To help foreign students, including those from India, who faced financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government has announced that those who have stayed in the country for one year are entitled to their retirement pension.
The latest move comes a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said foreign students are not eligible for financial support as they have to live in Australia for a year under their visa arrangements.
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Trudge made a statement saying, "Students who have been here for more than 12 months and are experiencing financial difficulties can access their Australian superannuation."
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"The government will continue to focus on the international education sector, which already provides financial support to international students who are in difficulty. For example, we know that there are some education providers that offer international students discounts," he said.
"There are 565,000 international students in Australia who study mainly in the higher education or vocational training sectors. They make an important contribution to our tertiary sector and our economy and support 240,000 Australian jobs," he said.
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India is the second largest student source for Australia with more than 140,000 enrollments registered in the country's various educational institutions in 2019. Trudge added that students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work, and their own savings to feed on Australia.
"As part of their visa application, international students had to prove that they could take care of themselves completely in the first year," he added.
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The government will also be flexible in cases where the pandemic has prevented foreign students from meeting their visa requirements, e.g. B. if they cannot attend the class.
The government also eased working hours for international students, so that from May 1 this year they can work up to 40 hours per two weeks in places like elderly care facilities and large supermarkets, while nurses have extended those hours to support these critical sectors .
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