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Information to support the return of international students to Adelaide

Return of International Students to Adelaide

Last updated: 28th October 2021

The South Australian government has announced that South Australia will welcome fully vaccinated domestic and international arrivals (including international students) with no quarantine period once 90% of South Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated. 

It is expected that the 90% target will be reached in late December 2021. 

This is wonderful news as we move towards welcoming international students back to Adelaide.

While there are specific details still to be determined, the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below provide details on the information currently available. 

This information will be regularly updated so please check back often, and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.

Last updated: 28th October 2021

The South Australian government has announced that South Australia will welcome fully vaccinated domestic and international arrivals (including international students) with no quarantine period once 90% of South Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated. 

It is expected that the 90% target will be reached in late December 2021. 

This is wonderful news as we move towards welcoming international students back to Adelaide.

While there are specific details still to be determined, the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below provide details on the information currently available. 

This information will be regularly updated so please check back often, and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers related to the safe return of international students to Adelaide.

Can I travel to Adelaide for study now?

No. Australia’s borders are currently closed to temporary visa holders, including international students and entry to Australia remains strictly controlled. 

Travel to Australia is only available for people who are exempt (e.g. Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members) or have been granted an individual exemption.

StudyAdelaide is working with the Government to understand the changes for this process once quarantine is no longer required in South Australia.

Please visit the Department of Home Affairs to stay informed with the latest updates.


Is South Australia progressing its plan to return students to Adelaide using a dedicated quarantine facility from December 2021?

No. Fully vaccinated international arrivals will not need to quarantine once 90% of South Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated. 

This is expected to occur in late December so there is no longer a need to establish the quarantine facility at Flight Training Adelaide.

When can international students return to South Australia?

The South Australian Government announced on 26 October 2021 that the State’s borders will be open to all fully vaccinated domestic and international arrivals without quarantining once 90% of South Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated.

This is expected to occur by late December.

The Australian Government is ultimately responsible for determining when Australia will open its borders to international travellers.

The Australian Government has indicated once 80% of Australians aged 16+ are vaccinated (expected to be in November) the country will open to more international travellers.

We are seeking clarification on what these plans and related timings mean for student visa holders.

Is it compulsory to quarantine?

Once 90% of South Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated (expected to be late December) all international travellers who are fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine. 

Unvaccinated travellers will still need to quarantine for 14 days.

Will I need a current student visa to return to Australia?

Yes, you will need to hold a valid Student Visa to return to Australia. 

You can check your current visa status and the expiry date of your visa through VEVO or your ImmiAccount. 

You can also use your ImmiAccount to apply for a new visa if yours has already expired or is close to expiring. 

For further information on Student visas, go to the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and couldn’t complete your course in your original visa validity because of the impacts of COVID-19, you may be eligible for a visa application fee waiver. 

You can find out more about this on the Department of Home Affairs website or speak to your education provider.

Is there anything I can do to prepare to return to Adelaide?

Students should stay connected to their education provider and to us. 

Subscribe to the StudyAdelaide newsletter and ensure education institutions have up-to-date contact information: email, address, and phone number. 

Please ensure that you have a valid student visa and that you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved or recognised in Australia so that you are ready to travel as soon as you are able to do so.

Do I have to be vaccinated to travel to Australia?

Vaccination requirements for entry into Australia once the border opens are not confirmed however it is likely airlines will require passengers on international flights to be fully vaccinated at the time of travel with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine (some exemptions for medical reasons and children). 

Currently the Australian Government also requires international travellers to return a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours prior to departure.

When South Australia opens to international arrivals, fully vaccinated people will not need to quarantine. 

To qualify as fully vaccinated, you need to have received the recommended schedule of doses of a vaccine that Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved or recognised. 

Vaccines currently recognised and approved in Australia can be found here.


What evidence do I need to provide to show that I have been fully vaccinated?

We are taking advice from the Commonwealth Government on how to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated. 

Further information can be viewed at the Smartraveller website.

Will students from all countries be able to return to South Australia?

At this stage we understand that South Australia will be welcoming all international travellers once the 90% vaccination target is reached with no restrictions on country or region departure locations.

Do I still need a travel exemption to come to Australia?

Temporary visa holders, including student visa holders, can currently only enter Australia with a travel exemption

StudyAdelaide is working with the Government to understand the changes for this process once quarantine is no longer required in South Australia.

Other states are removing the need to quarantine before December. Can I enter Australia in another state and then travel to South Australia without quarantining?

We are working with the Government to understand the implications of the changes in quarantine settings for international students. 

Currently international students cannot travel into Australia without a travel exemption.

I’m in Australia now but I want to go home to see my family. Can I leave the country and then come back in early 2022?
We know many students in Adelaide are eager to visit family and friends back home.  
Before making any travel plans, it is important to refer to the Department of Home Affairs website for the latest information.  
Currently temporary visa holders, including student visa holders, can only enter Australia with a travel exemption.  
This means if you do leave Australia and this policy is still in place, you will not be able to return unless you have an exemption.  
Please contact your education institution for further advice around travel.
I am concerned about how students will be welcomed back to Adelaide. What can I expect?

South Australia has a rich history of promoting and encouraging a culture of inclusion and respect, and this has never been more important than right now. 

As always, your institution, StudyAdelaide and the South Australian government will do everything possible to support you during your time in South Australia.