Travel Ban Exemption to Australia

Travel Ban Exemption










Due to Covid-19 you can only travel to Australia under very limited circumstances.    Australia’s borders are likely to remain closed until a vaccine has been rolled out globally.   You can still travel to Australia or get a travel ban exemption to Australia if you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • an immediate family member* of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia or
  • meet one of the other travel ban exemptions.

*You are only considered to be an immediate family member if you are:

  • a spouse
  • a de facto partner
  • a dependent child/ren
  • a legal guardian

Immediate Family

If you are an immediate family member holding a temporary visa  (except for a Partner or Child Visa) you will need to provide the Department of Home Affairs with evidence of your relationship before you are issued permission to travel.

How do you get a travel exemption to Australia?

You can apply for a travel exemption if:

  • you have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia
  • you provide critical medical services and supplies
  • you are an immediate family member of an Australian
  • you have critical skills

You can apply for a travel ban exemption before or after you have obtained an Australian visa.  You should apply no more than 4 weeks prior to your intended travel date.  Your intended travel date must be in the next 3 months.  You are required to provide a date of intended travel.   You should upload a copy of your flight booking or flight itinerary, if one is available.

Visa processing times have been affected by Covid-19 with priority given to onshore applications or applicants meeting the travel ban exemptions.

As with all issues surrounding Australian migration and Covid-19, these requirements are subject to change and are valid as of today’s date only.   We encourage you to contact a migration agent to assist you with your application.   At Australian Visa Group, we provide advice, prepare and manage applications for travel ban exemptions into Australia.

Requirements for a Travel Ban Exemption

The legislation outlining the requirements to be met to receive a travel ban exemption to Australia has not been released.   Only brief information and an overview of criteria is provided on the Department of Home Affairs website.  You should therefore provide as much information as possible in your application.  You should include evidence and a written submission addressing all aspects of your situation.

When submitting your application for a travel ban exemption into Australia, it is essential you support your application with documentation.  Consider your request as important as your original visa application.    Expect that the assessing officer does not have access to your original visa application.   You should substantiate every claim and statement with evidence.

For instance, if you are claiming to be the spouse of an Australian permanent resident you should include your identification documents and evidence of your relationship.  A marriage certificate alone does not demonstrate the relationship is genuine and continuing.  You must provide evidence to demonstrate the duration of the relationship, the living arrangements, social aspects, financial aspects and future commitment.  You should include evidence dating back 3, 6 or more months immediately prior to submission of the application for a travel ban exemption into Australia.

You should include evidence to substantiate your claims that travel is urgent, compassionate and compelling.   For instance, if your partner currently lives in Australia include evidence of their residential address and how long they have lived there.  Provide evidence of your partners’ employment including employment contracts, recent payslips, ATO Tax Assessment Notices.   If your partner’s skills are critical to Australia include a letter of support from their employer, resume and their qualifications.   If children are involved, ensure you provide evidence of where the children currently reside and where they go to school.   If the children are separated from one parent, including evidence of when the family most recently lived together and a statement explaining the reasons for the recent separation.   If you have a family member in Australia who is unwell, include a medical certificate.

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider an exemption from travel restrictions for people with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews).

Your request for an exemption from travel restrictions should be accompanied by a supporting statement and evidence of how your skills are critical to Australia.   Do not rely on the Department of Home Affairs having access to the documents you provided in your visa application.  Upload all your supporting evidence again.   You also need to provide:

  • Letter of support from your employer explaining why your skills are critical to Australia
  • Dates and hours of your employment
  • Qualifications (for example degree or relevant registration)
  • Flight itinerary
  • A letter of support from a Commonwealth, State or Territory authority (if applicable)

All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.    Many states and territories are now requiring applicants to cover the cost of this quarantine period.

Apply for a Travel Ban Exemption to Australia

You can apply for a travel ban exemption through this link

Get Help

Book an initial 30 min phone consultation with our senior migration agent, Michelle Firth.  Australian Visa Group is a migration agency that specialises in skilled, employer sponsored and family migration.  If required, we can manage your travel ban exemption application.


Who Can Travel To Australia 

Partner, Child Visa or Prospective Marriage Visa

If you hold a Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) and Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) visa you do not need to request an exemption.  However, Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders can’t come to Australia at the moment.

New Zealand Citizen

New Zealand citizens who normally reside in Australia (with a subclass 444 visa or other permanent or provisional visa) can come to Australia. You must carry proof of residency (driver’s licence or documents that show your Australian residency). Present these documents during check-in at the departure airport.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents not living in Australia can only transit through Australia to return to New Zealand.  Pacific Islanders will also be allowed to transit through Australia to their home countries.

Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen

If you are an Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen you do not need to apply for a travel exemption.  International arrival numbers have been capped in many states to ensure that hotel quarantining remains manageable and effective.