If you need to travel to Australia urgently and need help with applying for a travel exemption, or if you are not sure whether you need to apply for a travel exemption, please contact us to discuss how we can help.

This page was last updated on 11 February 2021. For the latest update, please visit the Department of Home Affairs COVID-19 website.

What are the current travel restrictions?

Australia’s international border is currently closed to international travel.

If you wish to travel to Australia, you must either fall into either of the following categories:

Additionally, if you are not an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident, or New Zealand citizen, then you must hold a valid visa before you can travel to Australia. New Zealand citizens must hold a current New Zealand passport.

Who is automatically exempt from the travel restrictions?

The following persons are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and do not need to apply for an individual exemption:

  • Australian citizens
  • Australian permanent residents
  • immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members
  • persons who have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more immediately before their arrival in Australia
  • persons who hold a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa
  • persons transiting through Australia for 72 hours or less
  • airline crew, maritime crew including marine pilots
  • diplomats posted to Australia, including their immediate family members
  • persons recruited under the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme

Immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents, or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia

Immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents, or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia, are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions.

“Immediate family member” means only the following persons:

  • a spouse
  • a de facto partner
  • a child
  • a legal guardian

Immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents must hold an appropriate family visa, such as a partner visa or a child visa.

If they hold a different kind of visa, or they do not currently hold any Australian visa, then they will not be automatically exempt and must apply for an individual travel exemption before they can travel to Australia.

Please note that persons who hold a Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage) visa must apply for an individual exemption and this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Who must apply for an individual exemption?

Persons who wish to travel to Australia, who are not automatically exempt from the travel restrictions, must apply for an individual exemption. Applications for individual exemption are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Persons who may be granted an individual exemption from the travel restrictions include the following categories:

  • persons who need to travel to Australia for compassionate and compelling reasons (eg. death or critical illness of a close family member)
  • persons with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • persons sponsored by an employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
  • persons providing critical or specialist medical services
  • medical, dental, nursing or allied health university students about to commence a placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice within the next two months
  • persons who have been invited by the Australian Government or who are supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • military personnel

Individual exemptions for persons working in critical sectors or with critical skills

You may be eligible for an individual exemption to the travel restriction if you are:

  • a person who has critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services (such as in medical technology, critical infrastructure, telecommunications, engineering and mining, supply chain logistics, aged care, agriculture, primary industry, food production, and the maritime industry)
  • a person who is delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery (such as financial technology, large scale manufacturing, film, media and television production and emerging technology), where no Australian worker is available
  • a person who is providing critical skills in religious or theology fields
  • a person who is sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)

Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)

The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) currently lists 18 occupations essential to Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19:

  • Chief Executive or Managing Director
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • General Practitioner
  • Resident Medical Officer
  • Psychiatrist
  • Medical Practitioner nec
  • Midwife
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical)
  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
  • Registered Nurses nec (Not Elsewhere Classified)
  • Developer Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Social Worker
  • Maintenance Planner

What are the current quarantine requirements?

To find out the current quarantine requirements for international travellers, please visit the Australian Department of Health website.

This page was last updated on 11 February 2021.