Date : 23 December 2021
Location : Australia

Health Minister "Reconfirmed" to Open International Borders For Students On Dec 15

On Dec 15, the nation will reopen its border for eligible visa holders and skilled migrants, and international students, as stated by Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt. Hunt to go ahead with the National Cabinet discussion, the prime minister, and the advice from the chief medical officer. Previously, due to concerns over the covid-19, the federal government refused to open Australia's border from Dec 1 to Dec 15. It was even refrained by Hunt to reopen its border to visa holders and international students in mid-December previously. According to SBS reports, the ease of restrictions means fully vaccinated visa holders and no longer need to settle an exception to travel into the nation. It would also be reopening for tourists from South Korea and Japan. Working holiday, humanitarian, and provisional family visa holders confirm the Prime Minister during a press conference with the President of South Korea. The pilot program includes students from over 15 countries in Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, South Korea, and China. Students are also scheduled to arrive in Sydney on Dec 24.

Source: Australia international borders update: Int’l students to return from Dec 15 (

OCAD University Postpones Classes Until The End Of Jan Due To Covid-19

OCAD University to postpone the beginning of instructional activities and classes to Friday, Jan 28. The decision to prolong the much anticipated offline learning experiences for students has been made to prioritize health and safety for every individual, said OCAD University in an official statement. They believe this will allow international students to settle down once they are back and let staff and other students get their booster shots. A user on Reddit expressed his concerns about the delay in instructional classes until the end of January and suggested moving to online learning. The OCAD announced the decision follows the guidelines by other Ontario universities to move to online education for the winter term, such as York University, University of Toronto, Ryerson, and Queens. They further said that this decision would only impact instructional learning. After the winter holiday break, on Jan 5, the University will reopen with some restrictions. Winter classes will be conducted online, in-person, and hybrid for graduates and undergraduates from Jan 28.

Sources: OCAD University to cancel all classes until the end of January | The Star

Structured Training Program Launched for MBBS Graduates In India And The UK

The conference between Ph.D. Chamber of Commerce and Chevening Alumni India and Tertiary healthcare unit Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, in link with BAPIO Training Academy, stressed the need to train MBBS graduates of India and the UK. Ujala Cygnus Groups of Hospitals highlights the beginning of structured training programs in different units of BAPIO in collaboration with Indian institutions and UK universities. The programs offer significant competencies to become fully qualified physicians to MBBS graduates and contribute to India after coming back. The officials are arranging to organize a three-year training course in India accompanied by four-month training in the UK. The conference was led by President ASEM, Prof Tamorish Kole, Executive Director BTA, and Prof Parag Singhal, who highlighted the emerging requirements to meet the issues faced by the healthcare facilities. Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, the Founder Director of Ujala Cygnus Groups of Hospitals, states, "effective health promotion can be acquired when efforts are made to improve and strengthen the capacity to act within training programs, and design the capacity of the healthcare unit to respond to the increasing problems which impact health".

Sources: Experts suggest a program to train MBBS graduates in the UK - The Economic Times (

President Biden Announces More Student Loan Relief

Biden to stretch the student loan payment pause, which is anticipated to expire on Jan 31, in response to covid-19 and pressure from progressive Democrats. This could be cutting edge for student loan borrowers as they awaited student loan payments to start on Feb 1 once again. Biden's administration has not announced the final decision, but Politico suggests that he is considering whether to delay a restart of federal student loan payment. The idea to continue temporary student loan forbearance has been indicated to Biden by progressive members of Congress and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. As per Politico, the final decision may be announced by this week. The progressives wish to stretch loan relief to help borrowers who cannot afford loan payments due to the covid-19 pandemic and stimulate the economy. However, the Biden administration does not wish to stretch the loan relief as the economy is recovering; student loan borrowers already had four extensions and two years of replacement due to other economic priorities. There is no certainty when the President will extend the student loan relief.

Source: Biden May Announce More Student Loan Relief This Week (

Canada Authorities With Favourable Immigration Policy Set To Attract 411,000 Immigrants

To meet the demands of labour storage, Canadian authorities are set to attract more immigrants so that the economy can be set back on track. Thus favorable immigration policies might be in place soon by awarding 401,000 new permanent residencies and 411,000 as next year's target. Immigration is taking more ground as there is a massive decline in the working population, so managing labor shortage is one of the burgeoning tasks faced by the authorities. So to attract more immigrants who can meet the labor shortage, authorities are taking a needed step by easing labor norms. Nonetheless, there is much deliberation on the ancillary effect of possible housing costs. In the pandemic, there was a surge in housing prices as interest rates were low, and so was the supply. Thus an increase in immigration might lead to an equilibrium in the housing sector in the long run. While data suggest an increase in job vacancies in Canada to almost double this year, there is much anticipation that favorable immigration policy might start competition amongst residents and immigrants for housing in the long term.

Source: Canada plans to open its border to 411,000 immigrants in 2022

Returning to Australia in 2022? Make Sure To Adhere To These Policies

The Australian government has made announcements concerning International students returning to Australia and those who are set to start their journey in 2022:

  1. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has recently permitted vaccines like Takeda, Covishield, Spike Vax, BIBP-CorV, Janssen-Cilag, Coronavac Vax Zevia, Covexin, and Comirnaty.
  2. Different policies have been put in place; for instance, all completely vaccinated students are allowed without exemptions in Victoria.
  3. One has to go through a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival.

Likewise, in New South Wales, there is a minor difference that one has to isolate itself for 72 hours after entering till the time a negative report is received. In Queensland at present, the requirement is the same, but once 90% of its entitled population is completely vaccinated, students will face no constraints. In Western, Australia conditions are no different from Queensland. Finally, for South Australia, overseas and interstate travelers have to fill an application within 14 days and at least 72 hours before arrival.

Source: What International Students Need To Know To Return In 2022

No More Nationwide Lockdowns As The Economy Surges: Australian Government

The Austrian Prime minister has recently opined that there has to be some personal responsibility amongst people who are amassed with the new Omicron variant. Government regulation has been quite effective in the past, but residents have to act with more maturity, and the culture of dictation has to be set away. The government is further planning to increase the vaccination drive in the form of immunity booster shorts to contain the growing menace of the new variant. Lockdowns as an option in the middle of the economic surge seem to be redundant. The government is further set to revamp its vaccine drive by resuming its immunization centers that stagnate when 80% of its population above 16 years of age got immunized successfully. Some key movement officials have also compared the Omicron variant's minimal effect compared to the Delta wave. Thus in the middle of the new variant government seems in no mood to recalibrate its previous approach.

Source: Australia rules out lockdowns despite Omicron surge

People Must Continue To Take Immigration Policies Seriously: Authorities

After two years, the Australian government seems to open its borders for skilled workers and students. However, there seem to be some delays concerning such favorable immigration policies because there is a new variant of the infamous COVID -19 in the form of Omicron on its doors. The new variant, which is creating a much-unwarranted menace for both international students and the migrant population, is being routinely dealt with by Australian authorities. A delay of two weeks was more of a precautionary step to assess the gravity of seriousness posed by the virus and was a much-needed step in the right direction. Further, there is an unbending commitment from the prime minister's side, who recently opined that there would be no giving up to the challenge posed by the virus. Australia had recently shut its borders to contain the new variant; thus as an ancillary effect, there have been labour shortage and economic slowdown, however with again opening up of borders, there is a surge in immigrants and students who contribute around AUD 25 billion to the Australian economy.

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