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Ruslan-Ahmadzai

Ruslan-Ahmadzai

Solicitor specialising in corporate immigration.Registered Migration AgentSpecialities: Migration Law, Employer Compliance in Immigration, Business Stream Visas, Family and Partner Visas, CPD Training.

Posted by on in General

Australia has always been an international student hub and COVID19 had a major effect how students maintain their stay in Australia.

According to the Department of Education and Training Student visa holders contribute $40 billion to the Australian economy and support around 250,000 jobs.  It is therefore paramount that we keep a pathway for students open where it is safe to do so.

As announced last week, international students will be able to extend their visa-free of cost, those who hold a student visa but are offshore will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa (485) are some of the changes announced to student visa arrangements announced by the government.

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Australian Borderforce has made a number of changes to temporary visa holder arrangements during the coronavirus crisis in order to protect the health of the community.

It should be noted that employers are still required to abide by all relevant Australian workplace laws. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.

Below are some of the industry sectors where COVID 19 changes have been implemented:

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As Australia continues to navigate through COVID19 crisis, travel restrictions are being reviewed on a continuous basis to ensure they are in line with the recommended measures put in by the Department of Health.

As of 1 August 2020, the following criteria applies for travel exemptions including additional exemptions for individuals such as school students:

Exempt categories

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Under policy, work experience must be undertaken on a full time basis (or part time equivalent) at the required skill level.  Whether an applicant is "employed" bears little relevance.  The case officers are interested in actual work performed (work is defined as any activity which would ordinarily attract remuneration) and whether this work is at the required skill level.
 
See below the relevant extract: 
  • Experience gained as part of a Masters and/or PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations.
  • Experience gained whilst studying, through a formal arrangement (for example, a clinical/industry placement, internship or apprenticeship) that is undertaken as part of a CRICOS registered course of study, may be considered as work experience where it is relevant to the occupation. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • for medical practitioners, experience gained through internships or the final year medical training, including periods of clinical placements; and.
    • the internship component of the Professional Year Program.
  • Experience gained whilst studying, through a formal arrangement (for example, a clinical/industry placement, internship or apprenticeship) outside of a CRICOS registered course of study, must be undertaken at the skill level of the relevant occupation to be considered as work experience.

Accordingly, a combination of "employment" and "internship" will meet the two year work requirement assuming this was performed at the right skill level which I understand is the case here.

There has been some ambiguity in relation to how many hours is full time work for the purposes of ENS.

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It has been widely reported by a number of media outlets that Australia is granting citizenships at record numbers which means the backlog of applications is hoping to be cleared by the end of 2020 (an ambitious but not an unrealistic goal).  The help of online ceremonies made the process more seamless and allowed more permanent residents to call Australia home during the pandemic.

Applicants beware!

To become an Australian Citizen, one must pass the character test.  In my previous post, I discuss the mechanics of character provisions under the Migration Act of 1958.  Here we are looking at completely different set of Rules and Regulations.  Starting with the Australian Citizenship Act 2007. The Act states that an applicant must demonstrate they are of good character, namely, that the applicant shows enduring moral qualities of a person at the time of a decision and an indication of whether the applicant is likely to uphold and obey laws of Australia, and the other commitments made through the Pledge, should they be approved for Citizenship.

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