The Australian Government has offered visa rebates to international students until 19 March 2022 and lifted working hour limits for student visa holders. New and returning students arriving till next mid-March will get a refund of the visa application fee costing around $600. Additionally, student visa holders get permission to work with no work limit which was previously 20 hours per week.
Student visa application fee rebate
A $55M package will refund the cost of visa application fees for up to 175,000 backpackers and international students. Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morisson thanked the students for choosing Australia once again. The international education industry in Australia saw a massive enrollment drop in the year gone by due to the pandemic. However, with the new visa changes, the Australian government hopes to encourage students to choose Australia as their study destination.
Removal of limits on working hours for international students
Morrison also revealed a temporary removal of work limits across all sectors of the economy for international student visa holders. This means the students can work while studying without any restrictions and those arriving students can work even before starting their courses in Australia. The Australian Department of Home Affairs plans to review the temporary changes in April 2022.
No quarantine required upon arrival in Queensland
Additionally, Queensland has recently announced that fully vaccinated international students will no longer be required to quarantine. Instead, the travelers need to undertake COVID tests within 24 hours of arrival in Queensland. Or the travelers will require to self-isolate themselves until their results are negative.
The Australian economy continues to struggle due to the COVID pandemic as well as the rise of Omicron cases. The Australian government hopes that the visa refund and temporary no work limit will fulfil the critical workforce shortages especially in sectors like health care and old age.