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Australia is offering visa relaxations for students returning from Covid-19 disruptions

Written on 06 April 2022 BY

Australia is once again attracting students as one of the most popular study destinations. As restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic ease, the country is once again attracting students from different regions to study in Australia.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission has also launched the Study Australian Industrial Immersion Programme (SAIEP) for students currently studying at Australian universities to enhance their employability. 

The Australian Government is providing a range of new visa support schemes for international students and graduates. These include visa fee refunds for international students and Covid-19 visa fee waivers, additional time for English language testing and health checks, alternative visas for temporary postgraduate students, and Extension of "stay and working hours". 

Students already in Australia who hold a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and are unable to complete their course within the original visa period due to Covid-19 may be entitled to a waiver of the student visa application fee (VAC) when applying for a new visa student visa. 

As part of the new offering, eligible visa holders can apply at any time until 31 December 2022. Furthermore, due to the temporary relaxation of work restrictions, there will be no limit to the number of hours students can work while studying in Australia. These changes will be reviewed in April 2022. Students must continue to meet satisfactory course registration, attendance, and progression requirements. 

Graduates on a valid temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) who were outside Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 and have not been able to travel to Australia due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions, will be granted a visa extension until September 30, 2022. This extension is designed to give eligible graduates time to apply for a replacement visa. 

According to Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, “The length of stay for Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) holders has been extended from two to three years for master's by Coursework graduates, matching the existing provisions for Master's by Research graduates. Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates will also receive a two-year Temporary Graduate visa.” 

“The Australian Government has worked hard to process student visas to ensure that 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”, Ms Kennedy added. 

If you have applied for an Australian student visa, reduce your uncertainty by adding your case to MyImmitracker, where you can see the dates when you can expect to get your status updates. Your case means a lot!  

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