Travel exemption for Australia

Leaving Australia | COVID-19 and the border closed -travel exemption

Travel exemption for Australia

Outward Travel Restrictions -travel exemption

The impact of COVID-19 on international travel.

Over the last year, COVID-19 has changed international travel. It’s more unpredictable, and far more complex. Being separated from family and friends who live overseas is hard, but the reality of how difficult travel during the pandemic is should not be underestimated. Every day, we’re contacted by Australians overseas who need assistance because of COVID-19-related impacts on travel.

To be advised Australians not to travel at this time due to the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant disruptions to global travel.

Travel Exemption Australia

If you’re considering whether you should apply for an exemption to travel overseas, or fly on from a travel zone destination, you need to first consider how different travel has become. It’s your responsibility to ensure you’re informed of all the risks and well prepared before making the decision to travel.

Travel exemption to leave australia for more than 3 months

From 25 March 2020, all Australian citizens and permanent residents must not travel outside Australia unless exempt, either through being in an already exempt category or through obtaining an individual exemption by providing the Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner with a compelling reason to depart.

An authorised Officer of the Australian Border Force or the Department of Home Affairs can determine whether people are in an exempt category or can grant an individual exemption in order for the person to depart Australia. Determinations should be made with reference to a reasonable standard of evidence in the circumstances.

How to Apply for Travel exemption to leave Australia

Individual exemption requests should be submitted via the Travel Exemption Portal and assessed by a trained decision maker prior to the departure date.

Travel exemption to leave australia for more than 3 months

Individual exemption requests should be submitted via the Travel Exemption Portal and assessed by a trained decision maker prior to the departure date.

Travel exemption to New Zealand

Effective Monday 19 April 2021,

the Health Minister has revised the overseas travel ban in relation to travel to New Zealand. Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to travel to New Zealand without applying for an outwards travel exemption in the following circumstances:

A) An exemption from the outwards travel restrictions applies to a person who:

    1. is travelling directly to New Zealand; and
    2. intends to travel from New Zealand only to return to Australia; and
    3. has been only in either or both of Australia and New Zealand for at least 14days immediately before the day the flight or voyage of the outgoing aircraft or vessel commences.

B) An exemption from the outwards travel restrictions applies to a person who:

  1. is travelling directly to New Zealand; and
  2. does not intend to return to Australia; and
  3. has been only in either or both of Australia and New Zealand for at least 14days immediately before the day the flight or voyage of the outgoing aircraft or vessel commences.

The following situations would generally be approved and can be assessed for Travel Exemption

  1. is attending the funeral of a close family member (parent, sibling, partner, child or grandparent) regardless of length of intended travel
  2. is travelling due to critical or serious illness of a close family member (parent, sibling, partner, child or grandparent) regardless of length of intended travel
  3. is travelling for necessary medical treatment not available in Australia
  4. needs to pick up a minor child (adoption, surrogacy, court order etc.) and return to Australia with that child
  5. intends to complete an existing work contract – for example fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers and individuals with a work contract
  1. is travelling to an Australian territory which is outside the migration zone
  2. other compelling reason for travel where travel is for less than three months
  3. is travelling on business, regardless of length of intended travel
  4. has had a previous request approved and the reasons for travel have not changed.
  5. travel is in the national interest
  6. travel is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid

Other compelling reason for travel Exemption

‘Compelling’ takes its ordinary dictionary meaning. Compelling reasons may stem from compassionate factors or may arise, for example, from a person’s circumstances or the circumstances of another person. Travellers should provide relevant documentary evidence that supports their compelling reason to travel overseas

How to get a travel exemption

You must hold a visa and have an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided

Travel Exemption Australia Processing Time

Usually travel exemption requests are finalised within 7 days. Complex requests may take longer. To complete a travel exemption request you should provide information and documents to support your request.

Some of Travel Exemption requests to depart Australia are finalised within 48 hours, but some complex requests may take longer.

What are the exemptions for overseas travel 1

The following situation would generally be approved and can be assessed and decided officers :

— has declared an intent to travel overseas for at least three months for a compelling reason

What are the exemptions for overseas travel 2

a. is attending the funeral of a close family member (parent, sibling, partner, child or grandparent) regardless of length of intended travel

b. is travelling due to critical or serious illness of a close family member (parent, sibling, partner, child or grandparent) regardless of length of intended travel

c. is travelling for necessary medical treatment not available in Australia

d. needs to pick up a minor child (adoption, surrogacy, court order etc.) and return to Australia with that child

e. intends to complete an existing work contract – for example fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers and individuals with a work contract Outward Travel Restrictions Operation Directive V8

f. is travelling to an Australian territory which is outside the migration zone g. other compelling reason for travel where travel is for less than three months

h. is travelling on business, regardless of length of intended travel

i. has had a previous request approved and the reasons for travel have not changed. j. travel is in the national interest k. travel is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid

How to get exemption to travel overseas

The following categories of traveller are exempt from travel restrictions:

 usually resident in a country other than Australia

 members of the crew of an aircraft or vessel, or a worker associated with the safety or maintenance of an aircraft or vessel

 New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa, even if they are usually resident in Australia

 engaged in the day-to-day conduct of inbound and outbound freight

 travelling in association with essential work at an offshore facility in Australian waters

 travelling on official Government business (including members of the Australian Defence Force and any Australian government official travelling on a diplomatic or official passport)

 individuals who are travelling directly to New Zealand and who were only in Australia or New Zealand for the 14 days immediately before the travel date.

Apply online for an exemption

Please make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment. If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with travel plans, as you will not be permitted to depart Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Travel Exemption – Vaccinations now available for overseas travel covid-19

Australian citizens and permanent residents under 50 years of age who have an approved outwards travel exemption in an eligible category are now able to access COVID-19 vaccinations. It is the Australian Government’s strong preference that Australians are vaccinated prior to travelling overseas.To be eligible, travel exemptions must be granted on or after 20 May 2021 for one of the following reasons:

  • your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
  • your travel is for your business or employer
  • you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • you are travelling on compassionate or compelling grounds
  • you are travelling for urgent or unavoidable personal business
  • your travel is in the national interest.