After months of implementing strict border restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Australia is opening its doors on the 15th of December 2021 to eligible visa holders including international students and Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa holders, subject to state and territory jurisdiction requirements.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with Australia’s state and territory governments as well as education providers has released the International Student Arrival Plans to ensure the safe return of qualified international students in the country.
The following states have released their International Student Arrival Plans as per endorsement of the Australian Government:
New South Wales (NSW)
The state announced that effective 15 December 2021 (originally slated 1st of December), fully vaccinated student visa holders can travel to and from Australia. Pre-pandemic, NSW is home to almost 290,000 students, supporting over 95,000 full-time jobs.
As scheduled, International students who were part of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan will still travel to NSW. The first chartered flight on 6 December 2021 will be bringing over 250 students from over 15 nations, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Canada. The second batch of students from South Asia and India is slated to arrive in Sydney on 24 December 2021.
Know more about travel updates and requirements for international students in NSW here.
The Queensland Student Arrivals Plan (QSAP) aligns with the Australian Government’s International Student Arrival Plans, welcoming international students starting 1 December 2021. Fully vaccinated students with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccination will not need to quarantine according to Queensland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan to Unite Families. The state has vaccinated 90% of its 16 and above population.
Victoria opens its doors on 15 December 2021 to fully vaccinated eligible student visa holders. Fully vaccinated eligible international students with a vaccine approved or recognised by the Australian TGA are required to quarantine for 72 hours upon arrival and must undertake a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and between days 5 and 7 after entering Victoria.
Visit Victoria’s Information for overseas travelers page for the most up-to-date information and restrictions in the state.
Study Adelaide, education providers, and the Adelaide community also welcome fully vaccinated, eligible international students from 15 December 2021 in line with the Australian Government’s latest announcement on reopening the borders. South Australia aims to completely vaccinate 90% of its population aged 12+ by late December 2021 or early January 2022.
As for the Northern Territory, all fully vaccinated arrivals into the Territory will be required to undergo rapid antigen testing and will no longer be required to quarantine from 20 December 2021. Western Australia will soon welcome fully vaccinated international students with no quarantine period once the state has fully vaccinated 90% of its eligible population, which is expected to happen in late January or early February 2022.
From 15 December, Tasmania will begin to relax its travel restrictions stating that fully vaccinated travellers from within Australia aged 12 years and two months and older can enter the state without the need to quarantine. However, arrivals prior to 15 December (and arriving via a connecting flight from the Australian mainland) will still have to undergo 14 days hotel quarantine.
The Australian Capital Territory also announced that it will soon welcome arrivals of international tertiary education students, who are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by Australia’s TGPA, in time for the 2022 academic year.
The Australian Government stressed that arrivals under an International Student Arrival Plan may be paused at any time under health advice to ensure the health and safety of both the people in the country and arriving international students. Visit Study Australia for updates on Visa, travel, vaccine and support services information for international students.