Since July 1, 2022, international students in Australia need to obtain approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) before they can change their courses. These rules will apply to students holding Visa Subclass 500 or the Australian Student Visa holders who want to switch to pursue:
- Graduate certificate
- Graduate diploma
- Master’s degree
- Doctorate, or
- Any bridging course required as a prerequisite to a course of study or research for a master’s degree or doctorate
in a critical technology field.
A list of critical technology fields is available on the Department of Home Affairs website, which includes:
- Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
- AI, Computing, and Communications
- Biotechnology, Gene Technologies, and Vaccines
- Energy and Environment
- Sensing, Timing, and Navigation
- Transportation, Robotics, and Space
To apply for course change, you will need to:
- Complete and submit the online form 1221 available on the Department of Home Affairs website.
- Include all required documentation as outlined in the form.
- Pay the application fee.
- Wait for a decision from the MHA.
If your application is approved, you will be issued with a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). You will need to provide this CoE to your education provider to change your course.
The new visa conditions – 8204A and 8204B – state that students who want to change their courses must apply for and be granted approval from the MHA before they can do so.
If the Minister considers that switching the course carries an unreasonable risk of unwanted transfer of critical technology, the application may be refused. In certain cases (such as protection visas or related bridging visas), the visa may also be canceled.
What are the reasons behind these latest Australian visa updates?
The changes to the visa requirements are part of the Australian government’s efforts to ensure that international students studying in critical technology fields do not pose a risk to Australia’s national security.
The new course change rules will help the government to monitor and manage risks associated with the transfer of critical technologies while ensuring that international students can continue to contribute to Australia’s economic growth and development.
Other Changes in Australian Visa Rules International Students Should Know
Other changes to the Australian visa system effective from July 1, 2022, are:
Student visa cost increases to AU$ 650
Earlier, international students in Australia had to pay 630 Australian dollars for a student visa. Since July 1, 2022, the Australian student visa fee has been increased to AU$ 650 – a hike of AU$ 20.
The good news is that the Australian government has promised to process visa applications more efficiently to tackle delays in visa processing times.
The minimum wage in Australia increases to AU$ 21.38 per hour
Since July 1, 2022, the national minimum wage in Australia has increased from AU$ 20.33 to AU$ 21.38 per hour. Considering a 38-hour work week for a full-time employee, the minimum page per week has increased from AU$ 772.40 to AU$ 812.44.
This increase of 5.2% is good news for students who also work in Australia.
Replacement Temporary Graduate Visa introduced for students stuck abroad during the pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, many students were stuck overseas. To provide them relief, the Australian government has announced that those who held the visa subclass 485 or the Temporary Graduate Visa, can now apply for a replacement visa.
This facility is only available for those who held a Temporary Graduate Visa that expired on or after February 1, 2020. And they were outside Australia between February 1, 2020, and December 15, 2020.
The replacement visa will only allow them to stay in Australia for the same duration as mentioned in their original 485 visa. The students will have to apply for the replacement visa afresh with supporting documents and the full visa application charge of AU$1,680.
TSS Workers who stayed back in Australia during the pandemic can apply for PR through TRTS
People in Australia on the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa who stayed back in Australia for at least 12 months between February 1, 2020, and December 14, 2021, can now apply for permanent residence in Australia.
They can apply for the Australian PR through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS) of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). However, they need to meet the TRTS requirements of working for the sample employer for at least three years to be eligible to apply for the PR application.
They must also be less than 45 years old while applying for the Australian PR visa and have at least a Band 6 or equivalent in English Language proficiency tests.
If you have any questions about these latest visa updates, or if you need help with your application, please contact TutorHelp.Club experts today.