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International students contribute AU$40 billion a year to the Australian economy. With borders and campuses close, the country is set for huge losses in tuition revenue from international students, who pay significantly higher fees compared to their domestic peers. International Education Association of Australia chief executive Phil Honeywood has been calling for the reopening of Australian borders for international students, as they could offer more than just economic benefits.


UK Visas extended for those currently unable to return home due to COVID-19

Leave extended to 31 May for individuals who are currently unable to return home at the end of their visa.

Visa nationals who cannot return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to extend their visa.

The extension, announced today (24 March) by the Home Secretary Priti Patel, will apply to anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

This will last until 31 May but will be kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed.

A dedicated COVID-19 immigration team has been set up within UKVI to make the process as straightforward as possible. Anyone in this situation just needs to contact this team, via this email address CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, to let them know their visa has expired and they will be issued with an extension.

To help those who want to apply for visas to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions.

This will mean people can apply to switch routes, such as from Tier 4 (student) to Tier 2 (General Worker), whilst remaining in the UK. UKVI will continue to process applications as quickly as possible, however some applications may take longer than usual due to COVID-19 related operational pressures.