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COVID-19 Update: Student Visa Changes

This week the Australian Government announced that international students will no longer have limits on their work hours, to help alleviate shortages that have been caused by the current Omicron outbreak.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government will remove the 40-hours-a-fortnight cap on student visa holder workers, meaning there will be no restriction on the number of hours these visa holders can work.

This takes effect immediately for all current student visa holders, as well as new student arrivals who wish to commence working prior to their university course starting. This means that international students can begin working more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy before their course commences.

It is really exciting to see this change, as we know many of our international students have long wished they were able to work more hours. We know this will come as welcome news to both current students in our Australian properties, and those moving in this Semester!

In even more great news, the Government has also announced that any student visa holder who is currently offshore and travels to Australia between 19 January and 19 March 2022 will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge (VAC). Any Working Holiday Maker visa holder who is currently offshore and travels to Australia between 19 January and 19 April 2022 will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge. The current VAC for a Student visa is AUD630 and for a Working Holiday Maker it is AUD495. The VAC refund includes secondary visa holders.

We support any changes that make life easier for our students (domestic and international) and hope many of you can take advantage of this refund!

This is however a temporary arrangement, and the Government will be reviewing these changes in April 2022. To keep up to date with any changes on students visas along with more information on how to apply for a visa refund please visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Keep in mind with all the changes that those holding student visas must still: - Maintain their course enrolment - Ensure satisfactory course attendance - Ensure satisfactory course progress

We hope this comes as welcome news to all international students. For those who are yet to arrive in Australia, we look forward to welcoming you soon and hope 2022 brings an exciting on-campus experience for everyone!

If you’re yet to plan your University accommodation, we have a number of amazing on campus student accommodation options. To learn more about why living on campus provides the best student experience and explore some of our great on-campus student accommodation options, check out our guide here. https://campuslivingvillages.com/live-on-campus/

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