Universal Visa – Study & Settle Abroad


COVID-19 testing and treatment

Even if you don’t have a visa, or are unsure about your visa status, you must follow public health directions. If you are feeling unwell, seek medical attention and get tested for COVID-19.

State and territory governments are offering free COVID-19 testing and treatment.

I have, or wish to apply for, a Student visa

Support for international students and graduates

Australia remains a high quality and welcoming destination for international students. The Government has announced a range of visa measures to support students.

The measures will be temporary and will continue for as long as necessary. See Minister’s media release.

Student visa fee

We will waive the visa application fee to allow you to lodge a further student visa application to complete your study. This will be available to students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and who couldn’t complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19. This includes students who:

  • deferred their study as they were unable to enter Australia due to travel restrictions
  • were forced to reduce to a part-time study load
  • were unable to complete their work-based training or placements.

This measure is not intended for students who are applying for a new student visa due to ordinary reasons (including if you have failed a course or a unit of study, deferred for personal reasons or voluntarily reduced your study load.)

To have your application for a fee waiver considered, you must apply for a Student visa and attach a completed Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student (PDF – 228 KB) from your education provider with a valid Student visa application.

You must apply for your Student visa online.

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply.

If applying for a fee waiver in Australia, a Bridging visa will not be issued automatically as the fee exemption must be checked first.

This waiver only applies to the visa application fee.

Refunds will not be available for students who have already applied for a Student visa. Only new applications will be eligible to have the application fee waived.

Form 1545 COVID-19

Education providers need to be satisfied that a student, who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020, could not complete their course within their original visa validity due to COVID-19.

Questions 6 and 7 on the form only need to be completed for students who have deferred their study.

Students can provide further evidence of their COVID-19 related impacts with the completed form.

Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa eligibility

We have changed the requirements for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa for those who have been impacted by COVID-19:

  • online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian Study Requirement for existing and new student visa holders
  • graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate visa outside Australia (where they have met all the requirements).

Online study outside Australia is counted from the time of Student visa grant.

If you are applying from outside Australia you must hold or have held a Student visa in the past 12 months to apply.

Offshore student visa grants

While we have continued to process applications, we have recommenced granting visas for students who lodged a Student visa application outside Australia where all the requirements are met.

While travel restrictions remain in place, you cannot travel to Australia.

Flexible timeframes for additional information – English tests, biometrics and health

We allow additional time for you to provide English language test results if you were unable to take a test because of COVID-19. Additional time will also be allowed for biometrics collection and health checks where COVID-19 disrupted access to services.

Where you have made an appointment for one or more of these services, which is more than 28 days into the future, you may attach your booking confirmation in ImmiAccount.

Current Student visa conditions

We’re taking a flexible approach where COVID‑19 restrictions have prevented Student visa conditions being met. You will not be in breach of your Student visa conditions if you:

  • have an approved course deferral
  • are studying online.

You are also temporarily allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight if you are:

  • employed in the health sector, enrolled in a health related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID‑19
  • employed in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider before 8 September 2020
  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider before 23 April 2020
  • employed in the agriculture sector

See Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders.

When to notify us

You don’t need to notify us if you return home, or if your study situation changes.
Your visa remains valid until you lodge another visa application, or your visa expires. The status of your visa will not change if you return home or defer your studies.

Education providers can issue a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and enrol students to study online. If you hold a valid student visa, your education provider will provide us with your new CoE.

If you have an open student visa application, you can attach your new CoE to your application through ImmiAccount.

Students with financial difficulties

Student visa holders should stay in touch with their education providers about the range of support available to them.

Many universities and education providers offer support to students such as:

  • including deferral of fees, studies or payments
  • food and accommodation support
  • mental health and other medical support.

For more information, see Study Australia website.

Return of international students to Australia

Arrangements for the return of international students to Australia will be made once it is safe to do so, and in a way which protects the Australian community.

More information

Information for international students is available across a range of Government agencies, including: