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Australia Update

Most of the Agents have received wrong interpretation of Australian Prime Ministers speech with regard to International Students.

Read the clarification from the Acting Minister for Immigration, Alan Trudge

There are 565,000 international students in Australia, mainly studying in the higher education or vocational education sector. They are an important contributor to our tertiary sector and economy, supporting 240,000 Australian jobs.

Students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia. As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves completely in their first year.

Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.

The Government will undertake further engagement with the international education sector who already provide some financial support for international students facing hardship. For example, we understand there are some education providers that are providing fee discounts to international students.

The Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able attend classes).

International students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.

International students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to support these critical sectors.

International students working in the major supermarkets had also had these hours extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. From 1 May, their hours will return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.

Greetings from the team in the Department of Home Affairs at the Australian High Commission (AHC) New Delhi.  Some of us remain in Delhi, and some of us are working from home in Australia, but we remain fully engaged in our work and hope that you and your families are safe and well during this very difficult time.  We also continue to work closely with DESE, Austrade and DFAT here in new Delhi and Canberra, in recognition of the very broad importance this sector has across Australian agencies.
Thank you for the advice you have been providing about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Australian education sector.  We are very conscious that significant challenges have arisen for agents and students due to the global pandemic and we value your contribution and ideas for how we can support the recovery of the sector and safeguard its long term future.
In regard to students who remain in Australia at this time, please be assured that the Australian Government is committed to ensuring they are safe and not disadvantaged due to the impact of the extraordinary measures that have been put in place to address the COVID-19 crisis. We hope that the following information assists you to reassure students and their families of this, and to provide guidance to future students on how they can continue to plan for their dream education in Australia.
Students in India and Overseas
The AHC in New Delhi is strictly complying with the current Government of India lockdown provisions and is operating on only skeleton staff. Additionally, a range of services are increasingly unavailable to support a visa assessment. This includes biometric collection through VFS, overseas panel doctors who undertake medical checks, and English examination providers, whose operations have been affected. Alternative means of undertaking these services are currently being explored by government and we will provide further detail when it is available.  In Australia, the Department is prioritising applications for those students who need to remain in Australia lawfully during the course of COVID-19.
The Department is aware that with current settings many applicants cannot meet requests for evidence or proof of visa requirements.  Extended timeframes will be required and flexibility will be applied.  Here at the AHC in Delhi we are currently not refusing any student visa applications that remain lodged with us and will ensure applicants are provided with sufficient time to provide additional evidence once processing recommences.
While travel restrictions remain in place, students who chose to commence an Australian course of study overseas through online study do not need a visa for Australia and will only require a visa when they intend to enter Australia.  As long as these Students remain enrolled with their provider, and the assessment requirements of the course allow it, the location and the mode of delivery should not form an impediment to attainment of an Australian qualification. National regulators, including ASQA and TEQSA, will be flexible in order to support students to study online either in Australia or offshore. For further details see –
We are aware there is great interest in policy settings for the post study work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, in particular for students who are overseas and currently unable to apply for this stream.  This matter is currently being considered by Government and we hope to have further advice for you shortly.
Students in Australia
As you know, under Australian Migration Law, there is no provision to extend the validity date of a student visa. Students seeking to extend their stay period in Australia need to make a further visa application. There are a number of visa pathways open for student visa holders to remain in Australia (including applying for another new student visa or a visitor visa), provided they meet all visa requirements.
Various other measures have been introduced to support International students during this period such as a flexible approach towards students who cannot meet the conditions of their visa because of COVID-19, early access to superannuation and the relaxation of work conditions for students in critical sectors including supermarkets and aged care.  Attached is the latest announcement of this nature from the Government, which provides flexibility around work hours for students studying certain medical courses, or working for disability service providers. The Government wants students to stay in Australia if they can support themselves noting the important contribution this will make to recovery of the sector when the immediate impact of COVID-19 passes.
Further information
The Government will continue to respond as COVID-19 situation develops and the Department will ensure that AAERI and its stakeholders remain informed.
The Department of Home Affairs has a dedicated section of its website to keep you updated on all COVID-19 developments.  Please see below links for more information:
Specific information for offshore international students is at:
Specific information for international students in Australia is at
Thank you once again for all the good work that you do to support Australia’s International Education sector.  I know that times are particularly tough right now but I am sure that by working together we can ensure a good bounce back for the sector once this terrible period has passed.
Yours sincerely
Tara, Liz, Justin and Caitlin
Immigration Visa Consultants in Chandigarh | Navigators Overseas
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