Ever since the pandemic, Australia has remained closed off to the rest of the world with tight travel exemptions in place. Since then, different Australian states have put in place different restrictions for travellers. Whilst there are not many hurdles for Australian permanent residents and citizens to return to Australia, things are not so straightforward with temporary visa holders. With only New South Wales and Victoria no longer having restrictions to enter, what does this mean for you?

What does this mean for temporary visa holders? Can you travel to Australia without an inbound travel exemption?

Yes – but you have to meet 2 requirements:

  1. You must be fully vaccinated, which means you have had vaccines approved by Therapeutic Goods Administration. If you cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 for medical reasons, you must have evidence to back up this claim.
  2. You must hold one of the visas below:
Subclass 163 – State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa
Subclass 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa Subclass 487 – Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa
Subclass 200 – Refugee visa Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa Subclass 500 – Student visa
Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa Subclass 560 – Student Temporary Visa
Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa Subclass 571 – Student Schools Sector Visa
Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa Subclass 572 – Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa
Subclass 402 – Training and Research visa Subclass 573 – Higher Education Sector Visa
Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa

Subclass 405 – Investor Retirement visa

Subclass 574 – Postgraduate Research Sector Visa
Subclass 407 – Training visa Subclass 575 – Non-Award Sector Visa
Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa 
Subclass 410 – Retirement visa Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa
Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa
Subclass 444 – Special Category visa Subclass 786 – Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa
Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa
Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa Subclass 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa
Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa
Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa
Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa

If your visa wasn’t on the list above, you’ll have to meet certain criteria to be able to apply for a travel exemption:

  • Parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents: The definition of parents includes biological parents, legal (including adoptive) parents, step-parents or parents-in-law. Before travelling, parents will be required to show evidence of the parental relationship, as well as provide evidence that your child is indeed an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Additionally, you will be required to have a valid visa, passport and are fully vaccinated
  • Escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors: To escort an Australian citizen or permanent resident minor to travel into Australia, to ensure their safety and wellbeing, travel exemptions may be granted. The generally approved circumstances include: one guardian for one child under 2 years old, one guardian within the same family unit for multiple children, as well as additional guardians assessed and approved on a case by case basis.
  • Temporary visa holders: While temporary visa holders can depart Australia anytime, they will be subject to a travel exemption and restrictions upon their return. In addition to being subject to border restrictions, the more prevailing issue would be the availability of flights into Australia.
  • Travel bubbles: Fully vaccinated citizens from Singapore, Japan and the Republic of Korea travelling to participating Australian states or territories allow for quarantine-free travel.Additionally, direct international arrivals will be subject to completing a 14-day hotel quarantine upon arrival at your own expense. You will also be required to undertake mandatory COVID-19 tests on the day after your arrival, the 5th and 13th day of your quarantine, and the 17th and 21st day after your quarantine.

So- you are exempt from Australia’s travel exemptions, what should you do before boarding your flight?

Step one: Applying for  G2G Pass. A G2G pass is an online application declaration you’ll need to register for to travel, before entering Western Australia

Step two: You’ll need to be fully vaccinated, and have evidence ready to be able to check in your flight. To prove you are vaccinated, you’ll need either an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVI) if you were vaccinated in Australia, or a foreign vaccination certificate if you were vaccinated overseas. However, if you cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons, you will be required to prove it to the airline staff, and be prepared to quarantine based on the state or territory you’re travelling to.

Step three: You’ll need to have completed the Australian Travel Declaration (ATD), at least 72 hours prior to your flight time. This document is an enforceable requirement, which means if you failed to comply, you will be liable to a fine in the sum of $6,660 AUD.

Step four: A negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before your flight is required. You’ll need evidence of a negative PCR test result, other Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), or a medical certificate to prove the test was performed with medical supervision 24 hours before your flight’s departure. 

Due to the changing circumstances, because the pandemic itself is unpredictable, you’ll have to take note of any changes in Australian travel requirements. To make sure you didn’t miss anything, our hands-on team can assist with clarifying the required documents or any confusion you may have. Send an enquiry today to ensure your journey to Australia goes as smoothly as ever.

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If you have any enquiries, don't hesitate to contact one of our seasoned Registered Migration Agents or Qualified Education Agent Counsellors.