As Australia moves towards recovery, Australia remains a high quality and welcoming destination for international students. Recently, the Government has announced a range of visa measures to support students. Some of these measures have included legislative changes and need to be checked regularly. However, today we will summarize the current updates relevant to you:
Student visa fee
Currently, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) will waive the visa application fee to allow you to lodge a further student visa application to complete your study. This will be available to students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and who couldn’t complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19. This includes students who:
- deferred their study as they were unable to enter Australia due to travel restrictions
- were forced to reduce to a part-time study load
- were unable to complete their work-based training and/or placements.
Please note, that this measure is not intended for students who are applying for a new student visa due to ordinary reasons (including if you have failed a course or a unit of study, deferred for personal reasons or voluntarily reduced your study load.)
To be eligible to have your application for a fee waiver considered, you must apply for a Student visa and attach a completed Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student (PDF – 228 KB) from your education provider with a valid Student visa application. The good part is, you can apply for this online and you can be onshore or offshore when you make the application. This waiver only applies to the visa application fee.
Another important factor to note is that this only works for new applications for the fee to be waived.
Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa eligibility
The DOHA has also changed the requirements for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa for those who have been impacted by COVID-19. These changes include:
- Currently, online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian Study Requirement for existing and new student visa holders
- A future change that will be implemented is that graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate visa outside Australia (where they have met all the requirements).
Current Student visa conditions
The DOHA has since taken a flexible approach where COVID‑19 restrictions have prevented student visa conditions being met. Now all student visa holders will not be deemed to be in breach of their student visa conditions if you:
- have an approved course deferral
- are studying online.
Moreover, you are also temporarily allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight if you 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 in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider
- employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.
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 you want to apply for a student visa, or you are a current visa holder and you wish to have the student visa fee waived, or if you simply want to know more about the current student visa conditions in place during this pandemic, 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.