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Latest study abroad updates (COVID-19)

IDP will always be there to help you realise your dreams. We are in this together.

We understand these are trying times and so we’re making all efforts to make sure you keep updated with all the latest information about your favourite study destinations.

Australia | The UK | The USA | Canada | New Zealand|Ireland


  1. The Australian Government will increase the length of stay on the Temporary Graduate visa from two to three years for Masters by coursework graduates, matching that of Masters by research graduates. Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates will also receive a two-year Temporary Graduate visa.

    • Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia as a result of COVID-19 international border restrictions will be able to apply for a replacement visa. This will allow current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders whose visas expired on or after February 1, 2020 to re-apply for a new subclass 485 visa of the same duration as their original visa.

    • The new visa settings will also extend existing measures for students and temporary graduates to recognise time spent offshore studying online to count towards qualifying for a temporary graduate visa. (As on November 25; Australian Government)

  2. Starting December 1, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders including international students can travel to and from Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption and going through the mandatory quarantine. (As on November 22; Australian Government)

  3. The New South Wales Government has announced it will not require international students to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated with a TGA recognised vaccine. This aligns with quarantine requirements for returning Australians. The first chartered plane of returning international students under the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan is scheduled to touch down in Sydney on Monday, December 6. (As on November 12; NSW Government)

  4. Australia has taken another important step towards reopening its international border to travellers through the launch of the International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate. The international certificate:

    • has a QR code which can be read by passport control systems at borders around the world, as well as being compatible with COVID-19 travel apps such as the IATA Travel Pass

    • is free to access and is secure
      (As on November 1; Australian Government)

  5. The South Australian Government’s COVID Ready Plan, released on October 26, 2021, paves the way for international students to travel to South Australia when 90% of South Australia gets fully vaccinated, which is expected in late December this year. At that point, arrivals who are vaccinated with a TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved or recognised vaccine will not be required to quarantine. This means that there is no longer a requirement for the student quarantine facility at Flight Training Adelaide, which was a core component of the International Students Arrival Plan in its current form. (As on October 26; ABC news)

  6. The Queensland Government has announced the phased return of international students to Queensland starting from January 2022. It mentions:

    • Students will need to quarantine in a purpose-built accommodation “Wellcamp”
    • A proportion of students must study at universities outside of Brisbane
    • Priority will be given to medical and health students who will work for Queensland health (As on October 26; Australian Government)
  7. The ACT (Australian Capital Territory) will welcome back international tertiary education students who are fully vaccinated with a TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) recognised COVID-19 vaccine for the start of the 2022 academic year. Students will need to follow all Australian Government vaccination and testing requirements for international arrivals. Quarantine will not be required in the ACT for fully vaccinated students. (As on October 22; Australian Government)

  8. Australia will be introducing an International COVID19 Vaccine Certificate in October. While at first this will be for outbound travel for Australians, it will be expanded to authenticate vaccination certificates issued by other countries. Covishield vaccine will be recognised for incoming international travelers, in addition to the four vaccines already approved for use in Australia — Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The National Plan expressly states that international students can start to return at 70 per cent, and then in larger numbers from 80 per cent. (As on October 8; Australian Government)

  9. Hundreds of international students will start returning to NSW by the end of this year. All participating students will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-recognised COVID-19 vaccine, and strict quarantine protocols will be in place. (As on September 23; The Sunday Morning Herald)


  1. International students must have a valid medical examination prior to travelling to Canada.  If your medical has expired, your visa is not valid for travel. Your medical exam results are good for 12 months only from the date your medical was assessed (not the date of your original exam). If your visa has been put on administrative hold, please wait 4 weeks after your 2nd medical exam before travelling. (As on December 6; Government of Canada)

  2. The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has extended the time international students can study online from outside Canada and have it count towards PGWP eligibility. International students can: 
    • Count the online study time from March 2020 to August 31, 2022
    • Complete up to 100% of your studies online and be eligible for a PGWP (As on November 27, Government of Canada)
  3. The Government of Canada has announced adjustments to the country’s border measures. According to these all travellers including international students will need to be fully vaccinated to enter Canada, partial vaccination not acceptable anymore. (As on November 19; Canadian Government)

  4. Fully vaccinated travellers from any country have been able to enter Canada for discretionary reasons since September 7, 2021. The Government of Canada has clarified that the current border restrictions and entry requirements to Canada will remain in effect until November 21, 2021, provided they meet prescribed requirements. International students who attend school regularly in another country and travels home to Canada occasionally, or those who enter Canada to study and live in Canada may be exempt from quarantine if they qualify for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption. They must use ArriveCAN to submit your travel details. (As on October 14; Canadian Government)

  5. From 19th July 2021, 11 am IST, Passport submission service via 2-way courier have commenced for all categories. (As on July 20; Canadian Government)

  6. Fully vaccinated international students will no longer need to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada. (As on July 04;

  7. All visa applicants who hold a biometric instruction letter (BIL) may book a biometrics appointment at a VAC in India using the online booking tool on the VFS Global website. (As on June 28; Government of Canada)

  8. As part of the first phase easing border measures, the Government of Canada announced that fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day-8. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel. (As on June 21; Government of Canada)

New Zealand

  1. New Zealand will begin allowing fully vaccinated foreign nationals to travel to New Zealand from April 30, 2022 onwards, with the reopening staged over time and possibly by visa category. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealand will be removing the requirement to go into managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) for most travellers in stages, but they will have to self-isolate for seven days, with pre-departure and post-arrival testing. (As on November 25; New Zealand Government)

  2. A further border class exception for 1,000 international tertiary students has been approved by the Government for the following international students:

    • 400 pilot trainees
    • 300 students at degree level and above, and
    • 300 students at the sub-degree level.

    March 2022 will be the likely first student arrivals to New Zealand (As on October 22; New Zealand Government)

  3. New Zealand plans to allow quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries from early 2022, as it looks to open its borders again after nearly 18 months of pandemic-induced isolation. (As om August 12; – Reuters)

  4. Restrictions on visa processing outside New Zealand continue. Temporary visa applications from outside New Zealand or a quarantine-free travel zone are currently suspended unless you are exempt. (As on June 26; NZ Government)

The UK

  1. The UK government has announced that those travelling into the country will need to show a negative coronavirus test pre-departure as it reintroduces Covid-19 restrictions due to the Omicron variant. The test has to be taken within the last 48 hours before boarding a flight. This will apply to travellers aged over 12 from any country. (As on December 5; Economic Times)

  2. The new graduate route will be open to international students on 1 July 2021. This covers the international students who want to work following the successful completion of a course of study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above. (As on March 4,2021; UK Government)

  3. The graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route. There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. (As on March 4,2021; UK Government)

  4. Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have also been extended, recognising the continuing disruption many face due to international travel restrictions. (As on March 4,2021; UK Government)

Important updates on UK by experts

The US

  1. All inbound international travelers must test within one day of departure — regardless of vaccination status or nationality. (As on December 3; US Government)

  2. The White House announced on October 15 that it will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors starting November 8, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the United States for as long as 21 months. (As on October 15; Reuters)

  3. Last year, Covid-19 had necessitated major adjustments in the US policies governing international student status and visas in the USA. In keeping with the ongoing pandemic-related restrictions, the US government had decided to continue accepting electronic or digital travel signatures on the immigration forms issued by schools (Form I-20). The policy states that DSOs may physically sign the form or input their own electronic signature. The student can then download this signed form and print it to present at required visa interview. (As on October 12; US Government)

  4. A new analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) has revealed that international students in the United States are a great source of talent for employers and they also help US universities offer quality education in the field of Science and Engineering. (As on August 19; Forbes)

  5. The US economy added 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% — a new low of the pandemic era — the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on August 6. It was the biggest job gain since August last year, when more than 1 million positions were added back, and more than the 870,000 economists had expected. (As on August 6; CNN)


  1. People travelling from India and Bangladesh to Ireland will no longer be required to undertake Mandatory Hotel Quarantine. (As on Aug 28; Irish Government)

  2. The Irish Universities Association (IUA), the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences have announced their plans for a “coordinated approach” to return to campuses in September 2021. (As on August 3; Irish Times)

  3. Based on the announcement by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science- postgraduate students who successfully complete their programmes remotely this summer will be eligible to apply for a stay back visa – the Third level Graduate scheme (1G). Thereby, international students currently studying postgraduate programmes remotely due to COVID-19 can apply for a stay back visa once they have successfully completed their course in the summer of 2021 and provide the following documentation to the Department of Justice. (As on March 01, 2021, source:

  4. All travellers into Ireland, coming from anywhere except Northern Ireland, must:

    a) Complete a Passenger Locator form (As on January 16, source:

    b) Provide evidence that you have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive in Ireland (As on January 16, source:

Updated on December 9, 2021

Uncertain times need extraordinary measures. We want you to know that IDP is still working with the same enthusiasm to help you achieve your goals. To make this happen, we’ve taken several initiatives to ensure you keep driven to achieve your goals!

Student placement

1. Virtual counselling
To make it more convenient for you, we also offer free virtual counselling sessions online. As always, all our counselling sessions are free, and we are committed to ensuring that you have access to the right information, support and care.

Book my virtual counselling session

2. Virtual fairs
You can join our virtual fairs easily using your mobile phones, desktops or laptops. These events offer free online pre-counselling with our international education experts, one-on-one interaction with representatives of top institutions and an opportunity to apply on-the-spot to your desired institution. You can also discuss your scholarship and internship options, get all your study abroad queries answered and avail application fee waivers too.

3. Social media live sessions
Our study abroad and destination experts frequently hold live insightful sessions on Instagram and Facebook to address your queries. They touch upon the latest international education updates in destination s like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK and the US.

4. Institution sessions
In these sessions, we invite representatives to talk about their respective institutions, teaching methodologies and other important information that you might be seeking to make a well-informed decision.



International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

While you are home, we wanted to ensure that your IELTS test preparation is not affected, and hence, we came up with a bunch of resources to help you ace your test. So make use of these free resources to get a higher band in your IELTS test.

1. Inside IELTS: Free online course for IELTS Academic
This course helps you explore the skills you need for IELTS Academic and understand how are these assessed. It will also help identify your strengths and needs in relation to the test besides assessing your specific abilities in order to find ways to improve. Enrol me now

2. Familiarisation tests
It always better to go well-prepared. Familiarise yourself with the test format so you know what to expect on the test day. Take the familiarisation test

3. Videos from experts and top scorers
Our YouTube channel is full of videos by experts on tips to improve your IELTS score. You can also listen to experiences of other test takers and know what helped them score a high band. Watch now

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