COVID Impact on Student Visa and Working Holiday Visa

The world COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of Australian border have significantly impacted the country’s visa immigration programs. The most important dates that have defined the negativity of the impact are:

  • 1 February 2020: first travel ban for specific visa holders entering Australia;
  • 20 March 2020: global international travel ban;
  • Early April 2020: Student visa applications temporarily suspended by the Government for off-shore applicants due to the enduring border closure.

The following analysis gives you an overall idea of the COVID impact on Student Visa and Working Holiday Visa migration programs to 30th June 2020. The most descrptive metrics are taken into consideration in this article and data are taken from Australian Government and Department of Home Affairs offical source (see footer for references).


Student Visa

Follow a metric analysis of the impact of COVID on student visa numbers.

Application Lodgements Numbers

In the 2019-20 program year, there were a total of 395,146 student visa applications lodged – a decrease of 16.5% compared with the previous program year.

  • Visa application lodged outside Australia, decreased by 33.5% to 192,723 lodgements;
  • Visa application lodged in Australia increased by 10.2% to 202,423 lodgements

Impact of Covid on visa : Increase/decrease in number of student visa applicationsThe graph on the right hand side shows the increase/decrease in numbers of student visa application lodged per nationalities. We can see that the number of applications lodged for Nepal, USA, Japan, Malaysia, India, Brazil and China has decreased, whereas it has increased for Pakistan and Colombia.

Overall, the total number of primary student visa applications on hand at 30 June 2020 was 50,860. Of those:

  • 17,688 applications were made by applicants outside Australia;
  • 33,172 applications were made by applicants in Australia.

Visa Granted Numbers

During the program year 2019-20, there have been 340,152 student visas granted – a decrease of 16.2 per cent compared with the previous program year.

  • Visas granted to applicants outside of Australiadecreased by 32.4% compared with the previous program year;
  • Visa granted to applicants inside Australia, increased by 8.2% compared to the previous year program.

impact of COVID on visa: Increase in numbers of student visa granted by nationalitiesThe bar chart on the left hand side shows the nationalities that have experienced an increase in number of student visas granted inside Australia – Nepal and India have the highest increase in number.

Of the total student visas granted in the 2019-20 program year, 19.9% were granted to China, followed by 16.3% to India (see donut chart).

Student Visa Holders in Australia

On the 30 June 2020, there were 555,310 student visa holders in Australia – the highest number of student visa holders recorded before. Of those total student visa holders, 108,203 were from India and 108,155 from China, accounting for 39% of all student visa holders in Australia.


Working Holiday Visa

Follow a metric analysis of the impact of COVID on Working Holiday visa numbers.

Application Lodgements Numbers

During 2019-20 year perido, there were 126,032 (first and second) visa applications lodged in the total WHM program, a decrease of 29.8% compared to 179,505 in 2018-19.

In particular, Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) breackdown numbers are:

  • 94,443 first year
  • 31,589, second year
  • 3,518 third year

Visa Granted Numbers

Overall, during the year period 2019-2020, a total of 120,598 combined Working Holiday (subclass 417 – first and second) visas were granted, a 33.1% decrease compared to the previous year. In particular, compared to the previous year, Australia experienced a:

  • 4% reduction in first year Working Holiday Visa grants;
  • 3% decrease in second year WHV grants.

The graph below shows the number of Working Holiday Visa granted per year and per country (orange= first year WHV; blue= second year WHV; light blue= third year WHV).

impact of COVID on visa: number of Working Holiday Visa granted per year and per country

From the barchart above, we can see that UK has the highest number of WHV granted fro the three years, Italy counts only for the third year WHV and Ireland for the second year WHV only.

To conclude, it is iteresting to mention that, applicant have declared they undertook agricultural, construction and minig work to become eligible to apply for the second and third Working Holiday Visa.

Working Holiday Visa Holder in Australia

As fo 30th June 2020, there were 69,334 Working Holiday visa holders in Australia (first and second visas), a 40.1% reduction compared to 30 June 2019.

**BR0097 Student and temporary graduate visa program and BR0110 Working Holiday Maker visa program reports.


Contact Us

If you need assistance with your student visa application or you need advices on your migration path, contact us at hello@oztudy.com.


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