International borders of Australia have been closed due to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. The borders are still closed and there’re strict travel restrictions in Australia. People can’t travel to and from Australia until the travel restrictions are lifted from Australian borders.
However, if you want to travel to Australia so you must have an individual exemption from the Australian Government. Travel restrictions may change according to the situation as if it gets better then Australia may ease the travel restrictions in the country.
The Department of Home Affairs in Australia keeps its website updated with the latest information regarding travel to Australia. Hence, you can get all the travel details from the website of the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA).
Covid-19 Vaccination Program
The vaccination for the Covid-19 pandemic is available all around the world. Therefore, the Government of Australia is planning to resume the flights and open the international borders of Australia. Though the process to recommence the flights in Australia will be a bit slow according to the situation of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The Covid-19 vaccine isn’t enough to determine the grant of travel exemption in Australia. As the travel exemption can only be granted if applicants meet the conditions of exemptions to leave Australia.
Requests for Exemption to Travel from India
Exemptions to travel from India to Australia will be acceptable under some circumstances based on expert health advice. Following are the conditions to request for travel exemption in Australia:
- The exemption will only be allowed if people coming to Australia for the national interest.
- If people traveling due to the loss or death of any relative in Australia.
- If people traveling to see their close family member who’s ill.
The discretionary exemptions listed in the Commissioner’s Guidelines and Operational Directives aren’t applied to people who want to travel from India.
Exemption Requests to Escort Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident Minors
This exemption category applies to people escorting an Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to travel to Australia. It aims to protect and keep children safe while traveling.
This category of travel exemption can be approved under the following circumstances.
- Travel exemption will be approved for only one guardian of the same family for multiple children who’re 2 years old or above.
- Exemption requests of only one guardian for each child under 2 years will be accepted.
- Additional guardians will be considered by the Australian Government according to their case if medical advice and evidence are provided.
- Anyone who’s escorting an Australian permanent resident or Australian citizen should be a relative such as a grandparent, uncle or aunt. Though, this condition isn’t applicable in exceptional circumstances.
Temporary Visa Holders
Temporary Visa holders can leave Australia at any time. As they don’t exemption to travel from Australia. However, they won’t be allowed to travel back due to the Covid-19 restrictions in Australia. In case, they want to return to Australia so they’ll need to apply for inward exemption before leaving Australia.
Travel Restrictions and Exemptions to leave Australia Categories
There’re some categories of people who can travel to Australia without getting any individual travel exemption. They include:
- Australian citizens
- Australian permanent residents
- Any immediate family member of an Australian permanent resident or Australian citizen
- An eligible citizen of New Zeeland residing in Australia and his immediate family members
- Anyone who has been in Australia or New Zeeland for more than 14 days
- Any official diplomat of Australia who’s coming along with his immediate family members. The family members must hold the Diplomatic Visa (Subclass 995)
- Anyone who’s traveling to Australia for 72 hours or less than that
- The maritime and airline crew including marine pilots
- Anyone who’s enrolled in the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme approved by the Government of Australia
- The Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 188) visa holders
Temporary visa holders who don’t have a valid visa to travel to Australia will have to provide evidence of their relationship. The evidence includes a marriage certificate, proof of de facto relationship, shared property or birth certificate of children.
Evidence is submitted to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) before traveling to Australia. Moreover, you must carry the evidence while traveling to Australia.
You may get the individual exemption from the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and policymakers under some conditions. These conditions include if you’re:
- A foreign national and has been invited by the Government of Australia or any state government authority to assist in the Covid-19 response in Australia.
- A foreign national who’s traveling for the national interest of Australia and supported by the Australian Government.
- If you’re traveling to provide medical services which include the delivery of medical supplies, air ambulance and medical evacuations.
- A foreign national who has critical skills or working in critical sectors of Australia.
- If you’ve been sponsored by your employer in Australia to work in any occupation which is on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).
- A military employee who’s a part of the Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces, Status of Armed Forces Agreement
- A person staying in a vessel for a limited time and seeking a safe port for shelter at the closest port appointed by the State or Territory government for security purposes.
- A student who’s completing 11th and 12th year with the endorsement of the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department.
- A student in last two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree. Moreover, you must have proof of your confirmed position in any Australian hospital or medical practice which is going to be started within the next two months.
- Traveling for compassionate and compelling reasons in Australia.
You must have a valid visa and travel exemption before you travel to Australia. Moreover, you can apply online for the exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions. You must provide evidence along with your exemption application to support your claims. Make sure to officially translate all your documents into English.
Conditions to Apply for Exemption Application
There’re certain requirements that you’ve to fulfill to complete the application process for Australian travel exemption. It includes your:
- Date of birth
- Visa type and number
- Passport number
- Current residential address and contact number in Australia
- Reasons that why you want to come to Australia and need a travel exemption
- A supporting statement that how you meet one of the conditions for an exemption
- Accompanying evidence to support all your claims
In case if you don’t get the travel exemption so you must not continue your travel plans. As you won’t be able to board your flight without travel exemption for Australia. Whereas, if you’ve been exempted so you must take the evidence of your travel exemption to show it at the airport.
Requirements to Apply Online for Travel Exemption
You can apply for the individual exemption to travel restrictions in Australia through the Travel portal if you’re not in the exempt category. Further, you must hold a visa or have applied for a visa to request an exemption. Make sure you provide all the information and documents to support your claims for exemption requests.
You need to provide the following documents to apply for an exemption online.
- Proof of identity
- Proof of holding a valid visa
- Travel itinerary
- Marriage, birth, death certificate/s
- Proof of your relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account, etc.)
- Letter from a doctor or hospital to explain why travel is necessary
- Letter from an employer to indicate that why you have to travel
- A Supporting letter from a government agency to describe why your skills are critical
- The legal declaration to support your claims
Compassionate and Compelling Reasons for Traveling
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you with exemption if you want to travel for compelling and compassionate reasons to Australia. Your application will be processed quickly if you want to travel to see your ill relative or attend the funeral of any family member in Australia.
You must apply for the travel exemption two weeks before traveling to Australia. You must not delay it for more than two months. Most of the exemption applications take 7 days to be finalized. Whereas, complex requests may take longer to be processed. However, applicants traveling for compelling and compassionate reasons to Australia will be prioritized over other exemption applications.
Conclusion about the Exemptions to leave Australia
All travel activities have been stopped due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Therefore, people can’t travel to and from Australia. However, you can apply for the individual exemption to travel restrictions in Australia through Travel Exemption Portal. Moreover, temporary visa holders can leave Australia at any time without any exemption.
As the Covid-19 vaccination program has been started all over the world. So the Government of Australia is considering reopening international flights and borders. However, getting the vaccine is still not enough for traveling. You have to fulfill the requirements to be eligible to get an exemption to travel from and to Australia.
If you fall into one of the given exemption categories above and need assistance in its application process so you can consult with the registered migration agents in Australia.
- Temporary visa holders and Australian travel restrictions and exemptions
- Australian temporary visas and some exemption in their limitations due to COVID-19
I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.