Student Visa Changes Announced

Date —

20 July 2020

Education Sector/s —
International Education

Summary —

Following sustained advocacy from the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) and other stakeholders, the Australian Government has announced a series of changes for international student visas, including fee waivers and altered post-study work rights.

Key Issues —

ITECA has been a strong advocate to support students from overseas that wish to complete their studies in Australia, something that shows a strong personal commitment during these challenging times. In response, the Australian Government has announced some significant changes.

There have been five changes that the Australian Government argues will ensure international students are not worse off due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that Australia remains competitive with other countries. These changes are as set out below.


Australian Government ―
Covid-19 International Student Visa Changes


Change 1: The Government will recommence granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia. This means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel.

Change 2:International students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge, if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to Covid-19.

Change 3: Current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to Covid-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.

Change 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.

Change 5: Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where Covid-19 has disrupted access to these services.

These measures build on previous reforms that 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.

According to ITECA, international students play a vital role in Australia’s growth and development and thus these changes are welcome. The changes announced today will have maximum impact when Australia is in a position to reopen its borders to overseas students.

“Last year, independent tertiary education providers supported more than 200,000 students studying in Australia and they look forward to welcoming them back to Australia as soon as circumstances permit,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

ITECA continues to work alongside key stakeholders including English Australia and the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) to support international education providers and their students.

Getting Involved —

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA International Education Reference Committee.  ITECA Membership - it's a great time to get involved.

Further Information —

If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you.  Simply send an email to [email protected] or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Disclaimer & Copyright —

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