The Australian borders remain closed since 20 March 2020 whilst the Coronavirus global pandemic continues to grip the world.
A travel ban was placed on all non-residents and non-citizens coming to Australia. This means that even if you have a valid visa, you will not be able to enter the country.
According to the Government website, the travel restrictions will remain in place until further notice.
Who can travel to Australia during restrictions
There are a very few exemptions in place allowing the below listed travellers to enter the country:
- Australian citizens
- Australian Permanent Residency Visa holders
- Immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
Australian citizens and Australian Permanent Residency Visa holders
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent residency visa holder, you will be allowed to enter the country however you will be required to undertake a 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel).
Immediate family of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
Who is an immediate family member:
- a spouse
- a de facto partner
- a dependent child/ren
- a legal guardian.
You will be required to undertake mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. You must contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs before traveling to Australia. You will be required to provide proof of your relationship to the Australian citizen or Australian Permanent visa holder. This would include things like marriage certificate, yours and your children birth certificates). Couples who are not married will be required to provide evidence of their de-facto spouse relationship.
Following Visa holders are permitted to travel to Australia:
- Australian Spouse and De-Facto Spouse visa holders – subclass 100, 309. 801 and 820
- Australian Child Visa holders – subclass 101, 102, and 445
If you are a holder of the Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa you cannot travel to Australia at the moment.
If you have compassionate or compelling reasons to travel to Australia, you can request an exemption by completing a form on the Australian immigration Department website: www.homeaffairs.gov.au
A few exemptions are in place allowing the Immigration Department to consider lifting the travel restrictions to applicants in one of the following groups:
- Those travelling to Australia at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government to assist with the COVID-19 response or whose presence would be in the national interest
- critical medical services, such as air ambulance and delivery of supplies.
- people with critical skills such as medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews.
- diplomats and their immediate family
- other exemptions based on humanitarian or compassionate reasons.
Exemptions must be granted prior to travelling to Australia.
Requesting exemption to travel
Should you wish to travel to Australia whilst the borders are shut, you need to ask the Department for permission to travel. Depending on your individual circumstances, you must provide suitable evidence supporting our request, including but not limited to:
- proof of ID
- marriage certificates
- birth certificates
- death certificates
- proof of relationship
- visa status
- letter from a doctor or hospital indicating why the travel is necessary
- letter from an employer indicating why the travel is necessary or the work undertaken is critical
- letter from a related business or company
- any other proof you may have to support your claims.
The Australian Immigration Department is prioritising processing visa applications for those applicants in the exempt categories who have an urgent need to travel to Australia.
Applicants are no able to apply for the ETA tourist visa whilst the restrictions are in place. For Australia Visa and immigration assistance contact: [email protected] or call us on 0044 207 427 5290.