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.


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.