Welcoming international students back to Sydney

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Last updated: 8 April

Fully vaccinated international students with eligible visas can now travel to Sydney without having to apply for an exemption. UNSW is incredibly excited, and we cannot wait to welcome you to our beautiful campuses and sunny Sydney!

We believe in the important role of on-campus teaching and learning, and the many advantages of our community coming together. We plan to offer as many face-to-face classes as possible in Term 2 and 3 2022, while also offering online classes for our students who cannot yet join us on campus. We are looking forward to seeing you!

When it is time to travel, our International Student Concierge service is here to help you with pre-departure, Sydney entry requirements, accommodation, airport transport and warmly welcome you to UNSW.

Advice for future students

Stay up to date with information from UNSW
We will communicate the latest information on this webpage and via email. 
We also recommend you regularly visit the Study NSW website.

Don’t delay your studies
Apply to UNSW with your agent, or directly onlineEven if you can’t travel before the start of Term 2 and 3 2022, start studying from home and get prepared. We will continue to deliver our world-class education online until you can travel to Sydney.

Apply for your student visa as soon as possible
Once you have enrolled at UNSW and received your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), start your student visa application immediately. We recommend you apply early even if you begin your studies online because visa processing times vary.

Get excited!
We are! We cannot wait to welcome you to our vibrant campuses. Our beautiful city of Sydney is welcoming and safe, with our state close to 95% fully vaccinated. Be assured that your safety and wellbeing is our number 1 priority, and we’re excited to see you in 2022!

Frequently asked questions

It is important to submit your application to UNSW, accept your offer and enrol as soon as possible. Once you have enrolled, you will receive your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for your student visa application. Application processing times for Australian student visas vary from country to country and you will need a valid visa before you can travel to Sydney.  

 Our advice is to ensure you also meet the requirements for entry to Sydney.  

  • Be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). You are considered fully vaccinated from seven days following your second vaccination. See frequently asked questions below for a list of vaccines.   
  • Hold a valid student visa
  • Provide proof of your vaccination status  
  • Present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within three days of departure.  

For more information on pre-departure and arrival, please visit the Study NSW website

UNSW is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in NSW and the ACT and following the latest public health advice. Recent reports suggest that we're reaching the peak in infection numbers and expect to see a reduction in cases over the coming weeks. With very strong rates of vaccination rates in Sydney, we're looking forward to safely returning as much face-to-face teaching as possible in 2022.

Large lectures and assessments will continue to be delivered online, but we aim to provide options for face-to-face tutorials, labs and fieldwork outings.

For anyone who can’t be on campus at the beginning of Term 2 and 3, we will make provisions for online learning to be available. We are committed to making your virtual learning experience as enriching, interactive and connected as possible, ensuring you'll can transition smoothly to face to face learning as soon as you join us in Sydney.

Throughout 2022, our International Student Concierge service will be open providing airport pickup services and all the help and guidance you will need upon arrival to Sydney.

Yes. You will be required to provide proof of vaccination with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccine.

Current approved and recognised vaccines and dosages accepted for travel are:

Two doses at least 14 days apart of:

  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • AstraZeneca COVISHIELD
  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Moderna (Spikevax or Takeda)
  • Sinovac Coronavac
  • Bharat Covaxin
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia)
  • Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V
  • Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid

Or one dose of:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.


Seven days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA. 

You can present a vaccination certificate in a format that meets the following: 

  • Issued by a national or state/provincial-level authority or an accredited vaccination provider 
  • Written in English or accompanied by a certified translation 
  • Containing at a minimum: 
    • name as it appears in the traveller's passport 
    • either date of birth or passport number 
    • the vaccine brand name, and 
    • the date of each dose or the date on which a full course of immunisation was completed. 

Information on vaccination certificates is available on the Australian Passport Office website

Yes, you can start your studies online. In most cases, you will find your compulsory core courses online, and you will have a choice of elective courses.

Some courses require specialist equipment or meeting standards for external accreditation and must be studied in person. If your program includes these courses, your graduation may be delayed.

To find programs and courses that require attendance in person, view the 2022 timetable. For more information, contact the Nucleus: Student Hub.

Yes. We encourage you to apply for your student visa as soon as possible to ensure you are ready when it’s time to travel. Plus, with a valid visa, your time spent studying with us from home will count toward your eligibility for the post-study working visa (485 Temporary Graduate visa).

You don’t have to submit a separate application for studying outside of Australia unless you plan to reduce your study load. If you cannot enrol in 48 units of credit (UOC) for the year, you will need to apply for a reduced study load. For example, if you’re only going to complete 6UOC in Term 1, you would apply for a reduced study load.

Fully vaccinated international travellers arriving in Sydney will be required to get a PCR test within 24 hours after arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result. They will no longer be required to self-isolate for the full 72 hours. For more pre-departure and arrival information, visit the Study NSW website.

Only book flights when you: 

  • are fully enrolled with UNSW
  • have received an Australian student visa
  • have met other Australian Government requirements that are yet to be announced

As the other Australian Government requirements are not yet fully known, we will keep you informed of any new information.

The Australian Government has also recently announced changes to Australia’s post study work visa, the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). 

This means:

  • Your time spent studying from your home country due to border restrictions will count toward eligibility for the Temporary Graduate Visa 
  • The Temporary Graduate Visa length of stay has increased from two to three years for graduates of master’s programs
  • Visas will be extended for graduates who were outside of Australia at any time between 1st February 2020 and 14th December 2021 while they held a valid Temporary Graduate visa