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As of December 15, 2021, the Australian Government has opened borders to fully vaccinated international students holding a valid student visa.  You will be eligible to travel to Australia without the requirement for a travel exemption. Please visit for the latest updates.

International student travel is now possible because over 85% of Australia’s adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID19.
  • Restrictions vary across Australia and it is a good idea to check the latest information on the Government Website.
  • Before arranging travel, you should check the Home Affairs website information for vaccinated travelers.

Below, you will find frequently asked questions about vaccines, tests, and support services.

Frequently asked questions

Returning International Student Information

1.1 When will I be able to return to Australia for my studies?

Quarantine requirements in Australia are determined by State and Territory Governments.  From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated student visa holders can come to the following states in Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption and without any quarantine:

  • Victoria
  • New South Wales
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Students must meet certain conditions, which are set out below in Section 2.1.

1.2 When will I be able to return to Western Australia for my studies?

The State’s borders will be open to all fully vaccinated domestic and international arrivals without the need to quarantine once 90% of Western Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated.  This is expected to occur by late January or early February 2022, before the start of the first semester in 2022.  We are constantly seeking clarification and updates and will share further information with you as soon as it becomes available.

1.3 When will I be able to return to Queensland for my studies?

The State’s borders will be open to all fully vaccinated domestic and international arrivals without the need to quarantine once 90% of Queenslanders (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated. This is expected to occur by early February 2022, before the start of the first semester in 2022. We are constantly seeking clarification and updates and will share further information as soon as it becomes available.

1.4 Will I have to quarantine?

For NSW, ACT, Victoria – No, students will not be required to quarantine upon entering Australia.

For Queensland, WA, SA – No. Students should arrive after Queensland meets their 90% vaccination rate so you do not have the quarantine. This is expected to happen by January 2022 however we will inform you when we know the specific date.

1.5 Who will book my flights to come to Australia?

Students will be responsible for booking and paying for their own flights.

2.1 What are the conditions of entry into Australia from overseas?

To enter Australia you must:

You must also comply with any specific quarantine requirements in the state or territory of your arrival, and any other state or territory to which you plan to travel.

2.2 Will it be compulsory for international students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to entering Australia? 


Australia requires international arrivals to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine. This is to help protect your safety and that of the Australian community. A list of vaccines currently recognised and approved in Australia can be found  here.

2.3 How do I know if my vaccination certificate meets Australia’s requirements?

Travellers vaccinated outside Australia will be required to present certificates that meet the following criteria:

  • Issued by a national or state/provincial-level authority or an accredited vaccination provider
  • Written in English or accompanied by a certified translation
  • Must contain:
  • Name as it appears on traveller’s passport
  • Either date of both or passport number
  • The vaccine brand name, and
  • The date of each does or the date the full course of immunisation was completed.

Both paper and digital certificates are acceptable.

2.4 What evidence do students need to provide to show they have been fully vaccinated?

International travellers will be required to submit an Australian Travel Declaration online with a copy of their vaccination certificate before their flight. This needs to be completed at least 72 hours before your flight.

You will then need to provide an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) or foreign vaccination certificate when you board your flight and again, on arrival in Australia.  Further information can be viewed at the  Smartraveller website.

2.5 If an international student’s vaccine isn’t recognised by the TGA but it is in their home country, can they be considered for entry?

No.  Only students who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) can enter Australia.

3.1 Will I need a current student visa to return to Australia?

Yes, you will need to hold a valid student visa to enter Australia.  Students can check their current visa status and the expiry date of their visa through VEVO or their ImmiAccount.

Students can also use their ImmiAccount to apply for a new visa if theirs has already expired or is close to expiring.  For further information, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

3.2 Do I still need a travel exemption to come to Australia?

Not for the following Australian states effective December 15, 2021:

  • Victoria
  • New South Wales
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Other Australian states (Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia) are expected to follow once 90% of the population (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated. This is expected to happen around January or February 2022. This is to help protect you and the Australian community.  While you do not require an exemption, when returning to Australia you will be required to complete and submit an Australian Travel Declaration online with a copy of your vaccination certificate before your flight. This must be completed at least 72 hours before your scheduled flight departure.

More information on current practices in other states can be found here:

4.1 What can international students do to prepare to come to Australia?

Enrolled students

  • Ensure they are fully vaccinated with a TGA approved vaccine;
  • Contact their travel agent and start looking into their travel arrangements to Australia;
  • Understand their local COVID-19 testing arrangements;
  • Understand how to get relevant travel exemptions (if required).

Prospective Students 

  • Select their course
  • Submit your application
  • If successful, pay your OSHC and first tuition instalment;
  • Apply for a student visa.

4.2 How do I arrange a COVID-19 PCR test prior to departure?

The Australian Government does not maintain a list of approved international facilities or laboratories that provide COVID-19 PCR testing for pre-departure testing purposes.

International travellers to Australia should contact the local health authority of the country that they are in for information on the nearest COVID-19 PCR testing facility or laboratory. This information is generally advertised on the local health authorities’ websites.

4.3 Is there a checklist I could follow to prepare for travel to Australia?


The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs provides a checklist of information and steps you will need to follow.

4.4 Who will inform current international students if they are eligible to return to Australia?

Current students can return from 15 December (for NSW, ACT and Victoria), and then for other states, we will advise students when they are able to return without quarantine. This will be prior to Trimester 1, 2022.

5.1 Where do I need to take my Covid test upon arrival in Australia?

International arrivals are required to undertake COVID-19 tests once they arrive in Australia.

The specific requirements differ for each state and territory. To locate your nearest COVID testing centre by campus location please see below:

(NSW) Sydney and Byron Bay:

(VIC) Melbourne:

(QLD) Brisbane:

(WA) Perth:

We will provide you with information about what tests are required once you arrive in Australia.

5.2 How do I organise my accommodation?

Students should look to arrange their own accommodation prior to travelling to Australia.

Students studying at SAE Byron Bay are able to register their interest in staying at the on-site accommodation. Other SAE Australia campuses do not have accommodation on-site. There are however a variety of different accommodation options in each capital city in Australia from dedicated student housing to boarding houses, share houses etc.

6.1 What if I get Covid-19 in Australia? 

If you get tested for the virus, or you have symptoms, you need to stay at home. You will need to do this until you either have a negative test result or your symptoms have gone – whichever is longer. It may take a day or 2 for your test results to come back.

If your doctor says you are well enough to go home while you wait for your test results, you should protect yourself and others.

If you meet certain criteria, you may be considered a suspect case and be required to isolate.

People who are required to quarantine will need to continue to do so, regardless of a negative test result. For further information read guidance for people tested for COVID-19.

For questions about testing or patient welfare, call the National Coronavirus Helpline. Please also inform your college immediately.

6.2 What medical treatment and support am I covered for as an international student?

International students are required to have health insurance while they are studying in Australia.

6.3 Can International students and their families remain confident that they can stay safe and protected from Covid-19 once they recommence their studies in Australia?

In the uncertainty of these times, Australia’s focus on minimising the risks of COVID-19 means international students can be more confident of their experience here than anywhere else in the world.

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