Australia has put in place strict international border measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 within Australian community. While non-citizens, international visitors and other temporary visa holders may still be able to leave Australia where possible to do so, the Government has imposed overseas travel restrictions on Australian citizens and permanent residents. Accordingly, temporary visa holders do not need an exemption from the Commissioner of Australian Border Force (ABF) to depart Australia, if there are no border restrictions in their home country and flights are available.
Automatic outbound travel exemptions also apply in certain cases and no prior travel exemption is needed for persons who are:
- Ordinarily resident in another country
- Airline, maritime crew or associated safety workers
- New Zealand citizens holding a Subclass 444 visa
- Engaged in the day-to-day conduct of outbound freight
- Associated with essential work at Australian offshore facilities
- Travelling on official Government business
Further, Australian citizens and permanent residents may be allowed to leave Australia only if they obtain an exemption from the ABF Commissioner for travel falling under below mentioned categories:
- Responding to the COVID-19 outbreak;
- To conducting business;
- To receive urgent medical treatment (not available in Australia);
- To travel outside Australia for three months or longer;
- To serve the national interest;
- For compassionate or humanitarian grounds.
You should apply for an exemption at least at least two weeks, but not more than three months before your planned travel. Without the exemption, you will not be allowed to travel and thus, you must take evidence of the exemption to the airport. If you are seeking assistance for travel exemption or are facing any migration issues, call us on (02) 4626 100 to speak to one of our Registered Migration Agents.