Many students from all over the world come to Australia on a student visa to start their first step towards the Australian dream. As a leading migration agent in Sydney, we have had many international students visit our visa consultants as they find it hard to stay in Australia legally after completing their studies. This will no longer be the case for international students pursuing studies in regional parts of Australia as they will now be able to apply for a post-study visa extension – if they meet all the eligibility criteria. This extension would not apply to those who are studying in major Australian cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
This is great news for those who are willing to study in places deemed ‘regional’ by the Australian Government, which include the areas requiring further development compared to bigger established cities in the country. Those who are on a student visa and have been studying in these areas for a minimum of two years will now be allowed to apply for up to 2-year visa extension.
The Australian Department of Home Affairs has recently announced that international students studying outside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be able to extend their current two-year post-study visa starting from 2021. In their statement, it was made clear that those who studied at a regional campus of a metropolitan university will also be eligible to apply for the extension. The extension will require ongoing residency in a regional area.
1-Year vs 2-Year Extensions
Based on where students live and study, they could be eligible for either a 1-year or a 2-year extension. An extension for one year is available for those who are in Category 2 areas, which include Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra Geelong and Hobart. Whereas, students residing in Category 3, which excludes Category 1 major cities and Category 2 areas, will be permitted to apply for a two-year extension.
The Department of Home Affairs aims to encourage international students to pursue studies at regional institutions in the country as well as to motivate them to live and work in regional areas through this scheme. Consequently, this scheme helps boost prosperity and diversity in those areas as well as strengthens the Australian economy by bringing more international skilled talents in the country – especially in regional areas – to help Australia’s development.
Due to the impact that Covid-19 had on the immigration program and the Australian economy, this new scheme will help allow skilled migrants to be put into the labour market right away through the employer-sponsored visa route.
To learn if you qualify for a Post- Study Visa extension discuss with one of our visa specialists, talk to our team today.
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