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Travel ban lifted for skilled workers and international students

22 November 2021
kian bone
Read Time 2 mins reading time

*The planned easing of border restrictions for 1 December has been paused until 15 December. Further information will be provided as developments arise.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today announced that travel restrictions will be further lifted to facilitate the return of skilled workers, working holiday makers and students to Australia. This will end the 620-day streak of Australia’s international borders being closed to all visa holders except those who met stringent exemption requirements.

Eligible visa holders can enter Australia from 1 December

From 1 December 2021, eligible visa holders will be able to come to Australia without needing to first apply and receive a travel exemption, provided the individuals are fully vaccinated. This change is a result of the country meeting the 85% target of the population being double vaccinated. Further it was announced that vaccinated passengers from Korea and Japan will also be able to arrive in Australia as part of a “travel bubble program”. This follows the travel bubble implementation that has already begun with Singapore.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews stated that the Department is working on a figure of approximately 200,000 travellers in the coming months. There are currently 79,600 places for skilled visas, 13,750 for the humanitarian program with no limit on student visas.

International students will still need to abide by the quarantine laws of the state/territory they arrive to however in jurisdictions without quarantine arrangements, international students will not count towards passenger caps. All travellers will need to return a negative PCR test before they board their flight however will not be required to quarantine if the state/territory they are arriving in to do does not have quarantine requirements.

What impact will lifting the travel ban have?

This announcement is well-timed to meet an industry-wide shortage of workers because of the pandemic. Industries such as universities, which are reliant on international students, and the horticulture industry which relies on working holiday makers will be particularly supported by this new announcement.

We anticipate a backlog of visa applications for the Department to process due to inactivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses and individuals should look to lodge new visa applications as soon as possible to ensure there are no further delays to securing skilled staff from overseas.

If you have any questions about the changes to visa laws, the Employment, Safety and Migration team at Macpherson Kelley are well placed to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

stay up to date with our news & insights

Travel ban lifted for skilled workers and international students

22 November 2021
kian bone

*The planned easing of border restrictions for 1 December has been paused until 15 December. Further information will be provided as developments arise.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today announced that travel restrictions will be further lifted to facilitate the return of skilled workers, working holiday makers and students to Australia. This will end the 620-day streak of Australia’s international borders being closed to all visa holders except those who met stringent exemption requirements.

Eligible visa holders can enter Australia from 1 December

From 1 December 2021, eligible visa holders will be able to come to Australia without needing to first apply and receive a travel exemption, provided the individuals are fully vaccinated. This change is a result of the country meeting the 85% target of the population being double vaccinated. Further it was announced that vaccinated passengers from Korea and Japan will also be able to arrive in Australia as part of a “travel bubble program”. This follows the travel bubble implementation that has already begun with Singapore.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews stated that the Department is working on a figure of approximately 200,000 travellers in the coming months. There are currently 79,600 places for skilled visas, 13,750 for the humanitarian program with no limit on student visas.

International students will still need to abide by the quarantine laws of the state/territory they arrive to however in jurisdictions without quarantine arrangements, international students will not count towards passenger caps. All travellers will need to return a negative PCR test before they board their flight however will not be required to quarantine if the state/territory they are arriving in to do does not have quarantine requirements.

What impact will lifting the travel ban have?

This announcement is well-timed to meet an industry-wide shortage of workers because of the pandemic. Industries such as universities, which are reliant on international students, and the horticulture industry which relies on working holiday makers will be particularly supported by this new announcement.

We anticipate a backlog of visa applications for the Department to process due to inactivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses and individuals should look to lodge new visa applications as soon as possible to ensure there are no further delays to securing skilled staff from overseas.

If you have any questions about the changes to visa laws, the Employment, Safety and Migration team at Macpherson Kelley are well placed to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us.