7 April 2020
The Australian Government is making a number of changes to temporary visa holder arrangements that will make it easier for Indonesians currently studying in Australia during the coronavirus crisis to remain in Australia should they wish to do so.
The Australian Government knows the impact of COVID-19 is affecting international students in Australia and these changes include increased flexibility of a number of regulations.
“As Australia’s Minister for Education Dan Tehan said recently, international students are our friends, our classmates, our colleagues and members of our community,” Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan said.
International students in Australia are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia.
Australia will be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions, such as not being able attend classes.
International students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. International students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to support these critical sectors.
International students working in the major supermarkets have also had these hours extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. From 1 May, their hours will return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.
Students who have been in Australia longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.
The Australian Government understands there are some education providers that are providing fee discounts to international students. We will undertake further engagement with the international education sector who already provide some financial support for international students facing hardship.
For those Indonesians in Australia on working holiday maker visas, those working in the health, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.
Working holiday makers who do not have the confidence to sustain themselves over the next six months should make arrangements to leave the country.