On this page

  • Travelling to Victoria
  • Timing on student returns
  • Travel exemptions
  • Support for offshore students
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is available to you. This is a free service.

Please call 131 450 or email www.tisnational.gov.au.

International students are an important and valued part of our academic and broader communities. We look forward to welcoming you back to our classrooms, campuses, and communities when conditions allow.

The Victorian Government is continuing to work with education providers and the Australian Government on a plan for the gradual and safe return of international students.

We thank you for your patience and we look forward to warmly welcoming you as soon as possible.

Travelling to Victoria

Australia’s borders are currently closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Holding a visa does not automatically allow you to travel to Australia at the moment.

You can enrol with an Australian education provider, obtain a student visa while you are offshore, and commence or continue your studies online until you can come to Australia.

Timing on student returns

Timing for the commencement of international student arrivals is to be confirmed, following further consultation with the Australian Government.

It is difficult to provide a definitive timeline for when international students can return to Victoria in significant numbers. This will depend on health advice, the rollout of vaccines and other factors that need to be considered to ensure the safety of the community.

Travel exemptions

Limited travel exemptions are available for eligible international students who can meet specific criteria outlined by the Australian Government, including some health/medical students and PhD research students.

Keep in touch with your education provider for any support you need to lodge a travel exemption.

Support for students who are studying online

Students who are currently overseas and waiting to travel to Victoria can access these free online Study Melbourne events and programs.

We invite you to join us to build your employability and skills in leadership and entrepreneurship. Study Melbourne events are also a great way to connect with other members of our international student community.

  • Career Catalyst – sign up for these free and exclusive webinars, workshops, and initiatives to help you develop your professional skills, build industry connections, and launch your career.
  • Future Founders Program – join this free, year-long entrepreneurship program to inspire budding entrepreneurs.

Check the Study Melbourne events calendar regularly and subscribe to our newsletter for information, invitations and events for international students from the Victorian Government.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We’ve put together some answers to frequently asked questions so you can better understand Australia’s current border restrictions.

If I have a valid student visa can I travel to Victoria?

Holding a visa does not automatically allow you to travel to Australia at the moment.

For information about student visas and travel exemptions, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

What are the travel restrictions to Australia?

Australia’s borders are currently closed, and entry to Australia remains controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You cannot enter Australia unless you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • a New Zealand citizen usually residing in Australia
  • an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for the latest information about travel restrictions.

Who can apply for a travel exemption?

Limited travel exemptions are available for eligible international students who can meet specific criteria outlined by the Australian Government.

These exemptions include some health, nursing or medical students who have the critical skills to contribute to Victoria’s COVID response and PhD candidates who are undertaking research within Australia’s national interest.

If I have had my COVID-19 vaccine, can I travel to Australia to study?

The Victorian Government is closely monitoring how COVID-19 vaccines administered overseas will impact international arrivals, including students.

Vaccine recognition will be considered when more information is available about the effectiveness of vaccines overseas.

There is very promising data emerging from countries that have achieved high vaccination coverage in their population, and that information is assessed here in Australia. But we still cannot conclude whether a person vaccinated overseas would or would not import the virus into Australia.

Can the Victorian Government provide a letter of support?

Limited travel exemptions are available for international students who can meet specific criteria including some health/medical students and PhD research students.

If you are an eligible PhD research student seeking a travel exemption and you need a letter of support from a government agency, you should approach the relevant agency who has funded your research, such as the Australian Research Council or the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The Victorian Government is unable to provide letters of support for the purpose of obtaining a travel exemption.

Contact your education provider for any support you need to lodge your travel exemption.

Should I apply for a student visa even though borders are still closed?

Visit the Australian Government  Department of Home Affairs website or the Study Australia website for information about student visas.

The Home Affairs Global Service Centre is available on (+61) 131 881 between 9am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday.

Will my visa be affected if I reduce my study load?

Please contact your education provider for more information about your studies and ongoing course delivery.

Can I get my student visa application fee waived?

Find information about student visa fees on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Do I need to keep my OSHC if I am studying from overseas?

Please contact your OSHC provider directly to discuss options to manage your overseas student health cover.

Where can I find out more information about my student visa?

Please visit the Australian Government Study Australia website and the Department of Home Affairs website for frequently asked questions and answers about student visas.

Will my Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) be affected if I am overseas?

Contact your education provider with any questions about your start dates, attendance, fee matters, Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and other issues relating to your study.

Does online study count towards my Australian study requirements?

The Department of Home Affairs has announced a range of COVID-19 related measures relevant to Student Visa holders.

More information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Can I change my study load while I am offshore?

Please contact your education provider for information about flexible course delivery options.

What can I do if I am struggling with studying online?

We understand that it has been a challenging time for you studying online instead of on-campus.

Read our tips on adjusting to studying online

We also invite you to join our free online Study Melbourne events to build your employability and leadership skills, and to connect with others who are also studying online.

Where can I get help with accommodation issues in Victoria?

Study Melbourne's International Student Accommodation Legal Service offers free and confidential help for international students experiencing accommodation issues in Victoria. This service is also available for students who are currently overseas and have accommodation in Victoria.

To make an appointment contact info@studymelbourne.vic.gov.au or call 1800 056 449 (from within Australia).

We thank you for your patience during this difficult time. We encourage you to keep in touch with your education institution for ongoing support.

Please check the Study Melbourne website regularly and subscribe to the Study Melbourne newsletter for the latest information for international students from the Victorian Government, as well as invitations to upcoming online events.