Travel restrictions & exemptions
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. As of July 2020, very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and visa holders as well as citizens may not be able to travel at this time.
All travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, are subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel, in their port of arrival. By way of update you may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. To find out more about quarantine requirements, contact the relevant state or territory government health department.
Applicants can only travel to Australia if they are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.
Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner.
All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.
Travel restrictions are subject to change. Some exemptions are in place. Please check back regularly.
Updated Travel Restrictions as Determined by the Commissioner
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider an additional exemption in relation to the travel restrictions currently in place for:
- 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
- critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports
- people with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
- diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia, and their immediate family
- case-by-case exceptions for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.
Exemptions must be granted prior to travelling to Australia. The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:
- passenger details: name, DOB, visa type and number, passport number, Australian residential address, Australian telephone number)
- case information: why this case should be considered for Commissioner discretion/exemption
- supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a statement and evidence of how the individual meets one of the grounds for an exemption or excise of the Commissioner’s discretion listed above.
It is important that all travellers provide evidence that they meet one of the exemptions above before travelling.
Depending on your reason for requesting exemption, evidence must be provided and could include:
- proof of ID
- marriage certificates
- birth certificates
- death certificates
- proof of relationship (for example, shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
- visa status
- letter from a doctor or hospital indicating why the travel is necessary
- letter from an employer indicating why the travel is necessary or the work undertaken is critical
- letter from a related business or company
- any other proof you may have to support your claims.
All evidence supporting a travel exemption claim needs to be officially translated into English.
You should apply for an exemption at least 4 weeks, but not more than 3 months, before your planned travel.
If you are not granted an exemption, it is not possible to continue with your travel plans should not continue with your travel plans.
Information for Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa holders
If you hold a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa you are not considered to be a permanent resident, unless you have already entered Australia.
If you have not already travelled to Australia on your Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa you are not able to enter Australia at this time, unless you have applied for and been granted an exemption as detailed above.
Last updated, Friday 17 July 2020.
Information obtained from the Department of Home Affairs website.