To facilitate travel exemptions in response to travel restrictions due to COVID-19, the Department has created a dedicated portal, the Travel Restriction Exemption Portal, to seek a travel exemption from the from the Commissioner of ABF (Australian Border Force) for travelling to, or out of Australia. While temporary visa holders may still be able to leave Australia and go back to their home country where practical, the Government has imposed overseas travel restrictions on Australian citizens and permanent residents to leave from Australia, who may be able to seek a travel exemption from the ABF Commissioner to be allowed to travel.
A person affected by the current COVID-19 travel restrictions are eligible to apply for the exemption and include:
- Immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident (being spouses, de facto partners, dependent children and legal guardians)
- New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia
- Persons having a compelling or compassionate reason to travel to Australia urgently, including critical skills and medical emergencies
- Persons believing they meet the departure travel restriction exemption.
The departure travel restriction exemption allows travel only if your travel relates to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, conduct critical industries and business, receive urgent medical treatment, attend urgent and unavoidable personal business, serve the national interest, or for compassionate or humanitarian grounds.
A person seeking a travel exemption is required to submit a request at least 4 weeks, but not more than 3 months, prior to travel.