International students in Australia
From a hike in student visa fees to being entitled to a higher minimum wage, here are some changes you should take note as an international student in Australia. Source: Saeed Khan

Australia has announced several changes that would affect international students in Australia, as well as soon-to-be students in the Land Down Under, that would take effect from July onwards.

From student visa fees to minimum wage, here are five key updates worth knowing:

International students in Australia: Key updates taking effect in July

Cost of student visa increases

Previously, international students in Australia were expected to pay 630 Australian dollars to have their student visa processed.

Effective July 1, 2022, students can expect to pay or renew their Australian student visa at a new rate of AU$650, or an AU$20 fee hike from the previous amount.

The good news, however, is that the newly elected government led under Anthony Albanese plans to tackle the delays in student visa processing times. This could see your student visa application being processed more efficiently and potentially issued at a faster rate.

Minimum wage increases

Good news for international students in Australia: the government has hiked its minimum wage. 

They note: “From July 1, 2022, the National Minimum Wage has increased by AU$40 per week, which amounts to an increase of 5.2%. The new National Minimum Wage is AU$812.60 per week or AU$21.38 per hour.”

You can apply for a replacement temporary graduate visa

If you were previously issued a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) but found yourself stuck overseas due to the Australian border closures amid the pandemic, you may apply for a replacement temporary graduate visa.

With this replacement visa, you are entitled to the same length of stay as your original temporary graduate visa.

To qualify for a replacement temporary graduate visa, you must fulfil the following:

  • Hold a valid temporary graduate visa, or:
  • Have previously held a temporary graduate visa that expired on or after February 1, 2020 and
  • Have been outside Australia at any time between February 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020.

You must also pay the full visa application charge of AU$1,680 and provide supporting documents.

Pathway to PR for temporary skill shortage (TSS) workers

If you have been issued a temporary skill shortage (TSS) visa during the COVID-19 pandemic, the possibility of settling in Australia could soon be a reality, as the pathway towards permanent residency (PR) could be easier for you.

You could be eligible to apply for a PR through the temporary residence transition stream (TRTS) employer nomination scheme.

However, you must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Have been in Australia for at least 12 months between February 1, 2020 and December 14, 2021; and
  • Meet the TRTS requirements (which include working for the same employer for three years, be under the age of 45 at the time of application and demonstrating at least a satisfactory English language proficiency — achieving a minimum band 6).

No course changes 

Effective July 1, 2022, you will not be allowed to change courses while enrolled in an Australian university, unless you have obtained approval from the immigration minister.

The minister will only give a seal of approval to the applicant if they do not pose as a security threat to the country’s critical technology.

This will mainly affect international students in Australia who will be undertaking a:

  • 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