Travel and visas

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

All visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption. This includes fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate visa holders.

You still need to meet all Australian Government border requirements and any state or territory quarantine and testing requirements (see below for more).

 

Latest travel advice

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

You will need to meet all Australian Government border requirements and any state or territory quarantine and testing requirements. Quarantine and testing arrangements for states and territories are changing. Please visit www.australia.gov.au/states to ensure you have the most recent information.

Pre-departure testing

The Australian Government no longer requires people travelling to Australia to have a COVID-19 test before travel.

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

Digital Passenger Declaration

All passengers arriving by air into Australia should complete the Digital Passenger Declaration. You can start a DPD seven (7) days before your flight to Australia, but you must submit it before your departure.

The DPD contains declarations that are considered to be critical health information. You must be able to provide evidence that you made this declaration before boarding the aircraft. If you fail to comply with the requirement, a financial penalty may apply (currently $6,660 AUD). If you do not make the declaration before you board your flight, you may also be delayed when arriving in Australia.

Please see the Department of Home Affairs website for more information on coming to Australia and the DPD.

Exemptions for unvaccinated students

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will still need to obtain a travel exemption to enter Australia (from 15 December 2021). 

A travel exemption may be granted if you are already:

  • A student in your final three years of study of a medical university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice. The placement must commence within the next two months and provide medical services to the Australian public.
  • A student in the final two years of study of a dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months.
  • A higher degree research student enrolled in an Australian education institution (including Masters by research and PhD students) who provide:
    • evidence of a current research grant from a Commonwealth agency, such as the Australian Research Council or National Health and Medical Research Council; or evidence they are in receipt of Research Training Program funding administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment; or
    • evidence of support from a relevant government agency outlining why the research is considered essential and/or in Australia’s national interest and how their role is critical to the research.
  • For more on travel exemptions, including applying online, visit the Travel exemptions page on the Department of Home Affairs website, including the Commissioner’s Guidelines.

Restrictions on travel to Australia will remain in place for unvaccinated students. However, you can still enrol with an Australian education provider, be granted a student visa offshore, and commence or continue their studies online if you are unable to obtain a travel exemption.

If you're unvaccinated but are granted a travel exemption and wish to get vaccinated in Australia, you will have free access to COVID-19 vaccines in Australia. More information on COVID-19 vaccines is available at 'COVID-19 Vaccine information'.

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 on 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 refer to your education institution for further details.
  • If you have already commenced studying online and do not have a student visa, we encourage you to apply for a student visa now, so that when travel restrictions are eased you can travel to Australia to continue your studies here.
  • Please remember that if you do already hold a student visa, online study done outside of Australia due to COVID-19 can count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
  • Any international student visa holders arriving in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022 will be refunded their visa application fee (around AU$630).
  • The Australian Government has also announced a further, temporary relaxation of work restrictions for international students. This means there is currently no restriction on the number of hours that students can work while studying in Australia. It also means that students who have already arrived in Australia can start working even before the start of their course. 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 still protected by Australia's workplace laws. Please visit the Study Australia Employability Hub for student and graduate work information.
  • Students already in Australia, who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and could not complete their course within the original visa time period because of the impacts of COVID-19, will have their student visa application waived when applying for a new student visa. 
  • Students will have extra time to provide English language test results if they are unable to take a test because of COVID-19. Extra time will also be given for biometrics collection and health checks where COVID-19 has disrupted access to services. 
  • If you are already located in Australia, health and well being support continues to remain available through education providers, government and community services.
  • It is important 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.
  • Current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who lost time in Australia due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions will be able to apply for a replacement Temporary Graduate visa from 1 July 2022. This includes people who were outside of Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 1 December 2021 while they held a Temporary Graduate visa.
  • From 18 February 2022, Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who are eligible for a replacement Temporary Graduate visa, will have their visas extended to 30 September 2022. This interim measure allows eligible Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who were affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions, to enter, or remain in, Australia to live and work until they can apply for a replacement Temporary Graduate visa from 1 July 2022. Eligible visa holders will be notified directly by the Department of Home Affairs of the extension of their visa.

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 at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid19.

Travel FAQs

For more information on proof of vaccinations, vaccines recognised by Australia and any other specific details related to vaccines, visit our 'COVID-19 vaccine information' page.

How does vaccination verification work for those transferring flights within Australia or using partner airlines?

Vaccination verification can occur anywhere along the domestic/international traveller journey, as long as verification has been undertaken prior to the passenger exiting or arriving in Australia on their journey.

In the case of families travelling together to ensure their high school child settles in, what if one or more members of the group don't meet Australia's requirements for being fully vaccinated?

Unvaccinated student visa holders are required to obtain a travel exemption to enter Australia. The airline may still board unvaccinated passengers, though they will need to be carried in accordance with any passenger caps and subject to state and territory quarantine requirements. Please also note the special arrangements in place for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated 12-17 year olds.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Australian children aged 12-17 years old entering Australia through New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory are exempt from passenger caps and eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. Where a child is travelling with parent/guardians who are all fully vaccinated, the entire family will be able to travel outside of passenger caps. If the child is travelling with unvaccinated adult family members, then the entire family group will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger caps. International arrivals who meet other Australian entry requirements are not subject to additional requirements to enter Tasmania.

From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption. This includes vaccinated parents that wish to accompany a student visa holder to Australia.

Are fully vaccinated 'immediate family' members allowed to fly to Australia?

Yes, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption.

This is a constantly evolving situation so please keep checking this page for updates as they become available. International travellers are advised to visit www.Australia.gov.au/states to ensure they have the most recent information on border restrictions and State and Territory quarantine requirements.

Will a traveller need to demonstrate that they have arranged a relevant quarantine place or booking at check-in?

All arrivals to Australia will be subject to the Public Health Orders in effect in whichever jurisdiction they arrive, including any requirements for quarantine. There is no responsibility on airlines to verify at check-in that a passenger has made arrangements for a quarantine place (if one is required) on their arrival in Australia.

When are travel exemptions declared for the status of a traveller?

Airlines are required to contact the Australian Border Operations Centre to confirm the status of a traveller who receives a 'do not board' message during the screening process before boarding their flight.

What quarantine requirements exist for unvaccinated students arriving in Australia?

This is a matter for the student to consult with their education provider in the relevant State or Territory. All arrivals to Australia will be subject to the Public Health Orders in effect in whichever jurisdiction they arrive, including any requirements for quarantine.

Unvaccinated student visa holders are required to obtain a travel exemption to enter Australia.

More information on jurisdictional quarantine requirements is available at www.australia.gov.au/states.

Related resources

Step by step guide to student visas

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