Australia Resumes Student Visa Process and also made Major Changes in Visa Rules
In the context of the ongoing pandemic, Scott Morrison led government in Australia, has announced 5 important changes in the immigration policy of Australia to support international students. Australia is at the 3rd position in the list of most popular study abroad destinations as it has affordable tuition fees compared to the USA and the UK. Australia also offers a three-year post-study work permit to international students for the regional area, which further makes a way to Permanent Residency in Australia. To maintain this position Australia has put some efforts and taken some measures for international students.
Measures taken by Australia
1. Recommence granting student visas
The government of Australia will begin granting student visas, thus when borders re-open, students will already have their visas ready and will be able to plan their travel arrangements. It will start granting student visas in all the places registered outside Australia.
2. Additional time will be given to submit English-language proficiency results.
If the students are unable to get the results of their English language proficiency test, they will be provided additional time to submit their results if Covid-19 has disrupted access to these services.
3. Free ‘further’ student visa application
Foreign students who will not be able to complete their studies within the original validity of their student visa because of the coronavirus situation will now be allowed to submit a ‘further’ application for a student visa with no cost.
4. Consideration of the online study period in the eligibility of the post-study work visa.
International student-visa holders who are studying online from their home country, outside Australia, due to this pandemic, will have the right to use that study period to be counted while checking the eligibility for the post-study work visa.
5. Post-study work visa outside Australia application
Graduate students who are holders of a student visa will be able to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are not in a situation to return to the country due to Covid-19.
The official statement does not say anything about when Australia will withdraw border restrictions and let international students enter the country. Dan Tehan, the Minister for Education said that these changes would raise confidence in international students for their visa arrangements for Australia and they can enter the country to study when it is safe from the virus.
Austrian Post-study work visa
International students, who study in Australia for a tenure of 2-3 years receive a two-year post-study work visa. If they have studied in specified regional areas, they may be offered an additional year’s work tenure. Further, graduates who are holders of student visa will have the right to apply for a post-study work visa from outside Australia, if they are not able to return to the country because of this Covid-19 situation.
In an official release, Alan Tudge, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs said, “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.”
Indian students in Australia
Students of India are increasingly choosing Australia as their study destination. During the fiscal year which ended in June 2018, there were around 1.07 lakh students from India in Australia. This increased by 34% making a total of 1.44 lakh during fiscal 2018-19. In the international student contingent, Indian students make around 15% of it.
International students contribute around $40 billion to Australia’s economy annually and support approximately 2.50 lakh jobs. Regarding this, Alan Tudge said that these measures will assist in recovery in the economy as the international education sector is their fourth-largest export sector. He also added that in making these changes, they will take care of the health of Australian peoples by keeping its priority, but the international student will also be served and will not give any more disadvantages to them because of by Covid-19.
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