Returning to Australia
Information for Returning International Students
We have compiled the guide below which contains important information for international students planning to return to Australia. Please read the information below carefully as it will help support your journey back to Australia.
We recommend you also refer to the Study NSW website, as they have also put together a comprehensive list for students returning to NSW, which can be found here.
View Frequently Asked Questions here.
Before Travelling to Australia
Passport and Visa
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months before you arrive in Sydney, Australia. Please also ensure that your student visa is valid.
If you’re an international student planning to study in Australia, you must obtain a student visa from an Australian Diplomatic Mission in your home country before travelling to Australia.
You will require the following documentation from SIBT before you can apply for a visa:
- Letters of Offer from SIBT and the University
- Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) from SIBT and the University after the respective fees and charges have been paid
Visit the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website for further information on student visa applications and obtaining student visa application forms.
Only fully vaccinated students are allowed to travel to Australia. You must be vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccine. Please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for further details.
Submit Australian Travel Declaration Online
In addition to your vaccination certificate, you must also submit your Australian Travel Declaration online before your flight. This should be completed 72 hours before you depart. Your vaccination certificate will be checked by airline staff, along with your COVID-19 test results.
Obtain Negative COVID-19 PCR Test
Before you depart, you must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. The supervised laboratory test is done using a respiratory sample or saliva. Accepted tests include Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), otherwise reported as RT-PCR or PCR. The test must be done within 3 days before your departure.
Use this checklist to make sure you have all the documents you need:
- Airline tickets and a valid passport with student visa.
- SIBT's letter of offer with your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).
- Vaccination proof
- Negative COVID-19 PCR test
- Receipts of any related payments you have made including tuition fees, health cover, etc.
- Original or certified copies of your academic transcript.
- English translation of prescriptions for any medications you are carrying.
- Personal identification such as driver's licence or identity card, including English translation.
As you’ll be arriving in Sydney during our Summer season, the housing market may be competitive, and we therefore recommend looking into accommodation before you arrive. Consider short-term stays whilst you look for something more permanent when you land. There are a variety of accommodation options to choose from, whether it’d be complete apartments to single rooms. Rental is paid weekly and can range from A$320 - A$540 per week, which will cover costs such as electricity and phones. You must contact accommodation providers directly to make a booking.
Find out more about accommodation options by clicking here. Study NSW have also provided additional information, including emergency accommodation for international students and options for those facing hardship, which can be viewed here.
Upon Arrival to Australia
We advise checking the NSW Government website to see all the rules for fully vaccinated people in NSW, which can be found here.
Once you’ve arrived at Sydney International Airport, you’ll have a variety of transportation options to take you to your next destination including taxis, trains and buses.
If you’re hopping on the train at Sydney International Airport Station, you can catch the train and head south-west to Macarthur Station with stops along the way, or to Central Station which is the connecting point for all Sydney train lines. You will need to purchase an adult Opal single trip ticket, which will cost approximately $18.79 to Central Station. Please note that international students are not eligible for student concession tickets.
To purchase an Opal card, which will let you travel all around Sydney instead of being single use, you can visit a retailer at the airport. Having an Opal card, instead of an Opal ticket, is very handy to have when using public transport across Sydney. Opal cards can also be used on buses, light rail, and ferries across Sydney. There are Opal card readers where you will need to tap on when you board and tap off at your destination. You can also use your credit card, debit card or a linked device using contactless payments.
You can visit the Transport for NSW website to plan your trip from Sydney International Airport Station to your destination. You will also be able to view the fares associated with your trip.
Taxis are available at the taxi rank. There are supervisors on hand who can guide you to an available taxi or offer any additional assistance.
If you’re heading to the SIBT campus, we’re only a few minutes’ walk away from Museum Station. If you’re catching the train, hop off at Museum Station and follow the Bathurst Street exit sign. As you walk through the tunnel, you will see escalators to your left. Go up the escalators and then walk straight to our campus at 255 Elizabeth Street.
COVID-19 - RAT Test
Within 24 hours of your arrival, you will need to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). You will need to isolate until you receive a negative result. A follow-up RAT test is then required on day 6 after arrival.
If you test positive with a PCR or rapid antigen test, you must:
- Isolate immediately for 7 days. Your household must also isolate for 7 days. If you have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath after 7 days, please remain in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved.
- Tell people who you spent time with from the 2 days before you started having symptoms or 2 days before you tested positive (whichever came first) that you have COVID-19. This includes your social contacts, workplace and/or school.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you are concerned you should call your GP, the NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933 or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If symptoms become severe call 000.
Please refer to the NSW Health website for up-to-date information.
Service NSW App
You will need to download the Service NSW app to your phone, as you are required to check-in at venues, such as shopping centres and restaurants, before you can enter. You can also add your proof of vaccination to the app using myGov. Click here to find out more details on adding your vaccination proof to the Service NSW app.
You must wear a face mask in the following areas:
- public transport waiting area and on public transport
- in all indoor public settings
- on aircrafts flying above NSW and at the airport
For up-to-date rules on marks and other requirements visit the NSW Government website, found here.
We are located in the heart of Sydney, a diverse city in NSW. Sydney is one of the safest places for international students to live and study, with restrictions having eased up in NSW and over 90% of those aged 16+ fully vaccinated.
There are many things to do in Sydney, including going to parks for a walk, being entertained at festivals like Chinese New Year, tasting a variety of international cuisines, discovering beaches and visiting iconic places like the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach.
Click here to learn more about Sydney.
The Australian Government estimates students need at least A$21,041 per year to cover living expenses, which will vary from individual to individual. This estimate covers expenses such as groceries, accommodation, entertainment, and public transport, which can be viewed here.
Working in Australia
If you’re in Australia to study on a student visa, you will already have permission to work included with your visa. You can work a maximum of 20 hours a week during the semester and unlimited hours during semester breaks. To support international students during this time, there is currently a relaxation on the restrictions of hours students can work, with the ability to work more than 20 hours a week in some sectors. More information can be found on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website here.
Australia is facing a skill shortages in retail, hospitality and other sectors, making it the ideal time to be applying for part-time work. You can use job boards like Seek and Indeed to find jobs or go directly to a business. Ensure that you have a resume and cover letter, which will be required with your job applications. Our student support team can assist with this.
Please note: Australia has strict rules to ensure that employees are being paid and treated fairly, while working under safe conditions. For further information on working in Australia, visit DIBP's website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.
International Students under 18
International students under 18 years of age must either:
- live with a parent, legal guardian or person aged over 21 years who is nominated by your parent (or legal guardian), or;
- provide evidence of guardianship arrangements.
Guardianship arrangements can be made through an acceptable SIBT homestay organisation, which involves living with an Australian family in your own furnished bedroom.
Please note: If you are under 18 years of age and do not live with a parent, legal guardian or person nominated by your parents, you must consult SIBT's Student Services manager prior to changing your accommodation or other welfare arrangements. This is a requirement of the Australian Government.
International Student Protection Act (ESOS)
A governance framework has been created by the Australian Government to protect international students during their studies in Australia. It's called the ESOS Frameworkwhich you can read more about here.
Upon Arrival at SIBT
Welfare Support and Counselling
If you’re having any concerns or difficulties, such as with your studies, learning a new language or settling into life in Sydney, then our Student Counsellors can help. They can also offer advice and support for personal matters, including disability support and student advocacy. More information regarding our support services can be found here.
We have a range of scholarships and bursaries available for our new and continuing students. To support returning international students we are offering a $2,500 Student Mobility Bursary, which will be applied as a fee-reduction to your first session commenced onshore. For more details and a full list of our scholarships and bursaries review our Scholarship page.
For the remainder of Session 3, all classes are currently online. However, you can visit the campus to use the library or any of our facilities on level 4. Please remember to wear a face mask in all common areas.
View Frequently Asked Questions here.