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Maria Thomas

Hi! Maria Thomas is a Editorial Account Manager for IDP Connect. An Economics graduate turned writer, she likes to pen down something every now and then. An avid reader and dreamer, she often dwells in worlds created by books. Favourite author- Ayn Rand, favourite quote- The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

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08 Apr 2020 751 Book icon 2 mins Share

COVID-19: Australian Government steps in to support its international students

As COVID-19 continues to engulf lives and spread panic, Australian Government steps in to support its International Student population, read to know more

08 Apr 2020 751 Book icon 2 mins Share
australian got support intl students

A Welcoming move from the Government 

Good news for all the international students in Australia! The government has announced that those students who have completed one year of stay in the country are now eligible to access their superannuation. Earlier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had stated that international students will not be eligible for any financial support as they are required to self-sustain at least for a year under their visa arrangements. However, considering the backlash of the pandemic and its effects on the large international student population, the Acting Immigration Minister Alan Trudge recently issued a statement granting permission to international students to access their Australian superannuation, if they have been in the country for longer than 12 months.  

Impact on Indian Students 

During the announcement, the Acting Immigration Minister acknowledged the international student population and their continuing efforts to support the country’s economy. According to statistics, there are currently 565,000 international students in Australia and they significantly support the country’s tertiary sector and economy by supporting more than 240,000 jobs. Out of the 565,000 international students, more than 140,000 enrolments are of Indian origin, which contributes to almost 25% of the overall international student population. India is the second largest contributor to the international student population in Australia and this is exactly why such a welcoming move from the government is going to benefit our students who are studying there.  

This effort is a huge relief in this critical time where most of the students are facing financial hardships owing to university shut downs and countrywide lock down. Not only has the pandemic affected the student’s academic life, but it has also affected their ability to work and sustain themselves while living abroad.  

Students who are facing financial hardships may access their Australian superannuation by applying at the myGov website starting April 20. 

Additional Supportive Measures 

In addition to the superannuation facility, government has also come up with some relaxing measures to support the international students.  

Relaxed working hours 

The government has announced that they are willing to extend the working hours for students who have been working at a major superstore or been involved in aged care. Students have been urged to contact their employers for more information on this.  

Flying home 

During a crisis such as this, the government understands if a student needs to travel back home. Though the borders are still closed and flights are restricted, the government is hopeful that the situation will improve and the students might be able to travel back home safely if they need to. Students will be informed about any such relaxations or changes if any.  

Support from your institution 

Many universities have come forward to help the international students by providing discounts on fees. Students are required to contact their institution for more information on the benefits they may avail during this time. 

We are #InThisTogether 

  • This interesting hashtag has been developed by the Australian government to show their gratitude and extend their supporting arms to international students during COVID-19.  

  • The government has announced that it will be flexible in scenarios where the foreign students were unable to attend classes to meet their visa conditions due to the pandemic. 

  • International students who are finding it challenging to get through this crisis all by themselves and those who need someone to talk to, may contact the mental well-being support Lifeline Australia, Youth Beyond Blue and Headspace lifelines. 

  • A new app called "Coronavirus Australia" app is available for students to get the latest official advice and real-time updates.  

Information for Prospective Students 

  • The travel ban is still effective until further notice. Keep checking the Australian government’s official website for updates.  

  • In case you have questions pertaining to your visa or applying for a visa, you should visit the Department of Home Affairs website. 

  • For any information regarding your enrolment, fees or other general questions related to your education, you may contact your respective education provider. In a scenario where the education provider is not available to offer assistance, students can call (+61) 1300 981 621 (9am to 5pm), Monday to Friday AEDT, except public holidays. Students may also send an email to international.students@dese.gov.au for assistance.  

Let us know how we can help you during this crisis- talk to our experts if you have questions.  

We are available to answer any questions you may have at this time- write to us at va-counselors@idp.com or call us at 1800 103 2581. 

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