Student and Graduate Visa Changes

The Australian Government has today announced a number of changes to Student and Graduate visa arrangements following the disruptions caused by COVID-19, addressing some key issues raised by International Students and Universities alike.

The following information has been made available so far.

Australian Study Requirement

International Students who currently hold a valid Student visa and are studying online from overseas will be able to count that study period towards the Australian Study Requirement for a Graduate Post-Study work visa.

Graduate Applications from Overseas

International Students who have completed their studies will be able to apply for a Graduate visa from outside Australia if they are stuck overseas due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Processing Restarts

Student visa applications will start processing again, so visa holders are ready to travel when the Australian borders reopen.

Fee Free Applications

Certain International Students will be able to lodge a new Student visa application without fee if they were not able to complete their studies during the validity period of their original Student visa due to COVID-19.

English Testing Extended

*UPDATED 28 August 2020 - Immigration has reversed their policy change, meaning applicants now need to provide evidence of having sat an English test prior to lodgement of a 485 application.

Policy announced 20 July indicated that applicants will be given additional time to provide English language test results where there have been disruptions to testing services due to COVID-19.

Please note that the above changes require new legislation to be released by the Department of Immigration. Details on eligibility criteria and requirements have not yet been released.

There are many International Students and recent Graduates who have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, so the announcement from the Australian Government is very welcome.

Updates will be released on the Acacia Immigration website as they become available.

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