We all know the Australian Borders are currently shut to all but Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents plus-immediate family members. Apart from this, there are people that have a strong compassionate reason for visiting. They can apply to enter, but will need to gain an exemption to travel.
You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:
- An Australian citizen
- A permanent resident of Australia
- An immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident*
- A New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia with immediate family members
- A person who has been in New Zealand for 14 days or more immediately prior to arrival by air in Australia
- A diplomat accredited to Australia, including their immediate family members (each member of the family unit must hold a valid subclass 995 visa)
- A person transiting Australia for 72 hours or less
- Airline crew, maritime crew including marine pilots
- A person recruited under the Government approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme
- A person who holds a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa.
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:
- A foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
- A foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
- Providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
- A foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
- A foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
- Military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
- A person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where safe haven is sought
- A student completing year 11 and 12, with support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department
A student in your final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months
- Travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.
What is the case for New Zealanders?
New Zealanders as well as people who have been in New Zealand in a Non Covid Zone for more than 14 days can travel to Australia. They will on arrival not have to Quarantine.
If you are the Spouse of an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident then you would be able to travel to Australia as long as you quarantine for 14 days in accommodation that will be allocated to you by Australian Authorities in consultation with the Airlines.
To be considered as the Spouse of an Australian Citizen or Permanent resident you would need to be either:
- Married to an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident, or eligible New Zealand Citizen
- Have been in a Defacto Relationship for more than 12 months or more
At the moment there is positive news of the Australian and New Zealand Borders opening.
The full opening of the borders is still months away though as the Government is still saying that it will be late in 2021 when they may open.
The prospect of mass Vaccination may offer some hope in this as with Vaccination there may be a way that flights can resume.
Internally the State Governments have now opened up and the Individual States have been allotted their allocations of places for migration.
At the moment the states that have opened are sticking very closely to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupations List.
There will be pressure though to open up later in this year as hopefully things return to normality. This will hopefully lead to the States and the Immigration Department starting to process more visas and also open up more occupations for Migration.