Department of Home Affairs Update - COVID arrangements

Frequently asked Questions

Will international student graduates be provided with an extended application period where they have not been able to return onshore to lodge their Subclass  485 applications?

The Migration Regulations allow international students to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa up to six months after the expiry of their student visa. This means that most students who completed higher education studies in Semester 2 of 2019 will have until September 2020 to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa.

Will the 12 months living in Australia immediately prior to Citizenship applications be enforced for those who have been prevented from returning to  Australia due to the travel ban?

The general residence requirement requires applicants to have been lawfully present in Australia for a period of four years, including at least 12 months as a permanent resident, immediately prior to making an application.


Applicants may be absent from Australia for no more than 12 months in total during the four year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months immediately prior to lodging an application. It is noted that the Act, includes several ministerial discretions which may be applied to assist a person to meet the general residence requirement in limited circumstances.


There is no legislative authority under the Act for either the Minister or a delegated decision-maker to waive any of the legal requirements for conferral of Australian citizenship.

Will any concessions be available for visa holders unable to comply with their current visa conditions?

The department is taking a flexible approach to visa holders in these circumstances, including in the following situations:

Requests for waiver of the ‘No Further Stay’ condition (8503, 8534 and 8535)

Timeframes in relation to health, character and English language requirements for applicants.

Will concessions be available for students who have been unable to return to Australia due to the travel ban and have undertaken online courses during this period to ensure the continuity of their academic progress during the travel ban?

The Department of Home Affairs plays no role in authorizing the modes of study for international students and is guided by education sector regulators, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards  Agency (TEQSA)  and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), on whether students can count online learning towards completion of their course.

For any MIgration, Visa or Study related query, please book a FREE Consultation with us.

Registered Migration Agent (MARN1572961, MARN1172003)