News of post-study work visa changes for international students is spreading rapidly across social media and study forums – but what’s really happening?
As stated by some online outlets, like SBS, The Department of Home Affairs is reportedly going to announce changes for people applying for a visa under the Post-Study Work stream. This is a program that can enable international graduates to live, study and work in Australia for up to five years (and even bring immediate family members to live, too!).
What are the proposed changes?
Under current eligibility requirements, international students who graduate from Australian educational institutions can only apply for a post-study work visa if they are physically in Australia for at least 16 calendar months to complete their studies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many international students were either unable to enter Australia due to border closures, or returned home to wait out the pandemic.
Under the new proposal being considered by the Australian Government, international students could be granted work rights after completing their course, even if they were exclusively studying online and remained offshore.
As shared by Canberra-based migration lawyer Ben Watt: “What the department has said through various channels quite recently is they are going to count online study and there is going to be some sort of a facility so that students do not miss out on a graduate visa if they are stuck overseas six months after the completion of their course.”
When will the changes be confirmed?
At present, there is no set date for when these changes will be made official. Remember that if you are reading articles being shared on social media, it is important to check with an official government source – in this case, The Department of Home Affairs – to verify statements made online.
We will update with breaking news once it is made available.