The University of Canberra welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government that all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel exemption.
We know this has been a challenging time for our students overseas due to the changes to international travel policies. We thank you for your patience and understanding, and especially for staying connected to UC.
This site will provide you with all the information you need regarding your return to Canberra. It will be regularly updated, so please make sure that you return regularly so that you are informed every step of the way.
Changes to international travel conditions for student visa holders
From 21 February 2022, fully vaccinated visa holders can return to Australia without seeking an exemption to travel. More details about the change in travel conditions, including full detail regarding pre-departure requirements, can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.
To be eligible for travel, travellers will need to:
be fully vaccinated with an Australian approved vaccine;
obtain a negative COVID-19 test within the specified timeframe prior to departure;
hold a valid Australian visa;
have a current passport; and
comply with all other conditions of entry into Australia, including completion of an Australian Travel Declaration at least 72 hours prior to departure.
Depending on the state or territory that you are travelling to, student visa holders may be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. In addition, each state and territory may have in place further conditions on your arrival, such as ongoing PCR testing.
It is important to monitor the relevant channels for health and travel requirements specific to your return.
International Return Subsidy
The University of Canberra is aware that there has been a significant impact on our international students as a result of Australian international border arrangements, and has introduced an International Return Subsidy (IRS) to provide some financial relief to our students who have been impacted by changing travel reservations, unanticipated quarantine expenses and testing requirements.
This subsidy is intended to provide support to international students to assist them to return to Canberra for the start of Semester One, 2022. Specifically, the subsidy will assist with covering increased flight costs (including costs associated with flight rescheduling due to the pause on resumption of travel for international student visa holders between 1 – 15 December 2021) and costs related to required quarantine/isolation after arrival should this be required.
The IRS is intended for all offshore international students who return to Australia, and who meet the following criteria:
- Arrive in Australia by census date Semester One, 2022 (4 March 2022).
- Enrolled at either UC or UC College for Semester One or Colt One, 2022.
- Have not previously departed Australia on or after 1 November 2021; and
- Have travelled on a one-way ticket.
There is no limit to the number of subsidies that will be paid, as all eligible students who apply and provide adequate evidence will be approved.
Please note, you will be eligible to apply for this subsidy if you arrange your own travel or participate in a UC-coordinated return pathway.
The subsidy is up to a maximum value of AUD$1,500 in total. The final total will depend on your individual costs but will not exceed AUD$1,500 regardless of your total expenses. The subsidy components and range are as follows:
- Airfares you can claim each dollar spent above AUD$1500
- Any flight rescheduling costs for flights booked for departure between 1 to 15 December
- Cost of accommodation for quarantine/isolation up to a total of AUD$500
The total value of a single subsidy will not be greater than AUD$1,500. For UC-coordinated pathway students, any costs paid by the University (e.g. accommodation) will be deducted from the maximum available subsidy.
As an example:
You booked a one-way flight to Sydney costing $2400. This flight was originally booked for 5 December and cost $300 to change. In addition, you booked a hotel room for three (3) nights in Sydney to undertake quarantine on arrival.
Based on the above situation you would be able to claim $900 for the flight, $300 for the flight change and $500 for quarantine. As the total of $1700 amount equals or exceeds the maximum IRS cap of $1,500 the student would be eligible for the maximum IRS of $1,500.
After an assessment by the International Student Return team, the subsidy will be applied as a credit on your student record toward your next study period fees. This means the amount of the subsidy will reduce your tuition fees by the same amount.
The subsidy is not a cash payment and will not be paid directly to you or into a bank account, except where you are in your final semester, and you will be able to apply for it as a refund.
Assessment of the amount will occur during Semester One and you will see this credit on your account no later than the commencement of Semester Two. If Semester One, 2022 is your final semester at UC, you can apply for a refund no sooner than the final day of that study period.
To apply for the subsidy, you must have returned to Australia.
After arriving in Australia, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org would like to apply for the subsidy. If you are eligible for the subsidy, you will be provided with an online application form for further assessment. You will be required to demonstrate evidence on the costs incurred including flight tickets, accommodation invoices and other relevant information. This should be translated to English (where possible).
You should apply after you arrive in Australia, have confirmed your Semester One, 2022 enrolment, and have your documents organised. All subsidies will be finalised before commencement of Semester Two, 2022. The deadline for IRS applications will be 31 March 2022.
You must pay the full amount of your student fees for Semester One, 2022. This is important to ensure that you continue to meet the conditions of your student visa. The subsidy will be applied as a deduction to your tuition fees for Semester Two, 2022.
No. You can only receive one of these forms of support. If you return to Australia on or prior to census date 4 March 2022 you are eligible to apply for the International Return Subsidy (subject to providing proof of expenses). If you remain overseas after census day for Semester One, 2022, you will be eligible for the 10% offshore online discount.
Travel to Canberra
In order to support students in making their travel arrangements back to Canberra, UC is offering financial support through the International Return Subsidy (outlined above). In addition, we have also partnered with Qantas to bring students special travel offers and discounts on international flights. More information about the offer available can be found via myUC.
All your accommodation advice and guidance is available on our website.
When you arrive in Canberra
Once back in Canberra we encourage you to reacquaint yourself with the city and familiarise yourself with campus. A great way of thinking ahead is to speak to your Faculty about your enrolment for the upcoming and subsequent semesters.
You can request a new study plan and/or ask specific questions by emailing the Student Centre.
If you are a continuing student who has not been able to travel to Australia, you may want to sign up to the UC Thrive Student Mentor program.