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Australian travel ban – what to do if you are stuck outside Australia

Published on 21 March 2020

From 9.00 pm Friday 20 March 2020, the government introduced new Australian travel ban measures. 20 March travel ban has been implemented in response to the coronarvirus (also known as COVID-19). We will continue to provide updates in new blog posts as further changes are announced.

From that time only those that meet an exemption category can travel to Australia. The exemption categories are:

  • Australian citizens
  • Australian residents
  • Immediate family members of Australian citizens or residents
  • New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
  • Those with a compelling need to travel to Australia

On arrival to Australia, all travelers to Australia (including Australian citizens, residents and immediate family) must self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation may either be at home or in a hotel.

 

I am an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or a permanent resident but I don’t have a visa. I want to go to Australia. What do I do?

It is important to know that you must have a visa to enter Australia. Simply being an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident is not enough.

You can book a free 15 minute phone or video call with one of our migration lawyers to discuss potential visa options here.

When you apply for your visa, you must attach evidence of your relationship to the Australian citizen or permanent resident (e.g. a marriage certificate, de facto evidence or a birth certificate).

The Department of Home Affairs will then consider your application. If your visa is approved and you travel to Australia, you will then have to self-isolate or follow the government requirements in place at that time.

 

I am an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or a permanent resident and I have a temporary visa. I am outside of Australia but want to return. What do I do?

  • If you hold a Partner visa or a Child visa, read the section below.
  • If you hold a different type of temporary visa (including a Prospective Marriage visa subclass 300), you will need to attach evidence of your relationship to the Australian citizen or permanent resident (e.g. e.g. a marriage certificate, de facto evidence or a birth certificate) along with this completed form.

The Department of Home Affairs will then consider your request to travel to Australia. If your application to enter Australia is approved and you travel to Australia, you will then have to self-isolate or follow the government requirements in place at that time.

It is important to note that you must wait for approve to enter Australia before you travel to Australia.

You can book a free 15 minute phone or video call with one of our migration lawyers to confirm this is the correct process that applies to you.

 

I hold a partner visa or a child visa. I am outside Australia but want to return. What do I do?

  • If you hold a Prospective Marriage visa, read the section above.
  • If you hold a Partner visa or a Child visa you can travel to Australia. On arrival you will have to self-isolate or follow the government requirements in place at that time.

 

I am not an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident but I have a compelling reason to travel to Australia. What do I do?

Our office is very concerned about some groups of people who may be outside of Australia at the time the travel ban was implemented but have a compelling or compassionate reason to reenter Australia. In particular, we are concerned for Temporary Protection Visa holders (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa Holders (SHEV) who may be temporarily outside Australia.

People in this situation may be able to apply for permission to travel to Australia by using this form. You can book a free 15 minute phone or video call with one of our migration lawyers to confirm this is the correct process that applies to you.

 

My situation has not been covered here but I need to enter Australia. What do I do?

There is further detail to the Australian travel restrictions including what people do if they have a visa that requires them to enter Australia before a certain date or they have a visa application that has not yet been approved.

You can read about the latest government information here or make a free 15 minute phone or video call with one our migration lawyers to discuss your particular situation.

 

 

We note the above is information only and is not legal advice. You can visit the Department of Home Affairs website to learn more about these changes here. We recommend you speak to one of our migration lawyers for a free 15 minute phone or video call to discuss your visa and travel options. We also continue to publish updated information as the coronavirus pandemic evolves.

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