Pilot Plan Announced to Return International Students to NSW

*Article updated 13 November 2021

It has been reported that international students will begin to return to NSW by the end of the year, with the announcement of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan on 24 September 2021. 

The Pilot Plan will allow 250 international students studying with NSW education providers to return each fortnight from early December 2021. While International Student Arrival Plans have been long discussed, the outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Australia caused significant delays to them commencing.

Here’s what we know so far about the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan:

When will the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan commence?

It has been reported that 250 international students studying with NSW education providers will be able to return each fortnight from early December 2021.

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive?

The NSW Government has announced that the state will not require international students to quarantine, including under the Pilot Plan, where students are fully vaccinated with a TGA recognised vaccine and the Commonwealth Government has approved their travel to Australia.

Who is eligible to return to NSW?

If you have been invited to return to NSW, your education provider will contact you directly, providing you with all the information you’ll need regarding the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan.

As reported by ABC News, priority will be given to PhD students, those who have nearly completed their degrees and students studying medicine and health-related courses.

How much will the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan cost?

All student participant costs associated with returning to NSW under the Pilot Plan will be borne by participating education providers and returning students. Specific details about the costs involved will be communicated directly to international students.

Will it be compulsory for international students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to their return to NSW?

Based on current NSW Health advice, only students who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will be eligible to return to NSW as part of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan. The list of vaccines recognised in Australia is continually changing – you can read all about them here.

If my vaccine isn’t recognised by the TGA but is in my home country, can I be considered in the Pilot Plan?

Only students who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are eligible to return to NSW as part of the current NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan. The pilot will continue to be reviewed and any changes to eligibility requirements will be communicated.

How can international students and the sector stay informed about this Pilot Plan?

For more information about this Pilot Plan and any new announcements, check the Study NSW website.