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Relief for international student who stuck overseas

News Update – Immigration news update for international student who stuck overseas

International students are important for Australia and Australian economy. They are contributing $40 billion annually and supporting 250,000 jobs. Many of them become Australian citizen.

While the closure of our international borders has been critical to our success in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, and Australia has been a leader in this regard, it has presented challenges to the education sector and students, both here and offshore.

The Morrison Government is making a number of changes to student visa arrangements.

  1. The Australian Government will restart granting student visa lodged outside Australia.
  2. International student will be able to extend their student visa application free of charge.
  3. Student visa holder who are studying outside due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
  4. Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19.
  5. Additional time given to them for their English requirement.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes provide assurance to international students already in Australia and those who haven’t been able to travel due to COVID-19 border closures.

The international education sector is the fourth largest export sector. Mr Tudge said” we will assist international education sector to recovery.

“In making these changes, we have been guided by the principles that the health of Australians is key, but that international students should not be further disadvantaged by COVID-19.

“We are a welcoming nation with a world-class education system and some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the world. Students want to study here and we want to welcome them back in a safe and measured way when it is safe to do so.

“Doing so will not only support the education sector, it will also have flow-on effects for many local communities and businesses, including accommodation services, tourism, hospitality and retail.”

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the changes would give international students confidence in their visa arrangements so they can make plans to study in Australia when it is safe to do so.

“Our remarkable efforts in controlling the spread of the virus mean we can begin to welcome back international students in a COVID safe way once state borders re-open and face-to-face learning resumes,” Mr Tehan said.

“As well as supporting jobs, international education builds our connection to the rest of the world and supports a number of critical industries like health, aged and disability care.”

The Government has previously relaxed work restrictions for international students working in the health, aged and disability care sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also been flexible in cases where the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions, such as not being able attend classes in person.

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