Australia Travel Exemption - Do You Qualify to travel to australia during covid lockdowns
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Australia Travel Exemption – Would You Qualify?

Earlier this week we published an article highlighting the Australia additional categories added for persons exempt from Travel Restrictions. For those looking to travel to Australia from abroad, it probably didn’t leave that great an impression as the lifted travel exemptions applied to the likes of Australian citizens, family members of Australian citizens, airline crew and the like.

With this in mind, we thought it may be useful to provide some examples of scenarios where the Australia Border Force (ABF) Commissioner has approved inwards travel exemptions to make this recent update a little more relatable to those who don’t naturally fit under the updated criteria.

The ABF has submitted a document to the Senate committee on COVID-19 outlining case scenarios where the Commissioner has generally approved requests from people seeking to enter Australia.

“This interim information is provided pending finalisation of endorsed Commissioner’s guidelines to decision-makers,”

reads the document supplied by the ABF.

It is imperative to point that the below listed are ‘case scenarios’ listed by the ABF where the Commissioner has generally approved inward travel exemptions.

Australia Travel Exemption – Who is being approved?

The following case scenarios have been generally approved by the Australia Border Force (ABF) Commissioner from people seeking an Australia Travel Exemption to enter Australia.

  • Cases involving separation of minors from their family unit, including:
  • Minors needing to travel to Australia to reunite with their parent/s or guardian. One accompanying close family member (aunt, uncle, grandparent) has been approved, where parents cannot accompany the child.
  • Cases demonstrating strong compassionate circumstances that, if not recognised, would result in “serious, ongoing and irreversible harm and continuing hardship to a person lawfully in Australia,” including:
    • Those seeking to attend the funeral of a close family member or visit a close family member in critical care at end of life. Up to four persons permitted to travel.
    • Those seeking to visit a close family member who is seriously or critically ill, particularly where there is little support in Australia.
    • The partner of a person who is in Australia (including temporary visa holders) in the final trimester of their pregnancy or otherwise due to give birth.
COVID-19 Concessions For Australia Visa applicants Announced

Other scenarios include:

  • Delivery of critical medical services
  • Non-citizens travelling at the invitation of the Commonwealth or State governments
  • People with critical skills
  • A strong economic or scientific benefit to Australia would result from the person being entering Australia (not including students)
  • Non-citizens requiring urgent or critical medical treatment in Australia
  • Military personnel
  • The immediate family member of a non-citizen with critical skills in Australia, where the person in Australia holds a temporary or provisional visa
  • Individuals who are part of elite sporting teams
  • Non-crew members who are critical to the operation of a vessell

In addition, the document outlines that the Commissioner will continue to personally consider requests for:

  • Elite sporting teams and their entourages
  • Persons who are undertaking research (especially on a student visa)
  • Anyone considered to be of ‘social or cultural benefit’
  • Visa holders who fall within the at risk/refugee cohort – XB visa holders etc
  • Persons who are considered to be ‘grant ready’ for permanent residence, and who are proposing to travel to Australia for visa grant
  • Other novel, unusual or high-risk requests
Additional Categories Added For Persons Exempt From Travel Restrictions To Enter Australia

Nearly 40,000 offshore applicants have requested for an exemption to Australia’s coronavirus travel ban since March 20.

Are you looking to travel to Australia? How has your progress been so far when trying to gain your Australia travel exemptions? We’d love to hear from you so please comment below.


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Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts! 

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COVID-19 Concessions For Australia Visa applicants Announced

COVID-19 Concessions For Australia Visa applicants Announced