As you may not already know, the Government is currently taking a more flexible approach when it comes to student visa conditions where COVID-19 restrictions have prevented conditions being met, such as your attendance at class or the use of online learning. With the coronavirus pandemic still looming, here are the current updates you need to know regarding your visa:
- If your study in Australia is ending, and you are unable to leave Australia due to the current travel restrictions, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). However, you need to do this before your Student visa expires.
- If your course is considered ‘out of session’, you can work unlimited hours. These courses that are considered ‘out of session’ are those that occur during scheduled course breaks or if a student has finished their course as scheduled.
- If you have commenced studying a masters by research or a doctorate course, you can also work unlimited hours.
- If your course has been deferred, you can work over 40 hours per fortnight.
- There are some concessions for student visa holders who are temporarily permitted to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in order to support the supply of essential goods and services for Australians. This affects those who are:
- employed in the health sector, enrolled in a health related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID-19
- employed by registered supermarkets (this temporary measure will cease on 1 May 2020 for supermarkets)
- employed in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider
- employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.
- If you are thinking of extending your Student Visa, unfortunately, under Australian migration law, it is not possible! In this case, you will need to apply for a new visa if:
- you cannot return to your home country and your visa is expiring
- you need more time in Australia to complete your course.
Please note that you should apply for a new Student visa six weeks before your existing Student visa expires. There is no need to provide evidence of impacts of COVID-19 with your Student visa application.
If your study in Australia is ending, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). But remember. You need to do this before your Student visa expires. When you make a new application before your current visa expires, you will be given a bridging visa to remain lawful while all requirements are met.
- Unfortunately, the Department of Home Affairs does not regulate mode of study requirements.
You should contact your education provider.
- You also do not need to notify the Department if you return home, or your study situation changes. Your visa remains valid until you lodge another visa application, or your visa expires.
- During this coronavirus pandemic, you are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and your own savings to sustain yourself while you are in Australia. If you are unable to support yourself, you should make arrangements to return to your home country. If you have been in Australia for more than 12 months, and you find yourself in financial hardship you will be able to access your Australian superannuation.
Our Registered Migration Agents at Migration Centre of Australia have been in the migration industry for many years and have helped thousands of clients onshore and offshore. We are trained professionals in Australian Migration Law and we are trusted providers in the industry for our services. If your student visa is expiring or has expired, or if you wish to apply for another visa, or you simply wish to discuss any or part of these student visa changes that affect you, contact us today on (02) 4626 1002 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of my registered migration agents will be ready to help you.