Travel and visas

This page contains details on travel to Australia and the student visa process.

Latest travel advice

  • People entering Australia do not need to provide evidence of vaccination status 
  • People entering Australia do not need to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration 
  • Unvaccinated visa holders do not need a travel exemption to travel to Australia 
  • If you are travelling from China, Hong Kong or Macau, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 48-hours before your scheduled flight. Find out more below.  

In addition to following the advice above, please stay in contact with your education provider for information and updates. 

COVID-19 pre-departure testing 

Travellers from China (including Hong Kong and Macau)  

On 1 January 2023, the Australian Government announced a temporary pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirement for people travelling to Australia from the People’s Republic of China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. 

This testing requirement currently applies to citizens of all countries, including Australian citizens, who plan to travel from these locations to Australia. 

If you are planning to travel to Australia from China (including Hong Kong and Macau), you will now be required to take a COVID-19 test within 48-hours of your scheduled flight. 

This is a temporary requirement based on expert health advice, designed to support your health and safety. Australian education and training providers are still very much looking forward to welcoming you to their campuses, to begin or continue your studies in 2023. 

What type of COVID-19 test is accepted? 

  • A negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is accepted if it is administered or supervised by a medical practitioner. 
  • A negative Nucleic Acid Amplification Technology (NAA) test is also accepted. This includes a saliva specimen-based COVID-19 NAA test. 

What type of evidence do I need to provide and when? 

You may be asked to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding your flight. You may also be asked to provide evidence of your negative test on arrival in Australia. 

A result from your testing provider can be used as evidence of a negative test if an NAA test is used.  

If a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is used, a certificate from the medical practitioner administering or supervising the test will be required. This certificate should include the following information:  

  • Date and time of the test  
  • Name of the individual tested  
  • Type of test conducted  
  • Brand and make of the test  
  • Confirmation that the specimen for the test was collected, and the test was carried out by – or under the supervision of – a medical practitioner
  • Result of the test
  • Signature of the medical practitioner providing the certificate.  

Important notes:   

  • There is no requirement to produce evidence in English. 
  • There is no requirement to show proof of vaccination.  

What if my flight is delayed, rescheduled or cancelled? 

If you have had your COVID-19 test but your flight has been delayed outside the 48-hour testing window, you do not need to get tested again. 

However, if your flight has been re-scheduled or cancelled, you will need to provide new evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.  

What about for passengers transiting through China, including Hong Kong and Macau? 

Travellers transiting through China, including Hong Kong and Macau, on flights that originated in another country, do not need to undertake pre-departure testing. 

However, the testing requirement does apply to those who travel to China, including Hong Kong or Macau from another country and spend several days there prior to travelling to Australia. 

To find out more visit australia.gov.au  

Travellers from all other international locations 

The Australian Government no longer requires people travelling to Australia to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before travel (except for travellers from China, Macau and Hong Kong) 

However, you will still need to check that you meet the requirements of your airline and any countries you transit through. 

Visa processing update

Improving visa processing times

The Australian Government is supporting its Department of Home Affairs to address current delays in visa applications as an urgent priority.

To improve visa processing times, the Department has employed nearly 140 new staff in visa processing roles since May 2022 and moved back to pre-pandemic decision making processes.

What this means for you

If you lodge an incomplete application, you will receive a notification in your ImmiAccount with a Request for Information (RFI) from the Department of Home Affairs.

When an RFI is received, you must provide the requested information as soon as possible.

If you do not provide the requested information before the specified due date, the Department of Home Affairs will finalise your visa application without the information they requested. Not having all the information assessed means your visa may not be approved.

What you need to do

  • Lodge a student visa application at least 6-8 weeks before course commencement.
  • Regularly check your ImmiAccount for any requests from the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Respond to any requests for further information or documentation BEFORE the stated deadline (the sooner, the better).
  • If you are having difficulty getting the required information, you should request an extension of time through your ImmiAccount.
  • If you are requesting an extension, you should provide evidence of any actions you have taken to obtain the required information, such as a payment receipt or booking confirmation, in order to support your request for more time.

Latest advice on student visas

The Australian Government is continuing to grant student visas and we advise the following:

  • If you are a new student, please first enrol at an education institution and then apply for a student visa.
  • If you are waiting for a visa approval, you may wish to consider continuing or commencing your studies online. Australian education providers offer a range of online learning and study load options – please contact your education institution for further details.
  • If you have already commenced studying online or in transnational education programs and do not have a student visa, we encourage you to apply for a student visa now.
  • If you already hold a student visa, online study or transnational education undertaken outside of Australia due to COVID-19 can count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
  •  In January 2022, the Australian Government temporarily removed restrictions on student visa holder working hours. This means there is currently no restriction on the number of hours that students can work while studying in Australia. However, work hours for international students will be capped again from July 2023. This will be revised with a view to finding the right balance between work and study. 
  • The temporary removal of restrictions on working hours does not change the requirement that international students must still meet satisfactory course progress requirements, and balance work and study commitments.
  • International students are protected by Australia's workplace laws. Please visit the Study Australia Employability Hub for student and graduate work information.
  • Your visa application fee will be waived to allow you to submit a further student visa application, if you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and could not complete your course within the original visa time period because of the impacts of COVID-19.
  • International students wishing to commence higher degree research (post-graduate study) in critical technology-related fields in Australia may need to have their application approved by the Minister for Education. This condition does not apply to current student visa holders.
  • If you are already located in Australia, health and well-being support remains available through education providers, government and community services.
  • It is important that you are able to financially support yourself throughout your studies during your time in Australia. Please refer to this guide to calculate your living costs while living and studying in Australia.
  • International students currently outside Australia should check their visa status via the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website prior to making arrangements to travel to Australia.

Latest advice on graduate visas

  • The length of stay, for those students who have the Temporary Graduate visa, has been extended from two (2) to three (3) years for Masters by Coursework graduates, matching the provisions for Masters by Research graduates. Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates will also receive a two (2) year Temporary Graduate visa.
  • There is a planned increase for the duration of post-study work rights for international students eligible for a Temporary Graduate Work visa (subclass 485), in select fields of study. These extended ‘stay and work’ periods will apply to students graduating with higher education degrees linked to identified workforce shortages. The Department will announce which degrees will be selected for work-rights extensions in late October 2022. Students who are studying select degrees will have Temporary Graduate Work visa (subclass 485) stay period increases of four years for Bachelor degree graduates, up from two years previously, five years for Master degree graduates, up from three years previously and six years for PhD graduates, up from four years previously.
  • From 1 July 2022, current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who lost time in Australia due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions can apply for a replacement visa. This includes people who were outside of Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 while they held a Temporary Graduate visa. Applications may be made until 31 December 2026. Click here for more information on the Home Affairs website.
  • From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, applicants for the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa Graduate Work stream will not need to nominate an occupation from the skilled occupation list and obtain a skills assessment. This will apply to all applications lodged on or after 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2023. It will not be applied to applications lodged before 1 July 2022.

Frequently asked visa questions (FAQs)

The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs has provided answers and important links related to your most frequently asked student visa questions.

You can also find updates on the Home Affairs website.

Travel FAQs

Do I need to be vaccinated to enter Australia?

From 6 July 2022, people entering Australia do not need to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status. However, it is strongly recommended that you do get vaccinated for your own protection.

What COVID-19 testing or quarantine requirements exist for student arriving in Australia?

Each state or territory has its own requirements for quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

Please check the latest updates here.

Related resources

Step by step guide to student visas

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