For many students around the world and in Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disruption to their studies. This is especially the case for international students who have to worry about immigration and visas on top of their other problems.
Today we have some good news for you! Thankfully, for international students of Australian institutions, there are changes coming your way to ease the burden and make the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as smooth and simple as possible.
There are 5 visa changes which will minimise the difficulty of being an international student during the pandemic.
When: TBA. The government is yet to release policy on when these changes will take place. We will keep an eye on this for you, be sure to check our blog and Facebook page for updates.
If you’re outside Australia:
1. Offshore student visas will start being processed again. This means when borders reopen, you will be able to come to Australia without delay.
2. Any credits obtained outside of Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic will count towards the Australian study requirement of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).
3. Graduates who are currently outside of Australia and cannot return due to COVID-19 can apply for a 485 visa offshore. This means that when borders do reopen, holders of the visa can return to Australia immediately .
For all students:
4. You can extend your student visa free of charge if you are unable to complete your studies and graduate within the original timeframe due to COVID-19.
* Please note that this is not a free extension for all students. The reason must be COVID-19 related, such as an institution not providing an online course. This does not apply to any students who want to extend their studies for honours or a new degree, or if the length of your studies has been extended due to studying part-time or failing subjects.
5. There is extra time to get your English language results if COVID-19 has prevented you from getting it earlier.
Please note that if all of the above is only applicable if the cause is the COVID-19 pandemic. Any cases unrelated to the coronavirus situation will be handled normally and appropriately.
Please stay safe during these trying times and please practice proper social distancing and hygiene. If you require any further information, please feel free to take a look at the original announcement, or feel free to contact us!