Reopening of Australia boarders for International Students (Updated 21 January)
27 Nov 2021
The Australian Government has now announced that all student visa holders will be allowed to re-enter Australia without exemption from 15th December 2021. This will see thousands of international students overseas, finally allowed back into Australia to resume or begin their studies in Australia.
With the recent announcement, international students looking to return to Australia, will no longer need to wait for the pilot programs, or apply for a travel exemption to return to Australia, as long as they hold a valid student Visa and are fully vaccinated. The following travel procedures are required for students entering Australia:
- A valid Australian (student) visa
- A valid vaccination certificate recognised by the TGA, which must be
- be legible, clear and in English
- indicate your vaccination status with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the TGA, including dates of administration (Sinovac-CoronaVac is an approved vaccine).
- include your personal details (e.g., name, date of birth, etc) which match the details of your student visa/Passport
- TGA approved or recognised vaccines to date are ,Comirnaty (Pfizer), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Covishield (AstraZeneca), Spikevax (Moderna), Janssen-Cilag (Johnson & Johnson), Coronavac (Sinovac), BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) (for 18-60 years old) & Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)
- Present a negative result for a PCR test taken within 3 days prior to flight departure.
- Complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before flight departure. The ATD contains a declaration on your vaccination status that and other critical health information.
- An incoming passenger card, for border clearance
- Do note, Quarantine requirements and testing rules and forms upon entry into Australia are subject to each state and territory’s guidelines, with details about each state below.
Currently due to the new Omnicom strain, all international travellers into Australia (returning citizens, prs and students) will need to adhere to the different quarantine rules in the different states. The rules for each state differs apon arrival, but in most instances, when you arrive, you must get either get a TGA approved Rapid Anitgent Test (RAT) or a COVID-19 PCR (nose and throat) test within the first 24 hours upon arrival and self-isolate at your accommodation or place of residence until your negative result. To see more information about travel requirements before arriving into Australia, please refer to https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/preparing-to-travel-to-australia-from-overseas.
NSW was one of the first states to announce the return of international students, with plans initially started to allow students back from early December as part of their pilot programme. All returning travellers will not need to quarantine when returning to NSW. However, after arriving in NSW, passengers must have either a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT), or a PCR test within 24 hours of arriving in NSW. You must isolate while wating for your results, and can stop self-isolating once they receive a negative result from this test. Another Covid-19 PCR or RAT test must be done after day 6 and if a negative result is returned, there is no other necessary test to be done. For further information and FAQ on traveling to NSW and Sydney, you can refer to www.study.sydney/return.
As announced, only fully vaccinated international students vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the TGA, will be allowed to enter to Victoria as of 15th December. All internatinonal travellers into Victora must apply for an international passenger arrivals permit before entering, this can be done here https://www.service.vic.gov.au/services/border-permit/home. Apon arrival, all travellers must have either a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT), or a PCR test within 24 hours of arriving, and must remain in quarantine until a negative test is returned. During the next 7 days, you are not allowed to enter senstivie settings, such as suchools, childcare or early childhood services. It is recommened you do another Covid-19 RAT or PCR test after day 6 of your arrival. For more information on the students returning to Victoria, please see https://www.studymelbourne.vic.gov.au/student-arrivals
Queensland will also allow students back in as of the 15th of December. As of the 22nd of January, Queensland has hit their 90% vaccination target, and all internatinonal travellers returning to the state will no longer face any restrictions on entry to Queensland and no quarantine required. You will need to take either a TGA approved rapid antigen test (RAT) or PCR test within 24 hours of arriving, and isolate in your place of residence/accommodation until your negative results comes back .
More information on Queensland’s student arrivals can be found at https://www.studyqueensland.qld.gov.au/student-returns.
Canberra have now announced that fully vaccinated international students should be able to return by 15th December without needing to quarantine.All travellers into Canberra will need to complete an online declaration form within 24 hours prior to arrival into the ACT, and undergo mandatory rapid antigen testing (RAT) or PCR testing for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival in Australia. You must remain in isolation while waiting for your test results at your place of residence/accommodation. You may leave isolation provided you have received confirmation of a negative test result, either via PCR test or RAT. You do not need to wait to be formally advised that you can leave quarantine by ACT Health. It is strongly recommended to restrict your movements around for the next 7 days after your arrival, despite your negative test.
South Australia have also announced, there will be no quarantine requirement for all returning students by January. Every traveller arriving in South Australia must undertake a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival in SA and remain in quarantine at their place of residence or accommodation until a negative result has been returned. Details of where you can get a PCR test in SA can be found here. You are also not allowed into High risk settings for 7 days after arrival into SA. It is recommended that you do another Covid-19 RAT test or PCR test after day 6 of your arrival. More information on the return of international students to Adelaide, including FAQs, can be found a https://studyadelaide.com/return
Tasmanian government announced that they will open to international and domestic travellers from December 15 onwards with no quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals who have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before flying into Tasmania. With nre rules in place, there are no COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers unless they have spent time in an extreme-risk area (domestic and overseas) in the 14 days before their arrival in Tasmania. Any traveller who has spent time in an extreme-risk area are required to apply for approval to enter Tasmania. For more information, on students returning to Tasmania, please refer to https://www.studytasmania.tas.gov.au/
The government of Western Australia has announced that they will reopen the borders for international students once they reach the 90% fully vaccinated target and this was expected to be on the 5th February 2022. Unfortunately, on the 20th of January, the premier of Western Australia annouced they will dely the boarders re-opening, due to the new Omicron out break, and will annouce a new date later in February. This is to ensure the state is well placed for the Omicron virus, when boarders reopen.
When boarders reopen, WA have stated only fully vaccinated international students will be able to enter Western Australia, but no quarantine will be required. For more information on students returning to Western Australia, please refer to https://www.studyperth.com.au/safereturn/
With the recent rules and relaxation of boarder restrictions and testing requirements, we expect a large up take for student services in Australia in the coming months, and a possible backlog in student visa applications in the coming months. The team here at StudentGuru do advise the following
- Apply for a student visa if this has yet to be done. This is so that you are ready to travel to Australia when it is possible. (Note as of 19 January the govenment has annouced, international student visa fees, which is around $600, will be rebated back to international students who arrive anytime in the next eight weeks, details can be found here)
- If the you hold a valid student visa, and online study is done outside of Australia due to COVID-19, the time spent on the online course can count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
- For further information, Please refer https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au
- Secure an accommodation before arrival into Australia. We have seen increase in enquires for accommodation in the past few days, and we recommend booking your accommodation with one of our suppliers with easy cancellation policies to ensure you have secured your ideal accommodation before arriving.
- Students arriving to australia to bring some TGA approved RAT kits (Approved RAT kits can be found here) and some face mask.