Inbound Travel to Australia for temporary visa holders

As of 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens/permanent residents and New Zealand citizens usually residing in Australia can travel to Australia.

Exceptions for temporary visa holders:

  • Immediate family member (spouse, de facto partners, dependent child, or legal guardian) of an Australian Citizen or Permanent resident.
  • Compelling or compassionate reason to travel to Australia urgently.
  • Invited by the Australian Government for assisting in the COVID-19 response.
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia and their immediate family.

Exemption Request must be made using this online form. Exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be granted prior to undertaking travel to Australia.

The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details: name, DOB, visa type and number, passport number, Australian residential address, Australian telephone number)
  • Case information: why this case should be considered for Commissioner discretion/exemption
  • Supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a statement and evidence of how the individual meets one of the grounds for an exemption or excise of the Commissioner’s discretion listed above
  • Evidence that you meet one of the exemptions above before travelling.

Self-Isolation Requirement

Effective from Saturday 28 March 2020, people who arrive in Australia from overseas must enter into quarantine for 14 days.

This is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the community and heavy penalties apply to those who do not comply with the order.

Some people quarantined for 14 days in hotels to help contain the pandemic.

COVID-19 requires an extraordinary response and the quarantine period is necessary for the safety and health of Australians, including the family and friends of those in self-isolation.

The 14-day quarantine period

To assist in compliance of the quarantine order and, more importantly, to reduce the spread of the virus, “visitors” will be housed in designated accommodation for a 14-day quarantine period.

During this time, they will not be permitted to have visitors unless they are entering the premises for medical purposes or due to an emergency.

At the end of the 14-day quarantine period

After 14 days of quarantine, if you remain well then you do not require any tests before being released from isolation.

Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents – Outbound Travel from Australia

As of 25 Mar 2020, it is a criminal offence for Australian citizens and permanent residents to travel offshore unless an exemption sought prior to travel. This does not apply to temporary residents e.g. 482 visa holders.

Exceptions for outbound travel:

  • people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia
  • people whose travel associated with essential work at offshore facilities
  • people engaged in the day to day conduct of outbound and inbound freight
  • people travelling on official Government business (including members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF))
  • airline and maritime crew and associated safety workers

Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for those who meet the criteria listed below. The reasons can be one of:

  • People whose travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
  • People whose travel is essential for the conduct of critical industries and business (including export and import industries)
  • People who are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia.
  • People who are travelling on urgent and unavoidable personal business.
  • On compassionate or humanitarian grounds
  • Where the travel is in the national interest