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Australian Government Hopes to Reopen International Border by End of 2021

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Update as of 15 December: The Australian border officially reopened to international students on 15 December 2022. On this date, Australia also launched its safe travel zone with the Republic of Korea and Japan. Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries will be able to enter Australia without having to quarantine. Be sure to read up on border updates as well as travel updates on quarantine conditions.

Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan, has told the National Press Club that the federal government anticipates the country’s international border will be reopened by Christmas “at the latest”.

As reported by ABC News, Mr Tehan has said the government was getting its systems ready to allow people to leave the country and return without needing to go through hotel quarantine.

“We’re doing that preparatory work to make sure that when those international borders open, hopefully at the latest by Christmas, Australians will be able to travel with a QR Code linked to their passport, which will be able to show a proof of vaccination,” he said.

From next month, the government will start issuing vaccine passports for international travel. You can read more about vaccine passports in Australia here.

Under the national reopening plan, Australians will be allowed to travel overseas again once 80 per cent of people over 16 have been fully vaccinated.

Regarding outbound travel, it has not been made clear whether international trips will be allowed or whether there will be a staged reopening to certain countries, similar to that of the proposed travel bubbles.

What does this mean for international students?

While this is a promising development in the opening of Australia’s borders, nothing has been explicitly stated about international students returning. As shared on the Department of Home Affairs website, small numbers of international students may soon be able to return to Australia under an approved International Student Arrival Plan. These plans have currently been delayed – you can read more about why here.

We hope to be able to welcome international students into Australia soon! Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest breaking news regarding international students in Australia.