The Morrison Government is making a variety of changes to student visa arrangements to form sure Australia remains a priority destination for international students as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
International students are extremely important to Australia and our economy, contributing $40 billion annually and supporting 250,000 jobs. Many also endure becoming great Australian citizens.
While the closure of our international borders has been critical to our success in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, and Australia has been a frontrunner during this regard, it’s presented challenges to the education sector and students, both here and offshore.
These five visa changes will ensure international students don’t seem to be worse off thanks to the coronavirus pandemic which Australia remains competitive with other countries.
The changes include:
- The Government will recommence granting student visas all told locations lodged outside Australia. this suggests when borders re-open, students will have already got visas and be ready to make arrangements to travel.
- International students are going to be ready to lodge an extra student visa application freed from charge if they’re unable to finish their studies within their original visa validity because of COVID-19.
- Student visa holders studying online outside Australia thanks to COVID-19 are going to be ready to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
- Graduates who held a student visa are going to be eligible to use for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they’re unable to return thanks to COVID-19.
- Additional time is going to be given for applicants to supply English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to those services.
Statement from Alan Tudge
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes provide assurance to international students already in Australia and other people who haven’t been able to travel thanks to COVID-19 border closures.
“These measures back the international education sector – our fourth-largest export sector – and can assist its recovery,” Mr Tudge said.
“In making these changes, we’ve been guided by the principles that the health of Australians is essential, but international students shouldn’t be further disadvantaged by COVID-19.
“We are a welcoming nation with a world-class education system and a few of all-time low rates of COVID-19 within the world. Students want to study here. We want to welcome them back in an exceedingly safe and measured way when it’s safe.
“Doing so won’t only support the education sector, it’ll even have flow-on effects for several local communities and businesses, including accommodation services, tourism, hospitality and retail.”
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said
The changes would give international students confidence in their visa arrangements. They will make plans to study in Australia when it’s safe to try and do so.
“Our remarkable efforts in controlling the spread of the virus mean we are able to begin to welcome back international students in an exceedingly COVID safe way once state borders re-open and face-to-face learning resumes,” Mr Tehan said.
“As well as supporting jobs, international education builds our connection to the remainder of the world and supports a variety of critical industries like health, aged and disability care.”
The Government has previously relaxed work restrictions for international students working within the health, aged and disability care sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also been flexible in cases where the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented international students from meeting their visa conditions, like not having the ability to attend classes face to face.