August 6, 2020

Australia: Streamlining of travel ban for exemption process

The Department of Home Affairs in Australia has streamlined the application process for travel ban exemption requests, as well as provided clarification on what are deemed to be critical skills required for an exemption.

What has changed?

Australia requires the obtainment of a visa and travel exemption prior to travel. To facilitate this, the travel exemption request process has been streamlined.

An exemption application must be submitted via the travel exemption portal at least four weeks, but not more than three months, prior to the intended travel. Tracking the progress of requests, as well as notifications of processing are available via the portal.

Travelers should note however that if an exemption is granted, evidence of the exemption decision must be presented at the airport. If an exemption is not granted, the travel plans should be cancelled.

An exemption will typically only be granted for those who possess critical skills or to those operating within critical sectors.

Further clarity on critical skills confirms that those traveling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority to assist in the COVID-19 response will be considered as possessing critical skills.

In addition to the above, so will those providing critical or specialist medical services; those providing critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services, delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery where no Australian worker is available and those whose entry would otherwise be in Australia’s national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority.

What to expect /impact?

Streamlining of the exemption process as well as clarity on eligibility will add efficiency to the process for all users, as well as certainty on whether an exemption is likely to be awarded.

For further information on the streamlining of the exemption process in Australia, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at immigration@sterlinglexicon.com. 

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