Australia further opens its doors: More international travellers are welcome again

After the border closure became effective in March 2020, only Australian citizens and permanent residents were welcome. For everyone else, a travel exemption was made compulsory and these were granted sparingly. Only candidates who had urgent reasons for travelling to Australia were granted a travel exemption. After almost two years with closed borders, Australia’s migration figures have fallen sharply. As a result, many sectors are reporting labour shortages that are putting projects, including major public infrastructure works, at risk.

Eligible visa holders welcome again from 1 December

After a long wait, travel restrictions will be eased further on 1 December. From that moment, visa holders within 28 visa categories will be welcome to travel to Australia again. They will no longer be required to apply for a travel exemption previous to travelling. However, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved by TGA (Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration);
  • You have a visa in one of the eligible visa categories;
  • You can show proof of your vaccination status;
  • You can demonstrate a negative PCR test, taken within three days prior to departure.

Everyone travelling to Australia must comply with the quarantine requirements of the State or Territory of arrival. But also of the states and territories to which you wish to travel. The states of New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory already admit vaccinated travellers without the quarantine requirement. The rest of the states and territories have not yet achieved the target vaccination rates and still maintain the mandatory quarantine rule for all incoming travellers. In the coming month, more and more states will drop the quarantine requirement for vaccinated travellers.

From 1 December, fully vaccinated citizens of Japan and the Republic of Korea will be able to travel to participating states and territories from their home countries quarantine free. It is no longer necessary for them to have a Travel Exemption in advance. They must, of course, have a valid Australian visa. They must also be able to present proof of vaccination. In addition, they have to prove a negative PCR test, taken within three days prior to departure.

Eligible visa categories

  • Subclass 200 – Refugee visa
  • Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa
  • Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa
  • Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa
  • Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa
  • Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa
  • Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
  • Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)
  • Subclass 407 – Training visa
  • Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa
  • Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa
  • Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa
  • Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa
  • Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa
  • Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa
  • Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa
  • Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa
  • Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa
  • Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 500 – Student visa
  • Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants)
  • Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa
  • Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa
  • Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa
  • Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
  • Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa

Would you like to find out more? Feel free to contact us.