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Temporary visa holders returning home – Current Operating Airlines and Updated Exemption Procedure

As mentioned in our earlier articles, temporary visa holders do not need an exemption to depart Australia. They can leave at any time, as long as border restrictions in their home country allow them to return.

Commercial flights are available in several major airports across Australia. These airlines are currently operating flights departing Australia:

Airlines flying include:

Air New Zealand

China Southern Airlines

Emirates

Malaysia Airlines

Qatar Airways

United

Xiamen Airlines

Asiana Airlines

Eva Air

Singapore Airlines

Temporary residents wishing to return home can contact their embassy or consulate in Australia.

You can also register your details here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia

Borderforce will provide your information to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which may provide this information to home government (either overseas or represented by the embassy, consulate or High Commission in Australia).

This service is only for temporary visa holders.

Australians and permanent residents

If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident you cannot leave Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions unless you have an exemption. You can apply online but you must 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 the conduct of critical industries and business (including export and import industries)
  • 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 should apply for an exemption at least 4 weeks, but not more than 3 months before your planned travel. Please make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans. If granted an exemption, you must take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Readers should check the exemption requirements regularly as these will continue to change.

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