- New pathway enables international students to return to WA
- New policy part of State Government's ongoing review of border controls
- New health advice indicates international student cohort presents a low risk to WA community
- Up to 6,000 international students expected to return in coming weeks
- Over 30,000 approved travellers have entered WA since February 5 under the State's updated border settings for compassionate travel and returning Western Australians
International students can now enter Western Australia through a new pathway as part of the State Government's continued review of border controls based on the latest health advice.
The new pathway allows international students enrolled in a WA primary school, secondary school, university, college, technical college, or other further education course to enter the State from today.
Updated health advice indicates the new settings can be safely implemented due to a number of factors that provide confidence in quarantine arrangements and demonstrate the cohort presents a low risk to the community.
This includes the relatively small size of the cohort and the strong support universities are able to provide students to assist with their quarantine arrangements.
Up to 6,000 international students are expected to return in coming weeks under the new pathway. This is in addition to the approximately 900 international students who have entered the State since January 20.
The pathway applies to those who are just starting their course and those who have been enrolled and studied onshore or offshore in previous years.
Students can either fly direct into WA within the Federal Government's set cap or enter indirectly by transiting through another State.
International students will be subject to the same quarantine requirements as other approved travellers.
They will isolate in a combination of State-run hotel quarantine, other approved hotel accommodation, approved on-campus accommodation, or other suitable premises approved by WA Police or WA Health.
Requirements for entry include:
- an approved G2G pass with 'Enrolled Student in WA' as the exemption category;
- triple dose vaccinated if eligible or double dose vaccinated if not;
- proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 24 hours before departure;
- seven days of self-quarantine at a suitable premises in WA with the same requirements for household members at the self-quarantine premises;
- RAT or PCR testing within 24 hours of arrival and either a PCR test on day six or a RAT on day seven of self-quarantine. If symptomatic, students will need to continue isolation until symptoms resolve. Household members will also be required to do a PCR test on the traveller's day seven; and
- mandatory use of the G2G Now app and in-person checks by WA Police as required.
The McGowan Government recently announced a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package to support businesses and individuals in sectors most affected by the decision to delay the full reopening of the WA border - including international education support totalling $16 million, including:
- the $8 million Student Quarantine Support Program to support international students to self-quarantine in Perth after their time in the Eastern States, providing $2,000 payments for students to meet some of the unexpected cost of quarantine;
- the $6 million Industry Support Fund to provide grants of $50,000 and $100,000 to assist eligible small and medium-sized education providers impacted by the changes; and
- the $2 million University Services for Students Support Program, providing universities with a supplementary payment of $500 per student to assist with support services such as transport and student welfare.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"International students are an important part of the WA community - making a positive contribution to the State's diversity and vibrancy, and supporting local jobs in a variety of industries.
"This new pathway is part of our ongoing review of border controls taking place this month, based on the latest health advice.
"The relatively small size of the international student cohort and the strong support universities provide allow us to have confidence in quarantine arrangements, meaning the risk to the community is low."
Comments attributed to International Education Minister David Templeman:
"Western Australia remains a great place to live, study and work, and there are many employment, social and cultural opportunities for international students across the State.
"International students add much to our community and our enduring relationships with countries throughout the world from where students come from.
"I am very pleased that we have been able to safely enable international students to enter the State under these updated settings to support the flourishing international education sector and the many jobs and livelihoods it supports."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
International Education Minister's office - 6552 5400