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Update 29 November
Due to emerging cases of the new Omicron COVID variant in the world, Australian travel restrictions have now changed. Please carefully read the following information as it will impact all international students planning to travel to Australia.
International students who are from or have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption or eligible visa (e.g. student visa subclass 500).
Do not travel until you are advised that you can. Please visit the Australian Government Travel Restrictions and Exemptions website regularly to keep up to date with developments.
All other fully vaccinated international students (with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine) will need to self-isolate for 72 hours upon arrival in Sydney and comply with NSW Health guidelines.
For the latest information visit the Study NSW website.
NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan
The NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan will continue as planned and participating students will be contacted with further information about arrival requirements.
Update 22 November
The Australian Government has announced that from 1 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to travel to and from Australia without need to apply for travel exemption. In alignment with quarantine requirements for returning Australians, the NSW Government will not require students to quarantine on arrival if they are fully vaccinated with a TGA-recognised vaccine.
Western strongly recommends that all students check the Study NSW Pre-departure and Arrival Information and Frequently Asked Questions before making travel arrangements. Please also check the Australian Government Coming to Australia website regularly for updates.
For the latest information visit the Study NSW website.
NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan
The NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan will continue as planned and eligible students will be contacted as more flights are announced.
Western Sydney University and other universities have been working closely with Study NSW, the state and federal governments for over 12 months to facilitate the safe return of international students to Australia and to our local communities. The NSW International Students Arrivals Pilot Plan has received support from the Australian Government and NSW Government.
The Pilot will begin with a small number of students. It will prioritise returning students who need to complete placements and/or laboratory work in Australia to graduate. A scale up of the program for more students will be evaluated on the success of the current Pilot.
Universities together with the NSW State Government are doing everything we can to get our students back to campus as quickly and safely as possible.
The Pilot Plan will allow 250 international students studying with NSW education providers to return each fortnight in early December 2021.
No. This figure is the total number of students returning each fortnight for all participating institutions combined. Institutions have each been provided an allocation to return their students as part of the Pilot.
At this stage, the plan is only open to a small number of priority students.
A successful pilot with lead to an expanded plan allowing more students to return to NSW.
No. Flights via the NSW International Student Arrival Plan are only available for a direct flight to the state of NSW for international students studying at NSW institutions.
Other state International Student Arrivals Plans approved by the Australian Government, are only approved for international student arrivals studying at institutions in that state.
No. The aim of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan is to ensure that international students who remain abroad can get back to our State as soon as possible. We also know there are many international students who have remained in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to return home and visit their friends and family. International border restrictions are still in place, and student visas and travel exemptions are a matter for the Commonwealth Government. We encourage you to review the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website to keep up to date on any developments.
There are very limited circumstances under which the Australian Government will grant exemptions for students to return to Australia.
The Australian Government may grant individual exemptions if you are a student in your final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which begins within the next two months.
The University has no authority or ability to influence the decisions made on individual exemption cases. The information on exemption categories can be found on the Home Affairs website.
Students will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in the NSW International Students Arrivals Plan Pilot to return to Australia. An Expression of Interest invitation will be sent directly to students via their official University email, so please check your email regularly.
Priority students who meet eligibility requirements will be selected by Western Sydney University to participate in the flights departing in December, 2021. Please note that places are limited and not all priority students will be accommodated.
Priority will be given to students who were living and studying in Australia and returned home prior to Australian borders closing, AND who:
- are enrolled in a higher degree research program, or
- are enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate program and in their final year of study with a requirement to undertake practical placement or laboratory-based work in NSW to complete their studies.
Western will reassess the priority criteria as the pilot progresses.
All students will be notified the outcome of the EOI.
Successful students will be formally invited to participate. Students will be required to register and pay agreed costs to confirm their place in the Pilot.
Only a small number of students will be eligible to return to Australia via the Pilot.
You must satisfy and agree to specific requirements:
- be fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)*;
- have a valid student visa;
- have an active OSHC policy;
- return a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure;
- acknowledge that:
- you will have the required financial support for the duration of your studies (students will not be eligible for Commonwealth financial support);
- it may be difficult to find part-time work in NSW given the current economic conditions due to the COVID pandemic.
*The TGA have also provided advice that Sinovac (CORONAVAC) and AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India (COVISHIELD) be considered ‘recognised vaccines’ for incoming travellers.
The return of all international students is important to us. However, the Pilot will begin with a small number of returning students. Therefore, we are prioritising continuing students who have an urgent requirement to return to campus. A successful pilot will lead to an expanded plan allowing more students to return to NSW.
We encourage all students to apply for a student visa as soon as possible as this will be a prerequisite for travel. Please obtain a valid student to be considered for the future flights.
Students who do not have a valid student visa at the time of submitting their Expression of Interest will not be initially selected to participate in the program.
Yes, you will need be fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The TGA have also provided advice that Sinovac (CORONAVAC) and AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India (COVISHIELD) be considered ‘recognised vaccines’ for incoming travellers.
You must ensure the evidence:
- is legible, clear and in English (if translation is required, there is a free translating service on the Department of Home Affairs website)
- indicates your vaccination status with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the TGA, including dates of administration
- includes your personal details (e.g. name, date of birth)
You will be required to keep evidence of your TGA approved vaccine status e.g. vaccination certificate, as it will be an ongoing requirement while you are living in NSW.
Only students who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are eligible to return as part of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan. The Pilot Plan will be overseen by all key NSW Government agencies including NSW Health, and they will continue to review the pilot and communicate any changes to eligibility requirements in due course.
The Pilot is only available to currently enrolled students. Please visit the Study NSW website for regular updates on Australian travel restrictions.
No. The Pilot is only available to high priority currently enrolled students who are required to be on-campus to complete their studies.
The University will continue to provide online classes for our students overseas for as long as that is required, and provide dedicated support and one-on-one help for our offshore students.
We will continue working with other universities and government partners to deliver a successful pilot to allow more students to return to NSW.
Information for Students Invited to Participate in the Pilot
No. There are limited flights and a limited number of students for each flight. You must be available for flights as scheduled. Flight details will be available when you register to participate in the NSW International Student Arrivals Plan. You can only select the options available.
Universities will fund quarantine accommodation arrangements for each student. Students will be required to cover flight costs. The full details of costs to students will be available to participating students at registration.
The following prices are estimates only and are subject to change (amounts include airfare, taxes and booking fees).
|Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)||$1,870|
|South Korea (Seoul)||$2,370|
|USA (Los Angeles)||$2,770|
You will need to personally arrange and pay for travel insurance. If required, your accommodation and/or transport to the city of departure will also need to be factored into your costs .
Refund terms and conditions will be advised to participating students at the time of registration.
No. The ticket will only be one way.
No. As the pilot will commence on a small scale, family members will not be able to accompany students.
You will need to reconsider your participation in the Pilot until you have access to sufficient funds. The University will be covering costs for your quarantine period, however we will not be able to assist with funding flights.
We understand that this arrangement to return students will not suit all our offshore students and you may choose to remain overseas for a while longer.
Yes, we will continue to provide our offshore international students with online teaching to ensure you can continue your studies, and access comprehensive support services and one-on-one help if you need it.
Please contact your Academic Advisor for advice to ensure you will continue to meet course requirements and to discuss alternatives if you have compulsory practical placements and/or laboratory work.
Yes. We understand that this arrangement to return students will not suit all our offshore students and you may need to choose to remain overseas for a while longer.
The Expression of Interest allows you to indicate that you are interested in future flights for our planning purposes.
Yes. Western Sydney University will establish a standby waitlist of students to replace nominated students who make a late cancellation on exceptional/medical grounds, or in circumstances which is out of their control.
Students on the waitlist must have completed an EOI and declaration and submitted all necessary documents. Further requirements will be advised to all students on the waitlist.The University will select students from the waitlist in its sole and absolute discretion. The University’s decision will be final and it will not enter into any discussions or negotiations.
Flight details will be available when your register to participate in the NSW International Student Arrivals Plan.
We are working with a third party provider, FCM Travel, to assist you with all your travel arrangements. If you are selected to participate in the program, FCM Travel will contact you with further details.
Yes. You will be required to quarantine in purpose-built student accommodation for a 14-day period upon arrival to Australia. All students will be required to adhere to the same health and quarantine requirements set by the Australian Government for returning Australians.
You will need to make you own arrangements to travel to the city your flight will be departing from. We understand that this arrangement to return students will not suit all our offshore students and you may need to choose to remain overseas for a while longer.
No. Flights via the NSW International Student Arrivals Plan are only available to international students studying at NSW institutions.
Other state International student arrival plans approved by the Australian Government are only approved for international student arrivals studying at institutions in that state.
Once you have registered for the Pilot, the University will provide you with a pre-departure checklist to help you prepare for your return to Australia. Further information will be available after registration.
If you are selected to participate in the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan, and do not have an existing accommodation arrangement after you complete quarantine, the University’s Accommodation Support Officer will contact you directly to discuss your accommodation needs.
Special offer: On-campus accommodation discount for returning students
To support students who return to Australia via the Pilot Plan, Western Sydney University Village is offering up to a 50% discount for on-campus accommodation packages. This offer is only available for single rooms (maximum occupancy of 1 person per room) in a 5 bedroom townhouse or apartment. Limited places are available at each location. For more information visit:
Parramatta on campus accommodation offer
Bankstown, Penrith, Campbelltown and Hawkesbury on campus accommodation offer
For further information and regular updates, please visit the Study NSW website or subscribe to the Study NSW newsletter and follow Study NSW on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WeChat.