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Australia Will Reopen to Eligible Visa Holders, Including Skilled Migrants and International Student

Here's some welcome news for students looking for an update on Australia's international borders. Australia will reopen its borders as planned on December 15 to eligible visa holders, including international students and skilled migrants, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said today.

Hunt told reporters on Monday the reopening was on track to proceed when asked about the timeline. Yeah, we're on track for that - it was reconfirmed over the weekend, he said. The reopening is scheduled - to be continued in consultation with the prime minister, National Cabinet discussions, and advice from the chief medical officer.

Australia's international borders
Australia's international borders

On 29 November, the federal government announced that it would delay the reopening of Australia's borders from 1 December to 15 December following concerns over the Omikron variant of COVID-19. Australia's Minister of Trade and Tourism Dan Tehan said last week regarding the renewal of Australia's international borders that reopening would take place on 15 December.

Hunt, however, previously refrained from providing any assurances that Australia would reopen its borders to international students and visa holders by mid-December.

Australia International Borders Update

According to SBS News, Australia's international border update includes that from 15 December, the border is expected to reopen to international student and skilled visa holders, as well as temporary humanitarian, working holiday, and family visa holders.

The easing of restrictions means fully vaccinated visa holders are no longer required to obtain an exemption from traveling to the country, he said.

According to Sky News Australia, Australia's reopening on Wednesday will also apply to international students, eligible visa holders, and tourists from Japan and South Korea. Morrison confirmed the "encouraging" news during a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday.

Borders will reopen both to Korea and Japan and to skilled migration and for students as we conclude the pause we announced a few weeks ago, he said. This is possible because Korea and Australia both share the experience of COVID-19.

Despite Australian borders being closed, around 250 international students returned to Australia under the New South Wales International Student Arrival Plan on 6 December.

Students from the pilot program include from more than 15 countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Canada. A second flight carrying students is scheduled to arrive in Sydney on 24 December.

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