New Australia visa policy “good news” for International students

New Australia visa policy “good news” for International students

New Australia visa policy “good news” for International students

The Australian government has announced a visa flexibility package for the International students amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic.

In a rare piece of good news for the educational industry, Canberra has assured to again begin the process of granting visa applications to the prospective students outside Australia so they can arrive when borders re-open. The government will also provide students with additional time to prove their English language skills due to COVID-19 and the disruption and access to language tests.

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The flexibility for free visa extension will also be given to the current students whose courses were disrupted due to the virus outbreak. However, the government has clarified the eligibility criteria regarding the students' post-study work rights based on performance. At the same time, they undertake the rest of the semester online remotely, even if they will not be able to return to Australia before graduation. 

"These measures back the international education sector – our fourth-largest export sector – and will assist its recovery," said human services minister Alan Tudge. "Doing so will…also have flow-on effects for many local communities and businesses, including accommodation services, tourism, hospitality, and retail.", he added.

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The alteration was announced after a resurgence of the coronavirus in Melbourne and south-western Sydney. The recession in overseas admissions is the key contributor to the income deficit affecting Australia's universities, which has been expected to be at up to A $ 5 billion (£2.8 billion) this year alone.

The International Education Association of Australia assures that the measures would aid students in Australia and those stranded outside Australia. Until now, those compelled to reapply for visas to finish their academic term impeded by the coronavirus have faced up to A $ 600.

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The CEO Phil Honeywood, applauded the alteration and flexibility regarding fee waivers on empathetic grounds. "However, the devil is still in the detail on some of these announcements – particularly the post-study work rights visa eligibility criteria," he said. 

Education minister Dan Tehan ensures the new plans would provide overseas students support in their visa arrangements "so they can make plans to study in Australia when it is safe to do so."

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"These changes show that the government understands what we need to be competitive with other international education destination countries, and is prepared to take action," Mr. Watt said. But he expressed reservations about the limiting of the relaxed post-study work rights criteria to students who already had visas.

Survey results suggest that international students see Australia and its neighbor New Zealand as safe places to study because of both countries' success in containing the spread of Covid-19. But industry figures worry that this competitive advantage is being eroded as northern hemisphere competitor countries allow students notwithstanding their higher COVID caseload.

Source: [email protected]

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