It’s been a long journey since Australia shut its international borders in May 2020 and allowed only restricted numbers of citizens, permanent residents, and other exempt categories to enter the country in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The Australian Government recently relaxed the quarantine requirements for Australian citizens, permanent residents, their immediate family members, and other travellers who fall into one of the automatically exempt categories or are eligible to apply for and have been granted an exemption to travel here.
According to the Government, travellers may be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements when returning to Australia depending on the state or territory which they are travelling to.
Travellers returning to Australia may only enter and travel between NSW, Victoria, and the ACT without quarantining. They will need to comply with the quarantine requirements in the state or territory of your arrival, and any other state or territories that you plan to travel to.
To check quarantine arrangements, see State and Territory Information for travellers.
In a further step to restart international travel, from December 1, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption.
A full list of the 28 eligible visa holders is available on the Home Affairs website:
|Subclass 200 – Refugee visa|
|Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa|
|Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa|
|Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa|
|Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa|
|Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa|
|Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa|
|Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)|
|Subclass 407 – Training visa|
|Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa|
|Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa|
|Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa|
|Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa|
|Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa|
|Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa|
|Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa|
|Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa|
|Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa|
|Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa|
|Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa|
|Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa|
|Subclass 500 – Student visa|
|Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants)|
|Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa|
|Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa|
|Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa|
|Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa|
|Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa|
The immigration profession is waiting on clarification as to the status of Bridging Visa holders.
Additional visa subclasses may be added over time. However, exemptions will still be required for other visa categories until further notice. To find out more, click here: Travel restrictions and exemptions.