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Visa advice for students
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LET’S START WITH SOME BASIC FAQS AND NEWS!
There is much confusion, fake news and wrong information running around the social media, let’s give some clear points:
You may be eligible for the Red Cross Safety Net support, funded by the Australian government, if you:
- are in Australia on a temporary visa
- are in urgent financial hardship
- cannot access Centrelink, Medicare or similar services
- have no income, savings or other financial support (including from family overseas).
People with urgent needs have to be prioritized. Find out more HERE
It’s the Victorian Government’s program to create job opportunities for all temporary visa holders who lost their jobs during COVID-19. Free online courses in cleaning, food hygiene, first aid and other important skills are also available to people who are registered with the program. Anyone with Australian working rights can apply.
You can find out more about the program and where to register HERE.
The NT Government introduced the ‘Worker and Wellbeing Fund’, which will ensure that international students who are unable to access Centrelink get the support they need, including emergency relief.
The fund will
- help people access wellbeing and other counselling or support services that are available.
- help people access an income and any other financial support available.
- help students and workers who have lost their job find new employment opportunities fast.
- assist Territorians who require access to accommodation and other essentials.
Check out all of the information about the ‘Worker and Wellbeing Fund’ HERE.
If you live in South Australia as an international student and struggle with your financial situation, you can apply for the International Student Support Package.
It’s based on three components:
- The South Australian Government in partnership with the state’s three public universities, will match funding to alleviate their international student hardship as a result of COVID-19.
- A $500 emergency cash grant will be available to international students not studying at one of the public universities, currently enrolled in a course, living in Adelaide and who meet the criteria.
- For school students living with South Australian families, a one-off $200 COVID-19 assistance payment per student will be provided to homestay familes to secure accommodation.
You can find further details HERE.
- Essential shopping (groceries, medicine, etc.)
- Medical care or compassionate needs
- Exercise (alone or in groups of max. two )
- Work and Education (if it can’t be done remotely)
Indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than two people are not allowed anymore and can lead to heavy on-the-spot fines. This includes private properties too, so you can only invite one friend at a time. However, a family split across two houses can meet. If there are more than two people living together in one household, the rule doesn’t apply between the members.
From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, people can enter in Australia only if:
- Australian citizen
- Permanent resident
- A New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
- Immediate family member (spouse, dependents and legal guardians)
There is no indication about the timeframe.
It is fake news or misinterpretation that the travel ban has been announced as a 6-month ban.
It is likely that the ban will long as needed to keep the Virus spread under control.
- Most airlines have reduced their flights to save costs and there may not be affordable flights home
- Many other countries also have travel bans, and if you need to stop over at another country, you may not be able to get to where you need to be
- Yes you can, however there are many considerations that may affect you getting home such as
- It’s very likely that you may need to make plans to stay in Australia and enjoy your time here
If you are in Australia and you hold a temporary visa such as: Student Visa, Working Holiday 417 – Work and Holiday 462 – Tourist visa, expiring soon and you want to stay longer in Australia, you must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. If you don’t you will not be compliant and may face severe penalties.
The most popular option for many people is to move on to a student visa. We can help you enroll in a course and then support your application and visa enrolment process (all for free). We can guide you through a range of courses based on outcomes, price, flexibility and whatever elements meet your needs.
Most of the schools have launched virtual learning classes for the next couple of weeks, in order to increase safety for the students. This means that students are still required to go through their online learning and pass their assessment, but attendance on campus is not required. This gives extra flexibility to international students.
Some schools are very flexible when allowing students to defer their study term, this means that you can put your course in standby and defer the payment, if the school agree. Call us if you want to explore this option and get our full support.
Yes, now is the best time to secure a course as many colleges have dropped their tuition fee and other costs by 30-50%, to facilitate international students finance their study. Discounts vary but can go from $250 to $1,000 per term for a vocational course. Universities even offer up to $20,000 discounts on their Bachelor courses
If you want to stay longer you must apply for a new visa, as you cannot extend your current student visa.
If you need to complete your course and you need additional time after your current visa expiry, you also need to apply for a new Student Visa. In order to do that you must hold a valid Confirmation of Enrolment (COE).
Go Study works with all colleges and universities in Australia, contact us if you need to explore other options.
Go Study can assist you for free!
If your visa has expired and you don’t know what to do
You must apply for a Bridging E visa (BVE), immediately in order to become lawful.
This Visa is designed to keep you lawful temporarily, until you finalize your immigration issue, you apply for a new visa or you leave the country.
Can you apply for the work & holiday visa inside of the country now? Would it be possible in the next few weeks?
To apply for your first work and holiday (462) or working holiday visa (417) you must apply outside Australia. If you leave to apply you cannot return under the new travel ban. If you hold a visitor visa or an expiring student visa you should consider a new student visa and talk tat expert advisor at Go Study!
What about if you can’t enter Australia after the travel ban?
If you are a temporary visa holder, we suggest you to wait until the travel restrictions are lifted and apply for a new visa as it has not been made clear how long the travel ban will last. There has also been industry rumours (unconfirmed) that the government is considering removing or lowering the student visa fee (currently $606) which is great news for prospective students.
If you are a Permanent Visa holder you should contact the Immigration department Office which granted your visa, but this should be done just after the travel ban is lifted.
Student visa working rights: any changes?
Major supermarkets and some residential aged care have agreed with the Department of Immigration to allow International students working extra hours, beyond the standard 40 hours every fortnight.
This is due to support supermarkets’ staff shortage.
Further information can be found here: Department of Home Affairs | News and media | COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the Australian border