Travel Exemptions Australia

Back to News/Blog

Travel Exemptions Australia

Travel Exemptions Australia

With Australian borders closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only those with legitimate reasons to enter Australia are able to obtain a travel exemption. There are many reasons why one would need a travel exemption to enter Australia.

Reasons for needing a travel exemption include:
-          Having a compassionate and compelling need to travel urgently
-          Having a critical skill
-          Being an immediate family member (spouse, de-facto, dependent child or legal guardian) of an Australian citizen or permanent resident needing to travel to Australia
-          Needing urgent medical treatment or medical evacuation
-          Being a New Zealand resident who usually resides in Australia

The category you fall into determines the type of documentation you need to obtain an exemption.

Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel
There are limited circumstances that enable you to apply for a travel exemption on compassionate and compelling grounds. If you believe you have a compassionate or compelling reason to enter Australia, you must provide details and evidence supporting this claim to the Department of Home Affairs.

Critical Skills
Non-citizens that hold skills required to ensure the continuity of critical skills and services in essential sectors in Australia’s response to Covid-19 and economic recovery may be granted a travel exemption.

Requests for a travel exemption must include:
-          Traveller details: name, DOB, visa type and number, proposed residential address and phone number in Australia.
-          Case information: the reasons why this request should be considered for an exemption.
-          Supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a supporting letter from a business involved in the provision of critical goods and services or Australian, state or territory government authority advising why the skills are critical.

Immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents needing to travel to Australia immediately
Those holding partner visas (subclass 100, 309, 801 and 820) are exempt from the travel restrictions and are permitted to travel.

Those meeting the criteria of an immediate family member need to complete an ‘Evidence of Relationship’ form and outline family and travel circumstances, attaching any documentation that will assist the Department of Home Affairs with assessing the family relationship.

Supporting documentation may include:
-          Marriage certificate
-          De-facto or civil partnership registration
-          Shared financial commitments
-          Joint residency
-          Relevant birth certificate for yourself, partner and children.

Urgent medical treatment or medical evacuation
A travel exemption may be considered for those needing urgent or critical medical treatment in Australia. This also includes medical evacuations on compelling and compassionate grounds. These cases are considered by state and territory governments on a case by case basis and are subject to the capacity of the receiving medical facility.

Travel exemption requests for those requiring urgent medical attention should include:

-          Medical documents outlining the illness
-          A support letter from the originating medical facility or staff
-          A support letter from the receiving medical facility
-          Flight details if available

New Zealand citizens usually residing in Australia
New Zealand citizens who usually reside in Australia (holders of subclass 444) are eligible for travel exemptions.

Unless arriving in Australia on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand, travellers must present evidence of residency documentation upon check-in.

Acceptable evidence of residency includes:
-          Government issued documentation such as Australian drivers’ licence, Medicare card, registration as an Australian resident with the Australian Tax Office. 


This documentation should be supported with one other type of documentation confirming:
-      Current employment or approved study in Australia (or financial evidence through a local bank)
-      Ownership or rental of property in Australia (utility bill, rates notices, lease agreement etc)

If you are unable to provide evidence of residing in Australia, you may be prevented from travelling to Australia.

Other Important Information
Those requiring travel exemptions will also need visas such as visitor visas or temporary skills visas etc to enter Australia.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and those transiting in Australia for less than 72 hours are not required to obtain a travel exemption.

Visa Solutions Australia specialises in travel exemptions and has launched a new website dedicated to this. 

Visit travelexemptionsaustralia.com.au to get in touch with a travel exemption expert today.

To learn more about travel exemptions or any other aspect of migration, contact the Visa Solutions team on 1800 828 008.

Share this Post: