Australian borders open from 21 February 2022 to all visa holders

Update 15 February 2022

Further updates have been provided by the Australian Government regarding the opening of Australia’s international borders to all fully vaccinated travellers.

Related: Australian borders opening for workers, students and graduates from 15 Dec 2021

Travel Exemptions

From 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders can travel to Australia without being required to apply for a travel exemption. This includes the following visa types:

  • Bridging visas
  • Visitor visas
  • Any other visa types that are not currently listed as eligible visa holders

Unvaccinated visa holders are required to hold a valid travel exemption to travel to Australia.

Vaccination Requirements

To be considered fully vaccinated to travel to Australia, you must have completed a course of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes mixed vaccine doses. The following vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA:

  • Two doses at least 14 days apart of:
    • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
    • AstraZeneca Covishield
    • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
    • Moderna Spikevax or Takeda
    • Sinovac Coronavac
    • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
    • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia)
    • Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V
    • Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid.
  • Or one dose of:
    • Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.

At least 7 days must have passed after your final vaccine dose for you to be considered fully vaccinated.

Update 7 February 2022

The Australian Government announced today that Australia’s international borders will open to all visa holders from 21 February 2022. Vaccination entry requirements remain in place and all international travellers to Australia must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It was confirmed that the Federal Government’s definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ at this stage only requires two doses of an approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine. Australia’s international border has been closed to international arrivals since March 2020 as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Federal Government has progressively opened the borders over the last few months to immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents and skilled workers. However this announcement is welcome news for Australia’s tourism sector.

All unvaccinated international arrivals continue to remain capped and are required to complete 14 days hotel quarantine if travelling to Australia.

Australian borders opening for workers, students and graduates from 15 Dec 2021

Australia is reopening its border to vaccinated travellers. This is part of our step-by-step and safe reopening to the world. From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated visa holders from the following cohorts will be able to travel to Australia without an exemption:

This was to begin from 1 December 2021, however the reopening was paused due to the emergence of the ‘Omicron’ COVID-19 variant.

As part of Australia’s reopening to fully vaccinated travellers, international safe travel zones have been introduced for New Zealand and Singapore. International safe travel zones with Japan and Korea will begin from 15 December 2021.

State and territory governments are leading the return of international students to their jurisdictions.

Australia’s four-phase plan to open its border

International students can come back to Australia

From 15 December 2021, International Students are permitted to travel to Australia and participating states and territories without obtaining a travel exemption. The requirements and eligibility of international students returning to Australia is dependent on the state or territory. The participating states and territories have been working closely with the Department of Home Affairs to develop international student arrival plans to facilitate the gradual re-opening of Australian borders.

New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia have opened their borders to international students and arrivals form 15 December 2021 in line with the Federal Government’s border announcements. The below information provides a brief overview of each state and territories requirements.

NSW, QLD, VIC, TAS & SA

New South Wales (NSW)

NSW Government Website

Returning international student travelers and international arrivals are required to:

  1. Have received a full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA);
  2. Provide evidence of vaccination status; and
  3. Present a negative COVID-19 PCR Test that was taken three (3) days prior to travelling to NSW
  4. Once arriving, international students must isolate for 72 hours AND receive a negative COVID-19 PCR Test that was taken within 24 hours of arrival

Queensland (QLD)

QLD Government Website

Returning international students and other international arrivals are required to:

  1. Complete the Queensland International Arrivals Registration AND Australian Travel Declaration
  2. Must be fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine
  3. Provide evidence of vaccination status
  4. Provide a negative COVID-19 test taken in the 72 hours prior to travelling to QLD
  5. Must undertake 14 days quarantine as QLD has not reached 90% fully vaccinated rates yet

Victoria (VIC)

VIC Government Website

Returning international students are required to:

  1. Must hold an eligible student visa
  2. Must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved or recognised by the TGA and provide proof of the vaccination
  3. Must undertake 72 hours home quarantine upon arrival
  4. Must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arriving in Victoria AND must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test between days 5 and 7 after arriving in Victoria

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

ACT Government Website

Fully vaccinated international arrivals are permitted to enter the ACT and are required to adhere to the following:

  1. Complete an online declaration form within 48 hours prior to arriving in the ACT
  2. Travel directly to their residence/accommodation and complete three days quarantine
  3. Undergo COVID-19 testing within 24 hours of arriving in Australia
  4. Undergo a further COVID-19 test on day 6 after arriving in Australia

South Australia (SA)

SA Government Website

Returning international student travelers are required to complete an EntryCheck SA Application. This application assesses the risk level of vaccinated arrivals and the entry conditions applicable to the individual are dependent on the level of risk posed. All international arrivals are also subject to the following entry conditions:

  1. Must be fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine
  2. Negative COVID-19 test result received 72 hours prior to departure
  3. Quarantine for 7 days after arrival
  4. COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival in SA
  5. COVID-19 test again on days 6 and 13 after arrival
  6. Daily symptom check for 14 days after arrival using HealthCheck SA
  7. No entry to high-risk settings for 14 days after arrival
  8. No entry to COVID Management Plan events for 14 days after arrival

Tasmania (TAS)

Tasmanian Government Website

Tasmania recently opened their borders to international students and arrivals from 15 December 2021 in line with the Commonwealth Government. The Tasmanian Department of Education have produced an Info Sheet on Traveling to Tasmania as an International Student.

  1. Must be fully vaccinated with an approved or recognised vaccine by the TGA
  2. Must hold an eligible and valid visa
  3. Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure
  4. Complete an Australian Travel Declaration Form
  5. Travel into Tasmania through another Australia city which allows international arrivals without quarantine
  6. Apply to enter Tasmania through the Tas e-Travel System up to 7 days prior to arrival
  7. Quarantine for 7 days in a suitable residence or government managed quarantine facility (fees may apply)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA & NORTHERN TERRITORY

Western Australia and the Northern Territory have remained cautious throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to the vulnerable communities that live in these states. This is reflected in their conservative approach to opening state borders as both Western Australia and the Northern Territory remain closed to international and domestic travelers.

Western Australia (WA)

WA Government Website

Western Australia currently has strict border regulations in place and are not permitting international students to enter the state. It was recently announced that from 5 February 2022, WA will ease its border restrictions to allow international arrivals. All international arrivals must comply with the following:

  1. Must be double vaccinated
  2. Must return a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure
  3. Must return a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arriving in WA and on day 6

Northern Territory (NT)

NT Government Website

Northern Territory also have strict border controls currently in place. From 20 December 2021, these entry requirements change. The NT will allow any person who is fully vaccinated to enter the Northern Territory without any requirement to quarantine. The following must be complied with:

  1. Complete a Border Entry Form prior to arriving in the NT
  2. Return a negative PCR COVID-19 Test 72 hours prior to arriving in the NT and provide evidence
  3. Return a PCT test within 72 hours of arriving in the NT
  4. Return a PCR test on day 6 after arriving in the NT
  5. You are permitted to travel anywhere in the NT except to an exclusion zone within 14 days of your arrival to the NT.
    Exclusion zone – communities that have a full vaccination rate less than 80%

Please note this information is accurate at 17 December 2021. Please see each government’s relevant website for the most current information on border restrictions and requirements.

Related:

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