Australia has introduced another measure to make it a more attractive destination for international students. Any student visa holder who is not in Australia and travels to the country between 19 January and 19 March 2022 will be eligible for a refund on their visa application charge (VAC).
The refund will also be applicable to new student visa applicants. The government has stated that applications "will be processed quickly so applicants can come to Australia during the refund window".
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The current visa application charge is AUD$630 (£335) and students will be refunded the full amount. More information and how to apply for the rebate will be made available on the Department of Home Affairs website.
This measure has been introduced not only to attract more international students to Australia but also to help address the shortage of workers that Australia is facing due to increased Covid-19 cases and strict border closures over the past two years.
The Australian government also recently relaxed the number of hours that international students can work, across all sectors. Students will now be able to work more than 20 hours per week. This change in hours will be reviewed in April 2022.
All international students arriving into Australia must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
In additional news, the state of Queensland has announced that from 1am, 22 January, fully vaccinated international travellers will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival. They will be required to take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of arrival.
Unvaccinated travellers will still have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Vaccinated students flying into any other Australian state will still need to self-isolate for three days on arrival.
Current student visa holders and new student visa appllicants will be eligible for a fee rebate until 19 March 2022