Important updates regarding student visa arrangements/review of the Working Holiday Maker Program
We hope you are all staying safe and well. Kindly find below some important updates.
Updates to Student Visa arrangements
Many of you have raised concerns about student visa arrangements throughout the COVID-19 crisis and NSW/ACT Community Engagement thanks you for communicating your valuable feedback to us. We are pleased to bring some important announcements to your attention that were made this week:
On 20 July 2020, the Minister for Education announced a number of changes to student visa arrangements to ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international students as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
These five visa changes will ensure international students are not worse off due to the coronavirus pandemic and that Australia remains competitive with other countries. The changes include:
o 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.
o 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.
o 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.
o 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.
o Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
You can visit our website, which is frequently updated as information changes: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/student-visa
Review of the Working Holiday Maker program closing 24 July
For those of you not already aware, the Australian Government is also seeking submissions from the public on the Working Holiday Maker visa and importantly the impact of COVID-19 on the program. The closing date for submissions is 24th July.
Terms of reference can be found here:
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Ensuring we remain connected with your communities continues to be a high priority for the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Government. Your feedback is vital to the Department and informs policy, decision making and government messaging. Please continue to pass your concerns and questions to us.
In particular, we are very interested in your views and feedback on the following:
- Any community concerns
- Racism or discrimination
- Reception to government messaging
- Community misconceptions
- Issues related to travel restrictions and associated processes
- Instances of misinformation or scams targeting your community
- Any new economic impacts on the community
- Any other emerging community issues.
If you would like to stop receiving this email, please advise us accordingly.
NSW/ACT Community Engagement, Department of Home Affairs
NSW Community Engagement team – firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT Community Engagement team – email@example.com