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COVID-19 Immigration Updates: Travel Restrictions to Australia

From 9pm, 20 March 2020, the Government made border closure announcement – only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their family members are allowed to travel to Australia. Many thought it is temporary restrictions to travel. Now 2 months has passed, while it is still hard to predict when travelling outside or into Australia can be allowed in the short term, some can’t wait still. We’re receiving more and more enquiries: “When can I come back to Sydney?” “When is Australia opening up?” “I have a pre-arranged business trip overseas, can I go?”


In this article, you will find an answer.


If you are:

  • an Australian citizen,

  • an Australian permanent resident (including recently granted permanent resident such as Subclass 132), or

  • a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia

  • a Subclass 309, Subclass 820 or Subclass 445 visa holder

you can travel to Australia anytime you like.


For New Zealand Citizens, you will need to show proof of residency such as driver license and / or other documents showing your Australian address.



If you are

  • an immediate family member * of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia,

you may be able to travel to Australia with specific permission.


*“Immediate family member” refers to

  • a spouse

  • a de-facto partner

  • a dependent child

  • a legal guardian

You cannot travel until you have been granted permission.



If you are:

  • foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest

  • providing critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports

  • persons with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception

  • diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australian, and their immediate family

you may be able to travel to Australia with specific permission.

You cannot travel until you have been granted permission.



If you are holding

  • a temporary visa or visitor visa (except Subclass 309, Subclass 820 or Subclass 445 visa)

You will need to show a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia.

It is important to provide all necessary evidence in support of your travel exemption claim. Depending on your reason for requesting exemption, evidence will be different.



If you

  • do not hold an Australia visa,

you will need to apply for an Australia visa and apply for travel exemption.

You cannot travel until you have been granted permission.

If you wish to apply for an exemption, please contact us to discuss your circumstances or book a consultation.


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