Australia Introduces Waivers, Visa Relaxations for International Students


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Mar 29, 2022 05:59 PM IST

After a two-year hiatus, the Australian government is now in overdrive, working hard toward welcoming international students who have been patiently waiting to reenter the country for the past two years.

Australia Introduces Waivers, Visa Relaxations for International Students

With the pandemic taking a turn for the better, countries the world over are removing or reducing their border restrictions for international students and international travellers. Among them, the most sought after study abroad destination among prospective international students, Australia, is starting to, not only relax their border restrictions but also introduce measures to attract international students.

Among the steps taken, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission launched the Study Australia Industry Immersion Programme (SAIEP) for Indian students currently enrolled in universities across Australia, in a bid to enhance their employability skills.

Additionally, international students as well as graduates, are being offered a number of new visa support initiatives from the Australian Government. These initiatives include an extended stay back and work periods in Australia, Covid-19 Visa waiver, international student visa fee refund, additional time offered for replacement Temporary Graduate Visas, English Language tests and health checks, among others.

Also Read: India Overtakes China to Become No.1 Country of Origin for Intl Students in Victoria

Those who held a student visa on or after 1st February 2020 and were unable to complete their courses within the stipulated time period as a result of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, now possess the possibility of being eligible for a student visa application waiver, applicable whenever they apply for the new student visa. According to regulations, the eligible candidates will be able to claim the offer any time before 31st December 2022.

The work as international students regulations also saw relaxations, allowing students to work in Australia without having to meet any work-hour restrictions. However, this relaxation is temporary and is scheduled to be reviewed in April 2022. While the work hour limitations have been removed temporarily, students are still expected to satisfy the course enrolment, attendance and progress requirements.

Australia has also introduced a solution for students with a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), who had been outside the country between 1st February 2020 and 14th December 2021 and lost valuable time due to the strict travel restrictions. Australia announced that those with a Temporary Graduate Visa will have their visa extended till 30th September 2022, in a bid to help them apply for a replacement visa.

Also Read: India-Australia Taskforce to Identify Opportunities for Australian and Indian Higher Education

Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, also highlighted the extended length of stays implemented for different graduates. In her statements, she stated that:

  • The length of stay for Masters by Coursework graduates has been extended from two to three years, under the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485).

  • The length of stay for Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates has been extended to two years, under the Temporary Graduate Visa.

Ms Kennedy further highlighted the increase in student visa applications by Indian students, where a total of 28,785 applications have been received. Promising the efforts put in by the federal government in helping students start their semester 1 courses this year, Kennedy also added that more than 25,000 students are expected to start or resume their studies in Australia.

Source: Tribune India

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