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Updated - Australia’s Critical Skills Sectors

Australia continues to maintain strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. At present very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia.

Travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, are subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel, in their port of arrival. Different States impose different rules regarding payment related to quarantine.

Critical Skills

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant an individual exemption if you are a non-citizen:

  • 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, agricultural technology, food production, and the maritime industry)
  • delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery (such as financial technology, large scale manufacturing, film and television production and emerging technology), where no Australian worker is available
  • 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. The applications of multiple travellers within the same group/business can be linked, so that the requests are considered together.

An exemption should generally be applied for at least 4 weeks, but not more than 3 months, before planned travel. Urgent business travel will be considered inside this timeframe.

An individual making a request under this category does not need to hold a visa at the time of applying for an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions. If the travel exemption is approved you need to have a valid visa to travel. All requirements must be met in order to be granted a visa. Information on the visa types and requirements can be found on the Department’s website.

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