IHEA Welcomes Federal Government Announcement on International Students

Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) welcomes today’s federal government announcement that international student visa holders who are vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognised vaccine will be able to enter Australia from 1 December 2021, without the need to apply for a travel exemption.

To be permitted to enter Australia international students will need to satisfy the following:

- Be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s TGA.

- Hold a valid visa for one of the eligible visa subclasses.

- Provide proof of their vaccination status.

- Present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within three days of departure.

Importantly, students entering Australia will be subject to the quarantine arrangements of the respective state/territory they are travelling to.

Last week, the Victorian Government announced they will remove quarantine requirements on vaccinated students in line with earlier announcements from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Other states and the Northern Territory will be able to welcome fully vaccinated students without quarantine requirements once they reach their vaccination targets.

“Today’s announcement on the opening of borders is fantastic news and an important step in rebuilding Australia’s higher education sector,” IHEA CEO Simon Finn said.

“For almost two years, our members have been working towards international education recovery. Rebuilding student enrolments and staffing levels will take several years to fully recover, but we can now look forward to the safe return of international students to campuses in Australia for first semester next year.

On 6 December, IHEA members the International College of Management Sydney (ICMS), Kaplan, Navitas, and RedHill Education members will also welcome the first international students arriving through the NSW pilot project.

“Taken together, these are signs of optimism for Australia’s higher education sector after a tough couple of years.”

Media Contact: Matthew Coote, IHEA Communications Manager (Acting) via matthew.coote@ihea.edu.au

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