Media Release – Student Visa Arrangements For Those Impacted by COVID-19

The Hon Ministers Alan Tudge and Dan Tehan have released a joint media statement outlining the arrangements to be put in place for student visa (subclass 500) applicants and student visa holders who have been impacted by the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Australian government has noted that these changes have been implemented to “ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international students as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic”.

These arrangements come as welcomed news to the many student’s currently in Australia and offshore who have been severely impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes that have been noted in the media release are as follows:

  • Grants of student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia will recommence, so visa holders will be ready to travel when borders reopen
  • Free VACs for international students who lodge further student visa applications, if they were unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19
  • Current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be have that study counted towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa
  • Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia, if they are unable to return due to COVID-19
  • Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services

We note that the announcements that have been made will require legislative updates, our office will provide further updates as they become available.

For assistance or advice please contact us online, on 1300 083 843 or via email at

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