Current Status: Australian Travel Ban Extended to 17 September 2021

The travel bans on Australian citizens and permanent residents leaving the country which was originally put in place on the 18 March 2020 and has been continuously extended has now been extended further.

The Travel Ban has now been extended to the 17 December 2021 having been extended by a further three months.

New Zealand Travel Update: Travel to New Zealand for Australian citizens and permanent residents lifted. All Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents who have been present in Australia for 14 days immediately before the flight or voyage of the outgoing aircraft or vessel commences to New Zealand. Travel exemptions are not required. This travel restriction has been lifted as of 22 March 2021.

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can only leave Australia if you successfully apply for an exemption to be exempted from the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

If you are a temporary visa holder, or looking to enter Australia on a temporary visa you must be granted an exemption before you are permitted to enter Australia.

Criteria which allows you to be exempt and apply for a Travel Ban Exemption

If you are wanting to travel outside of Australia whilst the travel ban is in effect, you will need to satisfy one of the below criteria’s in order to submit an exemption from the government’s travel restrictions.

You can apply for an exemption if your travel is due to:

  • Compassionate or humanitarian grounds;
  • National interest;
  • Urgent and unavoidable personal business;
  • Receiving urgent medical treatment that is not available within Australia;
  • Essentiality for the conduct of critical industries and business; and
  • Response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid.

If you are looking to enter Australia on a temporary visa you must apply for a travel exemption. The Department will consider applications on a case by case basis. The following exemptions currently are in place:

  • foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest
  • critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports
  • people with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
  • diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia, and their immediate family
  • case-by-case exceptions for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Permanent Residents and Australian citizens are able to enter Australia subject to mandatory quarantine measures.

Evidence needed to support the above travel ban exemptions

If you are looking at applying for a travel exemption to leave or enter Australia whils the travel ban is still in effect, then you should be prepared to submit the following relevant documentation and evidence in support of your application.

Evidence may include:

  • Marriage/birth/death certificate’s
  • Proof of relationships
  • Proof that you are permanently relocating to another country
  • Proof of job offers in other countries
  • Your current visa status in Australia
  • Letters from doctors, hospitals or medical professionals regarding treatment and conditions
  • Letters from employers showing necessity to travel for work
  • Statements substantiating your wish to return to Australia; and
  • Any other paperwork which may benefit your submission.

The travel restrictions placed by the government and the health department are strict and it is advised that you do not start your travel journey without already having your exemption. You will be required to show this exemption at the airport in order to leave the country.

Need further assistance?

Should you find yourself or your employees in the position of needing a travel ban exemption to either exit or enter Australia, Ethos Migration Lawyers can guide you through the process and submit an exemption on your behalf maximising your chances of success.

We understand the tough times being endured by citizens, residents temporary or permanent, and businesses in Australia, and aim to make your migration needs stress free.

Please feel free to call our office on 1300 083 843, contact us online or email us on to speak with our friendly team regarding your current circumstances.

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