Many Indian international students who stayed in Australia during the pandemic to complete their studies faced difficulties, including living alone and losing jobs due to COVID-related lockdowns.

A number of students lost their jobs due to COVID. They felt alone and vulnerable but they chose to remain in the country since they were concerned that returning would entail an endless wait to return to Australian shores due to the continued closure of borders.

An organization AISECS (Australian-Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society) has come up to assist Indian students in New South Wales, they claim that there is an urgent need to assist Indian students, many of whom are experiencing mental health problems as a result of continuing border restrictions.

On 3 June, they co-hosted an event called ‘Care, Connection, and Community’ exclusively for Indian international students in NSW, in collaboration with Study NSW and the Consulate General of India, Sydney (CGI Sydney).

They said they were inspired to organise this event because they thought that many international Indian students who lost loved ones in India’s second devastating COVID wave were unable to return home and were forced to mourn alone in Australia’s lack of a support structure. They wanted to demonstrate to them via this event that they are not alone.

The event was attended by about 75 Indian international students. It was also attended by the Consul General of India, the Consul General of Nepal, Superintendent NSW Police, CEO of Cricket Australia, and a mental health speaker from Headspace.

Additionally, they have developed a unique program to assist students with start-up business ideas in Australia. Those with feasible ideas will be coached, guided, and provided with financial assistance to help them get their ventures off the ground.

AISECS recognizes and thanks the Indian Consulate General for organizing this event, as well as the NSW Government’s assistance in initiating and making this event possible.

They also stated that they are in frequent contact with the NSW and federal governments, pleading with them to return foreign students from countries like India, where huge numbers of students are stranded. According to sources, the NSW Cabinet has authorized such a proposal to fly students home as early as August.

South Australia’s government has also contacted the federal government with a proposal for student return. If approved, the plan would bring in 160 kids at a time for two weeks of quarantine at a facility near Parafield Airport in Adelaide’s north, which is now under construction.


The New South Wales government announced the pilot plan on 10 June, stating that its administration intends to bring back 250 foreign students each week from abroad to Sydney, a number that is expected to grow to 500 students by the end of the year.

This proposal is now awaiting approval from the federal government, and it may take another eight weeks before the first group of international students may return to New South Wales.

The New South Wales government’s finance spokesman said that the program’s launch would be dependent on the federal government’s evaluation. It would take a minimum of six to eight weeks from the time NSW has told us that we may continue and operationalize the plan until the first student batch returns to the state.

When asked whether Indian students will be included in the return plan, the spokesman said that they will be brought back from a variety of important source countries that have not yet been named.

The New South Wales government has also announced that in the first phase of the transfer, the state would prioritize the return of continuing higher education students from the state’s institutions and five major independent education providers. Other industries and suppliers will quickly follow suit.

India will be added to the list if the country’s public health condition improves

Kaplan Business School (KBS) is one of five private education providers that have been selected to participate in the return plan. In its statement, KBS says that “for the time being, passport holders from the following countries will be eligible for the NSW Student Arrivals Plan: China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.”

Once the public health situation in India improves, the nation will be included in this list. At a later point, it is anticipated that more nations would be included on the list.

According to the New South Wales government, the list of source countries was determined based on a number of factors, including “the number of overseas students enrolled in an institution, the public health situation in that country, and whether or not those nationalities are permitted to transit through Singapore.”


International students will be welcomed back to New South Wales at the beginning of July, as part of a pilot quarantine plan announced by the state government.

The government introduced the plan on Thursday, which would initially see 250 students quarantined in specially designated student housing every two weeks.

The government said that the number of students will climb to 500 every fortnight by the end of the year and that it would not interfere with the present hotel quarantine procedures. Most importantly, as a consequence of this plan, not a single returning Australian will get a seat on a plane.

This will operate concurrently with the 3,000 returning Australians who enter our hotel quarantine system each week. Prior to the epidemic, around 250,000 overseas students studied in New South Wales, the state’s second biggest export.

Around 50,000 international students were actively attempting to get admission to NSW. The government said that it would give job security for the sector’s 100,000 employees. This is a significant win for the New South Wales economy.

We estimate that the cost to our economy since the pandemic started, especially in relation to international students, has been roughly $5 billion, and that if we do nothing, the cost will rise to $11 billion by the end of next year. This is critical because there is evidence that countries such as Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom are deliberately targeting the sector on which NSW is so dependent.

The NSW government has not disclosed the location of the student quarantine facility, but indicated that discussions with the provider were nearing completion. The pilot program has been accepted by NSW Health and Police. The government also said that the request to the federal government had received “strong support” and will be approved in the coming days.

The student quarantine system, which includes travel expenses, accommodations, and security, would be funded by the university sector, whether students pay for flights is up to individual colleges.

Students from across the world will come to NSW on chartered aircraft in the next six to eight weeks, before transitioning to commercial aircraft.


Australia is one of the desirable and welcoming study destinations for international students. The Australian government has announced a variety of visa measures intended to assist students. These visa measures will be temporary, and will only be in force for as long as they are required.

Student Visa Fees

Government will waive the visa application cost to enable students to apply for a new student visa to finish their studies. This will be offered to students who obtained a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and were unable to finish their course within the validity period of their original visa due to the effects of COVID-19. This category includes students who:

  • postpone their studies because they were unable to visit Australia due to travel restrictions
  • were forced to lower their academic burden to part-time
  • were not able to complete their work-based training or assignments

These visa measures are not meant for students who are asking for a new student visa for ordinary reasons, such as failing a course or unit of study, postponed a course for personal reasons or reduced their study load deliberately.

Whether the application is onshore or offshore, it must be submitted online. Attached a completed Form 1545-COVID-19 Impacted Students from your educational institution which is required for approval of your fee waiver.

Eligibility For a Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa

The Government has amended the eligibility criteria for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa for those who have been affected by COVID-19:

  • Online study conducted outside Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian study requirements for current and new student visa holders.
  • Graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions can apply for and obtain a temporary graduate visa outside Australia (where they meet all requirements).

If you are applying from outside Australia, you must currently possess or have had a student visa within the last 12 months to apply.

Extended Time Frames For Additional Information- English Tests, Biometrics and Health

The government will provide you more time to submit your English language exam results if you were unable to take the exam due to COVID-19. Additionally, more time will be allocated for biometrics collection and health screenings in areas where COVID-19 caused service disruptions.


International students studying in Australia may be eligible for temporary financial assistance in the state of Victoria. Australian Prime Minister stated on Thursday (June 3) that the government will provide up to 500 Australian dollars to employees harmed by the state’s extended lockdown.

Eligibility Criteria For The Emergency Financial Assistance

International students may be eligible for the Commonwealth payment, according to Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought, and Emergency Management David Littleproud. The government said that individuals would be able to apply for the payment online or by calling Services Australia from 8 June 2021.

International students are permitted to work up to 40 hours every two weeks while studying and an unlimited number of hours during vacations. During the pandemic, the federal government has given a temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. Students employed in some industries such as aged care, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, may work more than 40 hours per week.

To apply for emergency financial assistance, students must be above the age of 17 and reside or work in a commonwealth-defined hotspot region. Additionally, they must have liquid assets of less than A$10,000.

Payment would be made “week by week.” If a lockdown lasts more than two weeks, you must reapply for another weekly payment for the duration of the lockdown. Once the commonwealth no longer classifies an area as a hotspot, the payment will be stopped by the government. This indicates that if a state or territory government maintains a lockdown after removal of the hotspot criteria, the payment will end.