Since the frequent delays on the attempt to reopen the Australian borders, many foreign learners lost hope and thought that they may never be able to pursue further studies in Australia. The recent delay was caused by the Omicron variant, the government thinks it was a necessity so they could fully reassess and prepare things ahead, should they decide to push for the reopening.
Despite the safe and wise move, the officials received a lot of criticisms. The growing concerns on labor shortages and the economy's continuous decline ultimately led the country to proceed with the reopening.
What This Means for Those Who Previously Held a Student Visa
If you previously applied for a student permit and were granted a visa after February 1, 2020, you are encouraged to reapply with a student visa fee waiver in place. Since many were unable to start and complete their studies according to the original target dates due to the travel restrictions, the Australian government imposed the fee waiver as a privilege to those whose studies were deferred.
As part of the documents required, a form 1545 COVID-19 will be needed from your education provider. The school must be convinced of the reasons why you were unable to start or continue your studies during the said period, other forms of evidence should be included as well.
Vaccinated International Students
All vaccinated international students may now enter Australia without the need for a travel exemption. You are considered fully vaccinated if you were able to receive two doses of the following vaccines (including mixed ones) of at least 14 days apart:
Moderna Spikevax or Takeda
Bharat Biotech Covaxin
Or one dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.
You must only travel 7 days after your last dose for you to meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated. For your proof of vaccination, you need to secure an Australian International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate and show this to the airline staff.
Entry Requirements Upon State Arrival
Each territory has unique quarantine and testing requirements which you need to comply with as a foreign student, although most states would need a PCR test within 24 hours from the time of arrival in Australia. To be certain, check on the state you are heading to and know the restrictions and requirements early on.
If ever quarantine is required, the costs and quarantine arrangements are expected to be shouldered by the student.
Australia’s Vaccinated Population Rate
The country is now 90% fully vaccinated, the percentage consists of people aged 16 years old and above. As for the vaccine roll-out, according to The Guardian, Australia still falls behind compared to other OECD countries but is catching up real fast.
It is only normal for every country to feel threatened with the emergence of the new variant "Omicron". But the fact that Australia displayed a great deal of optimism gives us the confidence that the country is capable of handling any possible outburst of cases.
Being one of the most sensitive countries when it comes to COVID-19 emergence and control, the reopening of Australia shows that the people are now ready to live with the virus. What about you? Are you ready to face the challenges head-on despite the persistence of COVID-19?
Let us know your take by leaving us your comments below, or better yet, talk to our Fil-Global agents and find out more about your safest options without halting your plans in growing your career overseas.