International students studying online for their courses with an Australian education provider may soon be eligible to use the proportion of the time they have spent studying online in their home country count towards meeting the Australian Study Requirement (ASR). Currently, the ASR does not allow the study to be counted towards the minimum time period required if the study was not completed while physically present in Australia.This is something we called for some weeks ago.

In earlier articles, we have explained how the ASR is assessed. One of the key components when the immigration department assesses the ASR is that an international student must have studied the minimum 92 weeks of a CRICOS registered course over at least 16 calendar months while physically present in Australia. Soon this will be amended to enable overseas online study of a CRICOS registered course to be counted towards the meeting the ASR. These changes are yet to be made in the legislation but it is coming. This is a necessary step toward flexibility that we called for in our previous update covering this topic.

At the moment it seems that the changes are aimed at students caught offshore who are already enrolled in courses who are now forced to continue them online. However, if the government is smart they will extend this to all international students. This would create a huge demand for Australian university courses to be studied overseas with the ultimate aim for the student to come into Australia when it is safe to do so. The Covid-19 pandemic has proven itself to be a a difficult opponent and with many countries struggling with second waves, including Australia, the Australian government will need to adapt their policies for the sake of fairness to international students as well as for the Australian economy.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that these changes are far-reaching and can create a real benefit to the struggling Australia education sector.

Keep posted for more changes as they are released. Follow us on social media to keep updated.

If you are needing help with your visa, get in touch with us. Call +61 2 8054 2537 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.