An Australian citizen or a permanent resident can apply for a travel exemption to leave Australia if they meet at least one of the following:
- your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
- your travel is essential for your business/employer
- you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
- you are travelling outside Australia for three months or longer
- you are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds
- your travel is in the national interest.
An applicant must provide evidence to support their claim, for example a letter from their employer, or other evidence that they are travelling for an essential business reason. Further information regarding exemptions for Australian citizens and permanent residents can be found on the Department of Home Affairs’ website.
For non-citizens, the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant an individual exemption if they are
- travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
- providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
- with 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)
- 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
- providing critical skills in religious or theology fields
- sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
- whose entry would otherwise be in Australia's national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority.
An individual can submit a request for a travel exemption under this category or a business can submit a request on their behalf. Further information on travel exemptions for non-citizens can be found on the Department of Home Affairs’ website.