Entry into Australia without Travel Exemptions and Quarantine Requirements now Permitted for Fully Vaccinated Eligible Visa Holders
From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. This includes eligible visa holders in Australia seeking to depart and return.
This follows earlier changes in place which permitted fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members to travel without needing to apply for an exemption since 1 November 2021.
Note: Travellers who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or the immediate family members and have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption, eligible visa or are seeking to enter under a safe travel zone arrangement.
To be considered an eligible visa holder you must hold one of the following visas:
- Subclass 163 – State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa
- Subclass 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa
- Subclass 200 – Refugee visa
- Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa
- Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa
- Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa
- Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa
- Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa
- Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
- Subclass 402 – Training and Research visa
- Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)
- Subclass 405 – Investor Retirement visa
- Subclass 407 – Training visa
- Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa
- Subclass 410 – Retirement visa
- Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa
- Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa
- Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa
- Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa
- Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa
- Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa
- Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa
- Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa
- Subclass 487 – Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa
- Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 500 – Student visa
- Subclass 560 – Student Temporary Visa
- Subclass 571 – Student Schools Sector Visa
- Subclass 572 – Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa
- Subclass 573 – Higher Education Sector Visa
- Subclass 574 – Postgraduate Research Sector Visa
- Subclass 575 – Non-Award Sector Visa
- Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa
- Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa
- Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa
- Subclass 786 – Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa
- Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa
- Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
- Subclass 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa
- Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa
Note: If you have applied for one of the above visas but it has not yet been granted, you are not considered an eligible visa holder.
Bridging Visa B (subclass 020) holders are not currently listed as ‘eligible visas holders’ and still require approved travel exemptions.
Travellers from Japan and South Korea
From 15 December 2021, citizens of Japan and South Korea (the Republic of Korea) who hold a valid Australian visa will be able to travel from their home country quarantine-free to participating states and territories, without needing to seek a travel exemption regardless of if they hold an ‘eligible visa’ or not.
Under these arrangements, travellers must:
- Hold a passport from either Japan or South Korea;
- Depart from their home country (either Japan or South Korea) and travel directly to Australia without transit and arrive in a participating Australian state or territory;
- Be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by the TGA
- Hold a valid Australian visa;
- Provide proof of their vaccination status; and
- Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of departure (unless a medical exemption applies)
Arrangements for Children
Children under 12 will be able to access the same travel arrangements as fully vaccinated travellers.
Children aged 12-17 years, who are unvaccinated, can be permitted to travel with a fully vaccinated adult or guardian.
The Australian Government will consider a person to be fully vaccinated if they have completed a course of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccine and have received the following vaccines and dosages (includes mixed doses):
Two doses at least 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
At least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated.
The TGA will also continue its assessment of other COVID-19 vaccines that may be recognised in the future for the purposes of inbound travel to Australia.
Proof of Vaccination
Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents will be required to show their vaccination status to airline staff in the form of either an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate or a foreign vaccination certificate that meets the requirements outlined on the Australian Passport Office website.
Your proof of vaccination must show that you meet Australia’s definition of being fully vaccinated and you must comply with all other requirements for coming to Australia.
Travellers who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will need to provide proof of a medical exemption.
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident departing Australia, you will need to show evidence that you have a medical contraindication (medical condition which prevents you from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination) reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for all COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia. A medical contraindication can only be reported by eligible health professionals as defined by the Department of Health.
Travellers coming to Australia must provide a medical certificate that indicates they are unable to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine because of a medical condition. The medical certificate must include:
- Your name as it appears on your travel identification documents
- Date of medical consultation and details of your medical practitioner
- Details that clearly acknowledge that you have a medical contraindication
- Arrangements for Children
Note: People who have received non-TGA approved or recognised vaccines should not be certified in this category and cannot be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.
Quarantine and Entry
You may be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements when you return to Australia depending on which state or territory you are travelling to.
You need to comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territory of your arrival, and any other state or territories that you plan to travel to.
If you wish to travel on to another state or territory you may not be allowed to enter, or may be subject to a quarantine period.
NOTE: Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members entering Australia who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days must enter supervised quarantine for 14 days in line with state and territory requirements irrespective of their vaccination status.