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The Return of International Students to Australia

Frequently Asked Questions

We are excited to welcome our international students back to Australia! Please check the Australian Government website for all the latest updates regarding the opening of the borders and variations between the states and territories.

We thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we navigate these uncertain times. We cannot wait to have you back with us on campus as soon as possible!

Updated: 5 January 2022

VC return of international student update

Information about returning to Australia

What are the requirements for entering Australia after the 15 December?

We know that in order for travellers to enter Australia, they must:

  • be fully vaccinated and travel no earlier than seven days after receiving a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
    • Children under 12 and the medically exempt from COVID-19 vaccination can access the same arrangements as fully vaccinated travellers.
    • Arrangements are also in place to permit unvaccinated minors aged 12-17 years to travel with a fully vaccinated adult. Travellers should check the specific requirements with the state or territory to which they are travelling.
  • hold a valid visa for one of the eligible visa subclasses
  • have at least 6 months on their passport
  • provide proof of their vaccination status
  • present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within three days of departure (unless a medical exemption applies).
  • Complete an Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure.

For the most up to date information regarding re-entry to Australia and quarantine measures, please visit the Smartraveller website.

What are the Northern Territory requirements?

International students and Temporary Graduate visa holders arriving in Australia need to comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territories of their arrival and any other state or territories they plan on travelling into.

Northern Territory (NT)

Upon entry to the Northern Territory, you must:

You also must:

  • Have a Rapid Antigen Test within 2 hours of entry.
  • Have a Rapid Antigen Test on days 3 and 6 after arriving in the NT.
  • Wear a mask when in an exclusion zone up until the seventh day after your arrival in the NT.
  • Essential workers must have a daily Rapid Antigen Test while in an exclusion zone, up until the seventh day after your arrival in the NT.

For more detailed information and Frequently Asked Questions about the border entry requirements visit

Everyone travelling to the NT is required to complete an online border entry form before arriving in the NT. Apply here. 

Keep up to date with the latest border entry requirements here.


What are the Victoria requirements?

All international travellers need the following to enter Victoria:

  1. Have an international COVID-19 vaccination certificate, or obtain a valid foreign vaccination certificate from the country you were vaccinated.
  2. Test negative for COVID-19. Present evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (not a rapid antigen test) taken within 3 days of your flight’s scheduled departure. Present this evidence to your airline when you check-in for your flight.
  3. Ensure all your Commonwealth entry requirements in order, including checking you can travel and completing your Australian Travel Declaration. 
  4. Ensure all your Victorian entry forms are completed. 

When you arrive in Victoria:

  • Immediately quarantine at home upon arrival in Victoria.
  • Get a standard (PCR) test within 24 hours of arriving and continue to quarantine until you receive a negative result.
  • Get another standard (PCR) test between day 5 and 7 after arriving. You don’t have to quarantine while awaiting the result of this test. 
  • There are restrictions on entering sensitive settings (including education)

There are different requirements for travellers based on the country they are departing from and their vaccination status, for full details please visit the Victorian Government website.


What are the New South Wales requirements?

International students and Temporary Graduate visa holders arriving in Australia need to comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territories of their arrival and any other state or territories they plan on travelling into.

New South Wales (NSW)

Fully vaccinated students arriving into NSW will not be required to quarantine. They must:

  1.  Self-isolate until they have a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within 24 hours of arrival into NSW. They must also comply with these guidelines.

More information on the NSW international travel rules can be found online here.

Additional information

What is the Northern Territory's COVID-19 status?

You can stay up to date with COVID-19 statuses in the NT through the Secure NT's website. 

Visit website

Will students be studying on-campus? 

The Northern Territory is in a very fortunate position, students are studying on-campus where social distancing can take place. There are some classes that may be undertaken in a mixed-mode – online and on-campus.

Learn more


Hear from the charter flight students

  • International student Maggie

    Setting up for success online: Maggie's story

    Since her first visit to Darwin, Maggie was destined to pursue her passion with a teaching degree at CDU. Amidst COVID-19 border restrictions, she started her studies online in Hong Kong and later joined the first international student charter flight to Australia. 

    Read more
  • International student Heather Wong

    Heather's charter flight story: From online to on campus

    When COVID-19 struck, international student Heather was at home in China. She was preparing to study a Master's degree in accounting at CDU in Darwin when borders closed. Heather did not give in; instead, she started studying online.  

    Read more
  • CDU PhD student Mujiburrahman

    Border closures no barrier to Mujiburrahman's impact

    With a growing need for specialists in humanitarian aid, but faced with COVID-19 border closures, Mujiburrahman made the tough decision to leave his family at home in Indonesia to return to Australia and finish his PhD in humanitarian, emergency and disaster management. 

    Read more