December 14, 2021

Australia opens its borders to fully vaccinated students and travellers

After a brief pause, Australia is re-opening its borders to fully vaccinated student visa holders and travellers from 15 December 2021.  Eligible visa holders can now travel to Australia without applying for a travel exemption. After almost two years of border restriction, the Australian government has finally decided to lift the restriction.

Whom does Australia consider fully vaccinated?

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have completed a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccine course. Current vaccines and dosages accepted for the purposes of travel are:

Two doses at least 14 days apart of:

  • AstraZeneca Covishield
  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Moderna Spikevax
  • Sinovac Coronavac
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60-year-olds).

Or one dose of:

  • Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.

To be considered fully vaccinated, at least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in the course of immunisation. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA. You can find up-to-date information on approved and recognised vaccines on the TGA Website.

If you have not been vaccinated with the above doses or schedule, you do not meet Australia’s definition of ‘fully vaccinated.’

Who are eligible visa holders?

If you hold one of the below-mentioned visas, you are an eligible visa holder-

Subclass 163 – State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa
Subclass 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa
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 402 – Training and Research visa
Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)
Subclass 405 – Investor Retirement visa
Subclass 407 – Training visa
Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa
Subclass 410 – Retirement 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 487 – Skilled – Regional Sponsored 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 560 – Student Temporary Visa
Subclass 571 – Student Schools Sector Visa
Subclass 572 – Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa
Subclass 573 – Higher Education Sector Visa
Subclass 574 – Postgraduate Research Sector Visa
Subclass 575 – Non-Award Sector Visa
Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa
Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa
Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa
Subclass 786 – Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa
Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa
Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
Subclass 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa
Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa

This list of visas is an addition to previously exempted visa categories on travel restrictions. The other eligible visas are


Different states and territories have different quarantine requirements, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet these requirements.

You can find more information on quarantine arrangements on the State and Territory Information for travellers website. 


Travel restrictions are now in place for people who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days.

Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members entering Australia who have been in any of these countries in the last 14 days must enter supervised quarantine for 14 days in line with state and territory requirements. This is regardless of vaccination status.

Any other travellers who have been in these countries in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia. This applies even if they hold a travel exemption, eligible visa or are seeking to enter under a safe travel zone arrangement.



If you are an international student willing to travel to Nepal or other destinations outside Australia, you can travel from 15 December 2021. Australia is opening its borders to fully vaccinated student visa holders and travellers from this date. 

If you have an eligible visa, you can come to Australia from 15 December 2021. Remember, the quarantine rules still apply in certain states and territories. 

Yes, your spouse can travel to Australia from 15 December 2021 provided they are fully vaccinated as per the TGA Website.

You need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before or after arriving in Australia, depending on the state you arrive at. For example, if you are travelling to NSW, you must have a COVID-19 nose and throat PCR test no more than 3 days before the scheduled departure time of your flight (or your first flight, if you have one or more connecting flights booked for your travel to Australia).

You can check the full state and territory requirements from the official government website.

Quarantine requirements in Australia are determined by State and Territory governments. The restrictions may change at short notice. 

You can check the full state and territory requirements from the official government website.

At this time, the government is allowing only certain visa holders to travel to Australia, Unfortunately, tourist visa does not fall under this category. You can find the full visa list here.

You need to apply for a travel exemption to bring your parents to Australia. The exemptions are currently granted for parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents only.

Do you want to discuss your travel options?