Applying for a new student visa

Due to COVID-19, some visa processing times have been affected and applications may take longer to finalise. We are prioritising visa applications for travellers who are exempt from the current travel restrictions or who are travelling within the Safe Travel Zone.

See visa processing times for further information.

Student visa fee waiver

We will waive the visa application fee to allow you to submit a further student visa application if you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and couldn’t complete your course within the original visa validity because of the impacts of COVID-19. This includes if you:

  • have deferred your study as you were unable to enter Australia because of travel restrictions
  • were forced to reduce to a part-time study load
  • were unable to complete your work-based training or placements.

This measure is not intended for students who are applying for a new student visa because of ordinary reasons (including if you have failed a course or a unit of study, deferred for personal reasons or voluntarily reduced your study load.)

You must apply for a Student visa to have your application for a fee waiver considered and attach a completed Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student (PDF 228 KB) from your education provider.

If you are applying for a fee waiver in Australia, a Bridging visa will not be issued automatically as the fee exemption must be checked first. 

This waiver only applies to the visa application charge.

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 must be satisfied that you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and could not complete your course in their original visa validity because of COVID-19.

You can submit further evidence of the COVID-19 related impacts with your completed form.

Flexible timeframes for additional information – English tests, biometrics and health

We allow extra time for you to provide English language test results if you were unable to take a test because of COVID-19. Extra time will also be given for biometrics collection and health checks where COVID-19 disrupted access to services.

Where you have made an appointment for one or more of these services more than 28 days into the future, you may attach your booking confirmation in ImmiAccount.

Please respond to requests for information to inform the Department, via ImmiAccount, that you need additional time should you require it.

Existing visa holders

Student visa conditions

We’re taking a flexible approach where COVID‑19 restrictions have prevented Student visa conditions being met. You will not be in breach of your Student visa conditions if you:

  • have an approved course deferral
  • are studying online.

You are temporarily allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight if you are employed in certain sectors.

For more information see Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders.

When to notify us

You don’t need to tell us if you return home, or if your study situation changes. Your visa remains valid until you submit another visa application, or your visa expires. The status of your visa will not change if you return home or defer your studies.

Education providers can issue a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and enrol students to study online. If you hold a valid student visa, your education provider will provide us with your new CoE. 

If you have an open student visa application, you can attach your new CoE to your application through ImmiAccount.

Students with financial difficulties

If you are studying and working in Australia, you may be able to access financial assistance when you are:

  • required to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19 (Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) or; 
  • adversely affected by a state public health order and are required to be in lockdown for more than seven days (COVID-19 Disaster Payment).

For more information on the financial support payments, including eligibility criteria, see Centrelink payments and services.

More information

Information for international students is available across a range of Government agencies, including: