Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces support package for India
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an initial support package for India, standing with India- a friend & strategic partner- during this terrible crisis.
"India is a great friend of Australia and a comprehensive strategic partner. We share so much in common as peoples, as democratic nations, and we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences and our support to the nation of India and the people of India and the Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister Modi."
— Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Australia will provide India with an initial 500 ventilators, 1 million surgical masks, 500,000 P2/ N95 masks, 100,000 surgical gowns, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves, and 20,000 face shields. Australia has also commenced procurement of 100 oxygen concentrators. More details on the Prime Minister's website.
Till date, Australia has delivered over 30 tonnes of medical supplies, including 3,000 ventilators and 250 oxygen concentrators to India.
Important updates for those wishing to return to Australia
Link to the key decisions announced after the Australian National Cabinet meeting on 16 July 2021 - National Cabinet | Prime Minister of Australia (pm.gov.au)
Important information for Australians
For up-to-date information on India, please refer to the Smartraveller website.
We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19. To protect yourself and others you must:
- practise good hygiene
- practise social distancing
- limit contact with other people
- understand how to isolate if you need to
- look after your mental health
If you need urgent consular assistance (for example you have been attacked, arrested) please call +91 11 4139 9900.
Register with us for updates
If you have not yet done so, we urge you to register with the Australian High Commission – this will enable us to contact you should the need arise including advising when flights to return to Australia are available.
Register with us: https://covid19.dfat.gov.au
The Australian Government will provide additional support to the most vulnerable Australian citizens whose return to Australia has been impacted by the restrictions arising from COVID-19. Full details about the assistance, including eligibilty criteria and how to apply, are available at https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19/covid-19-overseas-financial-assistance
If you have any problems with hotels, including hotels accepting bookings, please contact the 24/7 Indian Government tourism hotline on 1800 11 1363 (available in 12 languages).
All existing visas, except electronic visas (e-Visa), Tourist visa and Medical Visa, which remained suspended, shall stand restored with immediate effect. If the validity of such visa has expired, the foreign national may obtain a fresh visa of appropriate category/sub-category from the Indian Mission/Post concerned.
ADVISORY: TRAVEL AND VISA RESTRICTIONS RELATED TO COVID-19 (boi.gov.in). To extend your visa apply online through FRRO/FRO.
Extension of India’s flight ban
India’s commercial flight ban remains in place. Some repatriation flights are able to operate with the permission of the Indian Government. Read more...
Attention: be careful when choosing charter fights
Many people are asking us about other private charter options being promoted. Be aware: only flights we notify registered Australians about have the approvals required to operate. Please be cautious about other options.
Returning to Australia
Facilitated commercial flights from India to Australia have resumed. You'll now need to undertake a rapid antigen test prior to boarding these flights, in addition to the PCR test already required before travel to Australia. Further info here.
If you have purchased a ticket on a flight to Australia a movement pass from the Indian government to travel to the city from where your flight is departing is no longer required. However, you should contact and consult the state governments you need to pass through to confirm what requirements they may have and comply with these.
All travellers returning to Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities at their port of entry. You will be directed to a facility (such as a hotel) on arrival in Australia and will be required to stay there for 14 days before you can complete any onward travel or return to your home. The accommodation, along with food, water and any medical support will be provided by the Australian Government. See the Smartraveller website for more.
Should you then wish to travel to another state or territory you may be subject to an additional period of quarantine or other restrictions. You should keep up with the latest information from the relevant State and Territory Governments:
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Food and medicine
Indian authorities advise that people will have access to food and medicine in containment zones.
For those staying in hotels, you should be able to drive or walk to nearby shops and pharmacies. If you are having problems, we suggest asking your hotel, local authorities or friends to help you get essential supplies.
If you have any problems. Contact us: (Business hours: +91 11 4139 9900, [email protected]; For outside of business hours: +612 6261 3305).
You can also call the Police on 100.
International students in Australia
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring Australia remains a competitive, high quality and welcoming destination for international students. The Government has recently announced a package of student visa measures to support the international education industry and help it to recover from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Key new government support measures include:
Support to Australia’s international education sector
- recommencing visa grants for student visa applications lodged outside Australia where all requirements are met.
- a fee waiver for students to apply for another student visa if they cannot complete their course within their original visa validity due to COVID-19 impacts.
- allowing time spent studying online to count towards qualifying for a post-study work visa for students affected by COVID-19.
- making available an option to apply for and be granted a post-study work visa outside Australia for students affected by COVID-19.
- allowing additional time for applicants to provide results for English language testing, biometrics collection and health checks, where COVID-19 has disrupted access to services.
- the Government relaxed the work condition to allow student visa holders to work beyond the usual maximum of 40 hours a fortnight, in critical sectors including:
- the aged care and disability sector
- the agricultural sector
- International student nurses and medical students can also undertake work to support efforts against COVID-19 as directed by health officials, including more than 40 hours per fortnight where required.
- Students working in supermarkets were originally included in these arrangements, however, this ceased on 1 May 2020.
- The Australian Government is engaging with the international education sector which is providing some financial support for international students facing hardship.
- States and territories are also working closely with the Australian Government, education providers and community organisations to look after the health, safety and wellbeing of international students
- The Australian Red Cross has received Government funding to deliver Emergency Relief and counselling support to up to 30,000 temporary migrants over the next six months. Visa holders may be eligible for Red Cross support if they:
- are in Australia on a temporary visa
- are in urgent financial hardship
- cannot access Centrelink, Medicare or similar services
- have no income, savings or other financial support (including from family overseas).
Offshore Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa eligibility
- Graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be able to apply for and be granted a TGV outside Australia (where they have met all other eligibility requirements).
- While visas may be granted, with travel restrictions still in place, Temporary visa holders (including Temporary Graduate visa holders) are unable to travel to Australia (unless they fall into an exemption category).
- Graduates will need to submit their application for a Temporary Graduate visa within the immediate twelve months following the student visa expiry.
- These measures are limited to students affected by current Australian travel restrictions.
Australian Study Requirement
- The Australian Study Requirement (ASR) is a key eligibility criteria for the grant of a Temporary Graduate visa. Currently, graduates must have completed their qualifications in at least 2 academic years of study while physically in Australia for no less than 16 months.
- Online study, both onshore and offshore, will now contribute towards qualifying for a Temporary Graduate visa for students impacted by COVID-19. Online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the ASR for existing and new visa holders from the time of student visa grant.
The Australian Government understands that travelling to Australia is a critical consideration for students whose studies have been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister’s three-step Roadmap to a COVID-safe Australia makes clear that the Australian Government supports the return of international students to Australia. Across government, careful consideration is being given to how and when this can occur in a COVID-safe way. Further information about return of international students initiatives can be found at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/international-students.
Useful contact information for students
- Department of Home Affairs website
- Details on visa conditions at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/
- Details on visa requirements and border arrangements at www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au
- The Australian Government COVID-19 website with the latest news, updates and advice at www.australia.gov.au
- The Department of Education, Skills and Employment website o International education and COVID-19 impacts at www.dese.gov.au
- Resources and support for international students on Austrade’s Study in Australia website at www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
Other useful information
- The Australian Government advises all Australians: Do not travel overseas at this time. This is the highest advice level. Please see the Smartraveller website for more information on COVID-19 for Australian travellers.
- On 24 March 2020, Prime Minister Morrison announced a ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015. This is on top of the Australian Government’s standing advice to Australians not to travel overseas. It is effective from midday on 25 March 2020.
- The Australian Government has announced that from 21:00hrs on 20 March 2020 only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. Please visit the Visas and Citizenship section for more information.
- Indian Government Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Indian Ministry of Tourism website to help forieign tourists in India
- Social distancing: Australian Government advice, Indian Government advice
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) what you need to know fact sheet [PDF]
Australian High Commission India consular assistance
- Business hours: +91 11 4139 9900, [email protected]
- For outside of business hours: +612 6261 3305
Australian High Commission India
Australian Consulate General Chennai
- Twitter: @AusCGChennai
Australian Consulate General Kolkata
- Twitter: @AusCGKolkata
Australian Consulate General Mumbai
- Twitter @AusCG_Mumbai
Key Indian Government contact points
- Indian Government central helpline number for COVID-19: +91-11-23978046
- Indian state and territory government COVID-19 helplines [PDF]
- Indian Government tourism hotline: 1800 11 1363 (available in 12 languages)