Published Jul 6, 2021
 by PTA

Requirements for a Travel Exemption

This article will explain the requirements to obtain a travel exemption for a temporary visa holder to travel to Australia.

Even though the COVID situation is improving in Australia and around the world, currently the Australian borders are closed to most temporary visa holders. There are a limited number of places for arrivals in Australia and only under very limited situations can temporary visa holders enter Australia. Before you can enter Australia, you must have a travel exemption approved.

The cost of applying for a travel exemption

It is free to apply for an exemption. And on top of this, we have heard of many applicants who have had their travel exemption refused numerous times, eventually approved.

When should you apply for a travel exemption?

It is recommended that whenever possible, you apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel. However, immigration has stated that if you are travelling due to the death or critical illness of a close family member, you can apply inside this timeframe and the application will be prioritised

Eligibility for travel exemptions

For temporary visa holders, not everyone will be eligible for a travel exemption. Immigration has outlined a limited set of reasons you would be granted a travel exemption. The most common reasons for a travel exemptions that exist include:

  • You are an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • You are looking to travel for compelling and compassionate reasons

Feel free to look at the full list of exemptions here. Please note, we have heard that immigration will create additional exemptions in the future, such as you are studying in Australia or filling employment skill shortages.

What is an immediate family member?

Generally speaking, an immediate family member is a spouse or de facto partner or dependent child. Your parents, siblings or non-dependent child does not meet these requirements.

Please note these family members must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

What are compelling and compassionate circumstances?

Immigration does not have a full and conclusive list of these circumstances, however some reasons listed by immigration include needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.

Please note, even if you meet the requirements for an exemption, immigration can still refuse the travel exemption.

In our experience, we have seen many different travel exemptions refused even for applicants who meet these requirements. I think when you apply, if possible, mention the compelling and compassionate reasons and the impact that it has in terms of the Australian citizen or permanent resident.

We have also seen many applicants receive a travel exemption after numerous attempts. It is free, so there is no harm in trying.

Supporting Documentation

It is important that you provide evidence to support your travel. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • proof of identity
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa
  • travel itinerary
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
  • Statutory Declaration to support your claim

Where to apply for an exemption:

In order to enter Australia, temporary visa holders must hold a valid visa and also apply for a travel exemption. You can look to apply for a travel exemption through this link.

As mentioned previously, I believe the border rules will be loosened considerably in the coming months and hopefully there should be no need to apply for a travel exemption.

Migration Consultation

We have a lot of information on our site about various visa options and FAQs that answer most of our visitors’ questions, but if you’re still not sure where to start or you need a personalised step by step walkthrough, then schedule a call with one of our Registered Migration Agent.
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In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.

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Requirements for a Travel Exemption was last modified: July 6th, 2021 by PTA