Leaving Australia Travel Updates | Travel Exemptions for Outbound No Longer Needed for Vaccinated Australians
Families separated from their loved ones overseas will be happy to know that from 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents will be able to leave Australia without applying for Government permission via an Outbound Travel Exemption.
Since the international border closed in March 2020, Australians could only apply to leave the country for compassionate/compelling reasons or for critical work and unfortunately, many applications had been refused.
Here’s what you need to know about the changes and what to expect:
- Will unvaccinated Australians still need to apply for an Outbound Travel Exemption?
- Does this apply to all States and Territories?
- If I leave, how easily will I be able to return to Australia?
Plus updates on how immediate family members of Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents (including parents) can come to Australia from 1 November 2021 with a Visa and Travel Exemption, and plans for the new Singapore-Australia Travel Bubble to open on 8 November 2021.
Will Unvaccinated Australians Still Need an Outbound Travel Exemption? | Leaving Australia Travel
Yes – only fully vaccinated Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 12 and over who have received two doses of a Government approved/recognised vaccine can leave Australia from 1 November 2021 without an Outbound Travel Exemption.
The only exceptions are children under 12 (as they are not yet eligible for a vaccine in Australia) and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
All other unvaccinated Australian Citizens and Permanent residents will need to apply for an Outbound Travel Exemption.
Does this apply to all States and Territories? | Leaving Australia Travel
Yes – although the NSW and Victorian State Premiers were the first to announce they would begin to re-open outbound international travel, the Commonwealth Government has announced that fully vaccinated Australians from all States and Territories will be eligible to travel internationally from 1 November 2021.
If I leave, how easily will I be able to return to Australia? | Leaving Australia Travel
This would depend on the State/Territory that you plan to return to and the inbound restrictions they have in place when you return.
Australians that are fully vaccinated with a Government approved or recognised vaccine, or under the age of 12, may be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements in NSW and VIC when returning to Australia.
At this stage:
- NSW will remove quarantine requirements for returning fully vaccinated Australians from 1 November 2021. Unvaccinated travellers must undertake a 14 day quarantine.
- VIC will reduce the hotel quarantine period to 7 days. This will take effect from 21 November 2021 for overseas travellers that:
- Are fully vaccinated and have had their vaccination status validated by the Commonwealth government
- Have returned a negative COVID-19 test result on day 6 of their quarantine stay
- Unvaccinated travellers must undertake a 14 day quarantine.
- For all other States and Territories, 14 days of hotel quarantine currently applies.
It’s important to note that resources for State hotel quarantine are limited. The Government applies caps on international arrivals to ensure there are enough quarantine placements and this has a flow-on impact on the number of available flights to return.
Therefore, if the State/Territory you are returning to requires you to quarantine on arrival, you could face greater uncertainty and delays in being able to secure a flight home. Find out more about travelling to Australia here.
What else should I know? | Preparing for Outbound Travel
- Before travelling, you should check the Government’s travel advice for the latest risk assessments of COVID-19 and other threats to safety and security. They have recently removed their global ‘Do not travel’ advice and will instead provide travel advice for countries based on four levels:
- Level 1: Exercise normal safety precautions
- Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution
- Level 3: Reconsider your need to travel
- Level 4: Do not travel
- It’s important to know border settings and quarantine requirements are complex and can change at short notice.
- Travellers will need to present a vaccine passport to show proof of their vaccination status both within Australia and at their destination country.
Immediate Family of Australians From 1 Nov 2021 | Coming to Australia
As mentioned in our previous article, another change to occur from 1 November 2021 is that parents of adult Australian citizens and permanent residents will be included in the definition of ‘immediate family member’ for a Travel Exemption to come to Australia. Visas are still required.
The definition of ‘immediate family member’ to come to Australia under an Inbound Travel Exemption will therefore include:
- a spouse
- a de facto partner
- a dependent child
- a parent/legal guardian of a dependent child
- a parent of an adult Australian citizen or permanent resident (from 1 November 2021)
Immediate family members of New Zealand citizens who are usually resident in Australia are also eligible for an Inbound Travel Exemption.
Australia-Singapore Travel Bubble from 8 November 2021
This week, the Singapore Government announced that fully vaccinated Australians will be able to enter Singapore without needing to quarantine from 8 November 2021.
- Unvaccinated Australian children aged under 12 years will also be allowed to travel to Singapore.
- Travellers will need to take two tests: a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result within 48 hours before departing and a test on arrival at Changi Airport. They must self-isolate until their test result is confirmed as negative.
- Children under the age of two do not need to have the PCR test.
We will be sharing more details about the new Travel Bubble in our upcoming newsletter.
Interstaff | Over 30 Years of Visa and Migration Experience
It’s great to see that Australia’s international borders are progressively re-opening.
According to Health Minister, Greg Hunt, the next stages will involve opening inbound travel to Australia to workers and international students and then more broadly to tourists.
As things are starting to re-open, you may wish to get advice on your visa and travel options so you can start getting your application prepared. We encourage you to call Interstaff’s Migration Agents on 08 9221 3388 (Perth) or 02 7200 2567 (Sydney) or 03 8319 0902 (Melbourne) or +61 8 9221 3388 (International) or get in touch here.