International Students to Touch Down in Australia As of Today

International Students Return Australia

Australia will officially reopen its borders to more than 230,000 visa holders and 133,000 students, many of whom will touch down in the country from today (December 15), nearly two years after the entry ban.  

The news was confirmed by Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt, who said that the borders will reopen to fully vaccinated international students and skilled workers today as planned. The latter do not need a travel exemption to come to Australia, Erudera.com reports.  

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the return would give heart to more than 133,000 international students, adding that many of students will finally be able to return to the campus life that they have missed, while others will “set foot on campus for the very first time”.

“Our international students make a rich contribution, both to the student experience and the wider Australian community. We have missed their presence dearly and couldn’t be more delighted to welcome them back from today,” Jackson stressed.

She further said that universities cannot emphasize enough the commitment of international students while studying online for almost two years.

The return of international students in Australia was expected to take place on December 1, 2021; however, it was postponed for two weeks, until December 15, due to concerns related to the new Covid-19 Variant, Omicron.

Following the decision, Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Andrew McKellar, told Sky News Australia that the return of international students and skilled migrants on December 15 is a “step in the right direction.”

“We understood what the government had to do there, we think it was prudent, but all the signs are positive, and we need to get international students coming back in, we need to get some of those skilled migrants coming back in, and eventually we need to have tourists and business visitors coming in,” McKellar said.

International students returning to Australia have been required to be fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and comply with the requirements introduced by each state and territory.

Australia closed its borders on March 20, 2020, and since then, thousands of international students have been unable to enter the country. In order to facilitate students’ arrival, several states have submitted International Student Arrival Plans to the federal government. The latter approved the plans of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland.

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