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International Students to Return as Australian Borders Reopen

International Students to Return as Australian Borders Reopen

NEWS: Opening pushed back to 15 December.

On the basis of medical advice provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, Professor Paul Kelly, the Australian Government’s National Security Committee has taken the necessary and temporary decision to pause the next step to safely reopen Australia to international student cohorts and other categories of visa holders from 1 December – until 15 December.

The temporary pause will ensure that the Australian Government can gather the information they need to better understand the Omicron variant, including the efficacy of the vaccine, the range of illness, including if it may generate more mild symptoms, and the level of transmission.

For more information, read the Prime Minister’s media statement from 29 November 2021.

The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), Aspire Institute, Aspire English and the International Sport College Australia (ISCA) are delighted by the Prime Minister’s announcement that international students will be returning as Australian borders reopen.

From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated student visa holders and other eligible visa holders can travel to and from Australia, without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

We welcome the announcement from the Australian Government and look forward to welcoming our students back to campus!

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison said – this is an important milestone for all of us.

“We have been waiting for the day that international students can rejoin the ICMS community here in Australia,” said Ann Whitelock, Chairperson – ICMS Scholarships, Director – IHEA. “On 15 December that day will finally be here.”

Not only have the Commonwealth Government announced the re-opening of borders to international students but the New South Wales Government has also announced that students arriving into our state will not be required to quarantine on arrival.

“The NSW government is leading the way in the return of off-shore international students who are such an integral part of the Australian economy. With our high vaccination rate here in NSW people can feel confident about this positive announcement,” said Ms Whitelock.

ICMS’s international students who are returning under the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan can rest assured that their expected arrival is eagerly anticipated. They will still return as planned and will not need to find their own commercial flights. They will still travel to Sydney on their scheduled charter flights, as arranged – and will not need to quarantine.

For all other vaccinated international students, it means they can now go ahead and make their arrangements to return to Sydney for the start of the first trimester 2022 on the 7th of February.

Study NSW’s website has information on Pre-Departure Information and useful Frequently Asked Questions. ICMS students are also encouraged to visit our International Student Advice webpage.

For international students this news comes as a welcome relief. Samantha Hardiman, from South Africa, commenced her postgraduate studies online with ICMS at the start of 2021. Upon hearing the news she wrote, “I’m ecstatic and in genuine disbelief that this is finally happening!” Samantha has already booked her flight to Sydney and will be arriving early January. “ICMS feels like my second family and I can’t wait to meet everyone in person.”

The announcement has prompted a rush on student accommodation with 26 bookings coming in within hours of the announcement. “We are looking forward to having our ‘castle’ filled again with students from all around the world,” said Stephen Pirovic, Manager of ICMS Hospitality Services.

Restaurants, bars and pubs are currently experiencing a critical worker shortage, in part due to border closures. Incoming international students can expect to find higher wages, greater flexibility and increased job security in the hospitality sector as high vaccination rates and renewed positivity drive demand from Australians enjoying the post-lockdown festive season.

James Griffin MP, Member for Manly, said. “The safe return of international students to our local community will help support a sustainable economy for the future and is positive news for our education sector in New South Wales,” he said.

Sharing this sentiment was Manly Business Chamber President Charlotte Rimmer, who said: “International students are a vital missing piece of our economy and their gradual arrival back to our shores is sure to be welcomed by local business.”

ICMS would like to share our deep appreciation and gratitude for the patience, resilience, and commitment that international students have shown through what has been a challenging time in all our lives.

More Information

For more information please refer to the Study NSW website:

Current Students should visit the International Student Advice webpage

Media queries should be referred to [email protected]