Travel restrictions are now in place for people who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days.

Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members entering Australia who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days must enter supervised quarantine for 14 days in line with state and territory requirements, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Any other travellers who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption, eligible visa or are seeking to enter under a Safe Travel Zone arrangement.

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Travel restrictions and exemptions

Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.

Travel restrictions are subject to change in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. You can stay informed with the latest updates by checking this page regularly. If you are transiting through Australia further information can be found on the Transiting Australia webpage.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Travel restrictions are now in place for people who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days.

Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members entering Australia who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days must enter supervised quarantine for 14 days in line with state and territory requirements, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Any other travellers who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if you hold a travel exemption.

Parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents

For information regarding parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents, see immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia.

Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members entering Australia who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days must enter supervised quarantine for 14 days in line with state and territory requirements, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Exemption requests to escort Australian citizen or permanent resident minors

Travel exemptions may be granted to people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to travel to Australia. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of the child or children during travel. 

Travel exemptions for this category are generally approved under the following circumstances:

  • one guardian for each child under the age of 2 years will generally be approved
  • only one guardian within the same family group for multiple children over the age of 2 years will generally be approved
  • additional guardians may be considered on a case-by-case basis if medical advice and evidence is provided.

Unless exceptional circumstances apply, people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to Australia should be a relative (for example, aunt, uncle, grandparent).

Temporary visa holders

Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time, however, they may require an exemption to return to Australia. More information can be found at Temporary visa holders leaving Australia for a short trip overseas.

Exempt categories

You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:

* If you hold a temporary visa or do not yet hold a valid visa for Australia, you must provide proof of your relationship (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) to the Department before you travel to Australia. Do not travel until we advise that you can. You can find out more about how to provide this information at Immediate family of Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia.

You need to carry evidence that you meet one of the above categories when travelling. Additional evidence may be requested.

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions.

Note that Travellers who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or the immediate family members and have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption.

Individual exemptions

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:

  • a foreign national 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
  • a foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • a person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where safe haven is sought
  • a student who has been selected to take part in an International Student Arrivals Plan that has been approved by the relevant state or territory government, and endorsed by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment as satisfying the Protocols and Preconditions for International Student Arrivals.
  • a student in your final three years of study of a medical university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice. The placement must commence within the next two months, and provide medical services to the Australian public.
  • a higher degree research student enrolled in an Australian education institution (including Masters by research and PhD students) with evidence of a current research grant from a Commonwealth agency or support from a relevant government agency outlining why the research is considered essential and/or in Australia’s national interest and how their role is critical to the research.
  • a student completing year 11 and 12, with endorsement from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), and support from the relevant state or territory government health and education authorities. Further information regarding this process can be found at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
  • a student in the final two years of study of a dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which begins within the next two months.
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
  • a Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holder in the following circumstances:
    • where the subclass 300 visa has been granted; and
    • the subclass 300 visa application was lodged at least 12 months before submitting a travel exemption request.

    This means if you applied for a subclass 300 visa on or before 18 August 2020, and you have now been granted your subclass 300 visa; you are eligible for an inwards travel exemption on 18 August 2021.

You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

Travellers who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or the immediate family members and have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Your request must include:

  • traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
  • proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
  • your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
  • a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
  • accompanying evidence.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an exemption if you are seeking to travel for compassionate and compelling reasons. Compassionate and compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.

You must hold a visa and have an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

Where possible, you should apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel. If you are travelling due to the death or critical illness of a close family member, you can apply inside this timeframe and we will prioritise your application.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Travellers who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or the immediate family members and have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption.

Apply online for an exemption

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions using the Travel Exemption portal.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Most travel exemption requests are finalised within 7 days. Complex requests may take longer.

To complete a travel exemption request you should hold a visa, or have applied for a visa, and provide information and documents to support your request. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. This may include the following:

  • proof of identity
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa or have lodged a valid visa application
  • travel itinerary
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
  • supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
  • statutory declaration to support your claims.

Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time.

Make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Travellers who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or the immediate family members and have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption.

Apply for travel exemptions