The Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs provides important information about travel restrictions and visas for international students including Frequently Asked Questions and information about student visas.
The Home Affairs Global Service Centre is available on (+61) 131 881 between 9am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday.
If you are planning to travel to Australia, travel bans or cancelled flights may impact your plans. Check your airline's website or contact the airline directly for next steps and travel options at a later date.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Smartraveller website provides information for people who wish to travel to Australia.
Visas and travel exemptions
Holding a visa does not currently allow you to travel to Australia. 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.
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.
Keep in touch with your education provider for any support you need to lodge your travel exemption.
The Victorian Government is unable to provide letters of support for the purpose of obtaining a travel exemption.
For information about student visas, including how online study outside Australia may count towards a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
Travelling to Australia
From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members can travel to Australia.
Appeals to travel on compassionate and compelling circumstances may be made to the Border Force Commissioner.
From 23:59 AEDT on 28 March 2020 all people entering Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.
Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks.
An overseas travel ban is now in place for Australians, with some exceptions for essential travel. Visit the Smart Traveller website for information about overseas travel.
Information and advice about coronavirus for overseas travellers is available at the Victorian Government's coronavirus website.
Australian Government announces significant changes to international student visa arrangements
The Federal Government has announced it will be making a number of changes to student visa arrangements to ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international students as we emerge from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to the Federal Government, these five visa changes will ensure international students are not worse off due to the coronavirus pandemic and that Australia remains competitive with other countries. The changes include:
- The Government will recommence granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia. This means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel.
- International students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge, if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19.
- Current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
- Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19.
- Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
For more information on this announcement, please read the joint ministerial media release here.
While we are here to ensure our students feel supported during this uncertain time, we understand you may need to alert your home country if you are experiencing difficulties or to register with them. If you need advice about returning to your home country, please contact your local Consular office.
Find the location and contact information of your local Consular office by visiting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
If you can’t find the information you need, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.