IMMIGRATION NEWS – updates due to COVID-19

The Department of Home Affairs have listed the following measures to assist international students who have been affected by the current COVID-9 situation

  1. Holders of student visas can apply for another visa WITHOUT FEE if they held a student visa on or after 1 Feb 2020 and could not complete their studies within their required visa validity period due to COVID-19.
  2. To be eligible to apply for a fee waiver, they need to submit Form 1545 along with their student visa application.
  3. The application must be lodged online, however the student can either be offshore or onshore at the time of visa lodgement.
  4. Online study undertaken offshore by those on student visas as a result of COVID-19 restrictions can be counted towards the Australian Study requirement for existing and new student visa holders.
  5. The Department is also currently putting in place legislation whereby graduates affected by the current COVID-19 travel restrictions can apply for a Temporary graduate Visa- subclass 485 OFFSHORE and can be granted this visa even if they are outside Australia.
  6. We are also getting indications that 485 visa applicants will be given additional time to provide English tests if they provide evidence that they were unable to book a test due to closure of test centres- however, this is not confirmed. So WATCH THIS SPACE