HomeInternational students, skilled migrants to return to Australia as border reopens

International students, skilled migrants to return to Australia as border reopens

Australia is set to make a major change to its border rules as the next groups of people allowed to enter the country are revealed.

More than 200,000 international students, skilled migrants and refugees will be allowed to enter Australia again in coming weeks, as the nation moves to its final phase of the reopening plan.

After double-dose vaccination rates ticked over 85 per cent for adults aged over 16 on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to formally announce a further easing of international border restrictions on Monday, putting Australia a step closer to pre-Covid normality.

Phase D of the national plan, agreed to by federal, state and territory leaders earlier this year, allows for international borders to reopen with a Covid-19 booster program in place.

It also allows vaccinated international travellers to enter the country without quarantine.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said reopening the borders would be a boost to economic recovery, helping to address labour market shortages and allowing businesses to grow with confidence.

“We want to allow skilled migrants to come back, as well as international students sooner rather than later,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News.

“It’s the natural next step following the announcements we’ve already made around citizens and permanent residents coming back without the need for quarantine, we’ve got the bubble with Singapore, the natural next step is skilled workers and international students.

“Both skilled workers and international students play an essential role in our economy. We know international students are worth $40 billion, and we know there are work skill shortages about there, and skilled workers can play a role.

“Whether it’s in hospitality, construction, mining or agriculture across the broader economy. There is a need to bring back those skilled workers and help build our economy back stronger as we recover from Covid-19.”

The announcement comes ahead of an anticipated bumpy fortnight in parliament, with Coalition senators Gerard Rennick, Matt Canavan and Alex Antic set to cross the floor and support One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s bill against vaccine mandates.

Senator Hanson has threatened to withhold support for all government legislation in the final sitting weeks of the year.

Senator Hanson said she had spoken to Mr Morrison, who had granted her approval to introduce her bill, and will allow his colleagues to cross the floor to support the bill.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce further details on the return of skilled migrants and international students later on Monday.


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