New Delhi: During the challenging period for higher education, the Australian government has announced five key changes to accommodate international students including Indian students:
· The Government will recommence 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.
· Current 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 English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
Study Group supports the Australian Government’s significant efforts that have announced to recognize the contribution of international students to the Australian economy and local communities. The new policies demonstrate an appreciation that international students are vitally important to the economy, contributing $40 billion annually to the economy and supporting 250,000 jobs, as well as to the vitality of Australian society.
Study Group Managing Director for Australia, Alex Chevrolle, said, “These announcements send an important and timely signal to students considering studying in Australia and give confidence that they can start applying for their visas now. Study Group has been working closely with partners across the Higher Education sector and government to strengthen our message to potential students, and these policies will help us show that Australia is putting its welcoming words into action. The principle is that international students can start their courses online and complete them onshore when borders reopen and it’s safe to do so.”
Outlining Australia’s message of reassurance to international students, Universities Minister Dan Tehan said, “Our efforts in controlling the spread of the virus mean we can begin to welcome back international students in a COVID safe way once state borders re-open and face-to-face learning resumes.”
Students who have enquiries about specific visa issues can find further detail from Australia’s immigration department: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/