In the beginning of August, the Australian Government announced several changes to the student visa (subclass 500) to support international students. These which include the commencement of the offshore student visa process, the student visa fee waiver, and more.

Our representatives tell us that students have asked a lot about the student visa waiver. We summarise some key points for you:

  • The waiver only applies to the visa application fee
  • You can apply for the student visa online
  • You can be in or outside of Australia
  • You submit Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student* with your student visa lodgement
  • If you are not eligible for the fee waiver, your application will be rejected and you will need to re-apply for the student visa
  • If you have already paid for the student visa, there won’t be any refund

*Ask your education provider for this form. Your education provider may refuse to provide the form your being unable to complete the course within the original visa time frame is not due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Please also refer to the complete information below from the Department of Home Affairs regarding to student visa fee waiver.

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 and/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 be eligible 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 this visa online. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply.

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 meets the above criteria.

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

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

You might also be interested in the article “Summary of COVID-19 supports for international students