• Elan Rysher

Australia Welcomes Back Skilled Workers, Students and Other Visa Holders From 1 December

Updated: 7 days ago

After 20 months of travel restrictions, Australia will reopen on 1 December to eligible visa holders who are fully vaccinated. Eligible visa holders include skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, working holiday and provisional family visa holders. This highly anticipated change brings relief to temporary visa holders onshore and outside Australia.

In a media statement Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said that "the return of skilled workers and international students to Australia will further cement our economic recovery, providing the valuable workers our economy needs and supporting our important education sector."


Travel to Australia will be allowed without needing to apply for a travel exemption. Under these arrangements, travellers must:

  • Be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

  • Hold a valid visa for one of the eligible visa subclasses (see list below)

  • Provide proof of their vaccination status

  • Present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within three days of departure

  • Complete an Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before their flight

Eligible visas

Subclass 200 – Refugee visa

Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa

Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa

Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa

Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa

Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa

Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa

Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)

Subclass 407 – Training visa

Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa

Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa

Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa

Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa

Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship 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

Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants)

Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa

Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa

Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa

Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa

Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa


Travellers to Australia must comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territory of their arrival, and any other state or territory to which they plan to travel.


Notably, Visitor visas are missing form the list and so are Bridging visas B. The Department of Home Affairs have said that additional visa subclasses may be added over time. People who do not hold an eligible visa or who are not fully vaccinated may be permitted to enter Australia, subject to the travel exemptions requirements currently in place.


Japan and South Korea Travel Bubble

From 1 December 2021, Australia will also welcome back fully vaccinated citizens from Japan and South Korea. Citizens of these countries who hold a valid Australian visa will be able to travel from their home country quarantine-free to participating states and territories, without needing to seek a travel exemption. Under these arrangements, travellers must:

  • Depart from their home country

  • Be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by the TGA

  • Hold a valid Australian visa

  • Provide proof of their vaccination status

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of departure.

  • Complete an Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before their flight


For more information please Contact Us or email elan@ryshermigration.com.au

Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.

Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.



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