Frequently asked questions

Latest information

This information is for international students, education providers and agents regarding the return of international students to Sydney and NSW.

1. Will international students need to quarantine when travelling to NSW?

Arriving international students are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival in Australia.


2. Do I need to self-isolate upon arrival in NSW?

From 6 July 2022, you are NOT required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in NSW.

NSW Health recommends that you monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19 after arrival. If you develop symptoms, get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate until you receive a negative result. A PCR test is preferred if you have symptoms


3. What pre-departure COVID-19 test can I take before travelling to NSW?

From 18 April 2022, travellers to Australia are NO longer needed to undertake a COVID-19 pre-departure test before boarding their flight. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the requirements of the airline you are travelling with and any countries you transit through.


4. Is it compulsory for international students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to their travel to NSW?

From 6 July 2022, international travellers including students are NO longer required to provide evidence of their vaccination status to travel to  Australia.

Read more about the Australian government’s travel requirements for your travel to Australia here


5. How do I get tested for COVID-19?

There are different tests you can get to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).

A rapid antigen test is a quick way to detect COVID-19. A PCR Test is a nose and throat swab that is taken at a testing clinic and sent to a lab to be tested.

You should do a rapid antigen test:

  • if you have symptoms
  • if you are a household, social, workplace or education contact of a positive case
  • before attending an event, before visiting vulnerable family members
  • if you are a worker, resident, patient, or client in a high-risk setting where there is a current confirmed outbreak
  • before going into hospital for a procedure if this is requested by the hospital
  • If you recently arrived in NSW from overseas

Most people can now use a rapid antigen test result to confirm they are positive for COVID-19. You should only use a self-test kit that has been approved by the TGA.

Read the NSW Health advice on getting tested for COVID-19.


6. Can I use any rapid antigen test kit when testing for COVID-19?

The Australian Government's regulatory agency, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), oversees the conditions of supply for rapid antigen test (RATs) kits.

For your own safety you should only use a self-test kit that has been approved by the TGA. The TGA website has a list of all home use tests approved by the TGA, along with a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions for each test.

A consumer fact sheet is available on the TGA website. More detailed information on rapid antigen self-tests can be found on the TGA website.

When travelling from overseas, it is recommended that you pack rapid antigen kits so you can easily access them for testing within 24 hours of arrival in NSW.


7. If I test positive to COVID-19 in Australia, what happens? 

If you test positive from your rapid antigen testing, you should

  • self-isolate for 7 days from the date of the positive rapid antigen test even if you are fully vaccinated. More information about rapid antigen testing is available here.
  • not enter high risk settings (aged care, disability care, healthcare, and correctional facilities).
  • report your positive result. Clear step-by-step instructions on how to register a positive RAT result are available on the Service NSW website. Please note a penalty of $1,000 will apply if you fail to register a positive rapid antigen test result.

Contact your Local Health District clinical team, your doctor, or call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 if you need health advice. In an emergency call Triple Zero (000), for example if you are having trouble breathing or pain in your chest.

Visit the NSW Health website for further information.


8. I have been exposed to a COVID-19 case. What should I do? 

Close contacts (defined as a household contact or an individual deemed by NSW Health to be a close contact) of people who are COVID-19 positive will NOT have to isolate, if they have NO symptoms. Close contacts must comply with NSW Health household and close contact guidelines


9. When can international students travel to Sydney and NSW?

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From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated international students can travel to Sydney and NSW without requiring a travel exemption.


10. Will international students be able to commence on-campus learning?

Education institutions supporting the return of international students will resume on-campus learning with COVID-safe arrangements in accordance with the National COVID-19 Transition Plan agreed by National Cabinet, including tutorials, workshops, libraries, and practical requirements. International students should contact their education provider directly about on-campus learning arrangements.


11. I am an international student currently in NSW. Can I travel to my home country and then re-enter Australia?

There is no approval required for visa holders to travel outside Australia. We advise, however, that you check your destination’s border and COVID-19 related restrictions for smoother travel. Please also consider the requirements when travelling to NSW from overseas including pre-departure and arrival information for international students. Keep an eye on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs for guidance on your planned travel to Sydney and NSW.


12. Can I transit via NSW or travel to other states in Australia?

While you are generally allowed to travel interstate, you must ensure that you meet the entry requirements of your destination state. Please see advice for interstate travel to and from NSW.

Check the state government website for your destination before you travel as you may need an entry permit or to get tested. If you are travelling interstate, and the state or territory you plan to visit has testing entry requirements, get tested near your home before you leave. More information about leaving NSW to go interstate is available here.


13. If my vaccine isn’t recognised by the TGA but is so in my home country, can I travel to Sydney and NSW?

From 6 July 2022, travellers to Australia no longer need to provide evidence of vaccination status, nor have a travel exemption if they are unvaccinated.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website to stay up to date with travel requirements to Australia.


14. What happens if I do not comply with the health guidelines?

Not following the guidelines set by NSW Health for recent fully vaccinated arrivals puts family, friends and community at risk.

It is an offence not to comply with a Public Health Order. Penalties can apply to individuals and corporations. Additional on the spot fines can also apply.Shape


15. Can international students and their families remain confident that they stay safe and protected from COVID-19 once they recommence their studies in NSW?

Australia is focused on minimising the risks of COVID-19, which means that international students can be more confident of a safe experience in NSW than just about anywhere else in the world. As at 7 July 2022, 96.6% percent of the NSW population aged 16 and over was fully vaccinated.


16. How can international students and the sector stay informed about travel to Sydney and NSW?

Study NSW will ensure international students have easy, fast-tracked access to information, support and services at every stage of their safe travel to NSW. Clear and accurate information will be provided to international students through their education provider and via the Study NSW website and mailing list.


17. I don’t have a valid student visa, how do I apply for one?

You will need a Student Visa (Subclass 500) whether you are starting your studies online or  travelling to Sydney and NSW for in-person learning. If you are applying for a student visa, there are steps and entry requirements that you will need to consider.

Study Australia’s student visa step-by-step guide and entry requirements and FAQs will help you understand how to apply for one.