Welcoming international students back to Victoria as soon as possible is a priority for the Victorian Government.

The Victorian Government is working with education providers and the Australian Government on an International Student Arrivals Plan.

The plan has been submitted to the Australian Government for consideration and if endorsed will create a safe pathway for a limited number of international students to arrive in Victoria each week.

Timing for the start of international student arrivals will be confirmed following further consultation with the Australian Government.

We understand how challenging this has been for our students who are waiting overseas, and we thank you for your patience as travel restrictions and arrival opportunities change.

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

Learn more about Victoria’s International Student Arrivals Plan.

Victoria’s International Student Arrivals Plan

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International students are valued members of our community

International students are a valued part of our academic and broader community. They give so much to Victoria and contribute to our vibrant, inclusive society.

Victoria’s international students come from 170 countries. International education enriches our society, supports university research, and adds real diversity to our community.

In addition to supporting Victorian jobs, international education supports Victoria’s world-class reputation for research excellence, helping our economy compete in a global field that is underpinned by research and innovation.

Returning students to Victoria

Victoria’s International Student Arrivals Plan is being developed to enable international students to gradually return to Victoria.

Your education provider will notify you if a place becomes available for you while Australia’s international travel restrictions remain in place.

You do not need to apply for a place in Victoria’s International Student Arrivals Plan at this stage.  

Any student participating in the International Student Arrivals Plan will need to have a valid student visa.

Frequently asked questions for students studying overseas.

Support for online students

How can I make the most of studying online?

We invite you to join our free online Study Melbourne events to build your employability and leadership skills, and to connect with others while you study online:

  • Study Melbourne Hubs – offering in person and virtual opportunities to connect with the student community and Victorian education institutions in key locations around the globe
  • 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 introduce students to Victoria’s start-up ecosystem, increase their skills and networks and inspire budding entrepreneurs,
  • Leadership Labs – our highly successful international student leadership program, focussing on social entrepreneurship and with mentors from the social enterprise sector.

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.

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.

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).

Can I change my study load while I am offshore?

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

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.

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.

Study Melbourne Empowered

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Travel and visas

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.

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.

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.

Visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website for information about student visas and travel exemptions.

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.

Can I receive a letter of support for my travel exemption?

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.

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.

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.

Travel, Visas & Consular Assistance

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