Australia will open borders for fully vaccinated skilled migrants and international students from December 1, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced.
Fully vaccinated eligible visa holders under 28 Australian visa subclasses will be allowed to enter Australia without applying for a travel exemption.
Fully vaccinated travellers, including skilled migrants, international students, working holidaymakers, tourists and refugees, must also return a negative PCR test result within three days of setting off for Australia.
On Sunday, Australia passed the key milestone of having 85 per cent of its population aged over 16 being double dosed for the Covid-19 vaccine, which allowed for the final phase of the border reopening strategy.
Although skilled migrants, international students and other travellers to Australia will be allowed to travel to the country without having to apply for a travel exemption, they will still have to adhere to the quarantine rules of their respective States and Territories.
Only New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will allow migrants to enter without having to quarantine.
The return of international students will be of particular significance to the Australian economy; according to figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), international education contributed a staggering $37.6 billion to the Australian economy in 2019.
Speaking at a press briefing, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the return of skilled workers and international students to Australia is a major milestone about what Australians have achieved.
He also said that these new steps taken towards the return of skilled migrants and international students to Australia are about securing economic recovery and taking the country forward.
Earlier, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that reopening borders for 200,000 skilled migrants would greatly boost Australia’s economy after the devastating impact of the pandemic.
Australia has suffered from an extensive skills shortage across the country after closing its borders for 18 months in response to the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020.
During this shutout, over 500,000 temporary migrants left the country, which led to major skill shortages in many critical sectors of the Australian economy.
However, with Australian skilled migration and international education finally set to resume, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that his administration will fastidiously look into broadening the border reopening process between now and the end of this year.
Notable eligible visa subclasses for Australian arrival from December 1 include:
- Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa;
- Subclass 407 – Training visa;
- Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa;
- Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa;
- Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa;
- Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa;
- Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa;
- Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa;
- Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa;
- Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa;
- Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa;
- Subclass 500 – Student visa.