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Australia Study visa requirements

New Rules for Australia Study Visa Requirements in 2021

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted international students to a great extent. Many of them were unable to return to Australia to continue studying there physically. 

The Australian government introduced new rules and regulations to bring back students and start the curriculum, ensuring that all international students are able to continue studies. Read on to find out more.

The 7 New Rules on the Australia Study Visa Requirements In 2020

The Government of Australia has announced new rules for a student visa on 20th July. The new visa rules are to support international students and make it more flexible for them to apply. 

Australian Immigration minister, Alan Tudge announced new rules through his tweet: 

new-rules

1. Australia opens its border for International Students

July 20, 2020: The Australian government has resumed providing student visas to all locations situated outside Australia. 

It means that by the time when Australia reopens its border for international students, they will already have their visas with them and can carry on with their travel arrangements.

2. Post-work-study visa relaxations (Temporary Graduate Visa - Subclass 485)

July 20, 2020: Students and Graduates, who were affected by travel restrictions since 20th March,2020, will now be able to apply and receive a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa from outside Australia.

3. Consideration of Online Classes 

July 20, 2020: The government will now consider all online educational classes that were taken outside Australia due to COVID-19 as a part of the Australian Study Requirement for existing and newly admitted students 

4. Extension of Student Visa-Free of Charge

July 20, 2020: International students can further apply for a student visa, free of application charge, if they cannot complete their registered course from an Australian university within the visa validity because of this pandemic.

5. Additional time to submit documents

July 20, 2020: Applicants are provided additional time to submit English Language Test Results that got disrupted since March 2020, because of COVID-19. 

The government will also offer more time for applicants to submit their biometrics, health checks, character certificates and other services that got disrupted by COVID-19.

6. Students can now apply for a Post- Study work visa

July 20, 2020: Graduates who had a student visa are now eligible to apply for a Post-study work visa if they are outside Australia and cannot enter the country because of travel restrictions.

Note: The government takes initiatives to provide support and relief to international students on temporary visas. $200 million was offered to charity of which $7 million was donated to the Red Cross.

7. Government will take care of International Students 

The government is also taking care of students' financial hardships who are stuck in Australia for longer than 12 months because of COVID-19. The government is allowing the students to access their Australian superannuation (FUNDS) before time.

The government is also taking steps to protect international students against eviction from their rental accommodation with similar protection laws offered to all Australian Citizens.

Australian Visa & Immigration Updates 2021

The migration cap for the period 2020-2021 is set at 160,000 places. The officials are focusing on selecting the best and skilled workers.

migration-planning-levels

Under the skilled stream, the government will prioritize processing Employer Sponsored (subclasses 482 and 186) and Provisional Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visas.

There is a decrease of 30000 spots in the General Skilled Migration cap.

Reduction in Visa Allocations in 2021

Increase in Family Stream Visa application

There is an increase of 61.75% of visa places under the family stream. The allocated visa spots have increased from 47,732 to 77,300, out of which the majority are partner visas (subclass 820 and 801)

The government is also planning to approve 75% of the partner visa application process for applicants already present in Australia. Some updates on this process:

  • Authorized Character Checks
  • Providing Sponsor Information
  • Sponsorship Applications according to the law
  • English Language Requirements for sponsors and Visa applicants.

Covid-19 Refunds by the Australian government

The Australian government has notified that there will be a refund of Visa Application Charge (VAC) for visa holders who failed to enter Australia because of the pandemic.

The authorities will provide a refund for visa holders, including:

  • Visit visa holder
  • Temporary Skilled Worker
  • Seasonal Worker Programme visa holders
  • Prospective marriage visa (PMV) holders
  • Pacific Labour Scheme visa holders 

The government is also waiving application fees for people who have paid the fees and cannot travel. They include:

  • Visitor Visa
  • Temporary Skilled workers re- application
  • Working Holidays Visas

Two new Regional Visas introduced by the Australian government

Nov 18, 2020: The Australian Government has added few new rules under two new regional visas which were introduced by the government in November 2019. 

The new rules are aimed to provide more flexibility for skilled workers:  

1. Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional Visa) 

Skilled Workers and their families are now eligible to live, study and work in the government selected regional areas in Australia for 5 years.

They can apply for Permanent Residence in Australia after 3 years.

Applicants for this Visa should be nominated by an Australian Government Agency (491 Occupation List) or sponsored by a family member (MLTSSL list) residing in the regional area.

2. Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored

This visa has replaced the 187 (RSMS Visa). The government has allocated 10,000 spots for immigrants under this visa.

The applicant needs employer sponsorship for 5 years and at least 3 years’ skilled employment to apply through this visa.

It has an age limit of 45 years, and the applicant must meet the English and AMSR standards.

Covid 19 Impact on Student Visa Holders in Australia

The current data shows that there has been a steep decline in the visa application process of International students by 4.7% from March 2020 to June 2020. It happened because Australia closed its border for Australian students due to the pandemic.

The table below shows you the result:

Student Visa Holders in Australia

Categories

March

June

Foreign Affairs or Defense

4505

4342

Higher Education

340,494

330,419

Independent ELICOS

25,419

17,758

Non-Award

8,997

3,386

Postgraduate Research

27,396

26,198

Schools

18,935

17,503

VET

162,194

160,642

 

The data below shows the number of students taking online classes in and outside Australia due to border closure and are pursuing their graduation.

students-taking-online-classes

Previous rules that are still relevant for the Australian student visa in 2020

Numerous rules are attached to the Australian student visa Conditions.  They are unchanged and are vital. 

student-visa-conditions

  • Must obey Australian laws
  • Severe penalty if engaging in illegal activities
  • Cannot stay more than the specific time
  • If you want to stay longer, you have to apply for a new student visa
  • If you want to stay, you can apply for other visas
  • There are special considerations if your visa expires before graduation
  • In special cases, the officials will grant you a visitor visa
  • However,  you must submit a letter containing the date of graduation from the education provider
  • You can travel in and out of Australia
  • You or your family members cannot work until you have started the course
  • You can only work for 40 hours per fortnight
  • Your family members can work for 40 hours in a period of two weeks
  • The family members accompanying must meet the character and health requirements
  • Make sure to get your superannuation fund before you leave Australia
  • It is only applicable if: 

                 1. You had a job
                 2. You were more than 18 years of age
                 3. You have paid AUD 450 or higher in the form of tax in one month

For updates on recent immigration trends in Australia and around the world, visit the Kansas Latest News Updates.

Other Important FAQs

What is an Australian Study Visa?

Australia is a hotspot for international students, who want to pursue higher studies, but you need to get a student visa to do that. 

Since July 2016, Australia has introduced a student visa (subclass 500) for international students.

With a student Subclass 500 Visa, you can:

  • Take part in your desired educational program.
  • Your family members can accompany you to Australia.
  • You can apply online for the selected program in or outside Australia.
  • chances to pr after completing the course

What are the different types of student visas and their validity? 

The different Australian student visas and their validity:

Visa Types

Valid for 

Student Visa (subclass 500)

5 years

Visitor Visa (subclass 600, 601, 651)

3 months

Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 and 462)

4 months

Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590)

3 months or 20 hours per week

Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)

18 months to 4 years

Training Visa (subclass 407)

2 years

 

What are the different language tests and their requirements?

The different language tests and their minimum requirements :

Exam

Minimum Score Required

Minimum Score for 10 weeks ELICOS

Minimum Score for 20 weeks ElICOS

IELTS

5.5

5

4.5

TOEFL-iBT

46

35

32

CAE

162

154

147

PTE

42

36

30

Occupational English Test

B for each test component

NA

NA

 

ELICOS - English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students

What is the processing time For an Australian Study Visa?

It usually takes a minimum 1 month to maximum 3 months to process Australian Study Visa.

Visa process time for a Student Visa applicant  are:

Stream

Processing Time

Foreign Affairs or Defense Sector

20 days

Postgraduate Research Sector

39 days

Independent ELICOS Sector

23 days

Vocational Education and Training Sector

36 days

Higher Education Sector

17 days

 

What is the eligibility criteria for an Australian Student Visa?

The eligibility criteria for Australian student visa:

  • Apply for a course 
  • Provide Evidence of  CoE or Confirmation of Enrollment
  • Letter of Support
  • Letter from Educator
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
  • Health Insurance 
  • English Language (IELTS, PTE, TOFEL) certificates 
  • Sufficient Funds
  • Sign the Australian Values Statement

What are the documents required for an Australian Student Visa?

The documents required for an Australia student Visa:

  • Passport
  • Offer Letter
  • OSHC (Overseas student Health Cover)/ Insurance
  • Evidence of Financial Capacity for 12 months
  • Proof of  stay and return airfare (Minimum $20,000 excluding Tuition costs)
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Proof
  • English Proficiency (IELTS score) Test Scores

Note: Students from New Zealand do not require a student visa to study in Australia.

Can students enter Australia now?

International students could return to Australia by year-end of 2020 or 2021.

Is Australia granting Australia student visas?

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Government has started issuing student visas for students present in all locations outside Australia. It means that very soon, international borders are going to be re-opened for students.

What is the minimum wage for students in Australia?

Currently, the minimum wage for a student in Australia is $18.23. Apart from that, they can also earn $719.20 in their 40 hours per week period.

What is an OSHC in Australia?  

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is an insurance program under the Australian Medicare system.

It provides health insurance coverage to international students in Australia. The students can pay for OSHC through their Australian University. 

OSHC will cover the student’s medical expenses along with:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Doctor Visits
  • Ambulance
  • Prescription and Medicines 

International students should apply for OSHC before their enrolment in an Australian educational institution.

Conclusion

These are the new changes in Australian Student Visa requirement that an Indian Student should know: 

  1. Australia opens its border for international students
  2. Post-work-study visa relaxations (Temporary Graduate Visa - subclass 485)
  3. Consideration of Online Classes
  4. Extension of Student Visa-Free of Charge
  5. Additional time to submit documents
  6. Students can now apply for a Post- Study work visa
  7. Government will take care of International Students

If you are confused about the new changes in Australian student visa requirements, you can contact us immediately. We will be pleased to help you in any way we can.

Book a free consultation

Topics: Study, Australia

Anusha
Anusha

Anusha stands out for in-depth knowledge of Canada, UK and Australia visa process. With 7+years of experience, she adds a lot of worth to the team.

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