AUSTRALIA: International Students Returning to Australia

July 6, 2020

Under a pilot program between the Australian National University and University of Canberra, around 350 international students will be able to return to Australia in July to recommence their studies.

The announcement by the universities and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government outlines plans to hand-pick students near the end of their degrees or with research projects underway, asking them to travel to an Asian ‘hub’ where a charter flight will carry them to Canberra and into mandatory quarantine.

Though students will be expected to pay their flight costs, the universities will cover most expenses involved with transfers and quarantine in Australia.

In line with government requirements, students will be tested for COVID-19 at both the beginning and end of their quarantine period.

It should be noted that the arrival of students into Canberra is not an indicator of Australia’s borders being reopened for all international students, or for other visa holders.

If the program is successful, similar schemes could be rolled out across the country. South Australia has also announced it is looking at ways to bring international students back to its State.

There is still no news on the expansion of entry to temporary work visa holders, as many businesses have been affected by their workers being stuck overseas during the lockdown.

At present, workers with critical skills can apply for an exemption to the travel ban, in order to enter Australia and commence or continue work.

Employers and employees who require assistance with an exemption application are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Australia, please contact us.