Due to COVID-19, the government has put in place strict border measures to protect the health of the Australian community. There are travel restrictions in place and Australian citizens and permanent residents are only allowed to travel in limited circumstances.
A new travel exemption has been added recently to the below list. If you are travelling outside Australia for three months or longer, you are eligible to apply for an exemption.
You can also apply for a travel exemption on one of the following grounds:
- your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
- your travel is essential for your business/employer
- you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
- you are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds
- your travel is in the national interest.
You can apply for the exemption online. To apply, you must provide evidence to substantiate your claim. You may need to provide the following documents:
- marriage certificate/s
- birth certificate/s
- death certificate/s
- proof of relationship (for example, shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)*
- proof that you are moving to another country on a long term basis such as leases, job offers and evidence your goods are being transported
- proof of your current valid visa, including in Australia and/or overseas
- letter from a doctor or hospital about any medical treatment/condition with statements on why travel is necessary
- letter from your employer, or other evidence that you are travelling for an essential business reason
- statement or evidence to show when you wish to return to Australia
- any other proof you may have to support your claims.
Whilst most travel exemption requests are finalised in 48 hours, some requests may take longer. It is therefore best to submit the online request at least two weeks, but not more than three months prior to travel.
For more information on how we assess travel exemptions, see our guidelines:
- Commissioner’s Guidelines (331KB PDF)
- Commissioner’s Inwards Decision Making (257KB PDF)
- Inwards Travel Restrictions Operation Directive (281KB PDF)
- Outward Travel Restrictions Operation Directive (669KB PDF)