In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, Australia has put in place precautionary measures to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 into Australia. Before making a decision to move to Australia, it is important to keep up with the latest news on the travel restrictions to help you better plan your relocation.
Last updated: 1 July 2020
Travel Restriction Updates – COVID-19
UPDATE: With the surge in imported COVID-19 cases, all non-Australian citizens and non-residents will not be allowed to enter or transit in Australia.
Here’s what you need to know about the travel restrictions in Australia.
Entering Australia Borders
- All non-Australian citizens and non-residents are not allowed entry to Australia
- This does not include Australian citizens, immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependents, legal guardians, de facto partners and New Zealand citizens that usually reside in Australia (with subclass 444 visa or other permanent or provisional visa)
- All other travellers with compelling reasons to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner. You can apply request here.
- Upon entry, all passengers are required to self-isolate at their first arrival location in Australia for 14 days.
- Visit Department of Home Affairs on entering Australia during COVID-19 period for more.
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider an additional exemption in relation to the travel restrictions currently in place for:
- 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.
- Foreign nationals transiting through Australia need not apply for transit exemption if they are connecting flights from the same airport without leaving the airport. Or else, you will need to apply to the Commissioner of the ABF for a travel exemption here.
- To transit through Australia, one must either hold a valid visa or be from an eligible country to Transit Without a Visa (TWOV). Or else, you can apply for a Transit visa (subclass 771) which allows transit through Australia for up to 72 hours.
- New Zealander, citizen of a Pacific Island Forum country, Timor Leste citizen or resident of New Caledonia or French Polynesia transiting through Australia do not need a transit exemption if the connecting flight departs Australia within 72 hours of arriving flight. Or else, one will need to apply online to the Commissioner of the ABF for travel exemptions.
- For more visit here.
Travel Requirements to all travellers before entering Australia
- All passengers will be provided with an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) and an Isolation Declaration Card.
- They will be subjected to health screening on arrival.
Leaving Australia Borders
Notice to Australians citizen and permanent resident:
- All Australian citizens and permanent residents not allowed to travel overseas due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- However, if you need to leave Australia, you may apply for an exemption to travel here and would need to meet one of the following:
- your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
- your travel is essential for the conduct of critical industries and business (including export and import industries)
- you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
- you are travelling on urgent and unavoidable personal business
- you are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds
- your travel is in the national interest
For more visit: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia
Notice to Foreigners:
- All international visitors are encouraged to depart if it is possible.
- Travellers that exit Australia may only re-enter to Australia if they meet the entry requirements
UPDATE: Visitors are advised to reconsider their need to apply for an Australian visa at this time due to the changes in application process.
Get updates on changes pertaining to visa information here.
Updates for Temporary Visa Holders
- International students in Australia for more than 12 months will be able to access their Australian superannuation. The Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions.
- Seasonal Workers (Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour scheme) will be able to extend their stay in Australia to support the agricultural sector. Seasonal Worker Programme workers will also be able to apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream while Pacific Labour Scheme workers are able to apply for a new Temporary Work (International Relations) (subclass 403) Pacific Labour scheme stream visa.
- Visitor Visa Holders that are unable to support themselves are advised to return home if it is possible to do so.
- Temporary Skilled Visa Holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements. In addition, visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation.
- Working Holiday Visa Holders working in critical sectors (including heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare sector) will be exempted from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.
More information on COVID-19 information for Temporary Visa Holders in Australia can be found here.
Visa Processing Arrangements
Due to the COVID-19, there will be disruption of services relating to the visa application processes and services will be increasingly unavailable.
- This includes overseas panel doctors, English language testing facilities, biometric collection and paper application lodgement centres.
- Due to unavailable services that prevent applicants from meeting visa requirements, they will be given additional time to complete checks and provide the requested information.
The Department will be prioritising processing visa applications for those travellers in the exempt categories to support urgent travel. It is encouraged that applicants to apply online wherever possible, as these applications will be processed faster than those lodged on paper.
Here is an overview of the travel restrictions in Australia.
|Category:||Travel Requirement: ||Travel Measures:||Others:|
|Australian Citizen & Permanent Residents||-||Allowed entry with mandatory 14 day |
quarantine at designated facilities, in their port of arrival
|New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia||Subclass 444 visa or other permanent or provisional visa||Required to carry proof of residency to be presented at check-in.|
|Immediate Family member of Australian Citizen or Permanent Reside (Includes spouse, de facto partner, dependent child(ren), legal guardian)||Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) and Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) visa holders||May need to provide information to the Department before travelling to Australia.|
|Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders||Not allowed entry at the moment||-|
|No Visa||Not allowed entry||-|
|Visitors with exemption (as determine by Commissioner)||Exemptions must be granted prior to travelling to Australia.||Allowed entry with mandatory 14 day |
quarantine at designated facilities, in their port of arrival
|All other visitors (without exemptions)||-||Not allowed entry||Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia can also use this form to apply for an exemption.|
More Information on COVID-19
Check out the following pages and contact informations to get the latest updates on the COVID-19 situation.
Australia National Coronavirus Line: 1800 020 080
Learn more about Australia here
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