The Australian government announced changes to ensure that the situation of international students, who represent an income of some $40,000 million annually for the country, does not worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migration Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said on Monday the changes give security to international students already in Australia and those who have been unable to travel due to Australia’s border closures. COVID-19.

“These measures support the international education sector – our fourth largest export sector (after coal, iron and gas) – and will help its recovery,” said Tudge.


  • The Government will reprocess student visas outside Australia to allow their return when the borders are reopened to foreigners.
    International students will be able to reapply for a student visa without paying the fee again if they are unable to complete their studies within the validity period of their original visa due to COVID-19.
    Current student visa holders who study online outside of Australia as a result of the COVID-19 crisis will be able to use that study time as part of the requirement to subsequently obtain a work visa.
    Graduates holding a student visa will subsequently be able to apply for a work visa outside of Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19.
    Applicants will be given additional time to provide results of their English proficiency levels in the event that access to these services has been interrupted due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    Education is one of the export stars after coal, iron and gas.

    The pandemic has forced international students, who pay up to $33,000 for their studies in Australia, to cancel their study plans or return to their countries of origin due to lack of employment and subsidies.

    The reduction in the income of international students due to the closure of hospitality businesses, which normally employ these foreigners, and the exclusion of public universities from the government salary subsidy scheme for workers, has hit this sector hard.

    The university sector is expected to lose up to $16 billion by 2023 and 21,000 jobs due to the impact of Covid-19.

    Across Australia, 80 per cent of international students were able to return to Australia for the first semester, but for the second semester, universities, which operate on a business model, have seen a massive drop in enrollments from overseas. .

    For this reason, Minister Tudge considered that “in making these changes, we have been guided by the principles that the health of Australians is key, but that international students should not be further harmed by COVID-19”.

    Likewise, Tudge stressed that the measures “will not only support the education sector, but will also have flow effects for many local communities and businesses, including accommodation services, tourism, hospitality and commerce.”