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Australia's changes to student visas evoke mixed feelings in international students

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The international education community has welcomed changes to student visas aimed at helping the hard hit industry once travel restrictions are lifted. But those affected say there are still many unanswered questions.

The Australian government announced changes including the restart for approvals of student visas requested internationally, waiving visa extension fees of $620, while online study overseas will count towards a post-study work visa and graduates on a student visa can apply for post-study work visas from overseas. 

Extra time will be given to provide English language test results.

International Student Deysy Ramirez says it's unclear when entry will be allowed and what the travel process might be, but she appreciates the outcome.

"We are grateful to the Australian government for giving us answers because it's been months of uncertainty."

But there are calls for more to be done for those already here, including from education analyst Dr Angela Lehmman.

"Making sure that international students that are in Australia now are also feeling welcomed by the communities around them and that they are acknowledged as they are traveling through the COVID crisis with us."

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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