Processing visa applications

Some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19. Department of Home Affairs is aware of issues for certain visa holders overseas. If you can’t use VEVO to check your visa status and conditions, contact us at StudyIn and we will be able to help

Applying for a 485 visa

Students who have finished their courses and are eligible to apply for the 485 visa are facing difficulty in organizing their English tests (IELTS and PTE) as they have been cancelled by the test centres so it is advised to plan ahead to take the test.  

Visa medical appointments COVID-19 arrangements

Visa applicants should be aware of disruptions to visa medical services, both in Australia and outside Australia, due to COVID-19. 

Immigration visa processing officers are aware of the disruptions. They will take the extended timeframes in to account when considering your visa application.  

In Australia

Bupa Visa Medical Services and other Visa Medical Services clinics continue to operate. However, visa medical services have reduced due to requirements of Department of Health in relation to COVID-19. 

The measures include social distancing. This is to be implemented for all existing bookings from 19 March onwards. The measures may reduce appointment availability in many centres.


There are disruptions to overseas services. Some clinics have temporarily suspended or reduced operations for the next few months.

A large number of panel clinics are implementing additional risk management controls according to their national management responses to COVID-19 and their respective government’s advice.  

AAT – COVID-19 arrangements

The AAT will not be conducting any ‘in person’ hearings for the foreseeable future hearings will be conducted by telephone, where the matter is suitable to this format of hearing, including taking witness evidence and interpreted proceedings. 

Additional exemptions as Determined by the Commissioner

In addition to immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident exemptions to travel restrictions the Commissioner has powers to consider exemptions.

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider an additional exemption in relation to the travel restrictions currently in place for:

  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest.
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports.
  • Persons with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception.
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia, and their immediate family.
  • Case-by-case exceptions may also be granted for humanitarian or compassionate reasons

Exemptions must be granted prior to these travelers undertaking travel to Australia.  

The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details
  • Case information
  • Supporting statement

It is important that all travelers provide evidence to us that they meet one of the exemptions above before traveling. For example, if you are an immediate family member holding a temporary visa you will need to provide us with evidence of your relationship.  

Contact us at StudyIn our team has plans in place to ensure ongoing operation for our current and prospective clients. We are working entirely remotely as our offices are closed. But we are accessing client files, emails and phones, lodging applications, processing admissions and accessing documents.

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