Visa Crunch

Visa Relaxations To International Students Coming Back To Australia After Covid-19 Disruption

With relaxation in restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia, one of the top study abroad destinations, is wooing Indian students again.

Aiming to attract students from the Chandigarh region to study in Australia, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, organised a roadshow in the city on March 28, highlighting the various initiatives introduced by the government to support international students.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission has also launched Study Australia Industry Immersion Program (SAIEP) for current Indian students at Australian universities to enhance their employability skills.

The Australian Government is offering a range of new visa support initiatives to international students and graduates, including an international student visa fee refund and Covid-19 visa fee waiver, extra time for English language tests and health checks, replacement Temporary Graduate visas and extended ‘stay and work’ periods.

Students already in Australia, who held a student visa on or after February 1, 2020, and could not complete their course within the original visa time period because of Covid-19, may be eligible to have their student visa application fee (VAC) waived when applying for a new student visa.

As a part of the new offerings, eligible visa holders will be able to make a claim any time up to December 31, 2022.

Under the temporary relaxation of work restrictions, there will be no restriction on the number of hours that students can work while studying in Australia. These changes will be reviewed in April 2022. Students must still meet satisfactory course enrolment, attendance and progress requirements.

Graduates who held a valid Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), were outside of Australia at any time between February 1, 2020, and December 14, 2021, and lost time in Australia as a result of COVID-19 international travel restrictions, will have their visa extended to September 30, 2022. This extension is to allow eligible graduates time to apply for a replacement visa.

According to Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Australian Government:

“The length of stay for Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) holders has been extended from two to three years for Masters by Coursework graduates, matching the existing provisions for Masters by Research graduates. Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates will also receive a two-year Temporary Graduate visa”.

In the past five months, as many as 28,785 student visas have been lodged by Indian nationals, informed Ms Kennedy,

The Australian Government has worked hard to process student visas to ensure that Indian students are able to return to Australia to commence their studies for semester 1 2022. A surge of applications has been successfully processed with 15,310 visas granted from November 22, 2021, to March 18, 2022 and over 25,000 students arriving in Australia to begin or resume study at Australia’s quality education institutions”

she added.

More information about Study Australia and the support for Indian students is available at https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/india

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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Harsh V Singh

Manager - Creative Content.

An avid book reader and a traveller.

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