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The Australian Border is opening up for International Students. What does this mean for Study Abroad Consultants?

Fully vaccinated international students will finally be able to travel to Australia from 15 December 2021. After shutting its border for almost 2 years, the Australian government had earlier announced the border reopening for December 1. However, Australia stepped back from its decision and postponed the reopening date for mid-December because of the emergence of the newly discovered omicron variant. 

Following the concern, any international students who have been in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi and Mozambique in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia. Also, the students should make a declaration of their travel history along with post-arrival testing according to the state requirements. This is regardless of the vaccination status, hold on travel exemption, eligible visa or under a safe travel zone arrangement.

As the border is finally opening up for international students, here we present some of the requirements to go to Australia that you should know as an education and migration agent. 

1. A valid passport and Australian student visa

The international students must have a passport valid for at least 6 months before arriving in Australia. Also, they require a valid student visa for Australia. Additionally, if the application is for a new student visa, it should be of at least six weeks before the course starts.

2. Vaccination that meets the Australian border requirements

The vaccination should be a Therapeutic Good Association (TGA) approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine. Besides, the vaccination outside Australia should be approved in accordance with the criteria enlisted in Guidance on foreign vaccination certificates website.

3. Mandatory online submission of Australian Travel Declaration (ATD) 

Along with a copy of the vaccination certificate, it is mandatory to submit Australian Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before scheduled departure.

4. COVID-19 PCR test report

A PCR test report within 3 days of scheduled departure is suggested. It is because the different departure/transit locations may have their criteria and time validity for a negative PCR report.

5. Vaccination verification

It is necessary to have a copy of vaccination verification while boarding the flight.

6. PCR test within 24 hours of arrival

Once the students reach the destination, Most states and territories require you to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arriving in Australia. You should check additional post-arrival testing requirements for the state or territory your clients arrive in and subsequently travel to.

Final Thoughts

As an education and migration agent, it is necessary you communicate these requirements to your client to ensure a streamless travel experience. The news of Australia’s border opening is exciting, however, it comes with a lot of requirements and procedures. Guiding your client to understand what are the steps for entering the Australian border will help them make the necessary arrangement for their arrival in Australia.

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