TAFE Queensland

International Students

COVID-19 Additional Information


 - This page was last updated on 15/11/2021 -

Information for all TAFE Queensland students regarding COVID-19 (formerly novel coronavirus) including facts, restrictions and procedures is available here.

 

The following is additional information for TAFE Queensland’s international students.

 

You can check out the latest web series here.


CONTENTS




My study with TAFE Queensland


I am enrolled in a course with TAFE Queensland but I cannot travel to Australia right now due to the border closures, what are my options?

 If you are enrolled and due to commence an English course you can start your English studies while you are still offshore. TAFE Queensland offers following English Language courses virtually.

  • General English (Pre-Intermediate - Upper-Intermediate)
  • IELTS Preparation
  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

If you would like to start a virtual English Language course, please contact the TAFE Queensland International Education Admissions Team to change your enrolment to virtual delivery.

Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education students, if borders continue to remain closed TAFE Queensland will offer you a deferral to the next available intake. A limited number of courses may be offered virtually and you will be contacted if that option is available to you.

 

Do I need a student visa to commence my study online?

If your intention is to travel to Queensland to continue your studies, we recommend students apply for and have their visa granted prior to commencing any of the virtual courses. This will ensure that you have your visa ready to travel once borders do open. Student visa holders impacted by COVID-19 can count online or virtual study towards the Australian Study Requirement.


I am offshore and already enrolled in a TAFE Queensland course, can I apply for my international student visa? What are the requirements?

All students offshore that have received their Confirmation of Enrolment can apply for an international student visa. Please check the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website for further information about visa applications and requirements.

 

I am offshore and my course starts in January 2022, can I travel to Australia, or should I defer my course now?

At this stage we cannot confirm if our students offshore will be able to travel to Australia to commence their studies in January 2022. We are closely monitoring all the Australian Government and Queensland Government updates regarding travel restrictions. TAFE Queensland will contact you accordingly regarding any update that may affect your commencement. We will work with you to ensure we can adjust your enrolment to the next available intake if necessary.

Please refer to Study Queensland’s website and the Department of Home Affairs website for information about the plan to return international students to Queensland.

 

Do I have to attend mandatory international orientation in person?

If you are in Australia prior to the start of your studies, we do require you to attend the International Orientation conducted by TAFE Queensland.

Please note that there are two orientation sessions to attend.

  • International orientation
  • Course orientation

Attendance at both orientation sessions is compulsory for all new international students commencing their course with TAFE Queensland. If you are not able to attend in person, please contact the TAFE Queensland International Education team.

You can find more information on Orientation at your campus here.

 

I am enrolled, but my English test has expired, do I need to take another English test?

English Tests that are older than 3 years from the start of the study (excluding English test for Diploma of Nursing, are only valid for 2 years) are no longer valid and new evidence will be required before you commence your course with TAFE Queensland.

We will contact you closer to the start of study to obtain your new English test. We understand this may cause an inconvenience. However, it is important that your current English language proficiency meets TAFE Queensland’s course entry requirements. This ensures a good foundation for you to successfully progress through your enrolled course.

 

What can I do if I have commenced my course but cannot continue due to COVID-19 restrictions?

Important information for students currently in Queensland is available here.

As TAFE Queensland regularly updates students on any COVID – 19 changes that might interrupt study, it is essential that students keep their contact details current with TAFE Queensland. Visit our Student Portal to keep your details up to date: Student Portal | TAFE Queensland (tafeqld.edu.au)

For more information on how to use the Student Portal, including FAQs:  Student Portal pilot - Frequently asked questions

 

Study online and deferral:  

Due to COVID-19 TAFE Queensland may have to adjust your course delivery arrangements. International students will not be in breach of their visa conditions if they are studying virtually, online or have an approved course deferral or suspension due to COVID-19 restrictions.




Health Insurance and Wellbeing

 

What would happen with my Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) if I defer my course start date?

If you organised your OSHC through TAFE Queensland, we will re-arrange the dates of your coverage when deferring your intake.

 If your OSHC was not organised by TAFE Queensland, please contact your agent or OSHC provider for further information about how to change your dates.


Why do I need to obtain an OSHC if I am currently outside of Australia?

To be granted a student visa to study in Australia all International students must have OSHC in place for the duration of their stay in Australia.

 

Am I eligible for a refund of OSHC for the period I was studying online offshore?

Yes. If you choose to schedule your OSHC provider through TAFE Queensland’s preferred OSHC provider, Allianz Care Australia, you will be able to apply for a refund for the period of cover prior to your arrival.

If your cover is through another OSHC provider, you will need to contact that provider to seek advice regarding your refund.

 

Does my OSHC includes cover for Coronavirus (COVID-19) related illnesses?

Allianz Care Australia COVID-19 information for OSHC member is available here.

If your cover is through another OSHC provider, you will need to contact that provider to seek advice regarding your coverage for COVID-19 related illness.

 

I have been required to self-isolate by a health official. What should I do?

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you are requested to self-isolate for 14 days following the last exposure.

If you complete your full 14-day isolation follow the advice of Queensland Health.

If you are a student and you took self-isolation precautions, please contact us on 1300 308 233 to discuss returning to class.

Further information about what to do and what assistance is available during home quarantine please check the Queensland Government website

 

Is there further support available to international students?

This is an exceedingly challenging time for everyone. It is okay to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed, we are here for you. Please call, email, or visit us to see how when can help you.

Contact your local international student support team.

Different organisations in Queensland may have support available for international students. Please visit the Study Queensland website for further information.

 

Can international students get a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia?

COVID-19 vaccinations are free for everyone in Australia, including international students.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring everyone in Australia will have access to the vaccination – this includes international students who are studying in Australia.
COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia regardless of Medicare or visa status.

Vaccination providers cannot charge students for the COVID-19 vaccine or your appointments to receive the vaccine. If students don’t have a Medicare card, or are not eligible for Medicare, they can get a free vaccination at:

  • a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic
  • State or Territory Vaccination Clinic.


Vaccination is voluntary, and everyone is encouraged to get a vaccine to help protect the community from COVID-19.

More information regarding COVID – 19 vaccines in other languages is available here.

I am outside of Australia and want to travel when the borders reopen, what vaccines are accepted by the Australian Government?

Please check the Australian Government Health advice for information about what vaccines are recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for incoming international arrivals.




Travel Restrictions and information for visa holder

 

Travel restrictions and exemptions

As COVID-19 continues to affect countries worldwide in different ways and vaccine rates vary widely, the Australian Government has kept strict travel restrictions in place. This decision has played a key role in keeping COVID-19 cases in Australia as low as they are.

Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. In accordance with the Australian government guidelines and travel restrictions, arrangements for the return of international students to Australia will be made once it is safe to do so, and in a way that protects the Australian community.

Currently international students are still not permitted to enter Australia unless they meet one of the individual exemptions as stated by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs (Please note that at this time, studies with TAFE Queensland does not meet these exemptions).

Please visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website for the latest travel restrictions.  

 

Can I apply for my student visa even though there are travel restrictions for international travels arriving to Australia?

Yes, as per advice issued by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Government has recommenced issuing student visas in all locations. This means that students may be able to travel as soon as borders re-open and it is safe to do so.

 

What are the changes to my international student visa conditions?

Information about COVID-19 updates to International Students from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs is available here.





Student Fee Waiver

 

What is International Student Fee Waiver and who is eligible to apply for it?

Department of Home Affairs may waive the visa application fee to allow you to submit a further student visa application to complete your study. This will be available to students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and couldn’t complete their course in their original visa validity period because of the impacts of COVID-19. This includes students who:

  • deferred study as they were unable to enter Australia because of travel restrictions
  • were forced to reduce to a part-time study load
  • were unable to complete their work-based training or placements.

This measure is not intended for students who are applying for a new student visa because of ordinary reasons (including if you have failed a course or a unit of study, deferred for personal reasons or voluntarily reduced your study load.)

You must apply for a student visa to have your application for a fee waiver considered and attach a completed Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student (PDF 228 KB) from your education provider with a valid student visa application.

If applying for a fee waiver in Australia, a Bridging visa will not be issued automatically as the fee exemption must be checked first. 

This waiver only applies to the visa application fee.

Refunds will not be available for students who have already applied for a student visa. Only new applications will be eligible to have the application fee waived.

Am I eligible to apply for Student Fee waiver (1545 Form)?

TAFE Queensland will complete 1545 Fee waiver form for students who need to apply for a new student visa as they couldn’t complete their course in their original visa validity period because of the impacts of COVID-19. This includes students who:

  • deferred study as they were unable to enter Australia because of travel restrictions
  • were forced to reduce to a part-time study load
  • were unable to complete their work-based training or placements

 

TAFE Queensland will not complete 1545 Fee waiver form for students who are applying for a new student visa due to ordinary reasons:

  • Students have failed a course or a unit of study,
  • Students deferred their course for personal reasons
  • Students voluntarily reduced their study load
  • Students suspended their course due to compassionate and compelling reasons (excluding COVID-19)
  • Students who have already submitted student visa application. This waiver only applies to the visa application fee. Refunds will not be available for students who have already applied for a student visa. Only new applications will be eligible to have the application fee waived.
  • Students requesting to waive OSHC fee with 1545 Fee waiver form. Waiver only applies to the student visa application fee.

 

How to apply for 1545 Fee waiver form?

If you believe you are eligible, please complete Part B – Student details and Part C – Student (Subclass 500) visa applicant of Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student (PDF 228 KB) and send the completed form to Admissions Team: [email protected]

Please ensure that you include your TAFE Queensland student ID number.

If you are deemed eligible, you will need to include Form 1545 with your application for a new student visa.

When to request 1545 Fee waiver form from TAFE Queensland?

Contact TAFE Queensland within 3 months of your current visa expiry date and submit your request. This will ensure that you have enough time to apply for your new visa with your new COE and approved 1545 Fee waiver form. 

How many times can I re-apply and complete form 1545?

Students will be issued with the 1545 Fee waiver form only if they meet the eligibility criteria. The student visa fee waiver is a temporary measure and will continue for as long as necessary. More information is available at: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/student-visa

Important to Note:

As the Australian Government may change the conditions for waiving the student visa application fee, you should always read the latest advice. The current Fee Waiver is a Department of Home Affairs initiative.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs for more informations.





International student arrival Plan

The International student arrival plans are driven by each state or territory government, with endorsement from the Australian Federal Government.

The Queensland Government is currently working on an international student arrival plan and will be working with the Federal Government to seek endorsement. Unfortunately, at this stage we do not have a timeframe of when this will happen.

Please note that student arrival plans are likely to have some limitations applied, and only limited numbers of students, nominated by their education institution will be able to come to Australia under an approved International Student Arrival Plan as approved by the State Government.  

TAFE Queensland looks forward to seeing our international students with us. We are working closely with all networks of Government to securely have students arrive in Australia.

We encourage you to keep communication lines open with TAFE Queensland and should the situation improve or changes occur that allow us to support your arrival, please be assured we will be in contact with you.

Further information about the Queensland Student arrival plan is available here: https://www.studyqueensland.qld.gov.au/student-returns and Australian Government International Students Arrival Plan is available here.

When I travel to Queensland, do I need to quarantine upon arrival? If so, how much would it cost?

All returning travellers are required to quarantine, even if they are fully vaccinated.  Travel restrictions are subject to change in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. We will inform students if any changes are announced that impact our students.

Where will students be quarantined for the Queensland Student Arrivals Plan?  

The Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre, Wellcamp located in Toowoomba will welcome international arrivals, including international students. As the plan progresses to future phases, options for quarantine arrangements may change or be expanded. 

TAFE Queensland is proud to be Queensland’s largest, most experienced training provider.

With over 50 locations across the state we offer practical, industry-relevant training to over 120,000 students annually.

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