Australian Border Force grants 3,000 exemptions to overseas travel ban

Despite approving 2,937 requests for overseas travel, over 1,000 applications have been denied in the first six weeks of the ban.

By Chris Chamberlin, May 18 2020
Australian Border Force grants 3,000 exemptions to overseas travel ban

In the first six weeks of the Australian Government’s ban on overseas travel, the Australian Border Force has granted close to 3,000 exemptions to those restrictions, while denying over 1,000 others from leaving the country.

Of the 2,937 exemptions granted between March 25 and May 6 2020, almost three quarters were for travel on humanitarian grounds or for compassionate reasons – although two thirds of those declined permission to travel fell into the same category.

Speaking of travel authorisations more broadly, Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram told a Senate hearing on the coronavirus this month that “in some of the welfare or humanitarian cases, it's kind of heartbreaking in a way … (but) I have to balance the advice … to protect our country and community from COVID-19.”

It’s understood that many of the rejected applications provided insufficient evidence of a need to travel, but that those who are unsuccessful are normally invited to submit a new application with more substantive evidence.

Of the other travel exemptions granted, 514 were greenlighted for “urgent and unavoidable personal business”, yet over a quarter of all denied applications came from this category, with 277 people refused permission to travel.

Business travellers representing critical industries and those whose itinerary relates to the coronavirus made up less than 7% of all approvals, with just 189 people cleared to fly for these reasons in the first six weeks, and 92 declined in these groups.

Most applications for urgent overseas medical treatment were approved, with only 2 requests having been refused.

Who doesn't need a travel exemption?

In total, the number of travel exemptions granted over the period is akin to filling a Qantas Airbus A380 just once each week, or a Boeing 737 – as commonly flies on domestic routes like Sydney to Melbourne – barely once every three days.

International visitors don’t require an exemption to leave Australia and aren’t counted in these statistics.

Australian citizens who ordinarily live overseas don’t need permission to depart either, nor do airline or maritime crew members, those working in the freight industry, those undertaking essential work at offshore facilities, or people travelling on official government business.

All other travellers who have a compelling reason to leave Australia must apply for an exemption before they can depart.

Read: How to apply for an Australian 'travel ban' exemption

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 36

The restriction on departures violates human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. The Attorney General's own website currently states:

>The freedom to leave a country pertains to both short-term, long-term and permanent departures. It cannot be made dependent on establishing a purpose or reason for leaving. (Source)

This right is not enshrined in Commonwealth laws but does exist in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

I support the inbound quarantine system strongly but do not believe the right to depart the country, particularly if you are not an Australian citizen but are a PR, should be restricted on any longer than an emergency basis.

IMO there needs to be an option to post a bond and pay for your own hotel quarantine if you return, and the amount should be substantial so as to discourage frivolous trips, or have the ability forfeit your return for X weeks/months.

I have no interest in travelling overseas but have an elderly parent in my home country and the thought of my ability to depart to see a dying relative or another emergency situation being left entirely to the discretion of a government employee using unclear criteria gives me anxiety.

Further, some people have long-term work visas and need to relocate to other countries to live and work for a number of years. Currently they cannot do this and as the article shows the likelihood of an exemption is low. Understandable for now but what will be the state of play in a few months?

I am quite happy with the quarantine requirements and travel limitations as a response to COVID-19 but I do hope a more sustainable solution is being sorted out for longer term implementation.

18 May 2020

Total posts 10

I agree with this completely. I need to be able to travel for work, and I am more than willing to pay for my own quarantine/testing. If we are allowed into another country, we are doing no harm to Australia, and are willing to cover any costs when we come back, we should not be banned, and as you state, it is against our human rights.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 808

It is unlikely you would be declined travel in the case of a dying parent, that is why the majority of approvals have been compassionate and huimanitarian applications.

Very few businesses have any interest in overseas travel at the moment. Apart from the safety risks for their staff, they see the opportunity cost of having an employee locked in a hotel for 2 weeks on their return as just not worth it regardless of whether the accommodation is paid for by the government or not.

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05 Sep 2013

Total posts 54

Whist I empathise with your circumstances you should be able to apply for compassionate leave to see you dying family member overseas.

The government for the most part has done a good job containing the spread of Covid-19. There are defiantly area that they failed but overall for a democratic country we did better than a lot of other authoritarian regimes.

Yes you are correct on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13:

“(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

It could be argues that the government has failed in this regard.

But the government need to balance social good over individual good.

Even so what was the purpose for the lockdown and resting the movement of the population: Simple reduce pressure on health infrastructure and reduce the possible exposures to covid-19 by Australian citizens?

Was the government successful in doing that? For the most part Yes.

The biggest issue is two fold before we can end all restrictions:

1)Limited research (i.e. once you have Covid-19 can you get it again? Will be worse if you catch it again? Can you still transmit it again to other people? Are people immune? Can we create herd immunity?)

2)No cure or vaccinations (I don't think that we will see it this year. Typically it takes over 2 years to create a rushed medication/cures that has been clinically tested. In the US on average it takes over 12 years for an experimental drug to be approved by the FDA)

Basic assumptions 1: Now that the health portion is under control, how do you open up the economy again without putting undue pressure on health infrastructure and risk infecting the population at large (now that there is limited inbound contact for external hotspots)?

Basic assumptions 2: The Australian economy is dependent on exports and we need access to these markets to exploit the completive advantages that Australian firms can offer the boarder global market.

How can we achieve both of these assumption?

a)What industries are necessary to the Australian economy? Do they really need to travel? How do you distinguish who is critical and necessary for trade and who is not? – Possible create a system similar to China where you need a letter from your employer to be deemed necessary. It could work for larger employers but what about sole traders or small firms it would be problematic. Government will have issues making everyone happy.

b)Possible stop all outbound travel that does not help Australia domestic trade/economy (i.e. no external tourism in the near future): for the most part this is doable you don't need to have a holiday overseas but will be politically unpopular domestically and internationally.

Your point about a bond/self funded quarantine could work but how would you enforce it?

And what would happen if you get Covid-19 overseas? Your travel insurance won't cover it at present. The country where you are in would not want you taking up space in their health care system. The government don't cover the cost of air evacuation flights to repatriate you to Australia, So you would need to pay it yourself whilst travel insurance doesn't cover you.

I personally think that we will continue to see restriction in some form or another till 2022 when we should have a clinically proven medication to treat covid-19 in mass production and have a vaccination in mass production to create a form of heard immunity.

It will be tough for everyone.

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

If you're not an Australian citizen, you don't need permission to leave.

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

Even though the press and even the PM referred to Australians, the ban in fact also applies to PRs.

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 32

Not true. Permanent Residents are subject to the same restrictions.

My understanding is the the ICCPR has been signed but not ratified by the federal government, and is not directly enforceable in Australia. Furtermore, Australia does not have a Bill of Rights - many of the so called rights we enjoy relate to provision found in the Constitution and various Acts of Parliament.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

landed in hong kong

The ICCPR has a provision which allows the government to act as they have.

You're right that it has been signed but not ratified (and not incorporated into law). Based on the past deliberations of the High Court, I think it's feasible for the High Court to be guided by UN treaties, to which Australia is a party, when interpreting law. However, the High Court is extremely reluctant to do so and, if it can fall back on statutory or common law, it will.

For example, here, Justice Michael Kirby says:

"In De L v Director-General, NSW Department of Community Services [11] , the Court was required to construe the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) [12] . Subsequently, the Court returned to the language of that Convention in order to construe Regulation 7 of the Family Law (Child Abduction Convention) Regulations (Cth) made in exercise of the power conferred by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), s 111B(1)[13] . Once again, the Court was concerned to reflect, in the meaning given to national law, the language and purpose of an international treaty to which Australia is a party which had been incorporated into Australian domestic law. "

https://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/speeches/former-justices/kirbyj/kirbyj_inthrts.htm

So, my interpretation is, there's scope for international human rights treaties to inform the judgements of the Australian judiciary, but if they can rely on domestic law, so be it.

Kirby has also said

"On an urgent motion for relief in the Court of Appeal, the resolution of the case took me, in default of a clear local rule, to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[27] (ICCPR). Australia had ratified that treaty and, in any case, it probably stated customary international law in this respect. I held that, in developing the Australian common law in a novel case, it was desirable that such law should, so far as possible, be in harmony with the ICCPR provisions, including Art 14[28] and the jurisprudence gathered around it[29]. The two other judges sitting with me agreed. One of them pointed to the fact that, although not expressly incorporated into Australian law, the ICCPR was scheduled to a federal statute defining the powers and duties of the national Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission[30]."

https://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/speeches/former-justices/kirbyj/kirbyj_30mar05.html

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

landed in hong kong

The ICCPR has been signed but hasn't been ratified. The Australian judiciary are very reluctant to interpret such treaties and, if possible, will fall back on statutory or common law. However, if you read through Michael Kirby's speeches (which can be found on the High Court website), it's possible for the Australian judiciary to be informed by these treaties to which Australia is a party.

In any case, a close reading of the the ICCPR will show that the government isn't violating human rights in this instance. It has a provision to suspend travel rights.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@Hewnix

There's a provision in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) which allows the government's measures (in this instance). These measures don't constitute a violation of human rights, according to this provision in the treaty.

While Art. XII(2) reads:

(2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

However, this is qualified by Art. XII(3):

(3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in this present Covenant.

A pandemic constitutes a 'public health' emergency and, thereby, activates that provision.

In principle, though, I agree that every human being should be free to travel, without let or hindrance, as per this treaty and also as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

'sq or qf': To help prevent spam, some posts with outside links require admin approval before being published. Please post comments once only, and if necessary, somebody from the admin or moderator team will attend to any flagged posts as soon as possible.

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 32

I fail to see how allowing somebody to leave the country is necessary to protect the "public health" of Australians. Returning? Sure. I understand and support the quarantine measures..

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@Hewnix

I should have added, though, I'm sorry about your parent. If you need to visit them, you should be able to secure the exemption on humanitarian grounds. If you can't (then even if the government's ban doesn't violate human rights), it's barbaric not grant an exemption on those grounds

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 32

and might I add, in a timely manner, which is not what's happening now.

12 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

Can I ask how you get to follow up by phone? When you call the number on the site, there are no appropriate menu items. Which one do people use?

Paul

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 104

No. Global Pandemic. Stay put.

30 Mar 2014

Total posts 13

The more data we get, the more we see how a significant proportion of people have had the virus without being symptomatic, and hence the true infection mortality rate is not significantly different to influenza. The case mortality rate that's usually quoted is highly misleading and a gross over-estimate, particularly as most countries aren't differentiating between deaths FROM cv19 and deaths WITH cv19. The virus is scarey for many because it's new, but we live with many bigger threats without panicking or deliberately crippling our economy. Is CV19 a threat to those with serious underlying health conditions? Yes. Is it the global armageddon that an hysterical media and unthinking social media have whipped us up to believe unquestioningly? Absolutely not. Is the self-inflicted economic catastrophe justifiable? Hardly - once you've started identifying the best treatment options (e.g. oxygen therapy) and have realised that the health system is NOT going to be overwhelmed, most restrictions apart from those that protect the known vulnerable should be lifted ASAP. The known downside impact of reduced GDP and the associated poverty, unemployment etc. on life expectancy, suicide rates etc. etc. is far greater than the effect of coronavirus. And that doesn't even consider the newly-diagnosed cancers that aren't getting treated, the people suffering early symptoms of heart attacks etc. etc. who are too scared to seek help and die as a result......

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Caversham04

I agree that, once treatments are possible and once the health care system has been prepped (with acquisition of a lot more ventilators, etc.), then it's right to ease restrictions. And, that's what's happening. Essentially, Australia has bought time.

I don't think people (or governments, or medicos) have panicked. They've reacted accordingly, buying us time, allowing for clinical knowledge to be gained and now they can ease off the breaks.

I agree also that things like untreated mental health conditions (in the worst case scenario, suicide) and non-diagnosis of cancers are an evil that have to be avoided during pandemics. I think it's possible to have a lockdown and to treat these things. During restrictions, people I know have been medically treated for non-COVID conditions.

Finally, one point you make is bit misleading

"particularly as most countries aren't differentiating between deaths FROM cv19 and deaths WITH cv19".

Many patients die of conditions brought on by COVID-19. E.g. they might die of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Strictly speaking, they didn't die of COVID-19. But their lungs wouldn't have filled with mucus and blood, preventing gaseous exchange in the alveoli, if they didn't have COVID-19.


So, in the majority of cases, no such distinction is needed. Similarly, typically HIV doesn't kill people (technically). It destroys the immune system to the point that a cold kills them.

05 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

@Caversham04:

How can I give you 1million likes?

Taking your text and spreading it out all over my social networks. Will try to credit you.

15 May 2020

Total posts 41

Hi all

Please help - does anyone know if the Department is sill processing offshore visitor visas subclass 600 for immediate family members who are currently overseas. I am an Australia citizen and I am trying to get my de facto partner here but his ETA has expired and he currently can not apply for one due to travel ban!! Please help!!

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 84

Fillystar, you need to be talking to the Government's Department of Home Affairs about this. You can find their contact details at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.

15 May 2020

Total posts 41

Thank you !

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05 Sep 2013

Total posts 54

@fillystar

In regard to if they are still proceeding visa's look at “Department of Home Affairs Immigration Covid-19” page. On this page there is a link to “Coming to Australia” & “COVID-19 (Novel coronavirus) request to travel form” and then request “I am an immediate family member (spouse, de facto partners, dependent child or legal guardian) of an Australian Citizen or Permanent resident. I need to travel to Australia now”.

To find the right visa search “Explore visa options for joining family in Australia” and it should link you to the correct Department of Home Affairs Immigration Page. You might be able to apply for a “Sponsored Family Stream Visitor visa (subclass 600)" valid 12 Months but check the Department of Home Affairs Immigration page to see if you are eligible.

15 May 2020

Total posts 41

Thank you planesa380

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

Yes, IF you can establish that he is a genuine defacto partner as they would then fall into the category of "immediate family member".

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

Hi all - any thoughts on when this ban may be downgraded to a strong recommendation not to travel but not an outright ban? Family emergencies and I'm really hoping my fiance and I will be able to travel - happy to cover costs of quarantine, testing etc.

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05 Sep 2013

Total posts 54

If you need to travel for an urgent family matter you can apply for a “request to travel” by searching “COVID-19 (Novel coronavirus) request to travel form” which should redirect you to a Department of Home Affairs Immigration to apply.

Downgrade to strong recommendation not to travel date is pure speculation at this stage unfortunately. My guess it longer than we would like unfortunately.

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I'm allowed to leave and get back in on my visa but I'm holding out hope my fiance can come with me in September. Doesn't hurt to hope in such a crazy negative time...we will just have to wait and see I suppose. Thank you again.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

The bisecurity act has to be reviewed every 3 months. The first 2 month extension finishes on the 25th of June. Whats the likely hood the ban gets changed so that we pay a bond for quarantine etc?

19 May 2020

Total posts 3

What about exemptions for a specialist overseas for IVF? What are the chances of approval?

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

Not likely as that is not "urgent medical care not available in Australia".

16 May 2020

Total posts 10

I have Australian and Irish passports (EU), have residency in France (complete tax, health card etc) and was told to apply because departure is with the Australia passport, I was refused. I advised this in the application. So why wad I refused!

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 39

You might come under the category of "ordinarily resident" overseas in which case no exemption is required. However, you would not meet this criterion if you have been living in Australia for some time, even if you have the right to live in another country. At the airport, Border Force asked which country I spent the most time in over the last two years (which wasn't Australia, in my case).

20 May 2020

Total posts 1

Hi. I wa one f those whose application was rejected. I have been separated from my wife having seen her only once since August 2019. She is on a 4 year 482 Vusa working in the construction industry. Whilst I am trapped in the UK. It seems these are insufficient grounds. Can anyone please offer advice as the ongoing uncertainty is causing us real sadness as an older couple. There cannot be many in my position as we will b entitled to PR IN 2 years.

19 May 2020

Total posts 3

Hi, I do feel for you being seperated from your wife as I am also separated from my husband. I was told by Smart traveler that ppl that are applying for medical and serious family situations (death of immediate family) are getting first choice in exemptions. There should be a review in June so let's hope something changes then. Good luck

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. The ban applies to ALL EXCEPT Australian citizens, PR and their immediate family members.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

Nothing changes in terms of Infection Control until there is a vaccine. As soon as we let people back in from overseas we will get new cases: even hotel quarantine spreads the virus to cleaners, cooks, dishwashing staff etc.

In fact, our success means that hardly anyone in Australia has any immunity to this virus.

The only way to open the economy up at all is to prevent anyone entering Australia from overseas.

I am certain that my Hawai'i trip in September is a lost cause, but I suspect that a US mainland visit in February is too.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 39

Interesting how this might work when we have the "Trans-Tasman Bubble". Could NZ prevent Australians from leaving to a third country?

russh7 that's exactly what I'm wondering.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Caversham04... exactly! Thank you!

Another statistic for you all: the annual worldwide death toll for TB (also a very infectious disease), is 1.5 million! And as pointed out in another article I read recently, no one is shutting the world down for them. Let alone turning a previously free country into a prison. Enough is enough!

Last time I checked, TB was a bacterial infection that could be treated by a lengthy course of antibiotics. Not to mention that it is possible to be vaccinated against TB.

I guess since Covid19 can be transmitted by 5G so we had better be careful about statistics (rolls eyes)

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Yet the BCG vaccine is next to useless, leaves an ugly scar and has lots of side effects. I didn't allow my son to get it (he was born in an Asian country) and I won't be letting any of my future children get it either.

Speaking of statistics, most of the ones on covid are totally bollocks. The US is inflating numbers by including "presumed" cases and pretty much anyone with similar symptoms to covid are called covid cases.

Plenty of pandemics occurred in the past, including SARS in 2003 and the 1957 and 69 Hong Kong flu epidemics, YET the world didn't shut down back then, did it? Clearly something else is going on here. And it's got nothing to do with health but everything to do with control.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 39

Yes, and there is a vaccine for TB.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Fine, we've established that one big difference is that there is a vaccine for TB, and it also responds to antibiotics.

But Landed, as much as it pains me to dignify your last sentence with a response, my post contained facts, even if there is more to them than I made out (on TB anyway, but not the situation as it stands in this country now). What I didn't do was to regurgitate conspiracy theories. That inference does you no credit.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Although I replied to him, normally I ignore trolls like that. The 5G thing is clearly a conspiracy theory planted by intelligence to "muddy the waters" in order to make people questioning the insanity of the current man-made crisis look like crazies.

My apologies if you were offended by my rather obnoxious comment - it was intended to be a general comment directed at the erudite protesters that believes we are being locked up by the government for some nefarious mind controlling reason reason

For the record, I was born in England, educated in Australia with an LLB and BCom; I studied in HK for my MBA. And yes, I do ask questions - especially in regard to "statistics"; I have not been indoctrinated by the CCP despite working in HK, Shanghai and Chengdu for a number of years. 加油

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

It looks as if the more paperwork, the better. And the ABF appear to be more likely to grant exemptions where they're convinced that the applicant's life is, mostly, outside Australia.

21 May 2020

Total posts 1

Can anyone help me I live in Australia and my fiancé is in Greece Is there any way of me going there or her coming here

15 May 2020

Total posts 41

hi jim

have you managed to work out how you will see your fiance in Greece? is she an Aus citizen?

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

Infectious Diseases 101 is that the most dangerous pandemic is not of a High Lethality Low Contagiousness virus like Ebola, but a Relatively Low Lethality Maximum Contagiousness virus like this one.

And worse, while it's a type of influenza virus, the two reasons why the world had to be locked down are that firstly no one has any immunity and secondly it too often causes Lung Failure.

When a country is not overwhelmed by it - like Australia - the mortality rate of Coronavirus can be controlled at around 1.5% - which even here is FIFTEEN times worse than flu.

But when a country loses control like the USA or UK the mortality rate leaps to at least 6% even with the economy in total lockdown to allow social distancing. As Brazil and the UK and USA are learning, that smashes your economy far worse than an early brief aggressive lockdown like Australia's.

Australia and New Zealand are textbook cases of how to get the first stage right. Close your borders and stamp out community spread, which allows you to reopen your internal domestic economy.

But you then have to keep your borders absolutely closed until a vaccine arrives. Otherwise you recreate the trenches of World War 1, with huge numbers of your health staff wiped out by a second or third wave against which still nobody has immunity. And then your teachers. And then your factory workers.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

I wrote that Australia's Coronavirus mortality rate is 1.5% and the USA's is 6%.

I just checked - the UK's mortality rate is actually 17.7%.

Part of that is due to inadequate testing. But even if the true UK mortality rate is “only” 10%, it's absolutely clear that the more you lose control of suppressing this virus, the more lethal it becomes to far wider swathes of your population.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

While I believe travel restrictions are necessary to control the spread of the virus, I believe it pertains more to people coming in. I think that's why Australia is the only country ( in the western world? Unsure about Asian countries) that have put a travel ban on its citizens from leaving m. NZ hasn't done that, it's advised against it creating a situation where if you leave the government isn't beholden to come get you. But Scott Morrison was peeved that people that 18,000 people ignored the level 4 advisory from March 18th so he put this arcane travel ban citing the biosecurity act of 2015. I think measures should be put into place to deter people from leaving on short holidays, such as a bond for quarantine or detainment in jail even if you refuse to pay, but a blanket ban with no definite end date even for dual citizens is cruel. There are lots of people being denied that have families abroad but don't want to quit jobs or lease agreements until an exemption is granted. There are people separated from their partners but have no “proof” of their relationship that are having severe mental health effects. There are people willing to pay their own quarantine etc. Australia should have control over who comes into their borders, but leaving them is usually a choice.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

Hotel quarantine is still dangerous to others.

Someone has to clean your room, clean your dishes, bring you room service or expose themselves to your droplets in the restaurant. And you expose others to your germs at the airport and en route to the hotel.

If it was up to me I would be routing all inbound international flights to Christmas Island or Manus Island and making people serve their quarantine there. And for longer than the arbitrary 14 days, given that the person who served their quarantine in Brisbane last week turned positive in Sydney 16 days after return, and presumably 16-30 days after infection.

It's a pandemic. It's equivalent to wartime. Travel just needs to be absolutely prohibited, no exceptions.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

I think that stance can be taken to opening anything, even the domestic economy because unless we finally have working antibody tests, and confirm the real fatality rates as well as whether those people who are asymptotic are as infectious etc there's no use supporting your argument with anecdotal evidence. Epidemiologists look at big groups of data to determine the incubation period of a virus, while there is variation to a certain degree, a 14 day incubation period was denoted. On that note, every “ curve” mentioned in the news these days refers to a system where the virus is contained to a level where the healthcare system is not overwhelmed, not completely eradicated everywhere in the world. Even if a vaccine is found it could take months or years to mass produce. It's not feasible to have these provisions in indefinitely. It's about a balance. In other countries these measures are put in place for short periods of time and then reviewed monthly or bi monthly so not only people who need to leave but people who rely on the travel industry aren't beholden to a constant demand side shock. By placing something indefinite, it just perpetuates fear mongering positioned in the media. If it's a war, it's not just about the pandemic is killing directly, but the indirect impact of these restrictions on mental health, people's livelihood, the economy. I think your view is incredibly narrow minded.

21 May 2020

Total posts 1

We are due to go to Europe at the end of July, and every bit of me still hopes that we should be able to. We are both dual citizens, (i am a NZ citizen living in WA and my partner is an AU citizen) so I am hoping we are able to go on our other passports, or at least my partner to apply for permission. (I don't think I will need to apply as I am not an AU citizen). The thing that I don't understand with this hotel quarantining on return, why don't they test people when they come back? Ok lets say it doesn't show up that quick, then ask them to self quarantine at home and then test them 5-7 days later? This would be much cheaper for the govt, instead of the 14 days hotel quarantine. Testing is not accurate? Then, out of all the positive/negative tests done, how many are accurate? Other countries are opening up their borders, and slowly they're starting to return to normal, as you can't keep everything shut for such a long time, but then over here in Au they're just trying to prove the whole world that they can keep everything shut. No one's going to build us a statue for keeping the whole country in lock down for the next many months ahead... I don't care about being able to go 250km from my residence, or going to a different city around the country, I have family overseas that I only see once a year, and that is now taken away from me. I am not the only one, there's a lot of other people that feel the same way. We're young and healthy, probably if I would suffer from other conditions, I wouldn't want to travel, but I don't and I'm not scared. It's very frustrating what is happening, and hope the Govt will soon realize that this exercise will cost them a lot of money, and for what???

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

Voluntary quarantine doesn't work. This is why leper colonies existed.

People assume that if they have no symptoms they are safe, or that if they have tested negative they are safe.

But they are not: they can turn positive two weeks later, having single-handedly created a death cluster like at Newmarch House.

Mandatory hotel quarantine can be policed and it keeps hotels in business. It has some dangers attached, but it works.

And yes, I do think the government will deserve a statue - or at least a medal - if it can maintain our safety until a vaccine arrives in mid-2021.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to stick to what we are doing. And the most important part of this is closed borders, both inward and outward.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@klara1003

"We're young and healthy, probably if I would suffer from other conditions, I wouldn't want to travel, but I don't and I'm not scared."

With respect, the government aren't too worried that you'll succumb to COVID-19 or it related conditions. The measures have been enacted to protect others. You can, indirectly, endanger the lives of others by travelling for non-essential purposes. Even if you're not at risk and not scared, travelling poses a risk to the lives of others.

When there's more clinical knowledge and there's anti-viral medication to treat COVID-19 effectively and, thereby, render it a LOT less fatal, then it's a different story.

But for now, we have to stay put to protect lives. I'm also not thrilled about being stuck at home. I had intended to move abroad for work midyear.

"No one's going to build us a statue for keeping the whole country in lock down for the next many months ahead"

No statues or medals are needed. It's just about knowing that otherwise preventable deaths haven't occurred. If that means holidays are off for a while, then so be it, I'm sorry. If people need to travel overseas for extraordinary circumstances, they should be able to. Accordingly, there's a provision by which they can (and as long as those exemptions are granted, then that's fine). Obviously, we can't take it for granted that those exemptions will always be granted. That's another issue.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

With regard to an outbound travel ban; my belief is that is a step no democratic country ought to take, at any time, for any reason. It's the beginning of a very steep and slippery slope. We've now embarked on that downward trajectory.

The reasons given were for protection of the local community upon your return (fair enough perhaps; but there's still the 14-day quarantine). In addition, ostensibly to protect other countries from Oz travellers. BS. I don't believe our govt is that altruistic.

The freedom-affirming option would have been to make us take responsibility for our own actions, telling us that: “if you really feel it's wise to travel overseas, and you can get in somewhere, somehow, then fine. Just know that you won't be let back in until we say you can, and meantime you will be on your own as far as medical treatment, insurance, protection etc goes.”

absolutely. couldn't have said it better

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Thanks. Nice to know there's someone out there who still values freedom.

26 May 2020

Total posts 3

Hi, I'm desperate for some advice if anyone can help… my partner and I are dual citizens both Australian and of Germany (him) and UK (me).We spend roughly 8 months a year working (consulting) in Europe and 4 months a year in Australia, our business is Australian and we are tax residents here.However we have been living in Germany since June last year and have an on-going contract (until the end of the year) to provide services to a german client there.We got caught here when they closed the borders and are living in our Australian residence.If we can't return there to live, then we lose our contract and our income.My question is… do we have to apply for an exemption to return?We had return flights but the return segment of the flight back to Europe was cancelled and now we need to purchase another one.I would like to know if I need to buy the ticket first or apply for exemption first or perhaps I don't need to apply for exemption cos we were living there before?If we don't need exemption, then does anyone know HOW we prove we were living there and what would we need to take to the airport?Our apartment contract in Germany is in German.Does this then need translation?!OMG so much unknown!I tried ringing both the 131881 number and the coronavirus hotline, neither were any help (the 131881 number doesn't seem to contact any selections for this type of assistance). I even wrote an email asking for advice, directly to Mr Dutton!! Of course I haven't received a reply LOL! Any advice or help anyone can provide is greatly appreciated thank you!

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 39

If you are "ordinarily resident" overseas then you can leave without needing to apply for an exemption. I can only recount my own experience, where I am an Australian citizen (only), was in Australia for two months after living overseas for a number of years. I was quizzed multiple times by ABF on the way out but was ultimately allowed to board the flight. I don't know what information they accessed, but they asked where I had spent the most time in the last two years, and checked that I had a valid work visa for my destination. They didn't specifically ask about my tax residency or overseas accommodation.

26 May 2020

Total posts 3

Thanks for taking the time to send this message... I know that this is the rule, I guess I'm just unsure of how they determine exactly what "ordinarily resident" means and what we might need to provide to prove it! But it was encouraging to hear your story so thank you for sharing your experience :)

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

We are in the same position of being caught in Australia when we normally spend 6-9 months of the year in the UK. We have had our return flight cancelled to the UK and will park ourselves in Australia for a few more months. My sister went back to Canada, Australian citizen/Canadian resident with her Canadian husband and dual citizen daughter after the process came into place. She was told at the airport that she would have to apply for an exemption even though she showed them the website where it says you don't. Having said that they processed it there on the spot - she had all her residency documentation on her and gave their address in Vancouver. I don't believe they had anything special to supply. They got on the plane no worries.

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

it might be questioned more as you are tax residents in Australia and your business is Australian - maybe contact your local MP for advice

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 39

They might also look up your previous arrival card, whether it was "Visitor" or "Australian resident returning".

28 May 2020

Total posts 18

The outbound travel ban, whilst effective to ensure people understand the significance of what we are going through, is now at a point where thousands of people with real reasons to travel are being rejected.

There has to be 1000's of people suffering mental health issues because of this archaic process.

The simple thing to do would be to enforce a departure of at least 10 weeks, person must pay for quarantine, assume the risk that they will probably be travelling with no insurance. The government will not be coming to rescue you.

We have countless people who normally live overseas who are Australian citizens who are just coming back to Australia for a couple of months and they just leave freely.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Yes. The lack of any indication from govt up till now that the outbound travel ban is only temporary, let alone giving any indication as to when this might be lifted, could give one the impression that something altogether different and more sinister is going on, in terms of the kind of country we are now all stuck in.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

Yes.

It indicates the terrifying prospect that we might live in a decent and honourable country where the government prioritises human life and follows the science, rather than sacrificing tens or hundreds of thousands of lives in a reckless and futile bid to deny reality in order to keep the economy going.

28 May 2020

Total posts 18

The Level 4, do not travel advice is sufficient enough for this going forward. There is no travel insurance for this advice. NZ has this in place and we are thinking of opening the travel bubble with them.

I see there may be some loopholes with dual citizens going back for Summer holiday, but at the moment I have to think those people understand this is not a holiday type of time.

If needed, they can move quarantine to offshore detention facilities and make people pay.

Waiting for a vaccine is futile as it may never come, we should not be pinning hopes on that or have that as a guideline.

I can also see that our staged tourism model reopening is to ensure Australians only stay in Australia over winter to boost tourism internally, coincidentally we could start looking at opening borders on December 15, ready for our summer. This is a good way to encourage that economic growth, but a travel ban is not needed for that.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

However, for the sake of many people's sense of security, freedom and their mental health, your benign, wise and well-meaning government would make certain that the people know that this is/was definitely a temporary measure only, even if it is perhaps unclear at present how long it might last.

No such reassurance has been forthcoming as yet, leading many to speculate as to other motives.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

We are starting to see very clearly that even mandatory hotel quarantine is risky: 2 of the security guards at Rydges in Melbourne have turned positive. And of course SA now has a case after making a humanitarian exception to quarantine for a British visitor to a dying relative.

I'm a doctor, and I think the time has come to get stricter, not to make exceptions.

It's time to end repatriation flights absolutely and to tell people overseas “you've had two months to get back, you didn't use it so you're now locked out of Australia until there's a vaccine.”

And equally, it's time to tell people in Australia that there is a total exit ban, no exceptions, and if you leave you can't come back. And that is until there's a vaccine....which could be years away.

And I say that as someone with parents in the UK!

Australia has done well by being stricter than countries like the UK and USA, which in Coronavirus terms are Failed States. And now we need to tighten up further and get rid of our weak spots.

28 May 2020

Total posts 18

I agree with parts of your information, but give people the opportunity to leave freely.

When the travel ban was put in place, I don't believe people understood that it would be for the foreseeable future.

Their was no precedent for this travel ban.

If you want to stop them from coming back, fair enough.

28 May 2020

Total posts 18

There was no precedent for this travel ban.

If you want to stop them from coming back, fair enough.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

Being a doctor doesn't make you an expert in epidemiology or virology. Statistically, Australia has been very cautious. This has saved lives yes. But their management of this whole thing in terms of public expectations and mitigating mental health has been so so poor. If Australians wanted to live in a government where human rights were violated indefinitely and in total control of the government then we would live in China. Governments should consider all impacts including economically. When the rest of the world reaches herd immunity ( yes at the cost of lives before you go on and on ) we will be fucked because our second or 3rd waves will either kill majority of us or crash our Stockmarket, employment, currency etc. find the middle ground or get out of the conversation

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

The fundamental human right is the right to live.

People who want to exercise their “right” to travel, or congregate without social distancing during a Pandemic violate everyone else's right to live.

I love travel. I'm a top tier frequent flyer with two airlines and top tier with three major hotel networks.

But my rights are counterbalanced by my obligations. And during a pandemic the right to live extinguishes the right of the rest of us to indulge ourselves.

The current spikes in infection in the USA are the most eloquent argument against opening anything up. I wouldn't even open up state borders currently, except to freight.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Jayce123

"But their management of this whole thing in terms of public expectations and mitigating mental health has been so so poor."

In terms of public expectations, it has been a resounding success. Three close family members of mine work as doctors in Australia (one as an ICU physician). They didn't have much faith in Scomo et al. Their very real fear was that we'd have far too few ventilators and the ICU one was worried about having to decide which patients to let die. And that we'd end up with the sort of casualty rate per capita that Sweden has. Australia has done brilliantly and anybody who is (a) literate and (b) not an idiot can tell this.

As regards mental health, it's far from perfect but it's possible for us to be treated over the phone or with Zoom. There are patients who CANNOT be treated in this way and allowances have been made for them to have their consultations in person. In the macro-sense (general well-being of everyone and the health of students, etc.)... this has been a 3-4 month lockdown. It's not easy. But it's not Battle of Stalingrad, let alone the Second World War.

"If Australians wanted to live in a government where human rights were violated indefinitely and in total control of the government then we would live in China."

Our human rights being violated would being stuck in a house with welded doors. That's what happened in China. And that violated human rights. The government can't even compel people to download the tracing and tracking app (rightly so).

The actions of the Federal and various state/territory government haven't violated human rights, in this instance. I encourage you to read the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This has all been legit.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

I have read the international covenant on civil and political rights and the right to freedom of movement in article 12 states that they are not allowed to take away our right to leave a country regardless of citizenship. I understand that your talking about the exception where in restrictions can be out in place where there is a threat to public heath, the ICPRR was signed in 1976. Do you know what's been effective since 2015 ? The biosecurity act. This gives Australia the actual legislature to do what they are doing and not just the implication of this. Do you also know that there is explicit language in that act that states that our rights are being taken away and that these restrictions can be put in place for an initial period of 4 weeks? And then extended for up to 3 months? With 3 month extensions making judgement calls based on the heath concerns at the times to ensure no human rights violations occur. And it's the health ministers duty to make those calls not the PMs. So I say by just saying “ indefinite travel ban” there is a certain level of violation taking place.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@Jayce123

"Do you know what's been effective since 2015 ? The biosecurity act.... the ICPRR was signed in 1976"

The age of the legislation is irrelevant. Before the courts, barristers commonly refer to case law and statutory law that's hundreds of years old. But since you bring it up... the Biosecurity Act just reinforces the principles of the ICCPR. I didn't bring up the Biosecurity deliberately... this restriction goes to a far more basic principle. Strictly speaking, the executive doesn't need the Biosecurity Act to suspend travel rights since we don't have unrestricted rights to leave our country in the first place.

The ICCPR remains critical here. You'll find it referenced extensively on the Attorney-General's official govt website as the framework by which we understand our human rights.

You're making HUGE assumptions about what rights we have and don't have.

Your complaint is that "a certain level of violation [of human rights is] taking place"

CHALLENGE No. 1 in Proving the human rights violation - Establishing the existence of the human right in question: In order for an applicant to appeal, successfully, to the Australian courts, they first, in this instance, need to establish that ordinary Australian citizens have an unrestricted right to leave their country.

Is there anything in statutory law granting ordinary Australian citizens unrestricted rights to leave Australia? Nope.

From the A-G's website: "There is no Commonwealth legislation enshrining the right to freedom of movement. Numerous laws effectively restrict the right on grounds which are set out in the laws."

In the absence of the existence of such a right in statutory law, we look to established international principles of human rights law. The ICCPR is the seminal treaty in that respect. You, yourself, have acknowledged that there's a provision in the ICCPR which allows governments to curtail the right to leave one's own country owing to a public health emergency: "I understand that your talking about the exception where in restrictions can be out in place where there is a threat to public heath"

So, there you have it. There's no unfettered right to leave the country, in the first place. This particular government measure doesn't constitute a breach of human rights. Any legal challenge would fall at the first hurdle.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

I'm so confused about what laws you spew. you mention the ICCPR again and again and again. article 12 and 13 of the ICCPR talk directly about how the right to leave any country including its own country of citizenship shall not be subject to ANY restriction EXCEPT those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security or public health or morals etc. as I said in my earlier statement, we as Australian citizens have a right to freedom of movement, unless under special exceptions like COVID 19 pandemic is of course. also, the biosecurity act is what Scott Morrison used to put through the travel ban because we do have unrestricted rights to leave the country. Articles from relevant Conventions

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 12

  • Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
  • Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
  • The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.
  • No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

I see what you mean. seriously OMG. I thought you read and understood the ICCPR. There are several rights commonwealth citizens would not have or be beholden too if Australia wasn't beholden too and this isn't just some "established international principles of human rights laws " that we are looking at. It's part of the international bill of human rights. its monitored very closely every year to make sure humans rights are met. By the way, only by adhering to commonwealth laws, we would have no right to the freedom of expression or free speech as we are doing now. As i said the Australian government has precedence to do this and they are using the proper legislature under both the biosecurity act of 2015 and article 4 of the covenant:degrogation, however, to ensure not only the mental health of everyone involved is taken into consideration but the actual legislature is followed to the letter. the politicians should avoid using words like "indefinite travel ban" because they do have the power to indefinitely stop travel at one point in time. They have to stop it for one month then review and extend for three months and extend again etc. they can extend indefinitely but they have to review every 3 months and they have to have a damn good reason to keep extending the ICCPR, the biosecurity act, the international bill of human rights and the UN, in general, was created to protect human rights, honestly, even the wording and the connotation fo these documents state that the right of freedom of movement can only be taken away in a state of emergency, which is what this is. and a lot of people understand that but you have to take into consideration what it will do to peoples state of mind when it seems like lockdown will be forever instead of for a shorter period of time then reviewed, then a shorter of a period of time then reviewed. One method of communication feels like a prison and another feels like someone trying to make the best of a bad situation, oh also following the law.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Jayce123

I assure you that I have read the ICCPR. Moreover, I think it's crucial to preventing breaches of human rights throughout the world. I'm very glad it exists. It's worth fighting for.

Sorry for confusing you. Let's imagine a person tries to argue, before a court of law, that their rights as an Australian citizen or your fundamental human rights have been infringed. How does it pan out?

There's no Commonwealth law to enshrine the right to leave Australia. So, strictly speaking, the government doesn't even really need the Biosecurity Act. As a fallback, any appeal would need to cite the ICCPR as the most authoritative international treaty on human rights. However, the ICCPR doesn't help here because it has that provision, which you've pasted here, allowing governments to curtail travel rights during a public health emergency. So, from a human rights perspective, there's no unrestricted right to travel. Without that condition being met, it's not possible to prosecute the argument that the govt has infringed our rights.

I'm sorry if you're doing it tough at the minute. I read some of your comments in the other exemptions article. I hope you secure your exemption to join your partner Stateside. I don't know that I can provide any meaningful advice. Looking at the comments here (and on social media)... The, admittedly, anecdotal common theme in successful applications appears to be LOTS of paperwork showing that your life is well and truly outside Australia so you won't be back soon.

I don't know how much documentation you gave the ABF. From your comments, I inferred that you've finished college there. And you're looking for work there but haven't found anything yet?

As regards proof, if you're on (or can get on) a lease agreement with your partner, that'd help your cause. I'm not sure how much proof you gave the ABF of your relationship, but worst comes to worse, you could sign a stat dec AND you could get your partner to sign a US affidavit confirming your relationship and saying they can provide for. Maybe even get a third-party to sign a US affidavit saying that you've been in a relationship since whenever. All that would help to get an exemption

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

Also Australia has not done “ brilliantly” . The only reason we did this well is because we are far from the epicentres. New Zealand did “ brilliantly” oh and they did it without an unecessary outgoing travel ban.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@Jayce123

"Also Australia has not done “ brilliantly” . The only reason we did this well is because we are far from the epicentres. New Zealand did “ brilliantly” oh and they did it without an unecessary outgoing travel ban."

The mask slips. That's just blatantly untrue. Your bias gets the better of you. The distance between China (the first epicentre) and Australia is less than HALF the distance between China and Brazil. In case you hadn't noticed, things are going terribly in Brazil.

We have a HUGE Chinese population in Australia. There were direct flights from Wuhan to Australian cities. Clearly, Australia has done well, here.

Good luck finding many medical professionals who are displeased with the manner in which Australia has, thus far, handled this pandemic. Both New Zealand AND Australia have done brilliantly, here. Let's hope both nations keep up the good work.

Anybody who understands the first thing about this virus and pandemics knows full well that social distancing, testing, tracing, isolating quarantining new arrivals and sealing borders makes all the difference. And in those areas, Australia has done outstanding work (in this instance).

This Federal Government (and previous ones) deserve criticism for all manner of other things. But, frankly, to be so unbalanced as to try to fault their approach to COVID-19 detracts from any important criticism of other government failings (which need to be called out).

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Nouflyer: You're a Doctor? I thought that might be the case. Then, can I put it in terms you might relate to? I'm by no means original in saying that “the cure is worse than the disease”.

As a doctor - unless you are a specialist epidemiologist, in which case your focus and sole reference is blinkered by your specialty - you will understand that overall health is the sum total of many factors beyond the purely physical: a sense of purpose, prosperity, a future, fulfilment, freedom among them.

A continued and even stricter lockdown works against this. Life is not just about eating, sleeping, possibly still working if you're lucky enough to have a job, catching up with a few people online or walking the bloody dog around the block. There was more to it before, and there needs to be more to it again, pronto. This cannot go on indefinitely, vaccine or no vaccine.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 41

I sympathise but let me say this.

We don't worry about low contagion high mortality conditions like Ebola. Our medical nightmare is precisely this- a high contagion low mortality infection. It could wreck our economy by destroying our health sector.

The idea is that you manage it the NZ way. A strict local lockdown until all existing cases die out. Then you don't need a lockdown if you keep your borders absolutely closed.

You have to imagine that this is a war. Like being in the Blitz in London you aren't going to get a holiday or a business trip or to see loved ones overseas.

Comparing our population to the UK, if we had had their open borders and lack of quarantine we would be around 20,000 deaths now, not 103. And we would be losing significant numbers of people in their thirties and forties and fifties, like them.

Freedom is curtailed in wartime. And that's where we are.

I have cancelled trips to the UK and Hawaii this year. I hope to go to Queenstown and Aitutaki instead if the bubble gets up.

I think that's what we have to hope for: a couple of years where our only travel options are at home or NZ, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

I've got one eye on a lovely overwater bungalow in Aitutaki!

28 May 2020

Total posts 18

I agree with the tourism element .

The ability to go and be with loved ones should be a choice. As I said, if they want to ban re-entry into australia, well that is path they can take. NZ does not have a travel ban on outbound flights, it has a level advisory.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Jc2344

"...if they want to ban re-entry into australia, well that is path they can take''

Not easily. It's much harder, from a human rights perspective, to ban re-entry than leaving.

This goes back to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which is signed but not ratified by Australia. While it's not incorporated into Australian law. If you go to the High Court website and read the speeches of people such as Justice Michael Kirby, it's not out of the scope of the Australian judiciary to be informed by such a treaty.

The ICCPR says:

"Article 12(4) - No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his right to enter his own country''

According to the ICCPR, there are provisions to suspend the right to freedom of movement during a public health emergency. But there is NO PROVISION to suspend the right to re-enter one's own country.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Nouflyer

"Nothing changes in terms of Infection Control until there is a vaccine."

"I think that's what we have to hope for: a couple of years where our only travel options are at home or NZ, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands."

I defer to your medical knowledge here. But I'd have thought that there are other factors in play beyond the vaccine.

COVID-19 is particularly frightening because there's not enough clinical knowledge yet in terms of how best to treat it. There's no antiviral. Patients are getting viral pneumonia which can progress to ARDS. Very grim.

But if/when there's effective antiviral treatment, the equation changes considerably. Vaccine or no vaccine. And surely the antivirals are less tricky than the vaccines.

If/when we have a situation whereby the vast majority of patients who require an ICU (even the elderly and those with a comorbidities) have a very good chance of success with antiviral treatment. And if/when those patients who have minor symptoms can take an antiviral treatment which renders it highly unlikely they'll need to go to hospital, let alone ICU... surely travel will resume and surely that's not nearly as far away as a vaccine.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

airbear

There's no nefarious ''motives'' with the travel ban. You're looking in the wrong place for dodgy governance and the violation of rights. I'm pretty vocal about ACTUAL violations of human rights - Manus Island, cough. AFP raids of journalists who are discharging their duties, cough.

To pick up on Nouflyer's point...

In the Anglosphere, our human rights doctrine is informed by John Locke's "Two Treatises of Government", more so than any other source. There is a ''social contract'' between the individual and the state. The individual is born equal and has inalienable ''natural rights'' which he defined as ''life, liberty, and property''. Locke's work informed Articles 1, 3 and 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

For all intents and purposes, there's a hierarchy of rights. All the rights set out in the UDHR and the ICCPR are very important. However, the ones at the top tend to be more important than the ones that follow. Where conflict exists between certain rights, it tends to be the top ones which are regarded as more fundamental which override the others.

So things like life, liberty, equality and property. These are the cornerstones which are established nice and early as premises for the rights that follow. Then the right not to be tortured. Then things like habeas corpus (no arbitrary detention) and the right to a fair trial and the right to nationality.

Further on... there's the right to travel and the right to education, among other rights. But if exercising these rights violate the right to ''life'', and so on, then they can be suspended.


Which is why, if you read the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, you'll find there's a provision for governments to suspend the right to travel freely within and out of your own country when there's a public health emergency.

adi
adi

28 May 2020

Total posts 28

Ms Pauline Hanson has demanded Queensland's Labor government reopen the state's borders by Thursday afternoon, or face legal action in the High Court. The One Nation senator is accusing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of “destroying people's lives” and livelihoods, and branding the border closures unconstitutional.

Guys, please call or send her an email describing your experiences. This is a violation of human rights and freedom to leave the country. It potentially can ruin people's lives, livelihoods and put them in enormous emotional stress.

A Current Affair or 60 Minutes on Channel 9 is also a good program with journalist that would be interested in your story.

We all understand the quarantine requirements when entering the country but we should not be banned or restricted when leaving it.

I agree what Hewnix wrote:

The restriction on departures violates human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. The Attorney General's own website currently states:

>The freedom to leave a country pertains to both short-term, long-term and permanent departures. It cannot be made dependent on establishing a purpose or reason for leaving. (Source)

This right is not enshrined in Commonwealth laws but does exist in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

I support the inbound quarantine system strongly but do not believe the right to depart the country, particularly if you are not an Australian citizen but are a PR, should be restricted on any longer than an emergency basis.


03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

adi

I don't mean to be rude. But if you want to cite the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), you'd be well advised to, you know, actually read the thing.

You've basically cited the treaty which the government can use to justify stopping you from going overseas.

"Article 12(1): Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State, shall within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence" and

"Article 12(2):

Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own."

Going well for you so far. Then suddenly.

"Article 12(3):

The above mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant."

There you have it. COVID-19 is currently classified as a pandemic. That constitutes a public health emergency. So the government is well within its rights. In fact, even it COVID-19 weren't classified as a pandemic, if medical advice was that it posed sufficient threat, this provision could be activated.

Pauline "please explain" Hanson, and A Current "chequebook journalism" Affair are hardly shining lights upon the communities moral compass. Nor are they examples that should be seen as reliable, authoritative references.

As Australia does not have a Bill of Rights, perhaps those advocating that their "rights" to travel have been curtailed could read Locke, Hobbes or Rousseau, and the theory of social contract.

If the theory of social contract and treatises from the 17th century are too difficult, then perhaps the US Declaration of Independence can be invoked.....

whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish its and to institute new government

On 18 March 2020, the Governor-General declared a human biosecurity emergency; this gave the the Minister for Health powers to combat the outbreak.

The declaration relating to Covid-19 made on the 18th March 2020 lasts for three months.

On 25th March 2020; the Minister made a declaration in relation to overseas travel.

Subsection 475(4) requires that the emergency period last no longer than the Minister considers necessary to prevent the entry, spread etc of Covid-19; OR IN ANY CASE NOT LONGER THAN THREE MONTHS!!!

The Governor-General may extend the original declaration for up to three months at a time.

To those who want the "right" to jet off around the world, the answer to your problem is in your hands. The government has made the decision, and under the theory of social contract, you can change the government in two years.

When you go to the ballot box, remember Article 21 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that"the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government".

I am happy for the government to let you jet off to a potential hostile, virus infested hot spot where you will have no insurance and more than likely no medical treatment; just don't expect my taxes to pay for any rescue mission, quarantine, consular assistance, repatriation, or medical/hospital treatment if you manage to make it back to into the country alive - enjoy your "rights", just don't impinge on mine!!!

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

landed in hong kong

To be fair, the respective social contracts of Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau conflict with each other to some degree.

But the Lockean social contract (which best informs ours) and J.S. Mill's explanation of ''liberty'' make it fairly clear that our human rights aren't being violated in this instance. The govt is right to do as they've done. And there's even a provision in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which ALLOWS the government to curtail travel rights.

Thanks sq or qf - my post was more general, and attempted to argue that various forms of differing social contract exist; and ultimately we, the voters, are responsible for the laws that govern us through the democratic election of our representatives. I do look forward to a discussion on the divine right of Kings and the existence of God (just joking).

Personally, I think this thread is good as it allows us to "vent" our differing views without fear of censorship (as opposed to my WeChat account lol).

For what it is worth, I am against the government banning overseas travel; however I accept that it is done, not for some nefarious, controlling reason, but in an attempt to protect us all from a danger that was looking like getting out of hand at the time.

The question as to whether the lockdowns and curtailing of freedoms was not necessary given our low infection rate. compared with the the question as to whether our low infection rate is s direct result of the lockdowns is as difficult to answer as the chicken/egg question.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@landed in hong kong

I agree with all that you say there. Thank goodness we can have this discussion freely and vent to our heart's content (even if we passionately disagree with each other now and then).

And maybe we'll end up with an AusBT community better educated on Locke and others. Fancy that.

As regards the travel ban... I agree with you that there's definitely not some nefarious motive and this measure was implemented with the best of intentions. It's playing it safe to the letter. Better safe than sorry. I would oppose it (while recognising it's not a human rights violation) if there were NO exemptions. But, thankfully, there are exemptions.

I'm concerned by stories of people who, clearly, have their lives established outside Australia who haven't secured exemptions. But at least they can apply again and again and again for their exemption until they get it. Perhaps, initially they've not furnished ABF with sufficient paperwork. It really does seem as if the applications with LOTS of paperwork get the nod.

In saying that, there's a worry for those slipping through the cracks. One way around this, which I thought had merit, would be to oblige outbound travellers to pay a bond covering the cost of quarantine. I'm not sure how practicable this is, though. And, as Nouflyer has pointed out, this doesn't eliminate the risk of transmission.

28 May 2020

Total posts 18

The right to leave and the right to re-enter are two different things.

This needs to be cleared up and I do agree with all your comments about the risk of coming back or being overseas. The government should advise of this, similar to NZ's travel advisory .They do not owe anything, but should not be banning people from going overseas.

We have Australians citizens who ordinarily live overseas who are coming back for a month and leaving.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Landed: 1) As you well know, Pauline Hanson is an elected Senator of the Australian Parliament. She has both a right and a duty to call any government action to account and/or test any matter she sees as sufficiently urgent in court. I myself have been wondering how long it would take for someone to bring the closing of state borders before the High Court. Good on her. 2) I totally agree with you and others that anyone who decides to leave the country under current circumstances should a) do so entirely at their own risk, and b) not be let back in until the govt says they can come back. I said as much several posts ago. The whole issue is one of freedom, part of which is being free to take responsibility for my own actions. For the record, I myself have no desire at this time to sit for 12-15 hours on a plane, wearing a mask the whole time whilst enduring abbreviated and crappy service, only to be dumped into some crowded customs hall with lots of others, some or many of whom might be ill, followed by a quarantine period in many countries. But that's not the point. The point is that I should be free to make that decision for myself, and accept the consequences whatever they may be. That's the issue here.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

airbear

Under the ICCPR, the govt CAN'T arbitrarily stop Australian citizens from coming back. The ICCPR has a provision which allows governments to suspend the right to travel (even to leave one's own country). But this provision does NOT allow the govt to curtail Art. 12(4): "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country''.

Basically, the UN decided it's a more fundamental right to be able to return home than to leave home.

"anyone who decides to leave the country under current circumstances should a) do so entirely at their own risk"

But it's not ''entirely at their own risk'', is it? Any travel risks the lives of others during a pandemic.

What's more important your ''right to travel'', or the the right of another person to ''life''?

I must admit that i find Pauline Hanson's motives and desire for attention difficult to understand.

On one hand she wants to advocate for personal freedoms as in open borders and movement between states; and on the other hand wants to ban individuals from wearing the burqa. For the record I am not Muslim; but I find her constant stunts to be a little hypocritical and boring.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Landed in HK

Yeah there was something hilariously ironic about hearing Pauline Hanson complaining about border closures.

She'd have been in the KKK if she lived in the southern US states. She's a shocker.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Sq or qf: I'll grant you your point about my travelling abroad not being entirely “at my own risk” during a pandemic. It does give pause for thought.

As for the rest of it, we'll see how this all pans out over the coming months. Suffice to say that my metaphorical copy of the “social contract”, is sitting poised on the corner of my desk, right above my very real document shredder.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@airbear

Fair enough. The idea of social contract (and indeed human rights) is something most Australians don't have to think of on a daily basis in this country. It's only when we have to ask what our rights are and what the govt can and can't do that it comes up. Well worth knowing about. For instance, in part, the Brexit decision can be accounted for by the UK's idea of the social contract being different to that found in much of continental Europe. I say ''in part'' because, in other parts, people were just xenophobic.

Also, there are multiple ''social contracts'', not just one. I strongly advise reading up on Locke, Mill, Hobbes and Rousseau. Even if just on Wikipedia or Stanford Philosophy.

I think the Anglsophere's version of the social contract is that of John Locke, at the most fundamental level. But it's also informed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's social contract (so long as the rights expounded in Locke's social contract aren't breached).

I must admit that my copy of The Leviathan sits next to The Iliad, and A Brief History of Time; all on my "to be read one day" pile of books.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

tsundoku - the habit of acquiring reading material without actually reading it.

We all do it.

tsundoku - Japanese??"The buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching toward infinity"

A. Edward Newton

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

@Sq or qf... thanks; that's a lot of reading there, but in light of current events, probably worth the effort.

But what is eye-opening & eyebrow raising, is the fact that according to my trawling through various country's travel restrictions (mainly sourced through country info on the UK govt.'s travel advice site), Oz is the only country I've found that has banned general outbound travel by its citizens. Oh sorry... correct me if I'm wrong, someone, but I think the UAE as well. It may or may not be legal, but it's definitely not a ‘good look' since the fall of the Iron Curtain, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Finally, for what it's worth, whilst appreciating the super-human knowledge and efforts of our upper-level medicos, and the infinite wisdom and sheer statecraft of our politicians, I'd suggest that much of the “brilliance” of our low COVID-19 caseload & mortality rate, stems from our low population density. After all, here we are on an island nearly the size of the continental USA, but with only 25 million people.

Under advice from the medical fraternity, in keeping the pandemic under control, the National Cabinet almost completely ignored the people's mental health, as well as other conditions such as cancer, cardiac issues, and so on. The death toll from all these things may wind up being higher than from COVID. Add in the as yet unknown, long-term effects of curtailing children's education and social development, plus the economic carnage created, and I'm not sure that our leaders have managed the Big Picture all that well.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@airbear

"It may or may not be legal, but it's definitely not a ‘good look' since the fall of the Iron Curtain, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth"

The current measures are definitely legal (as per the ICCPR). To be frank, I don't think Australia's detractors will be unduly concerned with the government's ban on outbound travel. The people who genuinely are concerned with human rights violations are rather more appalled by what goes on in places like Manus Island. That sort of thing actually does constitute human rights violations.

"After all, here we are on an island nearly the size of the continental USA, but with only 25 million people."

This doesn't really stand up to scrutiny when you consider Sweden which has a horrendous death rate despite its relatively low population density. Moreover, you'll find, that Australian cities have a higher population density than Swedish cities. The ABS reported that inner-city Melbourne has 20 700 people per square kilometre. Stockholm, by contrast, has a population density of 4800 people per square kilometre.

In Sweden, 4350 unfortunate souls have perished on account of COVID-19, so far. That's around 418.93 deaths per million (of the population).

So, clearly, our population density, on its own, hasn't saved lives. It has been the social distancing measures, the quarantining, the sealing of borders, the closing of schools and the high amount of testing, tracing and isolating that have played a HUGE part.

I have friends in Sweden. They advise me that NONE of these measures have been properly adopted in Sweden. It's a tragedy.

"Under advice from the medical fraternity, in keeping the pandemic under control, the National Cabinet almost completely ignored the people's mental health, as well as other conditions such as cancer, cardiac issues, and so on. The death toll from all these things may wind up being higher than from COVID."

Where I am, psychiatrists and psychologists have treated patients via Zoom or over the phone throughout the pandemic. Those patients who can't be treated virtually have been allowed to attend face-to-face consultations (as per usual).

This approach has been successful. And there's no reason it can't work throughout Australia.

As for physical health conditions which can have critical consequences, it has been possible for people to be screened and treated for them despite the restrictions. Any GP who has a patient presenting with symptoms of something worrying will treat that patient. Even the ban on ''non-essential'' surgery has been short-lived.

"Add in the as yet unknown, long-term effects of curtailing children's education and social development"

This has been a three month disruption. Not a three year disruption. If the schools, universities and admissions departments expect the same standards, you've got a point. But providing they're lenient, there's no reason for education to be derailed by this disruption.

It is a Saturday night, and as much as I would prefer to be sitting in a bar in LKF, Central, HK sipping a beer, I find myself at home on a cold Melbourne evening, watching Netflix.

The following is an edited extract from a government website on implementing treaties into Australian law and may be useful to those quoting the ICCPR.

I will not post the link as I understand the post will be rejected, but you should be able to find it by cutting, pasting and googling.

The rights protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) are, in almost every country in the world, implemented by a domestic guarantee of rights, often called a ‘bill of rights'......

At the Federal level, Australia remains the only democracy in the world not to have passed a law directly implementing the ICCPR.

In 2009, the Federal Government initiated a National Human Rights Consultation. Australia has implemented some of its human rights treaty commitments, and international human rights law has a direct impact on our daily lives. For example, the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act 1975 implements the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination into Australian law, and the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 implements some (but by no means all) of the rights for women contained in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Australia has been much slower in implementing other international human rights obligations. For example, there is no national legislation that implements our obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Australia has announced that it considers the rights protected by the ICESCR to be adequately protected under existing Australian law, a claim disputed by some commentators. Australia has not effectively implemented the rights protected under the ICCPR. In 1986 the Australian Human Rights Commission was established in response to Australia having ratified the ICCPR in 1980.

Although the Commission has powers to investigate some of Australia's human rights obligations, including alleged violations of the ICCPR, it has no powers of penalty or enforcement. Nor does it have powers to investigate breaches of economic, social or cultural rights. This is insufficient to give effect to the requirement of the ICCPR (and other human rights treaties) that a ratifying state ensure that everyone has access to the rights set out in the treaty, together with effective remedies for breaches.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@landed in hong kong

Great post. I agree with that 100%.

The ICCPR should be incorporated into Commonwealth Law by an Act of Parliament. That would clear up misunderstanding and unhelpful (mis)interpretation.

Perhaps we should lobby our local MPs?

I have a bit of a shopping list of law reform needed to protect individual rights. That's one of the top things.

I'd also like stronger privacy protection and whistleblower protection. For example, if a member of the security services discloses war crimes, they can face up to a decade behind bars. There's no provision in Section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act (2001) to protect whistleblowers who do so in order to lift the lid on war crimes.

And the Public Interest Disclosure Act (2013) excludes whistleblowers on intelligence matters. This is disgraceful and unbecoming of a developed, democratic nation with a history of constitutionalism and liberalism.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

@sq or qf... rather than individuals receiving Tele-consultations, I guess the wider public mental health aspect I was thinking of is as Jayce123 describes, namely the effect that the lack of any indication from any politician that any of this is temporary, has. Consideration from on high, of that aspect is what's missing.

Anyway, to everyone... as has been pointed out, it's Sat. night. I'm tired. This has all been interesting and productive in its own way. I've learned a lot... in learning of our lack of actual rights to freedom of movement, I've learned more than I'd really like to know. Frightening. I hope those who among you who really do need to leave for urgent personal reasons, can persuade the functionaries of the responsible organs of state to release you. To everyone else, have a nice life & keep well. Catch you in a future topic thread. Over and out, Airbear.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

@airbear

Too easy. Catch you on another chat. I'm sorry if I've got you down in the dumps about our rights (or lack thereof). If it cheers you up, the state can't impose restrictions on our rights to travel forever (or else it will constitute a breach). And, at this moment, if the an individual's other rights (as articulated in the ICCPR and other instruments) are violated, then the govt or the ABF will be culpable of human rights violations and can be held to account.

E.g. if somebody required emergency medical treatment only available outside Australia, and if the ABF didn't give them an exemption, then that would constitute a violation of their right to ''life'' among other things. There are fundamental rights which outweigh the right to travel. And if these were to be infringed (as a result of travel restrictions), the govt would have gone too far. My understanding is there's recourse for this and the govt doesn't have carte blanche.

Mr Dutton does not have autocratic power. At least, let's not let him have it.

08 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Hi, I am guyatones wife from up-thread. To continue the story, we put in a total of 5 applications, the first two from safari browser, whereby documents didn't attach, therefore reply to say do again. Other 3 with other browsers to which we got no response. Guyatone rang and spoke to Home affairs again two days prior to flight, who could not supply any further information or indication on when we would get a resolution. Both of us were increasingly stressed with the uncertainty and considered cancelling flights. I had to fly from ADL to MLB for flight to AKL. Just as I was boarding ADL to MBL, and 22 hours prior to MLB to AKL I got the email authorising my travel- phew, huge relief. Reference number to accepted application was first application so I assume they merge the applications.

Side note - totally weird walking through airports that are deserted except for federal police, until arrival at check-in desk.

Currently quarantining in downtown Auckland hotel, well fed, daily walk, can wave at guyatone through the window.

Good luck all, it's totally harrowing, and would be even worse if travelling for family emergency or bereavement.

16 May 2020

Total posts 10

Thanks Kazza, still waiting response for 2nd try. Glad you made it OK.

18 Jun 2020

Total posts 4

Hey, have you had a response yet? How long have you been waiting? I submitted 3 weeks ago and hoping to travel in 2 weeks time but need to book shipping etc, it's so stressful waiting....

18 Jun 2020

Total posts 4

Hi Kazza, so happy you finally made it! Can I please ask your reason for exemption and how long the process took? I applied 3 weeks ago as dual citizen relocating back to the UK. I got a reply 48hrs after asking for more documents and now nothing. It's so frustrating as I start to doubt if I actually submitted it as there is no way of checking. I'm seriously hoping to hear something this week. We are wanting to travel in just over 2 weeks and need to give notice on our rental, book transfer for our dog etc it's so stressful, I'm not sure wether just to go ahead with booking or not......

08 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

soapsudsue, , it sounds like you have a legitimate case. To answer your questions I applied under urgent personal business and submitted my identity documents, my husband's identity, his employment contract, our rental agreement in NZ, car shipping documents, and my job resignation documents.

They seem to decline quickly but authorise with short notice. They don't acknowledge application by email, just a reference number on screen after you submit. Good luck, I hope you get some certainty soon, it's a very stressful process.

08 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

ps my timeline was similar to yours, declined three weeks out from travel, submitted more documents, then authorised 22 hours prior to flight.

16 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

Hi guys,
My mom came from USA just before travel ban to the middle east to attend my marriage ceremony and she has some heart issue and on blood thinner and has to come back to USA before August due to Citizenship obligation and continue her medical treatment and she couldn't come soon back due to long distance flight as she is in her 70s.
I want to go overseas to have a simple marriage (about 10 persons) including my mom to be able to bring my fiance after marriage to Australia who has been 10 months away from me with an exemption tourist visa which allowed immediate family member of permanent resident to come to Australia.

Is there any person got the exemption to exit Australia with similar execuse?

Thanks

05 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

I want out. I need to travel to see my parents they are in their 80s and I was looking forward to visit them this year.

Now it's not O/S travel until next year. This should not be legal.

Why I'm feeling my rights are being violated? I understand I dont have the right of making other sick but I'm more than willing to be put in quarantine on my expense and I understand the risks as an adult law abiding citizen I am.

This is by no mean rightful or just. This is not what a progressive democratic country will do.

16 May 2020

Total posts 10

The difficult part is that they give less than 24 hours notice, if they deem you are ok or not. A Qatar flight went up 1300 dollars over night recently and yet they say do not book in advance. So over this!

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 53

Seems that this discussion topic refuses to die. That's very good!

@econochaser & @Paris18, I couldn't agree more on any of your points. If “they” insist on making us beg & jump through multiple hoops to get out, with dynamic ticket pricing and so much nail biting as to whether you're going to make your booked flight, plus put in place all the other arrangements needed to organise one's life to go on a trip, the least they can do is give you a straight & timely answer. But no. They're on a power-trip, and they're going to enjoy it, and drag it out as long as they can.

A while back, I was considering trying to get to my son & his young family in the UK. I might have had a chance of providing enough evidence. But in the end, my belief in liberty and freedom made me decide that I'd be damned if I was going to ask anybody's permission to leave the country. To hell with them. When the time is right, I'll be out like a shot; but definitely on a one-way ticket!

18 Jun 2020

Total posts 4

So are you telling me I wont get and answer until the day before travel??

16 May 2020

Total posts 10

Soapsudsue, yes! And econochaser this is how it works. Disgrace!

18 Jun 2020

Total posts 4

This is not on, I have 5 of us to organise, a rental to give notice on, and I need to organise transport of my dog, this cant be dont overnight! I may have to book and hope for the best!

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 5

What I'd like to know is, if you are Aus citizen trying to return to the UK where you normally reside, how can you easily prove this at the border? I have a PR card for the UK but that still isn't definitive proof that I live there right now, if someone wants to be difficult at Border control. However my partner and child are UK citizens so hopefully that's sufficient...

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

We are going back to the UK next weekend as that is our home - I am dual citizen husband is Aus citizen and has UK PR. My sister returned to Canada where she has PR a number of weeks ago. She had to provide information about her residency Beyoncé her PR card. So I have got evidence of our council tax, utility bill, P60, parking permit and my overseas voter registration for Australia as evidence for them. Will hope this is enough. We have to leave to avoid becoming dual tax residents and have to return in September for our sons second go at his wedding. Travelling Emirates.

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

Beyond not Beyoncé! Oh and my sister had her Canadian husband and dual cit daughter and they wanted evidence she lived there.

06 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

ljcoz

They wanted evidence that her daughter lived there?? How old is her daughter? I imagine it shouldn't be a question if she's a minor and her dad is Canadian and her mother can prove she resides in Canada, as well. I ask because I am a US Citizen and my daughter is a dual citizen of Australia and the US. I need to go back after my mother suffered an a physical injury that prevents her from caring for herself properly. I'm on a Temporary Partnership Visa so I do not need permission to travel. My 2 year old has to come with me as it's just her father here who works full time, long hours and 6 days a week. But, SHE still needs permission to go. I'm having a hard time understanding that she should be automatically granted permission based on the fact that she's 2 and needs to be with her primary caregiver (AKA Her mother). So, I'm wondering if they really had the gull to question your sister about her daughter, assuming she's still a minor??

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

She is 12, their primary focus was on the 2 Australian residents her and her mother - their father is a Canadian citizen. I assume the questioning was a corporate questioning for the 2 of them. Both of them needed codes to release a boarding pass. Your child, if they are ordinarily issued a boarding pass will need that code for their boarding pass. Hope this helps. I have written a full account of our experience 2 weeks ago of travelling from Melbourne to London. Lisa

06 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

Gotcha! That makes more sense. I'm having a hard time as we're down to 2 days before the flight and still no word on my daughter. It feels to me that if I, her mother, have permission to leave, she should automatically be exempt and allowed to come with me. Could they even consider separating a mother from her 2 year old child?? Yes, she just turned 2 in March, so this is the first flight where she does need her own ticket. I'm wondering if they could process it at the airport as well if we haven't heard back by flight time? Assuming I prove I am her mother, of course. It's all just quite frustrating.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 39

ABF asked me in which country I had spent the most time over the last two years. The only document requested was my passport to check visa validity and expiry date.

I imagine they can quickly verify the answer to the first question from Australian arrival and departure records, and possibly data shared from other countries as well. They might also check your previous arrival card as to whether you said you are a temporary visitor or an Australian resident returning.

16 May 2020

Total posts 10

Hi russh7,

Your analysis is spot on with what I have learned over the past couple of months.

23 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

Hello, I am hoping to get some advice regarding seeking exemption on a 482 visa (I have not submitted my application yet). I have a job contract as a doctor to start in an Australian hospital in August. Would this be considered sufficient to get an exemption? I am not a consultant, but the position was given to me as no Australian was able to fulfil it and the hospital can write a letter detailing same. If I was granted an exemption, would my spouse be able to travel with me? Many thanks for any help you can offer, we are getting nowhere with our search so far.

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

I am a writer with dual Irish (EU) and Australian citizenship. My wife and I have a house in France and a place in Sydney and we have been dividing our time between the two places, so one could say we are “ordinarily resident” in two places.

We returned from France to Australia in January, entering on our Australian passports. We now want to go back to France. Do we need to go through the hassle of applying for a travel exemption or can we just get a ticket and go to the airport and use our EU passports to leave? Maybe we would carry proof that we own a house in France and are therefore “residents” there?

Also, if we entered the country with Australian passports, will the Border Force people question why/how we can leave using EU passports?

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 32

My understanding is that as a dual citizen you MUST use your Australian passport when entering or leaving Australia. If you tried to leave using your EU passport they would realise there is not a corresponding arrival record and they would soon work it out.

Further I understand that if in the last 12 months you have spent half your time plus one day overseas then you can leave without applying, otherwise you need to go with the application process.

Good luck.

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

Many thanks.

So, a Border Force officer would look at my latest entry date on my Australian passport and see that I have been back since January 15 and make the calculation about the six months plus day, yes? But what do you think would happen if I explain, without an exemption certificate, that I returned on the Australian passport but that I am also resident in France using my EU passport? Would it help, do you think, if I showed my French medicare card, utility bills for my house there, car rego in France, etc?

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 5

I am a dual citizen and am planning to leave Oz in a few weeks on my Greek passport, partly to avoid questioning at the airport about where I am ‘ordinarily resident' (ie the UK), and partly because I thought I had to put down the passport that I will need to enter the UK with! Ie I have used my Greek passport and name to book the flights as I can not travel to the Uk on my Oz passport as I don't have a visa. I got worried when I read your comment and the replies because I didn't realise you had to leave Oz on an Aussie passport also. I looked into it and although the official site says you ‘should' use your Oz passport, it doesn't say you MUST. But of course if they check arrival records they will work it out and so you will need to technically leave on Oz passport, and in my case, hope that immigration doesn't care if the boarding pass doesn't exactly match my passport (my Greek name is slightly different). I thought it was only airlines who needed the exact matching. My plan is to try leaving on Greek passport, if they question it then I'll show them the Oz one and I have lots of documents to proves that I actually live in the UK and do not need a travel exemption.

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

Thanks. Interesting problems to consider, yes? Tricky.

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

My understanding is you need to prove your overseas residency beyond just a passport (that was my sister's experience but others here have only been asked for passports), additionally, this is not necessarily related to the passport you ultimately fly on because you need to present to Border Force before you check-in with either your exemption or your proof of normal overseas residency. We are travelling Saturday to London from Melbourne back to our home there with Emirates so can update our experience as we haven't applied for an exemption as I am dual cit and husband is a PR of the UK. We have our council taxes, overseas voting registration, utilities account and other bits and pieces to prove normal residency. I'll document it all on our instagram @4_floors_of_madmess

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 2

how long will take to get the exemption permission.

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 5

Ok so I thought I would warn people who are about to travel. Please assume that border force staff at the airport are incompetent, misinformed and cold-hearted, otherwise you might be in for shock and disappointment. Based on people's stories here, I thought I was doing the right thing and wouldn't have to worry about how it would all go (of course I was still anxious and wondered if the staff would feel that my evidence of UK residency was enough, ie council tax bills etc). Little did I expect that they would actually prevent me from leaving on the day due to saying that ALL Australian citizens (regardless of dual citizenship) needed to have done an exemption request prior to leaving. I pleaded with the airport manager to call Border force again (at Adelaide airport there were no physical BF staff there due to no international flights which did not help my case) as I was essentially with a toddler who also had dual citizenship and was likely have to stay back as well and we would lose all the money on our flights. Thankfully this time a different person at BF granted an exemption code for me on the spot (where previously it was said that it neeeded to have been done and approved at least 24 hrs before flying). Needless to say it was the most stressful hour and a half of my recent life. Even though the website clearly states that the exemption form does not apply to Aus citizens who reside in another country, there is inconsistency amongst staff around whether a dual citizen still needs to complete an exemption. OVERRIDE the questions on the form that seemingly don't apply to you and DO IT ANYWAY. Otherwise you could be denied travel by an officer who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day.

09 May 2017

Total posts 32

Glad you got through in the end - how awful for you what a heartstopper

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 5

tell me about it! Though your experience helped to allay my fears a lot (thanks for the insta messages to my partner), it gave me a false sense of security. Which is actually a good thing otherwise I would have been a mess leading up to the flight feeling so anxious about not having done the exemption. But I want to warn people about how confused the BF actually are themselves - they do not even know what is on their own website. Or they just want to be harsh. Either way, I would advise people just do the exemption even if living in another country on a different passport. I didn't because then I thought I would be completing the form fraudulently (as questions did not apply to me) but in hindsight I did have fears about this very thing happening at the airport as I know how bureaucratic/unforgiving BF can be and just took a calculated risk. Thankfully the gods were smiling on me that morning.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Australian Border Force grants 3,000 exemptions to overseas travel ban