The Australian Government has just announced the exemption-free travel to Australia. Australian permanent residents, citizens and eligible visa holders can travel from and to Australia without travel exemption. Fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be allowed to travel to Australia from the 1st of December 2021, without travel exemption.
The eligible visa holders include international students and skilled employees. This exemption-free travel is also for humanitarian, family and working holiday visa holders. However, these visa holders must be fully vaccinated with TGA-approved vaccines to travel.
TGA Approved Vaccines for Eligible Visa Holders
You’ll be considered fully vaccinated if you’ve got a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccine. Eligible visa holders must complete a course of TGA-approved vaccines. TGA includes mix doses of vaccines. Covid-19 vaccines which are acceptable to travel from and to Australia include;
Two doses minimum of 14 days apart of;
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
- AstraZeneca Covishield
- Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
- Moderna Spikevax
- Sinovac Coronavac
- Bharat Biotech Covaxin
- Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60 year olds)
Or one dose of Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine. It’s expected that TGA may recognize other COVID-19 vaccines for inbound travel to Australia. You can also visit the TGA website to get more details about the approved vaccinations.
A minimum of 7 days must have passed since your last dose of vaccination for you to be considered fully immunized. As long as all vaccines are TGA-approved or recognised, mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated.
You cannot meet Australia’s definition of being ’fully vaccinated’ if you haven’t been vaccinated with the doses mentioned above. Dosing schedules and eligibility for vaccines can differ depending on your country of origin.
Arrangements for Children and Vaccination Exceptions
Travelers providing evidence that they can’t get the vaccine due to medical reasons will get the same travel arrangements as fully vaccinated travelers. Likewise, children under 12 can also have access to travel arrangements as other fully immunized travelers.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 may travel with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. Children traveling with unvaccinated family members will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger limits.
Though, Home Affairs offers Child Visa 101 to children who want to live with their parents in Australia. So, if you want to apply for Child visa 101 then book your consultation with our consultancy firm!
Children under 12 years of age are considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes. Their passport will be used as evidence of their age. Moreover, passports will also be used as proof of age for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 years.
Proof of Vaccination to Leave or Enter Australia
International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) would be required to show airline staff if you were vaccinated in Australia. ICVC will be provided in a PDF format so you can print or keep it on your phone electronically.
If you were vaccinated outside Australia and don’t hold ICVC, you must show a foreign vaccination certificate. Though, if you have a vaccination certificate, including the International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, it doesn’t mean that you’re considered fully vaccinated. For instance, your vaccination certificate shows that you’ve had only one dose of a two-dose vaccine.
On the other side, you can’t use your vaccination certificate to leave or enter Australia if it doesn’t meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated. You must meet all the requirements to come to Australia. It’s the responsibility of eligible visa holders to know their vaccination status. Further, they must ensure that their vaccination certificate supports their eligibility to travel from and to Australia.
Not Vaccinated for Medical Reasons
Travelers who’re not vaccinated due to medical reasons are required to show evidence of medical exemption. You must check out the stat/territory requirements where you’re traveling.
Watch full video on “Finally! Australian Borders Open for International Travelers | Everything you need to know!” for further explanation.
If you’re an Australian permanent resident or citizen departing Australia, you must prove that you’ve a medical condition. This medical condition must be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for all COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia. You can provide the Australian COVID-19 digital certificate as evidence. If you don’t have this certificate so you can provide your immunization history statement as well.
There will be a ‘valid to’ date on the COVID-19 digital certificate if a temporary medical contraindication has been recorded on the AIR. After this, you’ll have to consult with your doctor to see if you can get the Covid-19 vaccine. Or else, you’ll have to ask your doctor to update your status on the AIR if your medical contraindication is still valid.
If you can’t provide proof of your medical contraindication listed in the AIR, you have to apply for travel exemption to leave Australia. Moreover, medical contraindications can only be reported through the AIR by qualified healthcare professionals listed on the Department of Health website.
You must check the quarantine requirements of a state/territory where you’re traveling. As it’ll impact your travel arrangements. People who have non-TGA-approved vaccines can’t be considered vaccinated for travel purposes.
You must provide a medical certificate to show that you can’t get the vaccine due to medical reasons.
However, your medical condition must include the following details:
- Your name must match your travel identity documents
- Date of medical consultation and details of your doctor
- Details to show that you’re unable to get the vaccine due to a medical condition
Upon returning to Australia, you’ll be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. It depends on the state/territory where you’re traveling. Eligible visa holders must comply with state/territory requirements on arrival.
Travelers returning to Australia can only enter and travel between New South Wales, Victoria and ACT without quarantining. However, if you want to travel to another state/territory, you may not be allowed to enter. It may be possible that you’ll have to quarantine if you enter to another state/territory.
Make sure that you meet the entry and quarantine requirements where you want to travel. If you don’t comply with the state/territory requirements, you’ll be responsible for quarantine costs.
New Arrangements for Eligible Visa Holders
Eligible visa holders can now travel to Australia without travel exemption. Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Australia from the 1st of December 2021.
Eligible visa holders include people who hold the following visas:
- Refugee visa 200
- In-country Special Humanitarian visa 201
- Global Special Humanitarian visa 202
- Emergency Rescue visa 203
- Woman at Risk visa 204
- Prospective Marriage visa 300
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa 400
- Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)
- Training visa 407
- Temporary Activity visa 408
- Working Holiday visa 417
- Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa 449
- Temporary Work (Skilled) visa 457
- New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa 461
- Work and Holiday visa 462
- Skilled Recognised Graduate visa 476
- Temporary Skill Shortage visa 482
- Temporary Graduate visa 485
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa 489
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa 491
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa 494
- Student visa 500
- Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants) 580
- Student Guardian visa 590
- Temporary Protection visa 785
- Safe Haven Enterprise visa 790
- Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa 870
- Maritime Crew visa 988
Australia has made new arrangements for eligible visa holders who are returning to the country. The Government of Australia has declared a travel-free exemption for eligible visa holders. From December 1, 2021, travelers with TGA-approved vaccines will be able to enter Australia.
Visa holders must meet the state/territory requirements where they intend to travel. However, returning arrivals can only enter NSW, Victoria and ACT without quarantine. If you want to visit another state/territory, you’ll need to quarantine after entering there.
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.