Australia Reopens International Borders to Students

In March 2020, Australia closed its borders in a move to control the spread of COVID-19. Lockdown and restrictions observed in Australia were some of the toughest restrictions noticed in the world, which made Australia an example for other countries. Australia was pretty successful in having control over the spread of the virus.

Almost after two years, the Australian government announced on December 15 that it is opening its borders for fully vaccinated international students, Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders, and migrants.

The news has been accepted both with enthusiasm and distress. A man called John Weston is awaiting the arrival of his fiancée after being away for two years. "We message and talk all the time, but not being with her has been really lonely," says Mr. Weston, as reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News) (Fitzgerald, 2021). It has certainly been very difficult to live away from your loved ones for two long years.

But the news also brings trouble to the international students whose Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa went to waste. With the spread of the pandemic and closing of universities and schools, international students ran to their families. When it was time to get back to Australia, the borders were closed. Many students have spent two years waiting to work in Australia after having completed their education. Ms. Sapna Verma is one such student, as interviewed by SBS News (Arora, 2021). She believes that if she would have chosen another country, she would have been better off by now. She is doubtful if she would recommend any of her juniors to pursue education in Australia. Her fight is justified. Anyone who waited for almost two years to work has the right to be upset.

Before students could rejoice, it started to rain again. Students whose visas are now expired have to apply for them from 1 July 2022. Although the borders have reopened, not all students can make use of them. The career of these students remains at stake as more months are going to waste. The delay is not the only concern. Students pay a lot of money to go to a foreign country and study. People losing their sources of income amidst the pandemic has had tremendous effects on the financial situation. If your Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa has expired, you need to reapply for it, which means you have to spend another $ 1680 and wait for another few months for the approval. This is going to be a long, disheartening process for the students, and many students across the globe are in anguish.

How to apply for the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa?

You can apply for the Visa online, but have these ready with you first:

  • Have a valid passport
  • Get your vaccination certificate
  • Organize all your documents, including Identity, Study, Health Insurance, Partner Documents like a marriage certificate, etc.

Follow these simple steps to apply for the Visa:

  • Create or login to ImmiAccount
  • Attach documents
  • Pay the visa application charge
  • Submit your application - you must pay for yourself and your family members, or your application will not be valid.

Remember, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) (or Australian Eastern daylight standard time (AEDST) is used when applicable. Do not mistake it for your time zone.

Who is eligible to cross Australian borders?

To enter Australia, an adult student must:

  • Be fully vaccinated.
  • Have spent at least seven days from the final dose of vaccination.
  • Bring a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within three days of departure (unless a medical exemption applies).
  • Hold a valid Visa.
  • Provide proof of their vaccination. The name on the Visa should match with the name on the Vaccination Certificate.

What vaccinations are approved and recognized by the Australian Government?

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognizes and approves the following vaccinations:

One dose of:

  • Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine

Or

Two doses of (at least 14 days apart):

  • AstraZeneca Covishield
  • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia)
  • Sinovac Coronavac
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • Moderna Spikevax or Takeda

Irrespective of the challenges, students are looking forward to going to Australia and making up for the lost months. The pandemic has struck us all, the only difference is it has damaged some more than the others.

Stay tuned with us if you are looking for more such updates. We are a one-stop destination to resolve all student-related queries.

References:

Arora, A. (2021). 14,000 skilled graduates will be stuck outside Australia for another year due to visa rules. SBS News. Retrieved 18 December 2021, from https://www.sbs.com.au/news/14-000-skilled-graduates-will-be-stuck-outside-australia-for-another-year-due-to-visa-rules/af946c62-8c99-4c15-910f-53861b323c3f.

Fitzgerald, R. (2021). Excitement prevails as the Northern Territory prepares to ease border restrictions, but 'yo-yo' rule changes disrupt holiday plans. Abc.net.au. Retrieved 18 December 2021, from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-18/excitement-for-territorians-as-nt-opens-covid-borders-/100709546.

About Author
Nick

Nick is a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests. I love teaching young students through coaching or writing who always gathered praise for a sharp calculative mind. I own a positive outlook towards life and also give motivational speeches for young kids and college students.

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