For those in Australia studying a course, diploma, master’s degree or any other educational program, this is a time of great anxiety and confusion. Many universities and schools decided to pass their classes online, while the government closes restaurants, pubs, cinemas, and many other sources of work for most students. Without much precision on how to continue studies and how it will impact students financially, in this article, we want to answer the most frequently asked questions that international students have at the moment.
How can COVID-19 measures impact my student visa?
One of the measures that so far has had the most impact on international students is the fact that Australia decided to close its borders on March 20, 2020. Only Australian and New Zealand citizens and residents can enter the country. This means that international students or temporary visa holders who have been outside Australia until that date will not be able to enter the country until further notice. In these circumstances, what happens if I have a student visa in Australia but I cannot enter the country?
- If this is your case, and your studies have already started, you must postpone the start of the course and your classes for when you can enter the country again. Contact us to arrange with your school a delay at the beginning of your course.
- If your course has not yet started, you have time to cancel it and request a refund.
- If your visa expires soon and you are out of the country, you will have to organize a new visa application for when the border reopens, which the government has already announced that it IS CONSIDERING TO ACCEPT APPLICATIONS FOR THOSE AFFECTED and that APPARENTLY will not have any cost 🙂 Student visas cannot be extended, but a new application can be made.
- If you were out of the country with a B visa bridging, do not worry IF AN EMAIL ARRIVES announcing that your Visa has been cancelled. The Home Affairs Department is working on a SOON response, so for the moment the best plan is to apply for a tourist visa to return to Australia and arriving here, you would apply again to the student visa or to your visa which just you expected the answer in that BV “b”.
For more information on these measures, we recommend you constantly visit this link from the Australian Home Affairs Department and/or contact us to advise you in the process.
What if my visa is expiring and I cannot leave Australia at the moment?
If this is your case, we strongly recommend that you evaluate the possibility of applying for a new visa. The Government has made it very clear that despite the extreme circumstances of this pandemic, everyone in Australia must maintain a valid and authorized visa. If you have doubts as to which visa you can apply, you can enter the Government website where you can explore the possibilities of available Visas and analyze which one suits your case. Get in touch with us today to advise you in the best way.
What if I have my expired visa but I have Condition 8503 NO FURTHER STAY? I can’t fly back to my country and not even renew my visa?
The Australian Immigration Department has authorized Case Officers to APPROVE the WAIVE of your 8503 status so you can apply for a new visa while here in Australia.
You can also fill out FORM 1447 by hand and send it scanned to NoFurtherStayWaiverRequest@homeaffairs.gov.au
What if I already have an expired visa? What should I do?
If you have your IMMIACCOUNT we urgently recommend you apply to the BRIDGING VISA “E” to stay in Australia and then apply for another visa and thus NOT be illegal and have future problems in possible visa applications.
How are the measures taken by COVID-19 financially affecting international students?
Starting on Monday, March 23, the Prime Minister in Australia began to restrict the activity of industries such as Restaurants, Hotels, Bars, and many other tourism-related businesses. This means that many students who depended on casual jobs in these industries have been left without financial income.
What can you do as a student in this situation? At the moment the Australian Government has not applied any subsidy or financial support measures to international students, but there are other industries that are in urgent need of workers at the moment. Check the list that we leave here below with options for you!
Look for opportunities in large supermarkets
Visit large grocery chains like Coles and Woolworth, who are in high need of staff to assist in sourcing stores. The Government is temporarily offering the option of working more than 40 hours fortnightly to students to cover the high demand. This measure is temporary and you should consult your employer about it. Click here to know more about it.
Consider the idea of working on a farm
Due to the closing of borders and the number of backpackers who have decided to leave Australia in this context, the Farmers of Australia urgently need manpower. The agriculture industry in this country is very important and works seasonally, so they need casual workers to cover this activity for short periods during the year.
Think about looking for work in the aged care industry
Just like in supermarkets, the Australian government is also granting the opportunity that even if you have a student visa you can work more than 40 hours fortnightly in aged care service. This is the sector of society that is most affected by COVID-19, and it is essential to increase the workforce in this industry to maintain the necessary care. If you want more details about this please enter this link.
Did you ever work in delivery? Maybe this is your chance!
Faced with the closure of restaurants and pubs, these businesses are offering the possibility of take-away and delivery of their products. If you need an urgent job, perhaps this is a good opportunity for you. There are several online platforms and delivery applications that you can apply today. Deliveroo and Uber Eats are some of the most popular in Australia at the moment.
How can isolation and protection measures against COVID-19 affect my course or program?
One of the main measures that universities and schools have taken is to transfer all content and classes to an ONLINE system. This means that you can continue with your studies but without attending the institution. To be sure of these measures, contact your school or university as soon as possible. For some students, this may be a challenge, but for others, it is a good opportunity to spend more time at home or even move to cheaper areas away from schools. And you? What’s your opinion about it?
If my classes are going to be ONLINE, is there any discount on the value of the course?
Despite the fact that many schools are passing their classes online, this measure does not include any type of reduction in the fees at the moment. There are some schools that are granting the option to pay in instalments and with greater flexibility in payment dates, but this depends on individual cases. If you have questions about it, contact your school to check these measures.
Are you a student in Australia? Stay updated with the measures on COVID-19 in your school and in your city. Enter the following links for more information:
- Study in Australia website
- Home Affairs Department
- Health Department
- Department of Education, Skills and Employment
If you need more information, contact us at email@example.com and visit our website and BLOG to stay updated. The Puravida team is ready to help you with whatever you need!