Departing Australia during COVID 19 – Restrictions and Exemptions

Due to the current COVID 19 pandemic, Australia is encouraging all international visitors to return home. We understand this can be challenging with the limit on departing flights so we are doing our best to establish the most convenient and straight-forward options.

If you are a temporary visa holder and wish to return to Australia whilst the COVID 19 restrictions are in force, here is a list of travel exemptions with helpful information.

Temporary visa holders wishing to return home

If border restrictions in your home country allow, you can make arrangements to return home without any exemptions to leave Australia.

As the current situation with COVID 19 is ever-changing, be sure to source the most up to date information prior to finalising any arrangements.

Australia’s major airports are offering limited flights with the following airlines:

Many countries are offering repatriation flights so we highly recommend trying to find out if your home country is doing so.

Temporary visa holders leaving Australia for a temporary trip overseas

If you are a temporary visa holder and you leave Australia, you will not be allowed to return to Australia. This is unless you are eligible to receive a travel exemption and meet the relevant criteria or you have a strong compassionate and compelling reason to do so. Compelling and compassionate reasons may be seen as;

  • Attending a funeral of a close family member
  • Visiting a close family member who is critically ill
  • Seeking necessary medical assistance that is not available in Australia
  • Essential travel for business purposes.

Australian citizens and permanent residents wishing to leave Australia

If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident and plan on leaving Australia during COVID-19, you cannot depart unless you have an exemption. All exemptions will need to be applied for online and for one of the following circumstances;

  • you are travelling to offer aid in response to COVID 19
  • you are travelling for business purposes
  • you need to travel in order to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • you are travelling outside of Australia for three months or longer
  • you are travelling for humanitarian or compassionate reasons
  • your travel is in the national interest

All travel requests will need to be accompanied by the relevant evidence.

You will need to ensure your evidence is in English. If it is not, you will need to get all your evidence officially translated.

NOTE: Travel exemptions will need to be applied for at least two weeks prior to your desired travel date.

If you have any questions or require further information in regards to travel exemptions, please feel free to get in touch with our team.