The Australian Trade and Investment Commission revealed during a roadshow in Hyderabad, India, that international students planning to study in Australia will be eligible for a variety of Australia study visa assistance.
According to the New Indian Express, this includes reimbursement of the Australia study visa price and a waiver of the COVID-19 visa fee. Students will also be given more time to complete English language examinations and health checks, as well as replacement Temporary Graduate visas and prolonged “stay and work” durations.
“Students already in Australia, who held a student visa on or after Feb. 1, 2020, and could not complete their course within the original visa time period because of the impact of COVID-19 may be eligible to have their student visa application fee (VAC) waived when applying for a new student visa,” officials said.
This comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in January that overseas students’ visas will be waived at a cost of 630 Australian dollars per student. According to local media, the country would waive visa application fees for students and backpackers for at least the next three months as it seeks to fill crucial workforce shortages caused by COVID-19.
Morrison previously stated that the federal government will eliminate the 40-hour-per-fortnight maximum on student visa-holder workers, which means that international students will no longer be limited in the number of hours they can work.
Eligible Skilled-Recognised Graduate (Subclass 476) visa holders who missed out on time in Australia due to COVID-19 international border limitations will also have their visas extended for another 24 months. This visa allows recent engineering graduates to work, live, and study in Australia. This will give eligible visa holders the normal visa period plus an extra six months.
As per Alex Hawke, Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs, this will allow current and previous Skilled-Recognized Graduate visa holders to enter or reside in Australia until April 2024.
“This measure recognises the importance of qualified engineers to Australia’s economy, particularly as we continue to manage the COVID-19 recovery,” Hawke said. “Australia’s international border opened to fully vaccinated Student, Temporary Graduate and Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa holders from December 15, 2021.”
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