International students are set to return to NSW before Christmas. It is expected to see the return of hundreds of international students by the year’s end. Initially, the International Arrivals Pilot Program will welcome two flights of 250 students back to all Universities in NSW in December 2021, followed by an evaluation before scaling to larger intakes.
The NSW plan would require all international students to be fully vaccinated with vaccines that have been recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Which include Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Sinovac.
Eligibility for International Students
To be eligible to return to Sydney, international students must satisfy and agree to some requirements:
– Only a small number of students will initially be eligible to return.
– Students will need a valid Australian Student Visa.
– Students will need to return a negative COVID-19 test pre-departure.
– For now, the pilot plan requires all inbound international students to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-recognised vaccine. See FAQ below for a list of these vaccines.
– Eligible students will be contacted by the University once the proposal is approved.
Which vaccine is eligible?
For now, the pilot plan requires all inbound international students to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-recognised vaccine. The current list includes:
- SPIKEVAX manufactured by Moderna
- VAXZEVRIA manufactured by AstraZeneca – this includes VAXZEVRIA manufactured outside such as Covishield
- COMIRNATY manufactured by Pfizer
- Janssen (or Johnson & Johnson) manufactured by Janssen-Cilag
- CORONAVAC manufactured by Sinovac
Priority will be given to Ph.D. students, those who have nearly completed degrees, and students studying medicine and health-related courses.
The NSW education sector was worth $14.6 billion in 2019. And the industry supported more than 95,000 local jobs. More than 250,000 international students typically study in NSW each year. And future students could choose other destinations such as the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada if NSW remains closed.
The lack of international student arrivals amid the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to cost the NSW economy some $11 billion by late 2022.
Before the pandemic, about 250,000 international students were studying in NSW and represented the state’s second-largest export. The state government said 57,000 overseas students were currently trying to get into NSW.