It's been a long wait for international students waiting to come back to Australia and you likely have many questions regarding what you need to know before your long-awaited return. Don't worry, we're here to keep you informed about everything you need to know for your return. For more detailed information, head over to the Department of Home Affairs website.

Pre-departure COVID-19 test and approved vaccines

International travellers are required to be fully vaccinated and you will need to show your vaccination status when checking in for your flight.

A negative COVID-19 test result is required for travelling to Australia. Evidence of a negative PCR test or NAAT taken within three days before departure, or a medical certificate for a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken under medical supervision within 24 hours of departure, must be provided when checking in for your flight.

Australia recognises the following COVID-19 vaccines for use in Australia for incoming travellers:

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer)

  • Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)

  • Spikevax or Takeda (Moderna)

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Janssen)

  • Nuvaxovid (Biocelect on behalf of Novavax)

The following COVID-19 vaccines are also recognised for the purpose of travelling to Australia:

  • Coronavac (Sinovac)

  • Covishield (AstraZeneca - Serum Institute of India)

  • BBIBP-CorV for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia (Sinopharm China)

  • Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)

  • Sputnik V (Gamaleya Research Institute)

Key plans and dates for each Australian state and territory

You must have a valid visa in order to enter Australia. Each Australian state and territory has its own plan and rules regarding returning international travellers:

New South Wales

From January 2022, international students with valid visas who are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine can enter NSW without needing a travel exemption and have returned an accepted negative COVID-19 test result within three days of arrival. Students will be required to take a rapid antigen test within the first 24 hours of arrival. For more detailed information, head over to Study NSW.

South Australia

The SA international student arrival plan is progressing as planned. From 1 January 2022, fully vaccinated international students will be required to take a PCR COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and quarantine until they have been tested. There is no longer a requirement to quarantine for 7 days upon arrival.

Queensland

From January 2022, international students with valid visas who are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine can enter Queensland with no quarantine required. Students will be required to take a rapid antigen test within the first 24 hours of arrival. For more detailed information, head over to Study Queensland.

Australian Capital Territory

Fully vaccinated international students will be allowed into the ACT for the next academic year in 2022. Students who have received a vaccine recognised in Australia will not be required to quarantine upon arrival in the ACT before starting their studies. For more detailed information, head over to the official ACT Government website.

Victoria

From January 2022, international students with valid visas who are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine can enter Victoria without needing a travel exemption and have returned an accepted negative COVID-19 test result within three days of arrival. Students will be required to take a rapid antigen test within the first 24 hours of arrival. For more detailed information, check out Victoria's International Student Arrivals Plan.

Tasmania

Tasmania's borders are now open and entry conditions for international students are dependent on their vaccination status and their whereabouts in the 14 days prior to arriving in Tasmania. For more detailed information, head over to Study Tasmania.

Western Australia

Returning international students will be allowed to enter Western Australia from other Australian states if they agree to self-quarantine in WA for seven days in suitable premises (with a PCR or rapid antigen test on day one with a negative test returned on day 7), be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine, and returned a negative rapid antigen test within 24 hours before departure. Stay updated here and via Study Perth.

Stay up to date with international student arrival plans from the Australian Government here.


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime, in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: Australian Department of Home Affairs and Therapeutic Goods Administration

Image credit: Simon Maage on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Did this answer your question?