Australia has put in place very tough measures in an attempt to safeguard the health of all the Australians. According to the National Cabinet media statement, there are very tight restrictions in place for all flights. Actually, very few flights have an exemption to operate during this period and henceforth, it is quite difficult to travel at this time. The latter is as a result of the application of tough measures put in place by the government.
Every traveler landing in Australia, regardless of nationality, not excluding Australian citizens, are expected to undergo a compulsory quarantine for fourteen days at a consigned facility, for instance, a hotel or a government facility. This is well stated in the Coronavirus advice for travelers. It is important to note that one may be needed to pay for quarantine requirements. In order to be informed further concerning the quarantine requirements, reach out to the relevant state health department.
Non-citizens are not left out; here is an advisory to them. As a result of the effect Of COVID-19 in Australia as well as the strict state and territory restrictions, tough social distancing requirements and business closures, international guests are advised to plan on returning home if they are able to do so. Of note is that a travel exemption is mandatory for Temporary visa holders who plan to return to Australia whilst the COVID-19 guidelines are still in place. For more details concerning the Commissioner’s Exemption, check “Coming to Australia”.
Temporary visa holders returning home
It is important for all temporary visa holders affected by the pandemic to make appropriate plans to return to their home country in the case that the border restrictions in that particular country allow. Fortunately, this category does not require an exemption to depart from the Australian at any time. They are allowed to leave as long as their home country has favorable guidelines in place that will grant them entry. Nonetheless, it is crucial to note that the COVID-19 situation remains highly versatile and henceforth, it pays to do a weekly check of border restrictions.
Availability of flights
Commercial flights are still operational in various major airports. These airlines are at the moment operating flights leaving Australia. These airlines comprise of: Emirates, Air India, Malaysian Airlines, Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Asiana Airlines, United, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways.
If you are in need of assistance in terms of the flight assistance to return home, then you can contact your consulate in Australia. You can as well drop your details and the department of Foreign affairs or trade will pass this information to your country’s government, either overseas via the embassy in Australia. Nevertheless, if you are in need of assistance from your consulate or embassy, it is prudent to get to them directly. This only applies for temporary visa holders.
Australians and permanent residents
Australian citizens and permanent residents are restricted from leaving Australia due to the strict guidelines and restrictions unless one has an exemption. In order to make an online application, one must meet a minimum of one of the following requirements:
• One’s travel entails the response to the pandemic, including aid provision.
• One’s travel is appertains an essential service involving the running of critical businesses and industries (with the inclusion of import and export industries)
• One is travelling to receive urgent medical treatment not available in Australia.
• One is travelling on very Important and urgent personal business.
• One is travelling due to national interest.
• One’s travel is linked to important humanitarian duties.
One must provide proper and adequate evidence to support any claim put forth. Any request with inadequate evidence is finalized with no other consideration. Evidence include:
• Marriage certificates
• Birth certificates
• Death certificates
• Any proof of relationship such as shared tenancy agreement
• Proof that one is travelling to another country to stay for a long period of time such as in the case of leases
• Proof of a current valid visa
• Letter from a certified medical personal concerning any medical conditions or interventions that necessitates travel.
• Letter from the employer indicating the importance of the travel.
• Statement indicating the time you plan to return to Australia
• Any additional proof that will add weight to your claims.
Refer to “Evidence of relationship” to get more details on providing proof of your relationship. Any evidence that aids a travel exemption is supposed to be appropriately written English. One should apply for an exemption between 2 weeks to 3 months prior to the travel. One request is allowed per person to avoid delays. Most of these requests are finalized within 48 hours, however, some complicated ones take longer.
One should carry along evidence of the exemption to the airport if granted exemption. Nevertheless, one should not progress with travel plans if exemption is not granted.
One is exempted if one is:
• An ordinary resident of any other country with the exemption of Australia
• A maritime, airline or a related safety worker
• A New Zealand citizen with special category visa (subclass 444)
• Involved in the custom conduct of outbound freight
• Linked to Australian offshore facilities’ essential work
• Travelling on official government errands
One is ordinarily termed resident in a particular country apart from Australia if it is indicated in the international movement records that one has been in Australia for a shorter period of time as opposed to outside Australia in the past twelve to twenty four months. Consequently, it is important to always be in the company of your movement records.
In case one thinks they do not require an exemption then it is possible to present the latter when checking-in at the airport. Nonetheless, if you doubt the credibility of being termed an ordinary resident of a particular country, it is prudent to present an assessment request at least 2 weeks prior to the planned date of departure. Of note is the fact that Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) is not a guarantee for exemption. All the stipulated guidelines should be adhered to appropriately.