In December 2021 a first step towards the reopening of the Australian borders had been taken. Indeed foreigners holding one of the 28 visas listed by the government and deemed to be a priority for economic recovery were allowed to enter the country. Since that date, people on Working Holiday Visas, international students or skilled workers can enter the country. On February 7, 2022, the government announced a reopening date for all visa holders, including tourists. Since July 2022, you do not need to prove your vaccination status to enter the country! Here is all the information on the current border situation and the conditions for entering the territory.
What visas are allowed to travel to Australia?
All visas are allowed to enter Australia at present.
Australia took a first step towards opening its borders on December 15, 2021. From this date, the country allowed holders of several visa categories to enter. Remember that previously, the country’s borders were closed to foreigners. Here is the list of people authorized to come to Australia since December 15, 2021.
Working Holiday Visa Makers (417 & 462) and Students (500)
WHV visas for all partner countries with Australia for the Working Holiday Program are authorized to enter Australia since December 2021. International students, skilled workers, refugees etc have also been authorized to enter Australia since December 2021.
List of authorised 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|
Source : HomeAffairs
What to do if my visa expired before the opening of borders?
WHV makers who were not able to enter Australia because of the closed borders will be able to lodge a new application free of charge. They will be able to have a new visa for free if they still under the age limit or will get a refund if they are over it. Please also note that the age limit will be increased to 35 years old for UK passport holders.
Travellers on working holiday visas who had to leave Australia early due to the pandemic will be eligible for a waiver, or a refund depending on their situation.
Refunds and waivers are available for current or expired WHV holders who are not able to travel to Australia because of travel restrictions.
Both Refunds and Waivers applications are available through the immigration website.
For more information, check out : WORKING HOLIDAY AUSTRALIA: Visa Waiver or refund announced by the government
Reimbursement of visas for students and WHV arriving until March / April 2022 in Australia
The federal government will grant a refund of visa fees to all students or backpackers arriving in Australia up to April 2022.
Student visa fees ($630) will be refunded for all those who arrived in Australia between January 19, 2022 and March 19, 2022. If this is your case, do not hesitate to apply for a refund.
Additionally, all backpackers with a Working Holiday Visa can get a full visa fee refund ($495). All those who arrive / have arrived in the country between January 19, 2022 and April 19, 2022 are concerned. Again, if you arrived during this period, do not hesitate to apply for a refund.
New Free of charge visa for those in Australia
People in WHV and who are in Australia can also benefit from a new visa free of charge. To be able to benefit from the free visa, it is necessary to be in Australia (Onshore application) and to have held a PVT before March 20, 2020. The visa application is made on the Australian immigration site.
Since February 21, 2022, all international tourists are allowed to enter the country. No exemption request is necessary. Tourists have represented a huge shortfall for the country and should thus help to revive the economy.
Conditions to enter Australia in September 2022
Since July 6, 2022, the majority of Australian border restrictions related to COVID-19 have been removed.
The Australian government will no longer require travellers to:
- Declare or prove their vaccination status when entering Australia.
- Submit a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD)
- Apply for travel exemptions to enter Australia (for non-Australians).
- Provide proof of their vaccination status when leaving Australia.
- All incoming travelers will be required to comply with the testing requirements of the relevant state or territory (if any).
- Airlines may also have specific vaccination, testing or mask-wearing requirements. All passengers are strongly encouraged to verify these requirements by contacting their airline or cruise line directly.
Vaccine rollout in Australia
The vaccination campaign in Australia have started on February 22, 2021.
Number of doses administered and vaccination rate in Australia
Access to vaccine
COVID-19 vaccination will be free for everyone living in Australia. The Government will offer free vaccines to all people living in Australia to achieve the maximum level of coverage, including to visa holders in Australia to ensure the maximum possible coverage in Australia. Which means that the vaccine will be accessible and free of charge for everyone in Australia (WHV makers, international students, tourists etc).
Approved vaccines in Australia
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
- AstraZeneca Covishield
- Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
- Moderna Spikevax
- Sinovac Coronavac
- Bharat Biotech Covaxin
- Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60 year olds)
- Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine
Where to get vaccinated?
Vaccines are available in hospitals, at GP clinics, General Practices, Pharmacists, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services, and state-run vaccination clinics.
Source : health.gov.au
Hello, just want to clarify something. I have not yet applied for my WHV. I’m currently in the UK. Am I able to apply at the moment, so that when borders hopefully re-open early 2022 (or sometime around then) I will be able to enter Australia as soon as possible? I thought I couldn’t even apply at the moment.
Yes you can apply, we didnt recommend to do it before now as the situation was quite uncertain. Things are moving at the moment and we are hopeful 2022 will see the reopening of borders! Oce your visa is approved you will have 1 year to enter the country. Processing times for 1st WHV are quite long atm :
75% of applications in 3 months
90% of applications in 7 months
i m a student from India joined for bachelores in an university in Australia, i have recieved my student visa subclass-500 a couple of weeks ago and is also vaccinated. so far is the chances for me to travel to Australia ,or will i be exepted with a valid student visa.
It is likely that students will be able to enter the country by the end of the year. However we do not have any date or information on the conditions to enter. PM will probably gives more information on the next cabinet meeting …
Hi, I turn 36 on the 20th July 2022, is the increased working holiday visa age for UK citizens likely come into effect before then. Currently it still stands at 30.
At this stage it is still 30. No date was communicated for the entry into force of the agreement so it is hard to answer you 🙁
Hi there, any new predictions, given the recent changes and achieved milestones? Would just be good to start some more reliable planning. Also, it seems that you still can’t apply for a WHV, at least not from Germany. Cheers Krischan
Borders of NSW will reopen in November 2021 allowing Australians and PR to travel in and out the country without requesting an exemption first. Students and skilled workers should be allowed to enter the country (under restrictions) by the end of 2021. Regarding tourists, WHV makers etc, it looks like they will be allowed in March 2022. At this stage, the PM didnt give any specific information but announced that they wanted to welcome international travel by mid 2022. Cheers
Hi, I am 60 years plus, will be 61 in mid August 2022 based in Sri Lanka, I have travelled many times to Australia with my wife to see both our children who are permanent residents of Australia.
I was vaccinated with Sinopharm 2 doses and 1 booster dose of pfizer in Dec 2021, and did travel to Australia in late January 2022 and returned in March 2022 to Sri Lanka.
Now wish to know, whether this requirement of another pfizer booster is required for me to travel to Australia to see my children.
I am still not passed 60, would appreciate the waiver of this additional booster vaccination requirement, moreover it is difficult to get the booster dose in Sri Lanka.
To enter Australia you are ‘only’ required to have 2 doses of approved vaccine (please check https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/approved-vaccines). Cheers