Welcoming international students back to Sydney

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Last updated: 30 November


Fully vaccinated international students with eligible visas can travel to Sydney from 15 December without having to apply for an exemption. 

UNSW is incredibly excited about this Australian Government announcement, and we cannot wait to welcome you to our beautiful, sunny Sydney!

We are planning our biggest Term 1 Orientation Week celebration to help all students reconnect. If you are unable to travel to Sydney by then, don’t worry, we’ll provide you with the digital support you need.

The Australian Government has also recently announced further support for international students with extensions and flexibility to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). With UNSW #1 for full-time graduate employment out of the Sydney-based Go8 universities*, there is no better time to start your future with 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 1, 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

Fully vaccinated international students with eligible visas can travel to Sydney from 15 December without having to apply for an exemption. 

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 vary and when you can jump on a plane will be dependent on receiving your visa first. 

If you cannot arrive in Sydney by the start of Term 1, 2022, we will make provisions for online learning to be available until you can join us on campus. 

We encourage you to focus on your application to UNSW, accept your offer and enrol as soon as possible to begin your student visa application process. Your student visa is essential for travel to Australia. 

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 question below for 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 the most up-to-date information on entry requirements, visit the Australian Government website.

Our expectation is that from Term 1 we will see a return to the vibrant UNSW campus experience with both local and international students reconnecting and making new friends. 

While we are excited to connect in person very soon, we also remain conscious that it will take some time for all international students to arrive. For anyone who can’t be in Sydney at the beginning of Term 1, we will make provisions for online learning to be available throughout the term, and for as long as possible thereafter. We are working to ensure your virtual learning experience is as enriching, interactive and connected as possible and that you will be able to integrate smoothly to face to face learning as soon as you arrive.  

We also offer entry points at the beginning of Term 2 and Term 3 and expect to welcome new and returning students at the beginning of each term and indeed every week throughout 2022.

Yes. You will be required to provide proof of vaccination with a TGA-approved vaccine. The current list of approved or recognised vaccines include:

  • AstraZeneca (VAXZEVRIA),
  • AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India (COVISHIELD)
  • BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm)
  • Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)
  • Janssen-Cilag (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Moderna (SPIKEVAX)
  • Pfizer (COMIRNATY)
  • Sinovac (CORONAVAC) 

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.

We will keep you informed on announcements for future international students. We recommend you also bookmark the Study NSW website for the latest travel advice. We strongly recommend you start your studies online so you can stay on track with your goals and get prepared for travelling to Sydney.

For the most up-to-date information on entry requirements for Sydney, self-isolation and/or quarantine, visit the Study NSW website.

No. 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 further support for international students' flexibility to the post-study work visa, Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). 

  • Your time spent studying from home 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. 

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