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International students returning to Australia post covid-19


New Student Visa Changes COVID-19! International students shall return!

Are you an international student?

Are you currently back in your home country and planning to get back to Australia soon to resume your study?

Are you worried that you won’t be finishing your study in time for your visa validity due to COVID-19?

Previously Australia was shut down for international travel, now Australia is ready to welcome international students as the new semester is set to begin at the end of July in most states for most higher education institutions.

Last week, the Australian government announced some changes for the international students’ visa to help ease the heavily impacted education sector after months of uncertainty around COVID-19 Pandemic. To summarize, the student visa changes are as follows:

  • The Australian government will restart granting student visas off-shore, which will allow these international students to get back to Australia as soon as the travel restriction is lifted.
  • There is no charge for the extension of international student visas should they fail to complete their studies within the designated visa length because of COVID-19.
  • The online study activities of international students who currently hold Australian student visas that are back in their own country due to COVID-19 can later be used as the study requirement for Australian post-study work visa.
  • International student graduates under Student visa who are unable to return to Australia will still be able to apply for Australian post-study work visa from offshore.
  • Applicants will be allowed to have extra time in order to provide English language proficiency certificate since the service might have been disrupted by COVID-19.

So, you might be wondering: why does the Australian government make all these special exemptions for the international student visas? The reason is purely economic as international education is the fourth-largest export in Australia. In, 2018-2019 financial year, international students contributed almost $40 billion to the economy. They supported hundreds and thousands of jobs. A modelling from Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute projected that the misses of international students this year would lose the economy billions on the revenue which will result in the shrinking of Australian universities in the coming years. 

As quoted by SBS based on the report: “for every $1 lost in university tuition fees, there is another $1.15 lost in the broader economy due to international student spending”. A report from Australian universities peak body, Universities Australia, projected the university jobs that are at risk due to COVID-19 for the next 6 months are around 21,000. These jobs are at risk since most of their salaries are based on the income from international students.

Furthermore, in order to support the returning international students from abroad the government is planning to shorten the self-quarantine period from initially two weeks to one week for students who come from low infection rates countries. Students from New Zealand would even be allowed to not have a quarantine period at all. 

Here are some information from each state border situation regarding international students’ arrival:

  • Victoria
    The second COVID-19 wave that hit Victoria earlier this month resulted in a lockdown initiative by the government. The lockdown started at midnight on 8th July and will last for six weeks. Most of the universities in Victoria have not announced the plan in relation to the lockdown.
  • New South Wales
    Along with Victoria, the NSW government has imposed a strict restriction on its border starting from 8th July due to the second wave spike of COVID-19. The exception is made only for those who have a valid permit. They also must follow the self-isolation protocol once they arrive.
  • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
    A plan has been arranged by ACT government in order to welcome over 300 international students back to their respective universities. The plan includes a charter flight from other states and 14 days of quarantine before they are allowed to return to their campuses.
  • South Australia
    The state is welcoming around 800 international students that are currently studying in South Australia since they opened their border on 20th July.
  • Queensland
    The border was opened on 10th July. Anyone who is allowed to enter must complete a border declaration and follow the direction from the government in regards to the quarantine protocol.
  • Northern Territory
    Those who arrive in NT are required to complete a border entry form. Depending on where you were from a mandatory supervised quarantine must be undertaken.
  • Western Australia
    The WA state government has yet to announce their plan to open the state border.
  • Tasmania
    Residents who are not originally from Tasmania must follow the quarantine protocol set by the government in selected accommodations. A 14-day of self-isolation applies for Tasmanians as well.

We will try to provide you with more updates on border restrictions once changes have been made by the government.

International Student, do you need help? We’re here for you.

We understand that applying for a visa to Australia is certainly very complex. our team at ONE derland Consulting will help you to understand your visa options and also provide the best options to apply for your visa. ONE derland Consulting will take the time and compile all documents needed and guarantee that your application is 100% ready before submitting, ensuring a positive outcome for your visa application.

We have a decade of experience dealing with any and all types of visas. As a registered Australian migration agent with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), we are regulated in our professional practice and bound by the profession’s Code of Conduct issued by the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

Take the first leap and get in touch with us. our professional and knowledgeable staff will help make your dreams come true. Contact us through email at [email protected] or via phone on at 08 9477 5831 (Perth), 02 9188 2065 (Sydney) or 03 9088 4114 (Melbourne).

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