Australian Travel Ban Information

Updated February 2022

Current Status of the Australian Travel Restriction

The travel restrictions which were originally put in place on 18 March 2020 by the Australian Government have recently changed.

Different restrictions will soon apply depending on your COVID-19 vaccination status.

From 21 February 2022, Australia will reopen international borders to all fully vaccinated travellers including tourists, business travellers and other visitors.

Entry will only be permitted to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who hold a valid exemption from vaccination (must provide acceptable proof you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or are a child under 12 years of age).

Unvaccinated visa holders will still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia.

State and Territory Requirements

State and Territory imposed arrival caps, COVID-19 testing requirements and quarantine arrangements will continue to apply. Arrangements are also in place in some states and territories to allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years to travel with a fully vaccinated adult.

Travellers are expected to comply with the requirements in the state or territory of their arrival, and any other state or territories that they plan to travel to. This includes quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements. Restrictions may change at short notice.

Official State and Territory requirements can be found here.

Outbound Travel from Australia – Unvaccinated Travellers

Unvaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents wishing to travel overseas are required to apply for an exemption to leave Australia. This does not apply to children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical exemption.

Temporary visa holders can depart Australia at any time.

Inbound Travel to Australia – Unvaccinated Travellers

Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.

Criteria for a Travel Restriction Exemption

Inbound Travel to Australia

Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.

The department will consider applications for travellers who do not meet the eligibility requirements and are wanting to enter Australia on a case by case basis. The following exemptions are currently in place:

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

  • Compassionate and humanitarian reasons;
  • A non-citizen with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia;
  • A non-citizen sponsored by the employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL);
  • A non-citizen whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a State or Territory government authority;
  • A student completing year 11 and 12, with support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department;
  • A student in their final three years of a medical university degree, where evidence of confirmed placement in the next two months in an Australian hospital or medical practice can be shown;
  • Student in their final two years of a dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice due to commence within two months;
  •  A Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holder in the following circumstances:
  • Where the subclass 300 visa has been granted; and
  • The subclass 300 visa application was lodged at least 12 months before submitting a travel exemption request.
  • A non-citizen travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a State or Territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response;
  • A person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where the safe haven is sought;
  • Providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies; and
  • Specified Military personnel.

Evidence Needed to Support a Travel Restriction Exemption

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

Evidence may include but is not limited to:

  • Marriage/birth/death certificates
  • Proof of identity
  • 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
  • Statutory declarations
  • Supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
  • Travel itinerary
  • Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination (if applicable)
  • Statements substantiating your wish to return to Australia; and
  • Any other paperwork which may benefit your submission as per the nature of your request

The travel restrictions placed by the Australian government and the Department of Health are strict and it is advised that you do not start your travel journey without already having your exemption. In most cases you will be required to show this exemption at the airport in order to leave the country.

Professional Assistance & Representation with Australian Travel Ban Exemption Applications

Should you find yourself or your employees in the position of needing a travel 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 have gained a sound understanding of what the Department of Home Affairs is looking for in terms of evidence for these exemptions, and can put together a written submission on your behalf to attach with the travel exemption substantiating each piece of evidence and the reason for your travel.

We understand the challenging times being endured by citizens, residents temporary or permanent, and businesses in Australia, and aim to assist with preparing the strongest travel exemption application for you or your businesses needs.

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.

We have been getting some amazing results for our clients, and will provide you with a comprehensive assessment whether it is likely or very unlikely that you can be approved a travel exemption.

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