COVID-19 Advice Information for Students FAQs for International Students

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Frequently Asked Questions - International Students

Last updated: 17 October 2022, 12pm Australian Eastern Standard Time

Travel to Australia

Prior to making travel arrangements, please be aware of the entry requirements of the state or territory of your arrival and any state or territory you intend to travel to. 

Please refer to the Australian Government Home Affairs website for the most accurate and up to date information regarding international travel to Australia and the Australian Government Health website for answers to a range of questions relating to inbound international travel.

Teaching and Learning

Some JCU programs are available for international students to study online. Read more.

If you are unable to undertake study, you will need to apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA), for either six months or 12 months. Information about taking leave is available here.

If your Leave of Absence is approved, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be cancelled and a new CoE will be issued for you to apply for a student visa when you return to Australia to continue your studies in the future. If you are unable to complete your studies in your original student visa duration due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to have the visa application fee waived.

If you are unsure when you will be able to return to your studies, or you wish to take a break for more than 12 months, you will need to withdraw from your course. In this situation, your CoE will be cancelled and you will need to submit a new application form if you wish to return to JCU in the future. If you wish to withdraw from your course, email the JCU International Support Team and provide the reasons for your withdrawal.

To defer your offer, email JCU International Admissions stating which Study Period you would like to defer to. International Admissions will process your request and send your deferred offer to you within 14 business days.

Visas and OSHC

For the most up-to-date information and advice regarding student visa, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has changed the requirements for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa for those who have been impacted by COVID-19:

  • online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian Study Requirement for existing and new student visa holders
  • graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate visa outside Australia (where they have met all the requirements).

Online study outside Australia is counted from the time of student visa grant.

If you are applying from outside Australia you must hold or have held a Student visa in the past 12 months to apply.

If you believe you meet eligibility criteria and wish to have your online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions counted towards the Australian Study Requirement, complete the COVID-19 Impacted Students form and email it with a statement supporting your request.

Applications will open in mid-2022.

From 1 July 2022, current and former Temporary Graduate visa holders who lost time in Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions may be eligible to apply for a replacement Temporary Graduate visa.

To be eligible for a replacement Temporary Graduate visa you must:

  • hold a valid Temporary Graduate visa or
  • have previously held a Temporary Graduate visa that expired on or after 1 February 2020 and
  • have been outside Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021.


  • pay the full Visa Application Charge of AUD1,680
  • provide supporting documents.

From 1 July 2022, you can apply from onshore or offshore through ImmiAccount.

If you are eligible, your replacement visa will allow the same length of stay as your original visa, as per the level of qualification, regardless of how long was spent in Australia on the original visa.

You can include members of the family unit in your application when you apply. This includes family members that weren't included on your original Temporary Graduate visa.

In normal circumstances, applicants are limited to just one Temporary Graduate visa in a lifetime, and a further visa is only available based on regional work and study.

For more information see COVID-19 Temporary Graduate replacement stream.

The Australian government may waive the visa application fee to allow you to lodge a further student visa application to complete your study. Students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and who couldn’t complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a waiver of the application fee for their subsequent visa.   This includes students who deferred their study as they were unable to enter Australia due to travel restrictions.  Whether or not a waiver is granted is determined by the Department of Home Affairs.

To have your application for a fee waiver considered, you must attach a completed Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student when you submit your new student visa application in the future. Please email your form to the JCU International Support Team after you arrive in Australia.

You will require a Student Visa to enter Australia or, if you are studying online while outside Australia if you want that study to count towards your Australian study requirements for post-study work rights.

Once Australia’s international border restrictions are lifted and normal modes of delivery can be resumed, as an international student studying offshore, you will be required to travel to Australia on a Student Visa as soon as you are able to.

This means that you will need to apply for a Student Visa using your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) issued by the University. Please note the CoE will expire within 60 days of commencement date if not used for a Student Visa application. You will be issued a Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), once you accept your offer, pay the commencement deposit and satisfy any offer conditions.

Students who have requested JCU to arrange OSHC on their behalf will be able to access their OSHC policies once they have been admitted by JCU.  Once admitted, students will have access to their JCU email address and should look out for their Allianz Care Certificate of Insurance which will be sent to their JCU email address.

HDR students will be admitted upon arrival and receive access to their Allianz Care OSHC policy shortly after. HDR students should go to the Graduate Research School as soon as possible after arrival, or contact [email protected] if they intend to arrive earlier than the expected candidature commencement date.

If you intend to arrive earlier than the OSHC start date on your eCOE, once your policy has been established you can adjust the policy start date directly with the OSHC provider. In some cases you may also be required to purchase additional insurance to extend your policy to cover your earlier arrival.

Please use the JCU/Allianz Care weblink to purchase additional cover if required.

If you are having any difficulties accessing your Allianz Care OSHC policy, please contact [email protected]

Scholarships and Financial Support

Please visit our Scholarships and Financial Support page for further information.

Health and Wellbeing

Students can contact the International Student Support Team via phone, email, or meet with a team member in person in a COVID-19 safe environment via:

Students can contact the JCU Wellbeing and Counselling Team and make an appointment to speak to a counsellor.

Students can access AskUs 24/7, and live chat or schedule a phone call. The JCU Student Assistance Helpline is available to provide support and assistance to students after hours and on weekends via 1800 75 41 85.

Students can make friends and socialise at our 'Cafe International'. This is a weekly COVID-19 safe event during semester, where international students meet and mingle with the International Student Support Team and local students.

    International students undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their dependents, must obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals. Further information is provided in the OSHC page of the JCU website.

Useful resources

  • A range of medical and health services available to students in Cairns and Townsville. Please visit the JCU Medical Services page for further details
  • The Australian Government's National Coronavirus Helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides information about COVID-19 and vaccines, with additional options for priority groups, including translation services
  • The JCU International Student Support Team are available to assist all enrolled international students with any questions, issues or concerns.
  • Students can contact the JCU Wellbeing and Counselling Team and make an appointment to speak to a counsellor.

Please visit the JCU General Advice for Students page for all other COVID advice and information for current JCU students.