With the recent Covid-19 cases surging in Victoria and the uncertainty of when Australia will reopen their borders again, visa concerns have been flooding the international community and rightfully so.
In response to these, the Australian Government has reiterated the importance international students hold in Australia by introducing five important visa changes as of Monday, 20th July 2020.
These changes include:
- The Government will recommence granting student visas regardless of where you are. This means that international students who are currently outside of Australia and unable to enter due to Covid-19, will be able to receive their visas readily in advance when the borders finally reopen.
- International students who are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity period due to Covid-19 will now be able to lodge a further visa application free-of-charge.
- Current international students attending online classes outside of Australia due to Covid-19 will have their online study count towards the Australian study requirements when applying for a post-study work visa.
- Post-study work rights will not be affected by Covid-19, as graduates who have held a student visa in the past will be eligible to apply for post-study work visas outside of Australia if they are unable to return due to the pandemic
- Visa applicants will be given additional time to provide their English language results in places where Covid-19 has disrupted access to these services.
In the official media release, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said that these changes will help provide confidence in international students already in Australia and those who cannot travel due to Covid-19.
“We are a welcoming nation with a world-class education system and some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the world. Students want to study here and we want to welcome them back in a safe and measured way when it is safe to do so,” said Mr Trudge.
Cham Yee Yond, an international student currently in her final year at RMIT, said that these changes are especially important during this pandemic.
“I failed a subject in my last semester, so these visa changes really give me a lot more security when it comes to being able to complete my studies in Melbourne.
“Now, I won’t have to worry about being forced back home without the certainty of when Australia will reopen their borders and when I will be able to graduate and complete my degree,” said Cham.
What do you think? Do the changes help and bring positive news to international students?