Update for international students

The Australian Govt. has announced some new updates in visa arrangements for international students who are unable to come back to Australia due to COVID.

The Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge in a joint media release has announced that the Australian Government will make some changes in their visa arrangements to support international students.

The changes provide assurance to international students already in Australia and those who haven’t been able to travel due to COVID-19 border closures.

The changes include:

  1. The Government will recommence granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia. This means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel.
  • International students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge, if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19.
  • Student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
  • Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19.
  • Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.


  1. Am I able to apply for student visa although Australian international border is closed?

Yes, you may lodge student visa. If granted, you will be able to travel to Australia once the international border is open and flights resumes. 

  • I currently hold student visa, but I am in my home country. I cannot travel to Australia. My visa is expiring soon or have expired. Can I get student visa automatically extended?

You cannot be automatically granted or extended your student visa if it has expired. You need to apply for another student visa.  

As per the Minister announcement, yes you will be allowed to apply for this visa. Keep in mind, this is just an announcement, not a legislative change. It may take some time for this announcement to be implemented and be in effect. 

  • I am outside of Australia; my student visa has expired. Do I need to continue to study? 

Yes, you should continue your studies online to maintain your visa condition. As most of the schools/Universities are offering online classes. If your visa has expired, you need to apply for a new visa. It may be advantageous to apply for a new visa while offshore before your current visa expires. 

You may also be interested to read previous changes applicable to international students and temporary visa holders.

Check your occupation if it is eligible for skilled migration. ANZSCO Search

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