It is stated that:

Class of persons 8— Current or recent students whose studies were affected by COVID-19

This section applies to an applicant who:

  • is seeking to satisfy the primary criteria for the grant of a Subclass 500 visa; and
  • held a Subclass 500 visa at any time occurring on or after 1 February 2020; and
  • is or was unable to complete the course of study to which the visa mentioned in paragraph (b) relates before the end of the visa period because of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Class of persons 9— Family member (combined applicants) of current or recent students whose studies were affected by COVID-19

This section applies to an applicant:

  • who claims to be a member of the family unit of another applicant (the primary applicant) and the primary applicant is seeking to satisfy the primary criteria for the grant of a Subclass 500 visa; and
  • who seeks to combine their application with the primary applicant’s application; and
  • where the primary applicant held a Subclass 500 visa at any time occurring on or after 1 February 2020; and
  • where the primary applicant is or was unable to complete the course of study to which the visa mentioned in paragraph (b) relates before the end of the visa period because of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Policy relating to this regulation stated that:

The proposal aims to support the international education sector and ensure that international students are not adversely impacted by COVID-19. Providing a VAC waiver for students who are unable to complete their course within their existing visa validity due to COVID-19 will support recovery of the international education sector and maintain Australia’s reputation as a safe and welcoming education destination.

To be eligible for a VAC waiver, international students will be required to provide evidence that their study plans were impacted by COVID-19 and therefore they were unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity.

There are no regulatory costs or savings associated with this proposal.

Students who require a further Student (subclass) visa to complete their course due to COVID-19 will not be required to pay a VAC but will instead be required to provide evidence that their studies were adversely impacted by COVID-19.