Australian Government announces further steps to reopen Australia and secure economic recovery

What is the new announcement?

As of December first, 2021, Australia will begin to continue taking further steps to safely reopen with additional changes to our international border arrangements. These changes follow the National Plan to safely reopen Australia, which was designed to ensure protection of the health of Australians, while ensuring that families will be reunited and aiding the security of our economic recovery. This announcement follows the changes made from November first that welcomed back fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members. Skilled workers and international students are highly valuable to the Australian economic recovery, providing workers the Australian economy needs and supporting the education sector.

This will be offered without the need of travel exemptions to the following (see below a full list of eligible subclasses)

  • Skilled and student visas
  • Humanitarian visas
  • Working holiday maker
  • Provisional family visa holders

Eligible Subclasses:

Subclass 200refugee visa
Subclass 201in country special humanitarian visa
Subclass 202Global Special Humanitarian Visa
Subclass 203Emergency Refugee Visa
Subclass 204Women at Risk Visa
Subclass 300Prospective Marriage Visa
Subclass 400Temporary Work (short stay specialist) Visa
Subclass 403Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream) 
Subclass 407Training Visa
Subclass 408Temporary Activity Visa
Subclass 417Working Holiday Visa
Subclass 449Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa
Subclass 457Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa
Subclass 461New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa
Subclass 462Work and Holiday Visa
Subclass 476Skilled (Recognised Graduate) Visa
Subclass 482Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
Subclass 485Temporary Graduate visa
Subclass 489Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa
Subclass 491Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 494Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa
Subclass 500Student visa
Subclass 580Student Guardian Visa (Closed to new applicants)
Subclass 590Student Guardian visa
Subclass 785Temporary Protection Visa
Subclass 790Safe Haven Enterprise visa
Subclass 870Sponsored Parent (temporary) Visa
Subclass 988Maritime Crew visa


Eligible visa holders will need to comply with the requirements below:

  • Full vaccinated status with the completed dosage of a recognised vaccine approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), with the ability to provide proof of vaccination status.
  • Departure is from their home country
  • Currently hold a valid visa for one of the eligible subclasses
  • Provide a negative Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within 3 days of departure/arrival.
  • Depending on the state/territory of entry. Travellers must comply with the individual quarantine and any other requirements.

From 1 December 2021, Australia will also reopen international boarders to welcome back fully vaccinated citizens from Japan and the Republic of Korea, who hold a valid Australian visa to travel quarantine-free to the participating states and territories, without needing to seek a travel exemption.

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