Major Visa Updates Made by Australian Government – Student Visa Immigration – Coronavirus

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Latest Updates to Student Visa Immigration Conditions The Morrison Government is issuing 5 major updates to student visa arrangements in efforts to ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international student immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic. International student immigration contributes $40 billion annually and supports 250,000 jobs, making international students extremely important to the Australian economy. These visa changes aim to make it easier for international students to cope with the devastating impacts of COVID-19, ensuring Australia remains a competitive destination for international student immigration. These changes include:
  • Government will recommence granting student visas to new students offshore, so when borders reopen, student already have valid visas and can make travel arrangements
  • International students can apply for a student visa extension free of charge if they are unable to complete their studies within the original visa validity due to COVID-19
  • For Student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions, online study outside Australia will be counted towards Australian post study work visa requirements
  • 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 provide English language results will be given to applicants who need to submit English Language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes provide assurance to international students already in Australia and those who haven’t been able to travel due to COVID-19 border closures. “These measures back the international education sector – our fourth largest export sector – and will assist its recovery,” Mr Tudge said. Mr Tudge states that border restrictions were necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and preserve the health of Australians, however, “international students should not be further disadvantaged by COVID-19.” He insists that Australia is “a welcoming nation with a world class education and some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the world”, and that the Government wants to encourage international student immigration to Australia. The Government has previously relaxed work conditions for international students working in healthcare, aged and disability care sectors in efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on international students and student immigration. It has also been flexible in accommodation cases where international students have been unable to meet visa conditions due to COVID-19 in efforts to promote immigration. These latest visa changes is the next step the Government has taken to encourage international student immigration and revitalise the $40 billion dollar international student education industry in efforts to better cope with the COVID-19 economic crisis.
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