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Visa Changes to Support International Students

The Department of Home Affairs is implementing a range of visa changes to support International students as announced by The Hon Alan Tudge, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs on 20 July.

Student visa fee

Students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and who couldn’t complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19 can get the application fee for a new student visa waived to complete their studies.

Students must follow the process outlined on the COVID-19 and the border student visa page of the Department of Home Affairs.

Offshore student visa grants

While the Department of Home Affairs has continued to process student visa applications, they have recommenced granting visas for students who lodged a student visa application outside Australia where all the requirements are met.

This means when the borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel to Australia.

Current Student visa conditions

As outlined on the COVID-19 and the border student visa page of the Department of Home Affairs, the department is currently taking a flexible approach where COVID‑19 restrictions have prevented student visa conditions being met. You will not be in breach of your student visa conditions if you:

  • have an approved course deferral

  • are studying online.

Students are also temporarily allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight if they are:

  • employed in the healthcare sector, enrolled in a healthcare related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID‑19

  • employed in aged care by an approved aged care service provider

  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.

Studying online

Please contact your education provider to discuss the requirements for studying online. For more information, see Joint TEQSA and ASQA statement relating to flexible delivery and National Code requirements for affected tertiary students to undertake online study.

Return of international students to Australia

Arrangements for the return of international students to Australia will be implemented once it is safe to do so.


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