Exemptions during COVID-19
If you meet the following conditions, you are automatically eligible for a travel exemption and can enter Australia at any time.
- You are a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia
- You are a diplomat who has been accredited to Australia
- If you are an airline crew, a maritime crew including marine pilots
- You must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia
- The person holding a Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment visa
- You are an individual hired via the government’s Seasonal Worker Program or the Pacific Labour Scheme
If you meet the following criteria, the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision-makers can grant you an individual exemption:
- You are capable of providing critical and specialist medical services
- You have critical skills or you are being sponsored by your employer to work in priority migration skill occupations
- You are invited by the Australian government or a state or territory government authority to assist in the COVID-19 response.
- You are a student of medical, dental, or allied health professionals during your final two years with confirmed placement at Australian Hospital or medical practice starting in two months
Subclass 408 - Government Endorsed COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa
If you work in a critical industry, this temporary visa allows you to stay and work in Australia.
How long are you eligible to stay if:
- you are working in a critical sector – up to 12 months
- you are not working in a critical sector – up to 3 months
If you have a COVID-19 Pandemic event visa (Subclass 408) that is about to expire, you may be eligible for a new COVID-19 Pandemic event visa if you meet the following criteria:
- You want to stay in Australia to continue working in a critical and vital industry
- COVID-19 travel restrictions prevent you from leaving Australia until your visa expires
Subclass 408 - Visa Requirements:
- Apply online for the visa and be in Australia
- Meet Australia’s health and character requirements
- For the entire period of your stay, you must have sufficient healthcare insurance to obtain this visa
- You must have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependent family members accompanying you to Australia
Request for Visa Application Charge (VAC) Refund
List of Eligible visas for VAC refund:
- Subclass 417 – Working Holiday
- Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday
- Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage
- Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) (Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Program streams)
If your refund request is unrelated to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, do not use this online form.
COVID-19 travel Restrictions
To help avoid the spread of COVID-19, biosecurity measures and travel restrictions have been implemented. To protect the wellbeing of the Australian people, Australia has strict border controls in place for both entry and exit. For Australian citizens and PR holders, one must obtain a Travel Exemption before travelling outside of Australia and to re-enter. However, there is recent good news with the Trans-Tasman bubble opening up between New Zealand and Australia from April 18th 11;59 PM. However, there are a limited number of flights to and from Australia at present, so you may not be able to fly. Changes in travel restrictions may occur at any time even within the proposed travel bubble and all travellers must be prepared to have their plans disrupted.
Temporary visa holders in Australia have the freedom to leave at any time, but they are generally not allowed to return.
COVID-19 measures for Appointments at departmental offices
You must take all precautions listed below if you have an appointment at one of the departmental offices. This will help minimise the spread of COVID-19, and help you to protect yourself as well as the immunocompromised and elderly individuals.
At present, the departmental offices provide the services by Appointment only. A representative from a departmental office will reach out to you via phone or letter for your appointment confirmation.
Things to consider before attending your appointment
- Check for local COVID-19 rules and restrictions
- You may need to be tested and isolated if you have visited any known COVID-19 outbreak location
Feeling Unwell or Required to Isolate
You need to follow the guidelines from public health authorities and the medical professionals who tested you if you have tested positive for COVID-19. If you must isolate you must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Avoid visiting public places including shops and workplace
- Make sure that you are well enough to receive care at home
- Monitor your symptoms regularly, phone your doctor if it gets worse
- Maintain a separate bedroom where you can recover and avoid sharing immediate space with others
- Except in an emergency or to obtain urgent medical treatment, you must not leave your home or isolation spot