New Visa Policy Measures to Support the Recovery of Australia’s Education Sector

The pandemic has put a damper on Australia’s intake of international students this year, and as a countermeasure, the Australian government has announced new policy measures for international student visas.

These new changes include many major measures, including allowing the international students who are still unable to travel, and those whose visa has expired, to lodge a further visa application free of charge. 

The Australian study requirement is a key eligibility criterion for the grant of a temporary Graduate student visa. Graduates should have completed their qualifications in at least 2 academic years of study while being physically present in the country for at least 6 months. Students will now be allowed to continue taking classes online while overseas and this period of study will also contribute toward qualifying for a temporary Graduate visa.

Applicants will be required to provide a form from their education provider confirming their course enrolment details with information on how long they studied online.

Graduates who hold a student visa and are unable to return due to Covid can apply for a post study visa outside Australia. Current and new visa holders studying online outside Australia can use that study to count toward the Australian requirement for a post study work visa.

In cases where Covid has disrupted the provision of English language results, students will be given extra time to furnish these details.

Recommencement of offshore visa processing:

The Government will recommence granting student visas outside Australia, so that when borders reopen, students will already have visas.

The Department’s overseas offices will recommence finalising visa applications for students who are lodged outside the country provided all requirements are met. This gives students the reassurance that they are holding a valid Australian visa and will be permitted to travel as soon as borders open up.

The acting minister for immigration, citizenship, migrant services and multicultural affairs Alan Tudge announced these changes to the immigration policies, stating that said that it provides the assurance that international students require amid the challenges due to the pandemic. The international education sector is Australia’s fourth-largest export sector, and such measures will help in a speedy recovery from the impacts of the global health crisis.

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