Supporting international students and graduates
The Government has announced a range of visa measures to support students. The measures will be temporary and will continue for as long as necessary.
The changes include:
· Recommencing 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
· 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 biometrics, health and English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
See the Department of Home Affairs website for more information: International Students | COVID-19 and the border (homeaffairs.gov.au)
When can I return to Australia to study?
Arrangements for the return of international students to Australia will be implemented once it is safe to do so, and in a way which protects the Australian community.
How do I complete the requirements for my student visa e.g. biometrics and health?
All Australian Visa Application Centres are temporarily closed until further notice however we are allowing additional time for you to provide biometrics collection and health checks due to COVID-19 disrupted access to services.
Notifying the Department
If you already hold a student visa, you don’t need to notify the Department if your study situation changes. Your visa remains valid until you lodge another visa application, or your visa expires. The status of your visa will not change if you return home or defer your studies.
Education providers can issue a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and enrol students to study online. If you hold a valid student visa, your education provider will provide the Department with your new CoE. You do not need to notify the Department.
If you have an open student visa application, you can attach your new CoE to your application through ImmiAccount.
Where can I get support?
Student visa holders are encouraged to stay in touch with their education providers about the range of support available to them. Many universities and education providers are offering support to students including deferring fees, deferring studies or payments, food and accommodation support as well as mental health and other medical support.
For more information, see Study Australia’s website www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/.
Information for international students is available across a range of Government agencies, including:
- the Australian Government COVID-19 website with the latest news, updates and advice.
- the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website and email for international students [email protected]
- the Department of Health website with details on Overseas Student Health Cover
- the International Student Ombudsman website for COVID-19 related complaints
- information on support services available for international students on Study Australia’s website.