Sydney, Australia, Jun 20 (efe-epa).- The Australian Government announced on Monday that it will begin to process study visas in order to attract the thousands of foreign students, who contributed more than $24,616 million to the Australian economy in the 2018-19 academic year.
The start of visa processing outside Australia, at an unspecified date, will allow foreign students to organize their travels to Australia when “the borders are reopened”, which is expected to be next year, the statement said in a statement. Acting Minister of Immigration Alan Tudge.
The Government will also allow those who continue to study their careers abroad virtually as a result of the measures imposed by COVID-19 to have the possibility to subsequently apply for a visa allowing them to work in Australia.
Likewise, foreigners who have graduated in Australia through a student visa will be able to apply for a post-test visa outside Australia if they cannot return to the country due to the pandemic, while those who have not been able to complete the English tests will have more time to do so. .
“These measures will support our international education sector, which is the fourth largest export sector (after coal, iron and gas),” said Tudge.
International students, who represent a third of its student population of 1.5 million, contribute to the maintenance of 250,000 jobs in the education sector.
Furthermore, the presence of international students, mostly from China, Vietnam and Nepal, but also from Spain and Latin America, contribute to the survival of local businesses in rental and accommodation services, tourism, hospitality and retail.
Australia, with more than 12,000 COVID-19 cases, including more than 120 deaths, closed its international borders last March, with the exception of its residents and citizens, leaving out thousands of temporary visa holders, including students foreign.
Last month, two Canberra universities had to suspend a pilot program for the return of foreign students as a result of the outbreak of the city of Melbourne (Victoria state), which has derailed Australia’s reopening plans.
In the state of New South Wales, which is the main in demographic and economic terms, there are also concerns about local transmissions in Sydney and the coastal town of Batesman Bay, although in the rest of the Australian territory it has reported almost no infection for days or even in weeks. EFE-EPA