Indian students wanting to join Australian universities now have reasons to cheer with some new rules and policies that will benefit them.
- Close to 1.25 lakh international student visa holders in the higher education sector were yet to reach Australia as of October 2021
- From February 18, 2022, Temporary Graduate Visa will get their visas extended to September 30, 2022
- The travel exemption is great news for Indian students since the country had over 17,000 student visa holders, out of the nearly 66,000, who were yet to travel to their institutions, till October 2021
The Australian government has announced a slew of measures aimed at bringing back international students and recent graduates. Students were hoping for faster visa processing in less time and incentives in the Australian study visa. Now, they will have to keep in mind some new rules and policies for the Australia student visa.
These include visa fee refund and unlimited working hours for student visa holders temporarily. Temporary Graduate Visa holders will now be eligible for visa extensions and prolonged stay and work periods.
With more than 92,000 students enrolled in Australian universities as of July 2021, Indians are among the largest international student groups Down Under. However, the strict pandemic-induced restrictions forced many of the current and prospective students to stay at home for longer periods, denying them access to the vibrant campus life and high quality education.
Border closures by the Australian government also impacted the country’s higher education sector which is estimated to have suffered losses up to $2 billion. The country had put in place some serious plans for international students through pilot programs. The Scott Morrison government has endorsed international student arrival plans in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory in recent months.
Close to 1.25 lakh international student visa holders in the higher education sector were yet to reach Australia as of October 2021. This is about 49% of the total student visas, as per data from the Australian government. The travel exemption is great news for Indian students since the country had over 17,000 student visa holders, out of the nearly 66,000, who were yet to travel to their institutions, as per data from market intelligence resources.
Some measures taken by the Australian government include:
Visa Fee Refund And Extension
From February 18, 2022, Temporary Graduate Visa or TGV holders (eligible for a replacement visa as a result of the time lapse due to COVID-19 international travel curbs), will get their visas extended to September 30, 2022.
- TGV holders who were not present in Australia between February 1, 2020 and December 14, 2021 will now be allowed to enter or retain their stay in the country until they are granted their replacement visa.
- Current and new international students arriving in Australia between January 19, 2022 and March 19, 2022 will get a refund of their visa application fee (AU$630). Claims from eligible visa holders are open till December 31, 2022.
- Those already in the country with a student visa on or after February 1, 2020 and could not complete their course within the original visa time period because of the impacts of COVID-19, may be eligible to have their student visa application fee waived when applying for a new student visa.
No Limitations on Student Working Hours
Currently, there is no restriction on the number of hours that students can work while studying in Australia. Students who’ve already arrived in Australia can start working before the start of their course. This will be reviewed in April 2022.
No Travel Exemptions
Fully vaccinated international students and TGV holders no longer require a travel exemption to enter the country. However, Australian government border requirements and any state or territory quarantine and testing requirements need to be met.
Australia is one of the best countries to study abroad for Indian students. Some of the popular universities include the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia and Deakin University.