Australia, one of the most preferred destinations for Indian students, on Friday refused to offer any economic support to worldwide students who were unable to support themselves in the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
"That is a requirement for their visa when they come for the first year".
"There are 203,000 worldwide visitors in Australia, typically on a visa lasting three months or less".
'Hundreds of worldwide students have contacted me over the last few days to share their stories of unemployment, financial stress and precarious living situations, ' she said in a statement.
A cheesed-off Jacinda Ardern has taken aim at Australia's new ruling on temporary visa holders after acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge effectively told thousands of out-of-work New Zealanders "it's time to go home".
"As much as it is lovely to have visitors to Australia in good times, at times like this if you " re a visitor in this country, it is time, as it has been now for some while - and I know many visitors have - to make your way home and to ensure that you can receive the supports that are available.in your home countries".
"We are providing additional flexibility for them to support themselves and we continue to work with the global education sector on future arrangements as well".
"There are 565,000 global students in Australia, mainly studying in the higher education or vocational education sector".
"These (student) visas, and those who are in Australia under various visa arrangements, they are obviously not held here compulsorily", he said after a National Cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders. Worldwide tourists should return to their home country as quickly as possible, particularly those without family support.
The Federal Government has announced changes to some visas which will see some people allowed to stay longer, while others may be forced to leave.
Those working in areas such as childcare, farm work and food processing will be able to work for the same employer for more than the current six-month limit.
The Government on Saturday announced Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme participants will be able to extend their stay for up to one year.
But if they do not 'have the confidence to sustain themselves over the next six months, ' they should leave the country, ' Tudge said.
Those who come to the end of their work placement and can not return home will be given assistance to move to a new placement if they agree to meet the agricultural labour demand. Again, they will have to self-isolate for 14 days prior to moving to a different region. Those found in breach of the rules will be sent home.
"The accommodation of these workers as they move around the country is imperative".
New Zealanders in Australia on 444 visas are also being advised to consider going home if they can't support themselves.
"New Zealanders make up that workforce".
New Zealanders on 444 visas and who arrived in Australia before 26 February 2001 would have access to welfare payments and the JobKeeper payment.
Worldwide students are being encouraged to rely on family support and savings to get themselves through the crisis, while students in their second and subsequent years will be able to access any superannuation they've accumulated through part-time work.