On 20th of July 2020, Alan Tudge, the acting minister for immigration and Dan Tehan, the education minister in Australia released a joint press statement that included the five major changes that they are making to student visas.
Following upon that announcement to the student visa changes, there is a further update on the free student applications for international students.
In this article, we are going to discuss:
✅ What is free student visa application?
✅ Who is eligible for this visa?
✅ How to apply for this visa?
✅ Other Student Visa Updates
What's in this guide ?
What is free student visa application?
This free visa application is one of the major changes announced by Australian Government couple of weeks again.
Australian Government has decided to waive the visa application fee to allow international students to lodge a further student visa application to complete their study.
Basically, students who have been unable to complete the study due to COVID-19 pandemic, will be able to apply for a new student visa at no extra cost, to help them complete their study.
It is a very good initiative by Australian Government and finally some much needed relief for international students.
Who is eligible for this visa application?
There are few requirements to meet in order to be eligible for this visa application:
- You must have held a valid student visa on or after 1st feb 2020
- You were unable to complete your study due to Covid 19 pandemic
This waiver of the fee will be available to new student visa applications made after midnight 5th August 2020.
Please note: if you didn’t meet these requirements, then you are ineligible to apply for this free visa.
Also, it will only be available to the new visa application and no refunds will be issued to the applications made before 5th August
How to apply for this visa?
In order to get this student visa fee waiver, you will need to apply your student visa and you have to provide an additional form which is to be completed by your education provider.
The form is known as a COVID-19 impacted students (Form no. 1545).
These forms have 5 parts:
1️⃣ Education provider details
2️⃣ Student details
3️⃣ Student visa applicant
4️⃣ Temporary graduate visa applicant
Please note that this form needs to be completed and signed by your education provider.
You will be required to submit this form along with your student visa application.
You must apply for this visa online. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply.
If you are ineligible for this visa waiver or fail to submit this form along with your student visa application, then your application could be invalidated and you would be required to submit the new visa application.
In addition to the student visa fee waiver, there were 4 other major announcements, that includes::
👉 Australian government will recommence granting international students visas who are offshore. So this basically means when the borders are reopened international students who already have got their visas sorted they will be able to make arrangements to travel to Australia
👉 Online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian Study Requirement for existing and new student visa holders.
👉 Graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate visa outside Australia (where they have met all the requirements)
👉 Flexible time-frame to be given to the international students to provide further information for the visa applications. So additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language test results, biometric information and health checks.
For more details on these changes, please check the Department of Home Affairs here.
Again, if you are in a doubt with your specific situation, then we suggest you to check with a registered migration agent for that.