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Australia to consider July entry for international students

International students may be the first cohort of international travellers that will be exempt from Australia’s current travel ban according to the latest three-step process for exiting lockdown that PM Scott Morrison has outlined.

Australia is gradually moving out of lockdown, starting with 10 people at a time permitted in public places. Photo: The PIE

"How that's done and how those costs are met.. there's a lot of steps to work through"

The new public announcement to this effect means that from July, international students may be able to enter the country, as long as strict quarantine rules are observed.

“Issues of international students, you’ll note that it does come into the third step of the [exit] plan, that is a possibility,” said Morrison. “We are open to that, and would be working with institutions to see how that could be achieved.”

He said issues of costs regarding maintaining the quarantine set-up were being explored. “How that’s done and how those costs are met.. there’s a lot of steps to work through,” he said – adding “We’re open to everything pretty much to get the Australian economy back and firing again as much as possible. We’ve just got to step through it carefully.”

With international education worth AU$40 billion per year to the economy, there have been many calls for Australia to move to protect its industry.

Julian Hill MP, writing in The PIE News, called for Australia to follow Canada’s lead: “If Canada can admit students, subject to strict quarantine and health checks, then we can too,” he said.

Universities Australia welcomed the move: CEO Catriona Jackson said, “We welcome the inclusion of international student travel down the track, in step three [of exit plan].”

“We are keen to welcome all our students, from home and abroad, back to face-to-face teaching, but when it is safe to do so.”

Ravi Lochan Singh, president of AAERI, told The PIE that this was welcome news. “I don’t expect Indian students to be ready to join the July/August intake as Indian academic calendar is disrupted,” he commented.

“However several universities do operate a third intake in November and so institutions with an intake in October/November could see some fresh enrolments from the Indian region. This is really good.”

Lochan Singh pointed out that quarantine-led entry would also benefit international students with visas who are currently stuck outside Australia.


Australia’s exit plan has Stage 1 – local and regional travel allowed while 10 visitors in home, business or public places advised; Stage 2 – some interstate travel allowed while visitor limit increases to 20 in home, business or public places; Stage 3 – gathering size increased to 100 and cross-Tasman, pacific island and international student travel allowed.

“Today, we move ahead with reopening our economy and our society, with a clear plan, and a clear framework, that shows Australians the road ahead,” Morrison said on May 8. Experts and government will review progress every three weeks.

“There will be outbreaks, there will be more cases, there will be setbacks. Not everything will go to plan … But we cannot allow our fear of going backwards from stopping us from going forwards,” said the PM.

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66 Responses to Australia to consider July entry for international students

  1. If they do they may want more security than that pathetic 14 day self isolation rubbish. If not the second wave will be upon us and this time the economic and personal damage will be much, much worse

    • second wave will be upon us and as with the first it will be primarily brought by international students and workers. so expect when that happens border will then close for a very long time and that will be good

    • 14 days quarantine has already been medically established as safe. Nonsense about second wave. 1255 died in Australia from the FLU in 2017. Get out from under the bedcovers people!

  2. AUSTRALIA weldone, the way this pandemic handeled is superb. Followed all the steps taken by the Government till to-date and think it is amongst the top countries to contain it successfully

  3. I believe that students fromcountries with low risk like Taiwan for example should be considered now they can return quaranteen at their experience nose in a hotel room at $2500 for 14 days travel at own cost on Quantas this will benefit the hotel industry the aeroplane industry and also Australian higher schools and universities.

  4. No, No, No!
    Seriously way too early to allow foreigners back in to the country. Currently in Queens land we will not even be able to travel beyond 250klm from our homes or interstate till mid July. How could we even think about introducing another element till we see how the easing of those restri tions pan out. The mighty dollar wins out.

    • absolutely all foreigners need to stop from migrating here. There will be no more skilled migration or temporary worker visa. approach your local member and voice your concern

  5. If international students can enter in July, then why not skilled temporary visa holders also? I’m sure airlines would fill more seats and make flights more viable too. What about those with provisional permanent residency? Those temporary visa holders who are ordinarily resident in Australia but stranded abroad? These are skilled workers who contribute to the economy, sometimes having to commit to regional areas. They pay taxes and work in shortage occupations. As per state nomination criteria skilled visa holders also must provide evidence to financially support themselves, so they will not/cannot be reliant on centrelink. So why can’t temporary and provisional PR skilled visa holders enter?

    • Couldn’t agree more with you Stephanie! I think exactly the same!!
      I’m currently a state sponsored skilled worker and I’m locked out of the country.
      It’s infuriating that the government are allowing International Students in abundance back into the country. Money obviously talks. It’s a disgrace! We contribute far more with our skilled professions which have shortages of our specialist work. Like you say, we pay our taxes etc!! I think I will soon lose my job due to being locked out since March.

  6. I think it’s a good move we cannot leave in fear till the virus lasts.
    Also keeping in mind many Indian students have come back due to lockdown and the are still paying their full tution fees so it’s will be fair for these students get back with ensuring all safely measured taken as required by govt.

  7. What about international visitors visa
    We r waiting to meet my family and freinds and travel to nature australia..please update visitor news soon

  8. Australian PM said once during the corona crisis the international students who cannot afford to support themselves must leave the country …now what is the big hurry to get them enrolled ??? It’s just the dollars they are looking at ..with such an insensitive PM how can the parents trust their children to live and study in country like that ..

    • no hurry you can leave. he is only inviting those who can support themselves. pm represents the australian peoples thoughts and with your comment you are disrespecting us. we do not need you here if you have this attitude.you feel free to spend your dollar in any other country no issue with us at all.

  9. International students are better off staying back in their home countries and learning from their instructors here in Australia online. Given that ninety per cent of covid infections in this country have been due to international students coming into this country and spreading the virus, Australians will be wary of opening borders to international students too soon especially when asymptomatic cases are as virulent as those with visible symptoms. The Australian community may also refuse to welcome international students and they have already shown and said and supported their governments saying that international students must go back to their home countries. The fact that cash strapped international students are having to share accommodation with more people than probably ideal also leads to hygiene and health issues inadvertently that may be a cause for concern. Most of all, international student enrolment has always been contingent on immigration intake and it is certain that immigration will be closed off for the next 5 years to accommodate local population in new jobs. Any conversation of international students has to be said in the context of immigration intake and international students will not be coming here to study until they are offered immigration after they study. Consequently international student enrolment will fall dramatically as this fault line of student migration nexus is exposed. The bright side of the story is the few international students that will come will be the best and the ones that will come here to study only and that few will go back home after their studies as is expected and achieve much name for the education sector here in Australia. So let’s focus on quality international students and not just numbers.

    • I would say how narrow minded these comments are now as Australians have always been racist to all other nationalities including most hit are international students, who go to your country in hope of bright future but you guys are way too selfish to welcome any migrants and just want your own community to benefit from it.
      R.I.P your mentality and good luck coping with the Covid and economic crisis.

    • What an ignorant and simple statement to make. I’ll speak for myself as an international student in Australia working towards a master degree in nursing, who cannot learning online, who has volunteered over 400 hours to Victorian hospitals, pays taxes, and has a terminally ill relative home in California that I cannot say goodbye to without risking my $68k education here. Despite respecting all social distancing/post-travel quarantine laws and being routinely tested for COVID-19 due to my field of work. Honestly, some people should think before they speak.

    • Alan, please get your facts right. Most of the infected cases brought from overseas are from those who came back from cruise, not international students.
      Also, not ALL international students are cash strapped. If they are cash strapped, how could they afford 3-4 times more tuition fees than domestic students? and how could they be the 4th largest contributors to the Australian’s economy? Sure, some of them are cash strapped, but not ALL of them, so please stop making this shallow generalisation.
      If immigration will be closed for 5 years, we all should be worried, including YOU!

    • Oh my God…such a negative soul you are Alan. Do you really expect International students to pay 70 thousand dollars just to study an online degree!!!

      Always REMEMBER Alan- International students inject $37.6 billion into the Australian economy, directly boosting Australian jobs and wages, generating jobs, supporting wages, and lifting the living standards of Australia👍🏻so please show some respect. You should meditate 2 hrs everyday so that your soul can get some peace and goodness✌🏻

  10. Great. That’s $40 BILLION to our economy. This is the way to prevent a recession. That’s a lot of money in any language. Other countries are envious. And would do anything to earn $40 BILLION. Let’s hope that Australia will still be attractive to international students. Let’s hope we can still get them as other countries are luring them over. Without that $40 BILLION intl students expenditure . we are definitely heading to a recession

  11. Alan what’s with you and international students? You sound very vexed about students coming to learn in your country and other classified foreigners. It’s not like Australia is the only country in the world. International students would gladly go study else where and gain their study abroad experience in other countries that offer multicultural diversity and quality education. If you were an international student and some one from your study abroad destination spoke like this about international students, I bet you would reach out and throw shades. Stop trying to be an obstacle in the progress of a certain category of people. There are many other European countries with quality education and amazing study abroad experience. Eat your Australia if you can

  12. Your country needs to respect international students because they are bringing handsome amount of money to your country. Without imagination within few years your economy could hit badly down. We can understand why you have this kind of attitude because roots cannot be destroyed.

    • It is very important to open the borders for international students. Because they spend alot of money for overseas education. It not only affect their education as well as career also . Plz, open the international borders in july.

  13. It’s a great insight of Australia. As Australia (New Zealand as well) successfully contained the pandemic, she can take great initiatives to boost up her economy while other countries must wait till things get better. Australia and New Zealand can also allow international workers for the business like IT; to resume their work and stabalise the economies of both the countries.

  14. how about returning resident’s/citizens? are they still to be quarantined at the hotel or self quarantine at their respective home?T.a.

  15. Do we really need the 2nd wave of Covid-2? We have done better than other countries containing the virus with less casualties and this will be undone once we open our doors to International Students. Can they really support themselves and not rely on temporary/casual jobs to support themselves, pay their fees etc? Will they really isolate themselves for 14 days, if they live in a dormitory /share accommodatiin? Who wilo monitor them, the universities or the govermentment at taxpayers expense?

  16. You would rather your country lose 40 billion dollars and be hysterical instead I guess, when there are strict protocols that can be put in place to ensure a safe transition.You may want to think about all the government aid you are getting and where that money comes from… there may not be much left to go around if you can’t take your heads out of the sand.

  17. I’m not one to post normally but some of the comments are certainly not reflective of the vast majority of Australians and are naive/racist.
    I love how someone used USA as an example of closing borders against the fight of covid19, perhaps do your research before posting about things you no very little about.

  18. Some very narrow mind and uneducated views here, Education prior to the crisis was Australia’s 3rd biggest export. The last thing we need is finger pointing bigots representing us on pages like this. Opening up the boarders to International student has the potential to support a huge number of jobs in Australia in the institutions and in the supporting services.

    Planned and managed isolation periods in hotels (as we are with Australian’s returning home from oversea’s is what is needed) can be done, plus it helps the hotel industry in a difficult time also. Just because you have a job and your OK at the moment, look at the bigger picture here it’s not just about you. We are not the only country that has done well in this crisis, Vietnam has had close to zero deaths and under 400 cases as an example. The world’s changed we can do things differently, that’s OK. We can adapt, think differently and choose not to live in fear and blame others. Download the app and bring it on people!

  19. I’m so ashamed to read such ignorance spouting from a xenophobic racist who calls himself “Australian”. May I remind you Alan, that Australia was taken from the true Australians by ‘foreigners’ like yourself and so you, too, have no right to be here if we follow your narrow-minded personal theory on ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’. International influences have made Australia what it is today. Happily, most people don’t share your out-dated bigotry and you are in the minority. Go and educate yourself (maybe overseas??) or keep your stupidity to yourself.

  20. to Alan

    I understand your sentiment and hubris driven patriotism, but lots of international students coming into your country to learn and leave are in no way negative upon the integrity and limited resources of your nation, and the fact that students could even secure admission into overseas universities is also a testament of their quality as assets to the university, the host country and their home countries being of the diaspora.

    Students going overseas to learn doesn’t necessarily mean they’re running away from their home countries and it doesn’t make them any less patriotic than you are. Your comments just generally evince your ignorance about your national and global policy towards international education and why it is so important; In extension, this is why democracies are great, because even though you truly do believe that immigration would be stopped in 5 years, even if you did become the prime minister tomorrow, you can’t and will not make that decision cause you’ll finally be cured of your ignorance while occupying that office.

  21. Alan, it seems you’re very angry with those international students don’t know why but I think If government is taking some good steps in the favor of international students then you should support it too I hope you are aware that International students also help in Australian economic growth so please show some respect for international students too.

  22. Australian Universities with the support of the Government have spent millions of dollars to build the infrastructure to offer quality world class education to around 100,000 International students annually. If the students don’t come, just think what will happen to the investment. Apart from the $40 billion turnover, the students spend on other things as well. Therefore discouragement of International students will not benefit Australia’s interests.

  23. I would to get a scholarship to study medicine in Australia, I think I deserve because I have the potential and the skills to perform my knowledge in your prestigious universities and I’m sure you are my destiny

  24. I’m one of those guys! Who chose to move to Australia for my higher education. Before which I quit an amazing job at a Big 4. I’ve taken loans , I’ve paid my fees just to be stuck at my home country. I understand the concern of the spread but it’s not like we’re gonna carry them and gonna spread them in your country. I had to postpone my enrollment , I have no job , my Visa is still spending. I can’t get another job right now aswell. It’s not fair that you can just say what ever you did

    • Wow! I’ve always thought of Australians as friendly until I read Alan’s comments. Came to this page because I’m considering my next qualification in Australia but not so sure anymore…

  25. Awaiting to get clearance on visitors visa to Australia. Am from India. My daughter is due to deliver her 1st baby end of May. None to help her there. When will Australian Govt give clearance for visitors visa? Atleast will they think of visitors visa clearance for GENUINE and EMERGENCY cases like this.

  26. I think international borders should be open up by End August or Mid Sept. U can put a restriction that those intending to come in for special occasion can do so by getting themselves tested for Covid 19, 4 days before departure. If found to be negative then they can enter in and present their evidence of the test. No need to further quarantine for 14 days. I believe by that time by God’s grace n mercy, all will return to normal. We should not live by fear but by faith in God but on our human part to be vigilant by washing hands, using sanitizer n wearing a mask in crowded area or when going out.

  27. Wow 40$AU billion per year in the economy is such a huge deal and will really make a great impact in the economy considering these international students can also do side jobs here and there and that definitely adds up to the growth of the economy. Kudos to PM tho for considering students to go back for enrollment and stuff by July but yes strict quarantine set-up must really be implemented and they can consider including hotel feels good for a two period time to ensure someone’s clearance from the covid19 virus in the enrollment too as part of their academic requirements. Anyhow, i’m sure Australian government is stern enough and they have been doing great containing the virus. Good luck to the country and the economy!

    I hope the country will start allowing leisure travel too by the end of the year as soon as everything gets back to normal. xx

  28. Gratitude for your altruistic views–Jonathan Burns and many others who are genuinely giving their views for the welfare of everybody .

  29. What i think people are underestimating is the wealth lost by international student’s, most won’t even be able to come because their parents businesses are ruined. The number that will come will be tiny. Probably manageable.

  30. What’s the problem of international students to come if they are able to pay for their quarantine in Australian hotels and they will be totally “clean “ after 14 days? Obviously they will be tested after 14 days and just be able to leave quarantine if they test negative. What’s the damage to Australians if they agree to follow this procedure and pay for it ?

  31. According to ICEF monitor last year there were 720,000 International students in Australia. Given Australia’s population of approximately 25 million that compares to over 2.5%. I have no idea how many International students would need/be able to enter Australia if the borders were to be reopened for them, but the numbers potentially sound overwhelming. In addition to that, it seems a large number of students work while they are here and as with everyone else the number of jobs available have taken a huge hit so some may struggle if relying on being able to work enough hours to make ends meet.

    I think opening up to International students (and skilled workers with jobs and visas and whatever) should be done intelligently- ideally starting with countries with comparably low cases, in manageable numbers for proper quarantine and testing, with consideration to safe living arrangements for them, and with appropriate information provided before arrival regarding quarantine, our rules at the time regarding distancing, group activities and hygiene, and very strong forewarning that they need to be financially healthy because there is much, much higher likelihood of unemployment.

  32. Our 16 year old daughter once had a dream which should finally come true this year: She dreamt of spending one high school year abroad in Australia starting this year’s July. She wanted to get to know these chilled and warm-hearted people from down under and a fantastic country. For this we were willing to spend a lot of money we saved over years.
    Reading some of these comments makes me feel as parasites and unwanted. I start feeling worried and I wonder, if this is only a minority who thinks this way or whether my child would be even openly rejected.
    In Germany we did a great job on keeping the virus under control, we learned to live with it always keeping in mind that it is not yet gone. We know how to protect ourselves and others and you can be sure, that I would not let my child go so far away if I would fear something could happen to her.
    Reading some of these hostile comments really affects me and makes me think about our decision…

  33. The government must approve the entry of students as soon as possible.
    just as it has approved the entry of its citizens.why divide people … all holders will be quarantined for 14 days and there is no place for panic … it is a shame that the government does not want to accept them back, when they pay high tuition fees then the government is in love with them.. The situation is now much better with the virus, all restaurants and schools are opening, and people who are students of a student visa and have been living here for many years and this country is their home are still not accepted. As soon as possible to open the borders for all students !!

  34. If Australia can open the borders for International students why can’t they do the same for skill Visa holders as well. I mean at least from. August onwards.

  35. I’m an overseas student coming to Australia and this pandemic situation has been very hard I got stuck in Europe still I’m here without being able to come back to my country or continue my trip … and I come from America I’m not being productive as I was and this is affecting a lot and all of us …. people please don’t be so rude in accepting people from other countries we are all from the same planet and we all deserve to live with respect of course we all want this to be over and that is why we all have to be conscious and take responsibility but that doesn’t mean rudeness of course and we have to be united as world citizens imagine you’re in the position of the person you’re criticizing. Let’s be careful with what we say and also support each other by taking the measures being healthy and safe !

  36. I hope you all safe. I am an RN and got 485( graduate student visa) after my master’s. I spend more than 80,000 dollars on my studies in Australia. we came to Australia after passing all eligibility criteria. Now its time to develop skills, and we not allowed to enter.
    Yes, due to COVID-19, it’s a critical condition everywhere but Australia cannot neglect us.

  37. Kindly think and take steps dor international students who are stuck due to travel restrictions. Many students are waiting for their visas they are losing their time and study

  38. Do not bother studying in Australia! It’s overpriced education is not worth the effort or heartache. I was born in Australia and couldn’t wait to study and live elsewhere. I relocated to Iceland and have been studying here for 6 months now and I’m loving it! The public officials here acted swiftly with suitable (yet not draconian) countermeasures to stop the spread of infection, and we were still able to go out and enjoy life while much of the world was in lock-down. No panic buying, No grand-standing politicians, just a coo, calm response. Half my friends here are Icelanders, and the other half are international students, and we all love it here! Having done my Bachelor of Science in Australia, and now studying studied here in Iceland, I can honestly say hands down that Iceland is a much safer, peaceful, comfortable and rewarding place to live, work and study. I even receive a housing benefit! The place might be cold during winter, but the people are warm, kind and compassionate. Leaving that blow-fly-ridden-redneck-infested-desert-shit-hole was the best decision I ever made. New Zealand would also be a much smarter move than Aus-failiur 😀

  39. I might not be an Australian but I want you all to see things from other people’s perspective. International students are trying their best. It is not easy to adapt to a remote learning. These are students who just happen to be unlucky. It’s not their fault that this disease had to come. They are people who chose to study here, to make something out of their life. The government should really consider making an exemption.
    I am an international student studying from home in Nigeria. Trust me, it is not at all a joy. Many students are stuck in their countries and their visas are still not ready. We don’t even know the situation of our visas. I’m begging the government to consider this. I am a young child. I already went through stress in applying for the student visa. It was just luck that I was able to launch the visa before this pandemic happened. I’ve been looking for a way to find out how my visa is going because I’m really worried and sad. Online learning isn’t easy at all. It is sometimes frustrating. I hardly sleep these days because of the time difference between Australia and Nigeria. I have all my LECTURES during the night and when morning comes, I’m still not able to sleep because of assignments and projects and reports that needs to be done. It isn’t easy for me at all. And I know it isn’t easy for many others too. I’m speaking on behalf of international students worldwide who are still hoping and praying that Australia would consider us. I never rested. Everyday I fish for information concerning my visa and the travel ban and try to find hope. Please and please, let’s do this. What Morrison suggested is right. Many of you won’t understand until it’ll hit you in the face. Put yourselves in our shoes. It’s not easy. I’ve been stressed and I’m too young for all these and I’ve been praying non-stop for all this to end but I strongly wish that Australian government and department of home affairs will consider this.

  40. Don’t worry Australians. Many Chinese students’ mothers don’t want to send their children to Australia to study. I’m going to take of all my property and live in my country soon. Frankly, I’m getting more and more disappointed with the quality of education in Australia.

  41. As an ex University Professor I have come across a myriad of diverse students. Some from rich families had a sense of entitlement and demanded special grades. Others were quite open saying they only want a visa to stay in Australia. Some enrolled but never attended. Yet some were eager enthusiastic and keen to become part of the great Aussie dream. One student refused to listen to a lecture because I was female. Perhaps preparing students about the differences might help. Right now patience is admired.

  42. how about opening up for loved ones who are not immediate family. I’ve been away from my australian boyfriend for over 4 months. I was living in perth with a study visa but was told to go back home in February.I live in Canada and we have it under control just as you do. This is getting ridiculous that I can’t see him unless we are married. Please consider opening it up for us aswell.

  43. Alas!Alan
    we were discussing here for international students entry along with certain guidelines such as quarantine for 14 days, covid tests and many more but you had a problem with it. and when finally people started to slap u with true words then you took downturn stating that yes …. international students can come but by following certain rules.
    what’s the point of your stupid thread long messages when it was already mentioned that borders will be opened for international students with tests.

    shame on you racist.

  44. I wonder if this extends to high school students who are minors. It isn’t possible to quarantine them without an approved chaperone. Many high schools in NZ rely heavily on these students due to years of underfunding by the MoE.

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