In a bid to support the regional international education sector, the Australian Government will provide an extension of post-study work visa rights to international students who have studied and lived in regional areas.
From 2021, the post-study work stream Temporary Graduate visa (TGV) holders (Subclass 485) who have acquired their degrees from a regional educational institution and have lived in regional Australia on their first TGV will be eligible for a second TGV.
- Temporary Graduate visa holders studying and living in regional Australia will be eligible for a second TGV
- Those eligible for a second TGV will be required to remain in a regional area for the duration of their new visa
- Temporary Graduate Visa incentives will come into effect in 2021
In a statement to SBS Punjabi, a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said the incentive will provide the necessary support to universities and communities in regional areas, currently buckling under the financial pressure and massive job loss in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To provide a further incentive for international students to study in regional Australia, post-study visa arrangements will be extended for international graduates who graduated from a regional educational institution and lived in a regional area on their first (TGV) -DHA
The period of grant for a second TGV will be determined based on where the student studied and where they lived on their first TGV, as per the following categories:
- International graduates who have studied and lived in Category 2 will be eligible for an additional year on a second Temporary Graduate visa.
- International graduates who have studied and lived in Category 3 will be eligible for an additional 2 years on a second Temporary Graduate visa.
As per the information supplied by the Department, Category 2 includes the following major cities and regional areas: Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Greater Geelong and Hobart.
Category 3 includes regional centres and other regional areas.
For further information, see: Designated regional areas.
'Good news for international students and graduates'
According to a survey conducted by Deakin University last year, post-study work visa that allows international graduates to stay and work in the country temporarily emerged as a key factor that draws overseas students to Australia.
While the overall rate of the importance of access to this program was 76% among the participants, the survey found that Indian students were most affected by the availability of post-study work rights.
Melbourne-based migration agent, Ranbir Singh said it is great news for international students who have graduated and lived in regional areas.
“With skilled migration being extremely competent at the moment, the extra one or two years will give them ample time and opportunity to garner more points to secure an invite in the future. It will also help to attract prospective students to choose regional Australia as a study destination especially at a time when many are looking at other countries like Canada and the UK, as Australia’s borders remain firmly shut,” he said.
While it is understood that the incentive will target new and existing international students and graduates, there are many things that require further clarity, pointed out Mr Singh.
“There are quite a few things that need clarity. As of now, it is not clear whether international students who have graduated from universities located in Category 1 and later moved to regional areas in Category 2 or 3 to pursue further studies would be eligible for an extension under these incentives or not," said Mr Singh.
He added that it is expected that graduates from regional Australia who are stuck overseas will not be negatively impacted and would still be eligible for a second TGV despite being stuck offshore due to circumstances beyond their control.
Please note that there is no change to student visas. This option is available as an initiative for international students to study and live in regional Australia.
Earlier in September, the federal government had made significant amendments to Migration Regulations enabling applicants to lodge and be granted a 485 visa while they remain offshore to limit the impact of the pandemic on visa holders stranded outside the country.
Disclaimer: This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.
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