australian-jobs