August 23, 2020
Proposed new rules for International students to Australia
Currently, the pandemic has resulted in about 120,000 enrolled international students being stranded offshore. Universities are expecting losses of up to AUD 4.6 billion in the next 6 months. By some estimates, the Australian economy could take a hit of approximately between AUD 30 – 60 billion.
The Group of 8 Universities has proposed new rules to recommence international student arrivals from countries that are deemed safe. As a first step in the implementation of this plan, students from countries that have been successful in containing the spread of Covid-19 would be allowed entry probably from the 1st semester of 2021.
In a plan put to the Federal & State governments, it has been proposed that international students could be allowed into Australia if the source countries & students satisfy the following criteria :
- Source countries must demonstrate sustained low infection rates, high testing rates and an ability to deal with the outbreak.
- Students from the source countries must have a record of compliance with visa conditions.
- Students would be subject to pre-travel isolation & health checks in their home countries.
- Post health checks, they would be flown to Australia with a “trusted Australian carrier”. This would require the cooperation of airlines.
- Students may be required to download the COVIDSafe contact tracing app.
- Upon arrival, students would go into designated quarantine accommodation, which they will need to pay for themselves.
- Quarantine would be closely monitored to ensure compliance.
- Universities would arrange for airport pick-ups & escort students to their accommodations.
While expressing hope that the above proposals would result in a possible small scale re-entry of international students in the next couple of months, Group of 8 chief executive Vicki Thomson has said that realistically Australia might only be able to welcome the bulk of the international students for the 1st semester of 2021.
We shall continue to provide updates on all developments related to international students studying in Australia or contemplating study in Australia.