Travel Exemption Applications

We are currently helping people to depart or enter Australia during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) travel restrictions by preparing and lodging travel exemption applications.

Travel Exemption Applications

Australian citizens or Permanent residents cannot leave Australia unless you are exempt.

People will need an exemption to enter Australia unless they are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

Travelling to Australia

People are wanting to travel to Australia for a variety of reasons, such as to be with their partner, family, for work or to live in Australia.

As mentioned above, people will need an exemption to enter Australia unless they are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

Exemption applications are applied for to the Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner and must be applied for and granted before you travel to Australia.

The travel restrictions have been put in place to help protect Australia from the current global pandemic COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

People who are able to travel to Australia during this time are required to quarantine for 14 days and you may be required to pay for the cost of quarantine.

Travel Exemption Reasons

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider the following reasons for grant of an exemption to travel to Australia:

  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest;
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports;
  • People with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception;
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia, and their immediate family;
  • Case-by-case exceptions for humanitarian,compelling or compassionate reasons.

Travelling from Australia

Temporary visa holders leaving Australia

Temporary visa holders do not need an exemption to leave Australia. They can leave at any time, as long as border restrictions in their home country allow them to return.

Temporary visa holders should be aware that if they wish to return to Australia while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, they will generally need a travel exemption.

Australians and permanent residents leaving Australia

People are wanting to leave Australia for a variety of reasons, such as to be with their partner, family, for work or to live overseas.

As mentioned above, Australian citizens or permanent residents cannot leave Australia unless you are exempt.

Exemption applications are applied for to the Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner and must be applied for and granted before you can leave Australia.

The travel restrictions have been put in place to help protect Australia from the current global pandemic COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Reasons that you can be granted a travel exemption to leave Australia:

  • Your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Your travel is essential for the conduct of critical industries and business;
  • You are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia;
  • You are travelling on urgent and unavoidable personal business;
  • You are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds;
  • Your travel is in the national interest.

 

You are exempt (do not need to apply for exemption) if you are: 

  • Ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia;
  • An airline, maritime crew or associated safety worker;
  • Engaged in the day-to-day conduct of outbound freight;
  • Associated with essential work at Australian offshore facilities;
  • Travelling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.

You are considered ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia if you’ve spent more time outside Australia than inside for the last 12 to 24 months.

The Department of Home Affairs have published the following information about the current travel restrictions which can be found here.

Exemption Application Refused

Many exemption applications are being refused.

The physical exemption application is a simple process however many people are receiving refusals because they are not putting forward their strongest application.

Putting forward your strongest application requires a carefully thought out plan of action, compiling and presenting the evidence. This is where we can help you.

Compassionate or Compelling Reasons

There is an exemption available for compelling or compassionate reasons.

Compelling or compassionate reasons are not defined and the person assessing the application will be using their discretion when making a decision on your application.

It is very important to ensure that your strongest application is put forward to give you the best chance of convincing the decision maker to use their discretion in your favour. This is where we can help you.

How Visa & Citizenship Lawyers can help

We understand the distress caused from being separated from your family or being stuck in immigration limbo for whatever reason.

The first step to help you is that we will assess your circumstances (during a free 15 minute consultation), get an understanding of your situation and then inform you as to whether you have a reasonable chance of obtaining an exemption.

Based on the information that you provide; we create a tailored strategy to clearly reflect your need to travel. This may include:

  • Detailed suggestions of recommended evidence based on your situation;
  • Working with you to provide personal statements that address compelling or compassionate reasons;
  • Collating evidence to comply with the strict requirements of the Australian Border Force (ABF);
  • Our own written submissions that highlight your need to travel;
  • Prioritising your matter so that you can be where you need to be, as soon as possible.

There is no exemption application fee.

We have had success having some of our clients exemption applications escalated in the processing queue when there was an important reason why it should be escalated (this may be possible for you based on your circumstances).

A guide to our professional fees is between $1, 800 - $2, 600AUD (plus GST, if applicable) to work with you to prepare and lodge an exemption application.

Contact us for your Free 15 minute consultation  for us to assess whether you have a reasonable chance of an exemption.

 

Below are examples of how we have helped our clients get an exemption.

Example 1* (Travelling from Australia)

Sue is an Australian citizen who received the unfortunate news that her mother living in the USA was terminally ill and had been given the prognosis of only a few weeks left to live. Sue applied for an exemption application to depart Australia so that she could see her mother again and to be with the extended family during this very challenging time.

Sue’s exemption application was refused.

Sue engaged Visa & Citizenship Lawyers to prepare and lodge a 2nd exemption application.
We asked Sue a number of questions to get the full understanding of her circumstances and then guided her to gather evidence so that we could put forward stronger compassionate reasons.

We worked with Sue to finalise all the evidence and along with our own submissions, we lodged a 2nd exemption application which was granted in a matter of days.

 

Example 2* (Travelling to Australia)

Max is a 75 year old New Zealand citizen who has his son and grandchildren living in Australia. Max’s plans were to move to Australia permanently to live with his son and grandchildren. Max had taken measures to move to Australia including selling his house in New Zealand, purchasing a house in Australia, sending to Australia all of his belongings (including his cat and dog!).

Max twice lodge an exemption application and twice had been refused.

Max engaged Visa & Citizenship Lawyers to prepare and lodge an exemption application.

We asked Max a few questions that were “outside the usual box” of thinking and with that information we suggested that Max and his family members gather specific evidence which we then used in a new application and Max was granted the exemption he was after.

 

*Names and facts have been changed to protect the identity of our clients

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Hanne Haugen
Hanne Haugen
July 16, 2020.
Adam at Visa & Citizenship Lawyers made the difficult and lengthy process of applying for a 820 partnership visa, smooth and easy to navigate. His knowledge and expertise was incredibly helpful, and provided reassurance and calm in a stressful situation, with a huge document load and evidence to compile. He also ensured that the 801 visa and permanent residency came through straight after the 820 was granted - which I wasn't aware was possible and wouldn't have been able to achieve had I gone it alone. His dedication and clear communication throughout was second to none. I cannot thank and recommend Visa & Citizenship Lawyers enough.
Catherine Wright
Catherine Wright
June 4, 2020.
VisaCitizenship Lawyers Much appreciation and thanks to Adam and the team. After my many attempts to gain a border exemption into Australia during the pandemic, it has finally been granted on first attempt via Adam. So much stress has been lifted. My only regret is that I didn’t try this company first. Thank you Catherine
Sascha Retter
Sascha Retter
May 29, 2020.
Adam helped us very much with the application for a partner visa which I’ve got yesterday - after 19 months. Quicker then we thought. Thank you Adam for the support and professional help.
Viki Hayward
Viki Hayward
May 20, 2020.
Adam and his team gave very prompt and professional service for a complicated visa application. Highly recommend.
Nick Plomp
Nick Plomp
May 2, 2020.
As a foreigner, immigration in Australia can be a complex thing. Overnight changes, small writing, changing governments, 457,186,187 etc. We, a Dutch family of four, reached out to Adam and his team for Permanent Residency. Visa & Citizenship Lawyers excelled in thoroughness and diligence, which in our eyes resulted in a flawless process and a granted PR. We've already recommended Visa & Citizenship Lawyers to numerous friends and they experience the same. Thank you so much, Nick.
Otto Gonzalez
Otto Gonzalez
April 13, 2020.
We couldn't imagine doing our whole migration process for my spouse without the professional and efficient handling of our case by the team at Visa & Citizenship Lawyers. Their attention to detail and customer service puts you at ease and makes the whole red tape easy to handle. We highly recommend anyone entertaining the idea of initiating a migration process here or outside Australia. Overall, fantastic. Thank you guys. All the best, Otto & Luca
James Laughland
James Laughland
April 9, 2020.
AS a UK lawyer applying for permanent residency in AUS I valued Adam's knowledge on all matters of immigration law and his efficient working practices that allowed all information to be uploaded electronically. Trying to navigate the system without his advice and support would have been daunting.
BlownLux Barangaroo
BlownLux Barangaroo
April 7, 2020.
The team at Visa & Citizenship Lawyers take care of our sponsorship, nomination and visa applications and have assisted us over the years with securing a number of our hairdressing staff on 457 and 482 visas. We highly recommend their services for immigration matters.
Douglas Benzie
Douglas Benzie
March 20, 2020.
Helped my friend with a lot of visa questions. Thank
Kate White
Kate White
March 18, 2020.
Adam is a lifesaver. He guides my clients for AAT tribunal matters with visa refusals; such as student visa refusals, partner visa refusals, business visa and sponsorship refusals. An absolute professional and highly recomended if you need visa help.