Applying for an Exemption from the Australian Travel Ban

The Australian Travel Ban’s Current Status

The travel prohibitions on Australian citizens and permanent residents who leave the country, which was first imposed on March 18, 2020, and have been constantly extended since then, have now been extended once more.

New Zealand Travel Update: Australian nationals and permanent residents can now travel to New Zealand. All Australian nationals and permanent residents who have been in Australia for 14 days or more immediately before the outgoing aircraft or vessel’s flight or trip to New Zealand. There are no requirements for travel exemption to leave Australia.

As of March 22, 2021, this travel restriction has been abolished.

The travel ban has been extended for another three months, till September 17, 2021.

Suppose you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. In that case, you can only leave the country if you apply for an exemption to leave Australia during the COVID-19 travel restrictions and are granted one.

If you have a temporary visa or are planning to enter Australia on a temporary visa, you must first get an exemption before entering the country.

People who have spent 14 days or more in New Zealand and have not visited a designated hotspot, and are flying to Australia on a quarantine-free trip can now enter Australia without having to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Criteria for being exempt and applying for a Travel Ban Exemption

If you want to go outside of Australia while the travel ban is in place, you must meet one of the conditions listed below in order to request an exception from the government’s travel restrictions.

If you need to travel for the following reasons, you can ask for an exemption:

  • Reasons of compassion or humanitarianism
  • The interest of the country
  • Personal matters that are urgent and unavoidable
  • Getting emergency medical care that isn’t available in Australia
  • Important for the operation of vital industries and businesses (such as export and import); and
  • The response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including relief distribution.

Temporary Visas Holders: 

You must apply for a travel exemption leaving Australia or entering Australia on a temporary visa. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the department. There are currently the following exclusions in place:

  • Reasons of compassion and humanitarianism;
  • In Australia, a non-citizen possessing critical talents or working in a critical industry;
  • A non-citizen whose immigration would be in the national interest if approved by the Australian State or Territory government authority;
  • A student in years 11 and 12 who has received support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government’s health and education departments;
  • A non-citizen who has been invited by the Australian government or a State or Territory government authority in assistance with the COVID-19 response;
  • Providing critical or specialised medical services, such as air ambulance services, medical evacuations, and essential medical supply delivery.

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