We understand that many students study plans have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions.
The James Cook University team are available to guide and support you and endeavour to keep you informed with the most up to date information regarding the current COVID-19 restrictions that are impacting you as an international student. Please note information contained in the communications below may not be the latest advice available, and it is always best to refer to official Australian Government websites.
We suggest bookmarking the following links to keep up to date with Australia's COVID-19 response:
Please feel free to contact our International Admissions or International Student Support teams with any queries that are not answered in the FAQs below.
If you have a more general enquiry, please contact the JCU International Team. If you are a prospective international student, you may wish to get in touch with one of our authorised representatives in your country.
Entry to Australia is currently restricted. Even if you hold a valid visa, you need an individual exemption to enter Australia unless you meet one of the exempt categories. Based on the current individual exemption categories, it is not common for commencing international students to be granted an individual exemption.
The Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs has the most accurate and up to date information regarding International Travel Restrictions. Please visit the Australian Government Home Affairs website for further information.
Due to the current border restrictions, we cannot say with certainty when you will be able to come to Australia. We are working closely with government and will continue to keep this page updated with any developments.
We advise against making irreversible financial commitments until the border situation is clearer.
JCU is working with government to ensure we are involved in trials to return students to Australia. We are working hard on this and are hopeful of a positive outcome. We will keep this page updated as information becomes available.
There is currently no exemption category for fully vaccinated individuals to enter Australia. You can see the full list of current exemption categories on the Australian Government Home Affairs website.
Under the current COVID-19 conditions, all people arriving in Australia are required to undertake a mandatory 14 day hotel quarantine period.
Your quarantine accommodation and transportation will be arranged for you by the Australian Government. You are not required to book your own hotel or organise private transportation when you arrive.
If you do not follow the quarantine rules, this would be considered an offence and there are severe penalties in place. You must follow all directions while you are in quarantine. Please refer to the Australian Government Department of Health for further information.
For returning, continuing students, JCU will pay $2,000 to the Queensland (or other) government on a presentation by the student of an invoice for their quarantine charges.
For new commencing students, once students successfully complete 24 credit points of their course, the $2,000 will be applied as a credit against tuition fee charges in the following study period. Students who withdraw before 24 credit points have been completed will not be entitled to claim the $2,000 by way of a refund.
JCU's International Student Support Team is available to provide support advice and assistance during the compulsory quarantine period and throughout the course of your study.
During your stay in quarantine, the team will be in regular contact to check in on how you are doing, answer any questions, and helping to make sure you're ready to start your studies.
JCU provides a number of support services to students which you can view here.
The Australian Government released details of a National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response. The plan includes a gradual increase of international students to Australia.
Teaching and Learning
JCU continues to comply with COVID-19 safe requirements as stipulated by State and Federal governments. Measures include physical distancing and check ins via the Queensland check-in app.
JCU has made adjustments to allow students to continue to study some courses online. For a number of courses and majors, students may be required to undertake practical or compulsory on-campus requirements. Prior to commencing study, it is important to know what your course requirements are.
Students are encouraged to regularly check LearnJCU for details specifically related to their course and subjects.
JCU online programs available to international students
The following JCU programs are available for international students to study online. When Australian borders open, students can then transition to on-campus study if they wish.
Please refer to the individual course pages linked below for further information on entry requirements, fees, and how to apply.
It may be possible to study some JCU research programs online. This is decided on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the relevant research supervisor. For further information, please contact JCU’s Graduate Research School.
Some courses are available for online commencement, please refer to the relevant course page to check if a course is available to study online. If you commence online you will be able to travel to Australia when border restrictions are lifted and transfer to internal study at the commencement of the following study period.
If you defer to a 2022 commencement, your commencement deposit will carry over to your new offer.
If you are unable to undertake study. you will need to apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA), for either six months or 12 months. Information about taking leave is available here.
If your application is approved, your current Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be cancelled and a new CoE will be issued for you to apply for a student visa to return to Australia to continue your studies in the future. If you are unable to complete your studies in your original student visa duration due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to have the visa application fee waived. Please see the Department of Home Affairs for further information.
If you are unsure when you will be able to return to your studies, or you wish to take a break for more than 12 months, you will need to withdraw from your course. In this situation, your CoE will be cancelled and you will need to submit a new application form if you wish to return to JCU in the future. If you wish to withdraw from your course, email the JCU International Support Team and provide the reasons for your withdrawal.
Continuing students are able to apply for a break from their studies, called a Leave of Absence. You can take leave for either six months or 12 months. Information about taking leave is available here.
If your application is approved, your current Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be cancelled and a new CoE will be issued for you to apply for a student visa to return to Australia to continue your studies. If you are unable to complete your studies in your original student visa duration due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to have the visa application fee waived. Please see the Department of Home Affairs for further information.
To defer your offer, email JCU International Admissions stating which Study Period you would like to defer to. International Admissions will process your request and send your deferred offer to you within 14 business days.
Current students can apply for a leave of absence. Further information on the process is available here.
If you applied to JCU and received a JCU Confirmation of Enrolment to commence studies in 2020 or 2021, but were not able to commence due to COVID related travel restrictions, we will honour the fee that was in place in the year that your original COE was issued.
You can commence studying online outside Australia without holding an Australian student visa. If you do hold a student visa, you are allowed to commence or continue your studies while outside Australia without that impacting your visa.
If you intend to apply for post study work rights (Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa) after you complete your studies, please refer to the FAQ on this topic regarding eligibility criteria and online study.
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has changed the requirements for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa for those who have been impacted by COVID-19:
online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian Study Requirement for existing and new student visa holders
graduates affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate visa outside Australia (where they have met all the requirements).
Online study outside Australia is counted from the time of Student visa grant.
If you are applying from outside Australia you must hold or have held a Student visa in the past 12 months to apply.
If you believe you meet eligibility criteria and wish to have your online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions counted towards the Australian Study Requirement, complete the COVID-19 Impacted Students form and email it with a statement supporting your request.
The Australian government may waive the visa application fee to allow you to lodge a further student visa application to complete your study. Students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and who couldn’t complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a waiver of the application fee for their subsequent visa. This includes students who deferred their study as they were unable to enter Australia due to travel restrictions. Whether or not a waiver is granted is determined by the Department of Home Affairs.
You only require a Student Visa when you intend to enter Australia.
Once Australia’s international border restrictions are lifted and normal modes of delivery can be resumed, as an international student studying offshore, you will be required to travel to Australia on a Student Visa as soon as you are able.
This means that you will need to apply for a Student Visa using your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) issued by the University. Please note the CoE will expire within 60 days of commencement date if not used for a Student Visa application.
You will require a Student Visa to enter Australia or, if you are studying online while outside Australia if you want that study to count towards your Australian study requirements for post-study work rights. For the latest information on applying for a Student Visa, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs.
Yes, you will be issued a Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), once you accept your offer, pay the commencement deposit and satisfy any offer conditions.
If you defer to any entry period in 2021, your scholarship offer will be reissued with your new program offer. If you defer beyond 2021 your scholarship eligibility will be reassessed closer to your new commencement date.
The Student Merit Stipend will be replaced with the International Excellence Scholarship for students studying online.
JCU has extended the eligibility for the International Excellence Scholarship to include all international students who are offshore studying an internal course online provided they meet all other eligibility requirements.
The International Excellence Scholarships provides an upfront 25% tuition fee reduction for the duration of your degree.
Once onshore you can elect to convert to the International Student Merit Stipend scholarship from the following study period.
Students can access AskUs 24/7, and live chat or schedule a phone call. The JCU Student Assistance Helpline is available to provide support and assistance to students after hours and on weekends via 1800 75 41 85.
Students can make friends and socialise at our 'Cafe International'. This is a weekly COVID-19 safe event during semester, where international students meet and mingle with the International Student Support Team and local students.
We encourage all international students to contact the International Student Support Team as their first point of contact if they have any questions or concerns. The Team can provide support, offer advice, and refer students to other services as required.
If you are worried that your child is sad or depressed encourage them to speak to a counsellor with JCU Wellbeing and Counselling on how to cope in this time.
It is also very important to stay in touch with friends and family. JCU provides opportunities for students to make friends and family. JCU provides opportunities for students to make friends and connect with other peers during Cafe International. This is a weekly COVID-19 safe event during semester.
Australia has one of the best medical systems in the world. If your child was to fall ill, they would never be turned away and they would be well cared for.
They can all the National Coronavirus Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.
Respiratory clinics have been rolled out across the country to assess people with coronavirus symptoms so they go to these clinics and not the general doctor's clinic. This way you should not be worried if they need to see a doctor for another reason.