Pre-departure and arrival information

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

Latest information as at 12 May 2022

International travellers to Australia are no longer required to undertake a COVID-19 test prior to their scheduled travel. It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure you meet the requirements of the airline you are travelling with and any countries you transit through.

Check to see if you meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated for international travel purposes then follow the steps on the Home Affairs website for entering and trans​​iting Australia.

If you are not fully vaccinated for international travel purposes, follow the steps on the Home Affairs website.

We are delighted to be welcoming you back to New South Wales (NSW). To help you prepare for your return, please use this checklist to ensure you have all the relevant information and documents required. Plan ahead and please read carefully to ensure you have a safe and smooth journey and transition back to NSW community.

Your checklist

Step 1 (Mandatory)

Ensure your passport and student visa for Australia are valid

Check that your passport is valid for at least six months prior to your arrival in Australia.

All international students must ensure that their student visa for Australia is valid.

Please visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for information. Apply for your visa at least six weeks before your course starts.

Complete as soon as possible.


Step 2 (Mandatory)

Ensure your vaccination certificate meets Australia's requirements

All international passengers including international students travelling to Australia must comply with Australian Government entry requirements.

Check to see if you meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. 

Read more about the Australian government’s advice for:

You must present your COVID-19 vaccination certificate to the airline or vessel staff when checking-in for your travel and you may also be required to show your certificate on arrival at the Australian border.

You must be fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine.

To provide evidence of vaccination, traveling students must follow the Australian government’s guidance on foreign vaccination certificates.

Travellers vaccinated outside Australia must present certificates that meet the following criteria:

  • 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 or national identity number**

- the vaccine brand name, and

- the date of each dose or the date on which a full course of immunisation was completed.

*If the name on the vaccination certificate differs from the name on the passport, the traveller must show evidence of being the vaccination certificate’s rightful holder, such as a driver’s licence or marriage certificate. 

**If a certificate contains only a national identity number, and if that number does not appear in the traveller’s passport, the traveller must show a national identity card that matches the identity number and name on the vaccination certificate. 

Paper and digital certificates are equally acceptable.

If you do not meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated for international travel purposes, you may be considered for an individual travel exemption. Learn more about the Australian government’s travel exemption process to enter Australia, including applying online and the Commissioner’s guidelines for more information.Shape


Step 3 (Mandatory)

Submit Digital Passenger Declaration online

You must submit your Digital Passenger Declaration online with a copy of your vaccination certificate before your flight.

All passengers arriving by air into Australia should complete the DPD. You can start your DPD seven days before your flight and submit it within 72 hours before your departure for Australia. This is because you must provide your health information and declaration (vaccination status and COVID-19 test result) within 72 hours before your flight.


Step 4 (Mandatory)

Verify vaccination certificate at airport

Before boarding, the airline staff will check that your vaccination status is valid for travel to Australia.

Please have a printout of your vaccination certificate ready to prove that you are vaccinated.

The certificate must meet Australian Government requirements (see step 2).

Complete at flight check-in.


Step 5 (Recommended)

Organise your accommodation in Sydney

It is best to book short-term accommodation before you arrive in Australia and look for longer-term options when you arrive. This allows you time to explore the neighbourhoods and view the properties and can help you choose an accommodation option that best suits you. Temporary accommodation includes budget hostels and hotels.

Study NSW has a list of student accommodation options in Sydney and regional NSW.

In compliance with visa condition 8533 on your student visa grant, you must let your education provider know your residential address within seven (7) days of arriving in Australia. If your residential address changes you must let your education provider know within 7 days of the change.

Complete two weeks before departure.


Step 6 (Recommended)

Organise your transport from Sydney Airport

Please contact your education provider for transfer options or visit the Sydney Airport website.

You must travel directly from the airport to your home or accommodation and self-isolate until you receive a negative result from your rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of your arrival in NSW.

When travelling home or to your accommodation, it is recommended that you travel in a private vehicle, taxi or ride-share. Please do not use public transport. Make sure you:

  • wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times
  • sit as far away from the driver or other passengers as possible
  • maximise the flow of fresh air  by opening windows
  • sanitise your hands before you get into the vehicle and after you alight from the vehicle

Step 7 (Mandatory)

Obtain a COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 24 hours of arrival into NSW

You must take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of arriving in NSW and isolate until you receive a negative result.

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

  • follow the advice for people testing positive for COVID-19
  • 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.

You must not visit high-risk places for at least 7 days after arrival. High-risk places include aged care, disability care, healthcare and correctional facilities. You must not visit these places unless you are seeking personal care, or are a resident of a facility. A negative rapid antigen test in the 24 hours prior to visiting the facility is strongly recommended. Please check with the facility before visiting.Shape


Step 8 (Recommended)

Add proof of your COVID-19 vaccination to Service NSW app

If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you can still add your COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service NSW App by using the Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) service through myGov. This means you can quickly check in and show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination wherever it’s required.

Read more about adding your proof of COVID-19 vaccination to Service NSW App here.

More help in getting proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations online is available here. Translated versions are also available here.

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.