Travel advice

This page will be regularly updated with the latest information and advice regarding travel to Australia and the student visa process.

Preparations underway

We very much look forward to welcoming you back to Australia's classrooms, campuses and communities, and careful planning is underway in preparation for your arrival.

We recognise that this is a really challenging time, particularly when you and your family have made significant sacrifices for you to take up an Australian education.

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

Latest advice on travel

Australian states and territories are working directly with education providers to develop plans to welcome you back. In November 2020, the Northern Territory welcomed its first returning cohort of international students. 

**Update**

New South Wales has announced plans for the staggered return of international students through a pilot program of 250 students every two weeks beginning in December and continuing into 2022, starting with student visa holders currently enrolled with a NSW education provider. For more on the New South Wales plan, see 'Return' on the the Study NSW webpage. If you are enrolled with an education provider in New South Wales, please refer to your provider's website for further details. 

Further expansions to arrival programs across Australia are planned by other States and Territories and will be guided by expert health advice. We will keep you updated here. 

 

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While broader travel restrictions remain in place, if you are planning to return to Australia, you may be eligible to apply for a travel exemption if you are:

  • Completing the final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where there is evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months.
  • Enrolled in an Australian education institution as a PhD student where your research is considered essential and your role is critical to the research.
  • Continuing as a higher degree research students, whose research is funded by an Australian Government grants program. The Department of Home Affairs will accept a current Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) with the Research Training Program funding listed in travel exemption applications, as well as letters from the Australian Research Council (ARC) or the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Please see the updated Guidelines on Australia's 'inwards' travel restriction policy.
  • Research higher degree students without an Australian Government research grant are still able to apply for an exemption if they have a letter of support, as per the Guidelines at paragraph 1.4 of the Guidelines.
  • For more on travel exemptions, including applying online, visit the Travel restrictions and exemptions page on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Even though the global COVID-19 pandemic makes travel difficult right now, Australian states and territories are working directly with education providers to plans for your arrival.

Further expansions to planned arrival programs across Australia will be guided by expert health advice and we will keep you updated here.

Australia is a safe, welcoming and multicultural country and we really look forward to welcoming you back.

Latest advice on visas

Despite the current travel restrictions and gradual return of students to on-campus studies, 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, so that you are ready to travel to Australia when it is possible.
  • If you already hold a student visa and you are currently located in your home country, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are already located in Australia, health and wellbeing support is available to all international students 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.
  • Please also refer to our answers to your most frequently asked visa questions below.

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 https//covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/ 

Related resources

Step by step guide to student visas

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