Moving into the 26th week of the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of the universities and colleges have started to proceed operating by adapting to the new normal following the Standard Operating Procedure, SOP.
Some of the universities are already starting to conduct physical classes with a limited number of students allowed to come to the campus. Meanwhile, a lot of the remaining universities are still operating remotely by conducting classes, giving out assignments and doing tests online mostly for international students who are still unable to travel overseas due to the restriction.
With that being said, it’s difficult to tell when the students will be able to travel back to Australia considering the worrying number of cases in Victoria.
Australian Government Department of Health Update:
In conjunction with the concern of the pause in students’ visa processing; last Monday 20 July 2020, Australian government had finally addressed the issue regarding students visa arrangements for their new and existing students. Below are the latest updates:
- The government would resume processing new students’ visas and start giving them out at all locations outside Australia, so students could arrange travel as soon as the borders reopen.
- The applicants will also be given additional time to provide English language results due to the COVID-19 situation that had disrupted the process.
- International students who are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19 will be given the privilege to lodge a further student visa application for free.
- The time spent by the existing international student visa holders studying online due to COVID-19 will be counted towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
- Graduates with a student visa that are unable to return due to COVID-19 will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia.
Andrew Norton, who is a professor in the practice of higher education policy at the Australian National University, said that this announcement will give students more certainty about their post-study work visa question that had been worrying them.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Insider Guides
Top Questions about studying in Australia during the COVID-19.
You are required to isolate yourself for 14 days from the point of entry if you are potentially exposed, entering Australia or traveling between states or territories within Australia. If you fall sick in between the isolation period, you need to notify health authorities for Covid-19 test.
Financial penalties will be applied to the people who failed to fulfill the self-isolation requirements.
Australia has reached 21K number of cases and the majority of them is contributed by cases in Victoria which has reached up to 14K. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory is the location that has recorded the lowest number of cases up to date – less than 40 cases.
In order to reduce the time and hassle for the students that might have difficulties in finishing their English language test due to COVID-19, the majority of the Asutralian universities will be accepting IELTS and TOEFL (IBT); some of the universities accept other English language tests as well depending on the university.
Depending on the university, applicants will be given additional time to submit their English language results and complete biometric and health checks, giving the future students who are impacted by the COVID-19 the chance to complete their visa applications.
Yes, Australian Government has addressed this issue on 20th July and confirmed that the time spent by the existing international student visa holders due to COVID-19 will be counted towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
Depending on the university, some universities such as Griffith University and University of Queensland have offered a discount in their tuition fees for their students with terms and conditions applied.
New Visa Application Fee Waiver
Students who are unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to the pandemic will be given the privilege to reapply without paying the usual application fees.
How do I apply for the fee waiver?
You’ll need to submit COVID-19 Impacted Students form from your education provider, in addition to your visa application. This form will need a signature from your education provider, in order to prove the pandemic has affected your visa requirements.
Note that this fee waiver will only be relevant for new applications and there will be no refund offered to those who applied before midnight 5 August 2020.
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