Australian borders reopen for international students & skilled workers from December 1

Australia welcomes students and other immigrants

Australia is all set to reopen its doors to immigrants without any exemption. Around 50,000 skilled workers and 1,60,000 international students, along with refugees, dependents, and tourists will be allowed to enter the country from December 1, 2021. While universities and businesses will benefit immensely, travelers will have to abide by the local quarantine rules to avoid a new breakout. Visitors however have to be fully vaccinated. 

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Andrew McKellar, chief executive of ACCI (Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), said that the approach by Victoria, NSW, and ACT to abolish the arrival charges and quarantine rules for the travelers would help other jurisdictions to follow suit. 

He also said, “It’s just not realistic to think that [overseas] arrivals are going to be happy to sit in quarantine at their own cost, or substantially at their own cost, for any period. It’s just not going to be practicable.”

The chief executive of the National Employer Association of AI Group said, “Such state-based international border rules will remain as disincentives to fully vaccinated travelers and will vastly reduce the economic benefits skilled migrants and foreign students bring to Australia. This is all the more pressing because of the extent of current skill shortages.”

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on Monday, while announcing the changes, called it a “Major milestone in our pathway back” and anticipated more than 200,000 visa holders to travel to the country. However, the timing depends on the flight schedules. 

As per Morrison, “I have no doubt that the airlines will be responding positively to this and that will see more planes in the air. Planes in the air also have jobs on the ground, and people coming back to Australia will also mean jobs on the ground right around the country.”

Apart from this, South Australia will open the borders to the fully-vaccinated visitors from Victoria, ACT, and NSW this Tuesday. Queensland has plans to reopen the border by December 6 but has shown intentions to ask international students to quarantine at the Wellcamp facility in the States built outside Toowoomba.

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Please note that the borders and rules are not flexible for tourists waiting to visit Australia unless they belong to Japan, Korea, Singapore, and New Zealand. These countries share a travel bubble with Australia.

It is when international students study in Australia, it becomes the boon to Australian Universities, as they rely on them for funding or the lands waiting for laborers for the harvest are eagerly waiting for the return of students and workers. The NSWVCC (NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee) said they intend to go ahead with the pilot program of chartered flights of 250 students per fortnight. The first flights are scheduled for December 6 and December 24. 

Barney Glover, Committee Convenor Professor, said that “We expect that there may be some shortage in seat availability as Australia opens up, therefore necessitating the continuation of the pilot plant for the time being.”

Read More: Australian Education System

Victoria also runs a transport program for its international students. The first flight is scheduled to arrive on December 23, and five more are planned for January.

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