Published: 22nd November 2021
On the road to post-COVID normalcy, Australia opens borders for international students, skilled workers
The international student market was a significant source of income for the country, which is looking to accelerate economic recovery
With 85% of its population inoculated against COVID-19, Australia is on the road to recovery. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday announced that his government will allow international students and skilled workers to enter the country from December to accelerate the economic recovery from the pandemic.
"From the first of December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to come to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption," Morrison told reporters. This applies specifically to international students, skilled migrants and refugees who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and test negative within 72 hours of departure. Priority will be given to skilled workers in order to fill vacancies, said the government.
According to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, in the last two years before the pandemic, Australia had averaged about 110,000 skilled migrants each year, while the international student market was a significant source of income for the country.
Morrison said, "The return of skilled workers and students to Australia is a major milestone in our pathway back, it's a major milestone about what Australians have been able to achieve and enabled us to do," reports Xinhua news agency.
Australia's borders will also open to all fully vaccinated travellers from Japan and South Korea on December 1. All arrivals must comply with quarantine requirements in the state or territory they arrive in.
The Treasurer said the move to reopen borders to migrants would "accelerate our economic recovery by helping to address shortages in our labour market and allow businesses to expand and grow with confidence."