Who is exempt from Australia's international coronavirus travel ban?

While Australia is restricting citizens and permanent residents from overseas travel, there are some notable exceptions.

By Brandon Loo , April 6 2020
Who is exempt from Australia's international coronavirus travel ban?

Australia's Department of Home Affairs is now restricting Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving the country, under a ruling in effect since 25 March, 2020.

This 'curve-flattening' measure is designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus abroad and prevent travellers from bringing it back to Australia, potentially sparking new cases.

However, there are still certain scenarios where overseas travel is required, and exemptions from the travel ban may apply.

General exemptions to leaving Australia

Australia's legislation cites some general exemptions to the travel restrictions:

  • Anyone who is normally a resident of a country other than Australia (i.e. tourists)
  • Crew members of aircraft and vessels
  • Workers associated with the safety of aircraft and vessels, even if they are not operating that particular flight or cruise
  • A person who is engaged in the day-to-day operations of inbound and outbound freight
  • A person who needs to travel for essential work at an offshore facility
  • A person who is travelling on official government business (including the Australian Defence Force)

Essentially, these provisions allow tourists and non-residents to leave Australia, while also enabling transport, freight and government business to continue without interruption. If you fit in this category, you don't need to apply for an exemption.

Special exemptions to leaving Australia

Australian citizens and permanent residents to request approval to travel overseas if they can demonstrate 'a compelling reason for needing to leave Australian territory'.

The Department of Home Affairs lists these examples:

  • A person travelling as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including providing aid
  • A person whose travel is essential for the conduct of critical industries and business
  • A person receiving urgent medical care not available in Australia
  • A person who is travelling on urgent and unavoidable personal business
  • Travel on compassionate or humanitarian grounds
  • Travel that is in the national interest

These suggestions cover most foreseeable scenarios ranging from work to personal reasons, but keep in mind that all applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis so there is no guarantee of an exemption.

How to request special exemption to leave Australia

To apply for an exemption to leave Australia, you need to submit a written application.

After you've read the rules, checked you're not already covered by a general exemption, and certain you need to travel, head to the dedicated COVID-19 enquiry form.

Tick the boxes to say you've read the Department's privacy and security statements, then select "I am an Australian citizen or permanent resident and need to travel outside of Australia" from the next list.

Click this image to enlarge it
Click this image to enlarge it

Next, you'll need to select what 'reason for exemption' fits you the best, as well as provide a detailed explanation of why you need to travel.

The form finishes off by asking for your passport details, proposed travel arrangements, contact details and a place to upload supporting evidence.

Click this image to enlarge it
Click this image to enlarge it

Click 'submit' to lodge your application. No timeframe is mentioned for when they'll get back to you, so try to submit your application as early as possible.

Note that upon returning to Australia you'll be required to be quarantined for 14 days in a hotel arranged and paid for by the Federal Government. This hotel will be located in your arrival city, not your final destination.

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

PL
PL

27 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Can international transit passengers still route via Sydney? We are UK holidaymakers due to fly Auckland - Sydney on Air NZ with hand baggage only hoping to remain airside to join same day BA0016 to London. In business class Does anyone have recent experience of similar?

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

Hi PL, go to the Home Affairs COVID-19 enquiry page and select 'I want to transit through Australia'. There is a lengthy form to fill out, but you can request an exemption that way.

Hi,

Today I got the approval to departure Australia from ABF to go to Pakistan. I put the departure port Sydney in my exemption but unfortunately I lost my ticket. Now I want to depart from Melbourne because that was just the ticket in next month. I was wondering if you could tell me can I depart from Melbourne?

Thanks & Regards,

Arezoo

Arezoo: Exemptions are valid only from the international departure port nominated as part of the application process (the email you've received from Border Force should outline this). You'll either need to depart from Sydney as approved, or submit a new application for Melbourne. An exemption for one airport doesn't work in another.

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Hi Chris, I just received approval for travelling outside Australia. Unfortunately I have to change flight dates. My approval letter does not say that I do not need to reapply if dates change. Does it mean I need to reapply with a new date or the date change is allowed for all authorised requests? Also, I stated I was moving overseas indefinitely. Do you know if I am liable if I come back in a month or two to take a job offer? Appreciate any help?

Hi!

I saw your comment and wanted to ask, how did you get approved? did you have a flight and visa ready?

I'm currently trying to leave Australia indefinitely and visa stations have just reopened. I'm applied for exemption but its pointless because I don't really have any visa details, or a flight date because I don't want to purchase and I cannot leave.

L O
L O

10 Jun 2020

Total posts 7

Can I ask how long it took to secure your approval? I am looking to travel outside of Australia indefinitely too but have not yet received visa.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Hi,

Could you please advise if you re-apply for changing airport in the end? Cos I'm still waiting for my approval but my next flight will be in a different airport.

Thanks in advance

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

Hi Arezoo,

Can you tell us what was your reasoning and what documents you did provide?

Thanks

20 May 2020

Total posts 1

Do you know about a citizen of New Zealand trying to leave Australia to go to the United States? Is the Australian government is that strict? Spent maybe about 6 months outside of Australia traveling South America. Not sure exactly how long to be considered non resident. Or what is required for a compassion exemption. thanks!!

Hi, my wife is a new zealand citizen and she is stuck in new zealand. The trans tasman travel is rumored to start in September. We got married just 3 months ago and have booked in for marriage registration on 22 july. We tried applying for the exepmtion before but got rejected. We did not have legal marriage registration as we got married overseas. I am not a Australian citizen/pr. I am on a temporary work visa. She needs to gwt here asap for our visa purpose. We have applied th expemption again attaching our wedding pics and invitation card as supporting documents. Please let us know if anyone is having similar travel problem and how do we resolve this ?

17 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

It took 4/5 attempts to finally get a last minute response. We purposely put our intended travel date for last friday and heard no response, so we kept calling home affairs and finally reached someone who cared after 2 hours of being on hold. It was sad to hear that the supervisor didnt care about our case but we eventually got a hold of the most patient and caring representative on the phone who put our application on URGENT. Then within a few hours my fiance got the email of his exemption. This process was more mentally draining than the K1 process but dont give up! I wish you all the best!

As in proof, we included both of our birth certificates, our US social security cards (he got one while studying abroad in the US awhile back), termination of lease, resignation of his job, wedding deposits, joint bank accounts, and links to the USCIS website to provide further information.

hope this helps!

PL
PL

27 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Thanks Brandon. I submitted the exemption form for transit and will post the results here to help others.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 6

Please let me know how that goes

I am in Wellington NZ, and i need to get to London UK which atm looks like i will have to travel via Sydney

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 6

hey mate! Have you heard back?

29 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

Anyone who is normally a resident of a country other than Australia (i.e. tourists)

I'm an Australian citizen who flew out of Melbourne on 29th March to the UK, where I'm normally resident. At the airport an immigration officer explained to me that the definition of "not resident" was anyone who, in the last 12 months prior to departure date, had spent more days outside Australia than in. If you've spent the majority of your time in Australia then an exemption is needed. He spent a long time on the phone to an office checking my status. (I made it by nine days.)

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Thanks- this is useful! I'm an Australian who usually lives in UK, arrived in Melbourne just over a month ago but need to get home to UK when I can. I was wondering how this works, so it seems they just check at the airport. It would be nice to know that you could be 100% sure about them letting you leave before getting to the airport, although I would meet those conditions. Any other advice gratefully received!

Thanks for sharing! Great information

30 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Has any Australian Citizen succeeded in getting an Exemption to leave Australia yet? I'm a dual Aussie/British citizen and I'm seeking permission to head back to the UK for the duration of the crisis - I've filled out the online form requesting permission to leave for compassionate reasons (my family is all in the UK and I'm pretty worried about them) - and so far just got a response saying 'insufficient information in your request, please resubmit with more detail'.

Anyone managed to get an Exemption for leaving Australia?

S
S

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 110

Just stay put!
The last thing needed at the moment, is more people travelling around to wherever they feel is best for them. Here in HK it's kicked off again because of people doing exactly like what you've outlined.
They left HK because they thought it wasn't safe and went to Europe. Then they didn't want to be in Europe anymore so they headed back to HK. Some of them unknowingly brought the virus back which has no caused a second wave in HK.
Don't be selfish. Just stay put!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

The people you are referencing must be HK residents/citizens because foreigners can't enter HK at the moment. In Asia, foreigners are currently persona non-grata except for a few limited exceptions. This should be clearly emphasized. Even foreign family members of local citizens can't get back to certain countries at the moment. Japan and the Philippines reportedly allow them, but Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and China do not.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 6

that sucks dude! Im needing to transit via Sydney (going Wellington NZ to London UK, sadly bc of NZ's rules i cant go via Auckland which sucks bc AKL to London is availble with heaps of flight by Qatar Airways)

If you have trouble finding a flight to London (BA is suspending their service from 9th april to 22nd april) then try transit via Auckland, NZ

Ive submitted a form to be able to transit through Aus - waiting to hear back.

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

I am in a similar situation to you i.e. dual citizen with some family over in the UK. I was just wondering what evidence you provided which granted you the exemption?

08 May 2020

Total posts 5

Hi, Did you receive a response yet?

I too am a dual citizen but had already made all arrangements to move back to the UK months before any of this. I left my job and house here.

I have applied 3 times and the last 2 times they have not even bothered to respond to me.

Any information you have I'd be grateful for.


Thanks.

16 May 2020

Total posts 16

Hello,

Thank you for your post - I am in a similar position (French & Australian) living in Australia - I am trying to fly to Europe to spend 5 months and stay with my mother 83, widow. I applied for exemption of travel (this week) on humanitarian ground. Would love to hear if other people have been knocked back and why ?

PL
PL

27 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

We had a seat on BA Sydney-London but were needing to connect from S Island New Zealand. Using the Australian link recommended by Brandon, we were eventually able to get an exemption to transit through Sydney airport. Unfortunately, NZ regulations did not permit us to move internally to Auckland international airport so we had to cancel all flights. There are no international flights from S Island, so we are stuck. But there are worse places to be......

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 7

I have an Australian passport and another European passport,

can i fly to Europe because i have a house there and bills to pay

that must be done in Europe, cannot use internet bank?

I wonder.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 32

If you have copies of bills (digital copies) for your place in Europe you can present those as part of your request for an exemption. Also, I would imagine if you have a European passport, just present that and say "I'm from Europe and I'm going home". Should be enough IMHO.

01 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

I'm an Aus citizen but resident of the UK. Came here on a holiday for 3 weeks and am flying back out on Friday. What do I need to show at the airport that I'm a UK resident (non resident in Aus)?

The border force link says I don't need to apply for an exemption.

29 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

Show your Australian passport (assuming you entered the country on one) to immigration/border force. They will check that you have been out of the country for the majority of the last 12 months.

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 28

The Home Affairs website now says you must have been outside the country for the majority of the last 12 to 24 months. That makes it much more confusing. What's wrong with a simple clear-cut rule?

01 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Thanks! I was printing out my council tax statements etc. just as proof that I live in the UK but it sounds like I won't be needing those documents.

10 May 2020

Total posts 1

Hi Sidn, how did you go leaving? Did you have to provide any proof of residency in the UK? I'm in the same boat. I live in Norway and have to get back before my residency permit is null en void for being outside the country for too long.

qatar

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 1

My husband is stuck in Europe. Left Sydney on 2nd March with Qatar. Qatar is still flying Doha/Sydney., but how does he get to Doha from Belgrade?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 6

Hello - Has anyone heard back yet regarding getting an exemption ? I appreciate they are busy but been waiting approx 4 days now - just wondering how long they usually taken per application ?

30 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Mine eventually came through, it took over a week. They are clear that you can change your date of departure though, just not the port. Good luck!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 6

Thanks! i would be transiting - mine has come through also but they didnt say anything about changing port of entry

anyways goodluck !

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

I am an Aus/UK joint citizen, in process of returning to the Uk. My house has been sold, my belongings shipped, and now I am stuck. I applied for an exemption to the travel ban on Aussies leaving Australia on 2 April, and now, over 2 weeks later, I have heard nothing back Does this match other people's experience who may be in a similar position? I applied under the compassionate category and sent proof of fuel citizenship, hose sale, good shipment, house in the UK etc etc.

08 May 2020

Total posts 5

Hi,

I'm in the same situation. I received a response, the first time, within 4 business days but it was denied. I have reapplied twice since and have had no response for the last 4 weeks.

According to someone above they received an exemption and hadn't even been planning to relocate prior to this.

I can't seem to get any information on what to do next! I am just going to keep applying I suppose....

If you wouldn't mind posting if you get out that would be helpful!

Thanks

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Hey Georgie

From my understanding of reading comments on this thread , they are responding to people in order of how soon your flight is. So if your flight is in three days time you're likely to hear before someone whose flight is in a months time. You could try put an earlier dates flight number and change it later to see if you get approved.

08 May 2020

Total posts 5

Hi Sarah, Yes the first time was 4 days before the flight and I received the no response 9 hours before the flight was due to leave. I immediately put in another form for that same flight but with more supporting documents and had no response.

I then put in a 3rd form for a travel date 2 weeks away which was 6th May and still now 8th May I have had no response. It is very strange. There seems to be no order.

Thank you for your thoughts. I am desperate for more advice.

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Have you tried calling home affairs ? I was able to get through to them a week ago and they were helpful regarding my query.

08 May 2020

Total posts 5

Yes I have phoned them 3 times now but they are unable to help with these applications at all they tell me. The last time I called (which was yesterday) they were more aware of what the requested information is on the form but only what we can already see on the website.

They seem sure that the department is managing each application on the intended flight date too and can't understand why I haven't received a response but cannot actually help further than that.

04 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Hi!

thanks for your comments. Could you please share the phone number for home affairs?

Can i ask what your special circumstances were? I'm trying to gain an exemption and would be interested to know what gets approved as mine is a very difficult situation. Thanks in advance

02 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

How long is the exemption valid? Can we say we are leaving on 14 July and leave 30 July?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 39

I helped a customer of mine get to Europe with an exemption on Friday, they actually only gave a verbal "approval" they received nothing physical like an email or anything, but he was able to checkin and Border Force had his exception approval in their system so he was cleared through, not ideal to not have it in writing, maybe they are ironing out the kinks, but seems to be working in some way.

30 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Which process did your customer follow to get the verbal approval?

I just failed to get on a flight in Sydney, the exemption had not come through; I submitted the request last week. There doesn't seem to be any way to check on the application status to see if there has been a problem.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 39

I will find out and let you know.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Can you tell me how you were able to help your customer get an exepmtion? I have been waiting for over 2 weeks.

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

So, I have a situation.. Im a kiwi living in Australia and have a 2 year youth mobility visa lined up for the UK which I have to be there to pick up between April 25th - May 25th. As I'm 31 now I cannot get this chance there for an O.E. again.

My original flights for end of April were cancelled leaving myself and my girl friend (who lives in England)... Well... Lost in the wind. Still waiting for an official word on the visa front but I am looking at flights toward the end of May.

TBH, its essential travel to me and I don't want to lose the girl nor the chance to live there.

I wanted to put this scenario out there to others for feedback before I email ahead. Any words are welcome..

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 6

hey mate - sorry to hear about your complex situation

Im a Kiwi, My partner is also back in the UK (she's british) and im in Wellington NZ (got stuck here while visiting parents (im also on the tier 5 visa)), and due to the alert level 4 lockdown in NZ i cant get from Wellington to Auckland to get an international flight :(

I have been approved an exemption to transit australia but the next wellington to sydney direct isnt for a while and would be looking to get a another flight on the iteninry from Sydney to LHR

Anyways onto you...

i think there is a way for you mate (i fully understand you need to go pick up your BRP in that required time u mentioned) -- https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm -- check out this link, it outlines the current border rules everywhere

For Australia:

"This does not apply to nationals of Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Isl., Micronesia (Federated States), Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa (American), Solomon Isl., Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu when they are transiting through Australia to their home country."

You hold a NZ passport right? So my understanding is that you can leave australia and 'go home' to NZ and surely the Australian border control cant stop that. With a NZ passport you're fully entitled to return home.

But due to NZ rules, you will be in quarantine in Auckland for 2 weeks (you wont be able to get anywhere else in NZ during lockdown - and sadly you wont count as essential travel in NZ to be able to go anywhere domestically )

And then get an international flight out of Auckland with Air NZ to LAX, United airlines from LAX to LHR.

Alternatively Auckland to London with Qatar airlines (stop over in Doha)

Try look into that mate. Do not leave AKL bc trying to get back to Auckland will be a nightmare (trust me, experiencing it right now)

Maybe see if u can get a travel agent to sort out a iteninry that goes Aus --> AKL, NZ --> London, UK so you can just fully transit in nz and dont have to deal with quarantine in AKL. (Double check this tho lol)

Also i think it would be best you contact the UK Govt via phone call (it'll cost $$ but itll be worth it) https://www.gov.uk/

Also contact the NZ embassy in London to let them know whats going on https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/europe/united-kingdom/new-zealand-high-commission/

Goodluck mate

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Bob, I'm sorry to hear of your situation.. Certainly a rough hand dealt to us and I've gotten no where with a response from the authorities.. I appreciate that there's a lot in the mix though the anxiety levels increase daily.

I'll put in for an exemption to leave Australia for the UK this week.. God willing I can get traction.. there is word that some information will be released from home office in the week or two about tier 5'ers in this position that were are..

I do hope you are able to make it to Auckland and subsequently onto the UK asap.

I created a FB group "kiwis for the UK 2020" a few weeks back. Pretty much a group for people in our situations re the visas and sharing (what little) information and experience we can to help each other through. Feel free to join.

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Hi All

Australian Passport holder with British Citizenship and a Hong Kong ID as well. Was slated to fly to HK on 17/04 due to a pregnant wife there who is going to give birth soon, but flight got cancelled and made another booking on 10/04.

Lodged the first application for an exemption to travel on original date of 17/04 on 01/04 (plenty of time) and then subsequently lodged another application for travel on 10/04 on 07/04 (again plenty of notice per their guidelines) due to change in travel plans. So far haven't heard anything back for either of the applications.

Has anyone had any luck by pleading their case at the airport if by any chance I do not hear back in time by 10/04? And what is this 'verbal approval' one post contributor above is speaking of? I spoke to the rep at the Home Affairs Dep't (phone 13 18 81) and the lady said they do not give verbal approvals...

Any advice/help will be greatly appreciated!

30 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Hi Harj, I was due to travel on Monday 6th, but my Exemption didn't come through. I went to the airport anyways. I was not able to fly, there is no one there to plead your case to.

Basically the process at the airport is as follows:

* You need to show your Passport and Itinerary at the entrance to get into Departures.

* Prior to getting to the Check In desk, you will be stopped by the Australian Border Force. If you don't have an Exemption Certificate in hand, they will go make a phone call for you to check the database. The database is simply a list of names, passport numbers, and departure ports for those who are approved to travel. If you are not on it, it is game over. They have no way of checking on your application.

* They are kind enough to let you wait in case it DOES come in prior to your flight closing (1hr before take off) - I did this, sat and waited in the off chance it would turn up. It did not, so I was able to get my flight moved at the Service Desk there (WAY easier than calling your airline at present) before heading home.

3 hrs later.... my Exemption came through - and I managed to get rebooked on to the 7th.

When you have an exemption in hand, the process is as follows:

* Show it to borders, they will fill out a form for you, get it signed by a manager, then you can go to check in.

* At check in they check this form against your travel details, then make a phone call to Immigration for formal approval. This took about 20 mins.

* Once you have this, you get to go to Passport Control, where they will check it all through one last time, and you will then be allowed through to security and to board.

So all up it adds quite a bit to check in.

One thing to note - the DATE of departure does not matter, just the PORT - so if you get an Exemption for the 17th, you can use it on the 10th - and vice-versa.

I believe they are trying to prioritise approvals based on your date of departure, so if you've put a date of the 17th in I expect it would be bottom of the pile.

Having been through this, it is a frustrating process and there is literally NO ONE you can talk to about the status of it, even at the airport. Its a brand new process and the guys on the ground don't have any more info than we do.

You really just have to wait I'm afraid - but they DO come through.

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Thank you so much for the insight, appreciate it! My application response still has not come through that I submitted a couple days ago for travel on 10/04. I have managed to also get re-booked on the 13/04...so if it does turn up late which seems to be the case, i have alternate arrangements.

Fingers crossed!

Just out of curiosity, how long before departure did you submit your application?

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Hi smgduncan, I just received my approval but i am worried about privacy. From your experience, there is any possibility for the officers in charge to know about the exact reasons for which you are granted an exemption? I would like to keep this private and I wouldn't want any comment from a particularly friendy officer. I am thinking to just omit my request from the bottom part of the authorisation reply to keep it more reserved. Did any of the forms you filled state or required that precise reasons needed to be included? Or did they jut go under the vague caterories (such as 'compassionate grounds')? I would greatly appreciate any help from you or anybody else.

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 28

When we left at the airport there was no discussion of the reason. We were sat on a bench about 10 metres away from the desk while they did their checks and signed a form. We were then told we were good to go. That's it.

what was your outcome?

PL
PL

27 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

Just for general info: we have just come from NZ through Sydney to London, changing from Air NZ to BA at Sydney. The issues: Get an exemption from Aus border force home page before you travel. This could take up to a week or more and you will need to submit e-tickets for both the in and out journey and copies of your passport. The good thing is that the exemptions seem to be granted for the duration of your visa, so flights can slip once you have the exemption by email. The airline at the first point of departure will nevertheless have to ring Aus to get verbal auth to board you on the day. Even with the exemption, we were initially denied exit from NZ because we were transferring Air NZ to BA. They were looking for code share straight through transit to avoid having to clear immigration to collect baggage. When we explained that we only had hand baggage, clearance to board was granted (we had taken the precaution of sending our hold baggage home in advance by DHL). Once at Sydney, you are met on the plane by helpful border force officials. Those entering Aus are taken off into Govt quarantine. Int transit pax are escorted through a health check (temperature only) and through transit security to the departure gates, where they pick up boarding passes. A difficult process with many hurdles, but it can work if you stick at it.

10 Apr 2020

Total posts 1

Hi there,

I have an international flight leaving Adelaide via Melbourne next Thursday (16 April). For the exemption form shall I put the departure port as Adelaide or Melbourne?

Hi all,

I am an AUS Citizen, who's been living in the UK for 3.5 years now. I was first on 2 yr work visa, then 1.5 years on a Sponsorship Visa. I moved cities to be with my partner, and as such, decided I would cancel my sponsorship visa and return to AUS to apply for Ancestry Visa (for which I am eligible).

I returned to AUS 23rd February, and submitted ancestry visa application/did biometrics on 26th Feb. Since then, I have has multiple delayed emails from VFS and serious problems getting any information, or in touch with anyone there. Turns out the Manilla office (where visa's are processed...) closed shop and as such all visa processing are delayed.

SO, whilst I would be considered 'resident' as I've been out of AUS for more time than in over the last 12 months, I am unsure if they will let me enter the country on a tourist visa (while I await processing of my ancestry) or without a visa.

I am desperate to return to the UK, where I live with my partner for plethora of reasons. He has just lost his job, has 2 children whom I adore and who adore and miss me, he devastatingly has depressive tendencies and the time apart has been incredibly difficult on us both during these unprecedented times. I have a job lined up and waiting for me too.

Further to this, whilst I have been staying with my mother in Sydney, she has been forced to close her business and sell her house due to COVID, and is struggling somewhere she can afford for her+her partner, and myself.

My question is - given my ancestry visa is in process, would I be allowed to return to the UK? I have been advised by VFS I do not need to be in AUS to pick up my visa once it comes through, that I could courier my passport back when it's ready and my mother or contact could take it into the office to have the visa stuck in, and then courier it back to me.

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Hi everyone,

Does anyone know whether obtaining employment in another country (USA) is grounds for an exemption, or has anyone been granted an exemption on these grounds?

Thanks!

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Hi Kristie,

I had submitted a letter for exemption last week for this exact reason. Australian citizen accepted a full time job pending visa. Target departure date in June. I thought it might be best to seek exemption as my new employer has spent money on business immigration lawyer starting the visa. Will keep you posted on my results

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Thanks so much for that Kue, and good luck!

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi Kirstie, was jus reading the forum and curious if you did get exemption. If yes, let me know the docs to be provided for taking up a job overseas

Cheers, Sydney boy

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi kue, please keep us posted your result for exemption. The docs required for overseas job will be useful. Thanks Baggy

BMO
BMO

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Hi Kue8. Can you please tell me how you went with your exemption application? I have a business in USA and want to return there for work in June. Thanks.

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Hi sydneyboy and BMO.

I have not had any response yet i had applied Monday last week.

Documents - email of job offer/contract, for USA H1b visa approval, lca, accomodation

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Cheers thanks Kue. All the best . Do let us know the result . Also advise if they request for a departure date and air ticket/ itenary.

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

HI kue, did u get your exemption?

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Negative I have not heard any response at all from any unclassified emails. Maybe because June 1 is still some time away

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Good luck. Hopefully before your departure date

any updates? i've applied for travel for June 27 but I applied in March! no reply yet! it's been a month!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

I doubt they are entertaining exemptions so far in advance since they have to prioritize people leaving soon. BTW Emirates and other airlines, such as THAI, Singapore Airlines and Etihad have started releasing their revised schedules, which include flights to Australia, starting July 1. This is a good sign.

Although schedules are dynamic and could be further adjusted, I personally believe the CEOs of major airlines have been briefed by high level government officials as to when they can expect to restart operations, which is why they have released schedules for July. The problem is, most people think everything that happens in the world is a series of random coincidences that policymakers and governments try to deal with. It's not like that at all; government is very much in control, even if doesn't appear that way to the rest of the population.

Not sure you'd get a reply. The travel restrictions only apply (at this stage) until 18 June, so there is no restriction from 27 June travel, so at this stage nothing to exempt you from. IIRC When the emergency was declared for three months it was foreshadowed that it might need to be extended. Nothing like maximum uncertainty.

Hi Kue8,

I am in a similar situation like you, albeit I am only a permanent resident here in Australia. My multi-round interview process began in December 2019 and supposed to start my new employment in April and now delayed by two months. I am planning to fly to the USA from Melbourne on June 2nd (fingers crossed). I am about to apply for an exemption. I look forward to knowing your exemption request outcomes.

Thanks.

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Hello, I received an email back from Unclassified this weekend. I was rejected as I need to raise a new ticket with the following. If you have all your documents in order I say to apply two weeks before departure as I dont believe they record the actual time stamps

Please provide confirmation that the offer of employment still stands.

·If intending to relocate long-term to the United States, please also provide supporting evidence such as a copy of the cessation of tenancy agreement, evidence of sale or lease of own property or confirmation of resignation or approved leave from employer.

Documents need to be in English or accompanied by an accredited translation.

You will now need to submit a new webform request for consideration with all supporting documentation including documents previously provided. Please include a statement that this is second request for exemption. To submit a new request go to: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/departmental-forms/online-forms/covid19-enquiry-form

15 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

I'm planning to travel to the UK on the 24th. I'm a dual UK Australian national. My fiancé and partner lives in the UK. I can't find any reference to dual nationals being allowed to leave. Can they stop me returning to my home country? I've even downloaded the bio security document and searched it. There's no mention of being able to stop people leaving Australia.

I've applied for an exemption but do I actually need to? At what point do I delay my flight? If anyone is in a similar situation please share your story. Successful or not.

Phil

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Hi filjohns

I am in the same boat (dual UK and Aussie Citizen). The rule is that as long as you have an Aussie passport, you are classed as an Aussie Citizen and have to abide by the travel restriction rules.

If you can show you have lived out of Australia longer than in Australia, you can leave as you will be classed as a person that ordinarily resides abroad (one of the exemptions you need not apply an exemption for).

Otherwise, you will need to apply for an exemption with a compelling enough reason. They definitely process them based on intended travel dates. I got my approval 1 hour before the flight was to depart...so no way I could make it in time. I then had to delay my flight and get booked onto another departure slot.

Hope this helps.

15 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Thanks Harj

Thanks for the reply. Interestingly this is my second application. The first one was rejected within 4 hours. With the standard reply of you haven't given enough info. Initially I requested under personal business. You can't amend a current application so I started a new one with compassionate reasons. It's now been 6 days since my application. Obviously I stand no chance of realistically challenging the law but you almost wonder if the restriction of your civil liberties. I primarily consider myself British and I want to visit my country where my fiance lives. On return I'm quite aware that I have to be quarantined. Which is adhering to all requirements. Happy to pay for the hotel too.

08 May 2020

Total posts 5

Hi, Can I ask what you provided to receive approval?
Thanks

Actually I have got an exemption to travel outside Australia . I'm living in Melbourne going to San Francisco via Sydney . Do I need exemption to travel domestic aswell as they approved already from Sydney. Coz I have like 15 hour stay in Sydney. Hotel staff said check with authorities first

22 Apr 2020

Total posts 1

Hi - just wanted to ask on the situation you mentioned since I am in the same boat. I have the 15 hour layover in Sydney before going San Fran with exemption. Have you already travelled or did you figure out any issues with domestic travel to Sydney and having the long-layover. Qantas told me that for the long layover I may need to be quarantined overnight in Sydney, but not sure if that is true?

thanks

Mike

hi all,

Not sure this will help anyone's situation uniquely, but thought I would share my experience for anyone in a similar boat.

I applied for leave from AUS on compassionate grounds - I am Aus citizen, but reside in the Uk. I've been apart from my partner of 3 years for 2 months. He has young children and depression and I am desperate to be back with him. I was granted approval within an hour. I have never seen a government work this quickly! This needs to be taken to the airport when you depart, and you will not be allowed out of AUS without a travel exemption.

I am now working out how if I will get let back into the UK. I had only returned to Aus to apply for a UK ancestry visa which has now taken 49 days, and still awaiting (due to global office closures of VFS). I've spoken to an immigration lawyer who says I should be let into the country on a tourist visa. The Uk currently has no restrictions for incoming 'tourists'. I will then wait for my ancestry visa to come through, which I will automatically super-cede the tourist visa once it does. I have been advised by VFS I can courier my passport back to Sydney when the visa vignette is ready, provide an authorisation letter to a friend or relative who can then pick up the vignette on my behalf, and then courier my passport back to the Uk. This is only possible as I have my passport in hand.

A warning for anyone trying o enter the UK on these grounds ... you will need to show: proof of accommodation/tenancy (my partner has written a letter on my behalf), proof of funds (lawyer suggests £5k sufficient), be able to prove you've been living in the Uk for more than 6 months of the last 12 months (= resident for tax paying purpose); proof of medical registration in the Uk. Any proof of employment is also desirable.

Hope this helps anyone else in these tricky times x

21 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hi Kate,

Hoping you can clarify for me.. when you are saying anyone trying to enter the UK on these grounds are you meaning just a UK Tourist Visa? Should there be more than usual supporting documents? I am an Australian Citizen trying to get over to my partner in the UK and looking at my options.. it looks like I won't be able to apply for the youth mobility visa at the moment with everything on hold so if I was to get an exemption (a very big if) to travel based on compassionate grounds, I would be trying to go for the tourist visa for the 6 months.. but have never lived there?? I work from home so could show proof of this but a medical registration in the UK and proof of living there would not be something I'd be able to give, based on your dealings do you think they are turning tourists away?

Really appreciate any advice you have :) x

25 Jun 2020

Total posts 8

Hi Bianka,

I was just wanting to see how you went with your application? I am in a very similar situation. My partner is a UK citizen and i am seeking to leave on compassionate grounds (on a tourist visa) i was wanting to know what evidence you have submitted on your application ? my GP and psychologist have both advised they are happy to provide me with a medical certificate re my mental health and depression. I am despratly wanting to go and be with my partner :(

21 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hey @amandacini

I actually haven't applied for the exemption yet but plan to do so once I get my UK visa approved. I saw your comment below, I think you should apply for the 2 year Youth Mobility Visa if you can? These are still being processed and you would have a better chance at a travel exemption than with a tourist visa I feel as you would need to come back to Australia after 6 months on the tourist visa and the DFO would know that and might be reluctant to allow you to leave.

I completely understand how hard it is being away from your partner, this is causing so much stress to a lot of people. I think applying with evidence of your relationship and proof you will have a place to live once you arrive, any evidence that you will be leaving your life here like resigning from your job or ending your lease etc but definitely having your GP provide the medical certificate would help.

I am hoping to apply soon so I can fill you in on how I go xx

04 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Hi Kate,

We have similar situation. my fiance is in the US, and I havent seen her for over 5 months. I was supposed to visit her in March right after ban came into effect. She is divorced / single mother for 2 children. She also suffers depression which worsen during COVID 19 pandemic. she also needs to go through a medical procedure. I submitted a letter from a dr. stating her hardship, her imaging results, pictures, my personal statement.

I received rejection. they are looking for proof of relationship (such as birth and or marriage certificate), letter from medical professional, hospital records, evidence that no other family in country can provide the level of support.

can you help shine some light and give ideas from your own experience?

Or anyone else?

It will be much appreciated,

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Hi everyone,

does anyone know if ceased employment and expiry of rental lease (landlords selling the place) are sufficient reasons to ask for exemption to travel outside Australia?

I am dual Italian/Australian and I would seek exemption for my child (dual as well) and wife (AUS citizen) to travel to Australia and go and stay indefinitely with my parents who live in Italy.

They are in their 70s with some health issues, have been affected by lockdown and would benefit/require support from us as they have no other close family members in Italy.

Since 2012 I have lived and worked in Australia and spent a total of about 24 months in Italy on separate occasions.

I would appreciate any help or feedback.

Thanks,

Mario

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Of course I meant: "... I would seek exemption for myself, my child (dual as well) and wife (AUS citizen) ...".

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

Hi all - has anyone requested an exemption from Australian government to go back to their home country and come back again? A bit of background: I am from the U.S. and go home to America often, every 3/4 months but live in Melbourne with my fiance. I basically go back and forth several times a year to my home. I am on the partner (820) visa waiting for the permanent (801) due this August. On the 820 visa, am I classed as an Australian permanent resident? Therefore I need an exemption? or as a U.S. citizen with no Aussie passport, am I allowed to leave without an exemption? I was supposed to be in the U.S. right now, and while my trip will need to be postponed clearly, I have serious concerns about my family in America and would like to know what my options are to go back and see them. Happy to quarantine on both sides if that's what I have to do to protect myself and everybody, I'm just wondering if anyone has had that experience of filling out the exemption (if necessary for me, I still can't figure out/get confirmation if I am classed as an Australian perm resident for that reason and therefore the ban applies to me or not). In filling out the exemption I would put that I need to follow appropriate quarantine before visiting my immediate family who I may not get the chance to see before they pass and other urgent personal business at home, but eventually I'd need to come back and follow quarantine provided I can find a flight from United etc. Anyone have any insight on this? Thanks in advance!

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

I'm currently sat in Sydney airport having missed my flight, waiting to be picked up as my application has been rejected and I'm not allowed to leave Australia. I have PR but have a business in the UK. I also travel back a couple of times a year. The business is in trouble but apparently that isn't enough to let me leave to the country I am a citizen of & pay taxes in. Absolutely ridiculous situation!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

That is ridiculous, given you are a citizen of the UK. Perhaps you should try demonstrating that you live there and most of your income comes from your business in the UK.

BMO
BMO

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Has anyone applied for exemption to go on an overseas business trip? I own a company in America, and I really need to go back there by July at the latest.

Yes, I have business interests in Asia and have applied for exemption. Was approved within a few days. But you'll have to spend two weeks in quarantine at a hotel, covered by the govt, on your return.

BMO
BMO

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

AsiaBizTraveller, Awesome! Can you please tell me if you applied under Urgent and Unavoidable Personal Business? Or Critical Business? And what evidence did you submit? Thank you so much!

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

@bmo. I applied under unavoidable personal business, they finally accepted once I sent historical financial statements to show why I needed to travel at this time (the business is seasonal) as well as a letter from another director in the biz saying I was required to return. I'm halfway through the journey in Doha (Qatar airways flight Syd to LHR). The first flight was packed, so make sure you get some masks etc as no chance for social distancing. Good luck!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

BMO, he won't be allowed into any Asian country unless he holds a work permit, is a diplomat or there's a rare Asian country allowing foreigners in ATM. The only ones that might, are Japan and South Korea, but with conditions. He may be a citizen of the Asian country where he does business, which may allow him entry.

Almost all countries are requiring everyone to do a 14-day quarantine when entering their country. I think it's ridiculous to contemplate any business travel right now. I have a business to run but I am certainly not prepared to do 28-days of quarantine (14 in each country) to conduct a trip that can really wait for a few weeks. Not to mention, currently being in Asia and a foreigner, they simply aren't going to let me enter no matter how essential my business may be...except upon the approval of the prime minister, which I don't see happening.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

@AsiaBizTraveller, but will any Asian country let you in at the moment? I can tell you, few will. Thailand is closed unless you're a diplomat or hold a Thai work permit. Singapore is closed to non-residents; non-citizens normally resident in Singapore need special permission to return. Both countries require a 14-day quarantine for all persons entering.

Malaysia is closed too - basically no foreigners allowed in, business interests or not. China is closed - no foreigners except diplomats being allowed in. Even foreigners with work permits - no. Ditto for Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. Cambodia probably as well. If you were allowed to enter Cambodia, you'd need insurance to the tune of US$50000 and a medical certificate certifying covid-19 negative status.

I have a business in Asia and I can't even travel from Thailand to Myanmar, not even by road. Like me, you'll just have to wait until the borders re-open. Perhaps in a month's time or so.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

BMO, by July you should be able to return. Being America, their entry requirements aren't as erroneous as Asian countries are, with less emphasis on restricting foreigners. Are you an American citizen? If so, you stand a much better chance of being allowed back soon, but if you can wait until July, chances are, you'll be able to travel again by then, so I would wait.

BMO
BMO

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

TheFreqFlyer I am Australian but own a company in America, and work there 6 months of the year. I won't have problems being let into America. I'm more worried about whether or not I will be allowed to leave Australia in July after our Minister For Tourism said that International travel could be banned for 12 months. My company won't survive that long if I can't go back.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

July is still a long way away. I am not a clairvoyant, but I am relatively sure that you'll be able to travel again by then.

Good that the USA will take you back; I didn't think it would be a problem if you have some kind of residency status. I presume you're a Green Card holder (permanent resident)? Thank goodness your business isn't in China, which is not letting any foreigners back in, irrespective of their residency status (single exception seems to be diplomats).

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

Is this the case though? government says travel ban will be in place until 2021. despite the biosecurity act only liable for 3 months

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

Everyone seems to be reading from the same script. Emirates and several other airlines have recently released their flight schedules, with services to return on July 1. This includes flights to Australia, which will be increased over the course of 2-3 months. This signals to me that flights will likely go ahead then, even if there is a possibility that the schedules may be revised again.

A lot of what's reported in the media is fear mongering. Hearing someone say the borders will only re-open in a year certainly sounds scary now, but if you calm down and put things into perspective, I think you'll probably realize that travel should return in the next couple of months. Besides, they're already starting to relax some restrictions in several countries including Australia, but also Vietnam and Europe.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

yeah, what you're saying makes perfect sense. even the possibility is a little scary though!

31 May 2020

Total posts 3

Hi,I am hoping that you can advise me.I am anAustralian citizen married to an American.What are my chances of successfully getting an exemption to travel to the USA?

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 1

Hi guys

International student currently stuck in india. Just wanna know if i can get an exemption to travel to australia bcoz of some medical reasons. evidence is there for last two months?? not able to get treatment here

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

Hi Skangsshj, this article is about getting an exemption to leave Australia. If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident overseas, you don't need an exemption to come back home.

However, leaving India is the hard part with basically zero flights, so you should check with the Australian High Commission in India for your options.

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Kiwi living in Australia with a tier 5 youth mobility visa lined up to start April/May. My original flights for end of April were cancelled.

I applied for an exemption under personal grounds last night (16th April) and had an email the next morning (17th) confirming my travel is authorized from Brisbane to the UK anytime I choose from now so long as the port stays the same.

I wasn't long winded in my request.. kept it to the point, succinct and about me.

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

On what basis did you receive your exemption? Did You have any personal circumstances that fell under the exemptions ?

29 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

What was your reasoning for the exemption MikeyJ?

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Good afternoon,

We are french citizen but permanent resident in Australia. We have applied for the exemption on the 9th of April, for flights leaving on the 25th.

Does anyone have an idea on how long the process takes? I could not find anyway to follow the application progress, despite the receipt number given after the form submission.

For those who succeeded, did you receive a confirmation email?

Thank you for your help

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Al I can say is I applied last night and had an EMAIL from Australian Government this morning CONFIRMING my exemption.

I thought of going under *compassionate* but went under the checked box of *personal urgency* I think it was.. anyway.. Give it some days I say. It's Friday on a short week.

BUT to answer your question yes, there was an email response

20 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

Hey Mikey,

what was the reason you gave you needed to leave in the further description and the documents you attached? Also, when were your planned flights? It appears they might be processing travel in the near future first. Looking to head back to our house in the French countryside where we have no rent and very few bills to pay...

how did it go? did you get it granted?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Has anyone tried multiple applications for exemption? I applied over 2 weeks ago for a compassionate exemption because I am in the middle of moving to the UK, with a 22 May flight date. But I am now wondering about submitting a new application as a person on urgent and unavoidable personal business. However, I am worried this may simply disrupt the earlier application.

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

I get a feeling they are processing applications near the intended departure date. It would be nice to have an early exemption but seeing the peoples previous records on here are in the same month..

Air Canada - Aeroplan

19 Jul 2018

Total posts 18

Hi Kue8, is your flight still 1 June (tomorrow)? Did you manage to get your exemption approved by ABF?

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 10

hello,

I am a greek/australian citizen.

I have been doing long distance with my partner the last 6 months while he finishes his masters in Denmark, and I finish my degree. The plan was for me to move to Denmark in June but I can only apply for my danish residence in Denmark.

I am hoping to reunite with him in a couple of months. I suspect this border restraint will still be in place by that time. I am looking to apply for the exception on compassionate grounds, however I am aware that I don't have official documentation like a joint bank account or shared rental history. Has anyone had any luck applying on compassionate grounds where there isn't a lot of official documentation. I was thinking of getting witness statements of my relationship from parents/friends but im not sure if this is enough.

cheers

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

It might not be. Don't make assumptions. No one knows the exact timeline of when things will return to normal, though it's unlikely to take more than a few weeks.

Don't make any plans too far in the future. Re-evaluate the situation in a month's time and you'll probably find it possible to travel again by June. Make those travel plans shortly before departure, provided you are certain at the time, that travel is possible.

02 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

Hi Annal12345,

I am a Danish PR and my partner is Australian citizen. We did long distance for 6 months but I came to Australia on a research visa on the 13th of March(2days before the lockdown) and we live together for 4 months now. My visa will expire in September and I will have to go back to Denmark for defending my MSc thesis anyway.

We are hoping she will get the travel exemption so she could come live with me in Denmark and we are looking to apply for compassionate grounds. However, we only have 6 months' shared rental history and we could also get a lot of statements of relationship from her parents/our friends.

Do you have any suggestions on what other documents we could get to strenghten our application?

We would very much appreciate some help!

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 10

Hi Ilie,

I received my approval 2 weeks ago after one try (I was surprised after reading everyone else's experience)! I would suggest you apply on the grounds that you will both be out of the country indefinitely.

- both your passport details

- Submit documentation relevant to your Masters, your danish CPR and other documents that establish your residency.

- Does she have a visa? What can she use to prove she has a right to be in Denmark

- provide your rental history in this recent place, also provide something that indicates that you have severed this lease, I provided a letter from my real estate agent saying I was leaving my place on a certain date.

- if relevant provide a document from either of your employer's stating that you have finished your employment in Australia

- In a word doc, you could have some photos of the two of you

- maybe flights you've taken together

Best of luck

18 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hope this helps: > https://www.philembassy.org.au/latest/advisory/public-advisory-for-australian-dual-citizens-and-permanent-residents

17 April 2020 – The Philippine Embassy in Canberra has received the following advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on travel restrictions for Australian dual citizens and permanent residents:

“Australian citizens and permanent residents cannot travel overseas due to COVID-19 restrictions. Dual nationals, or foreign nationals with permanent residency status in Australia, need to secure an exemption from the ABF Commissioner before they can leave Australia, even if using the passport of their other nationality.

Individuals can apply online for an exemption on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/departmental-forms/online-forms/covid19-enquiry-form.

Applications should include as much detailed information and supporting documentation as possible. For example, individuals should include proof that they do not usually reside in Australia through evidence of working arrangements, school/university enrolments or property ownership.

The application should include other compelling and compassionate grounds as appropriate, including details on the reasons compelling the individual to travel – for example, care for elderly parents who live overseas, other family circumstances or medical issues. “

Filipino citizens who also hold Australian citizenship and Filipino permanent residents in Australia who may be affected by the above restriction are requested to direct their queries to the Australian Department of Home Affairs. END

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hi I applied for exemption last night through the criteria of unavoidable personal business. I have to get to the USA urgently to support my girlfriend (USA resident) and her family through this time. I attached a personal letter from her and a personal letter from me explaining and begging the Australian government to approve my exemption. Both letters are detailed and explain the severity of our situation due to Both our mental health's are collapsing and I'm extremely worried. She urgently needs my support. However I submitted the form and attached both letters yet within an hour I got an email saying unclassified and need to provide sufficient documentation.... I then reapplied under compassionate human grounds and I got rejected again within in hour. This is extremely cruel that I have been knocked back. I don't know what to do I have never been so stressed out? Would be a huge help if someone can help me. Both emails i received are exactly the same and I have a feeling it's computer generated. I don't even think anyone is reading our letters. Do I need further documents. Some one please help me. Thank you!

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Try obtaining a doctor's letter or some sort of medical evidence to substantiate your claim re: mental health.

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

I feel for you, really do. The stress of things if needed to get overseas right now is huge for so many.

For me, I proposed my travel dates and airline. I've attached copies of my passport and entry clearance to the overseas port in the files box.

16 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Hi MikeyJ, congratulations on your exemption approval!

If I understood well, you did not have a flight booked when you applied for exemption.

Did you just state you were looking to book for a specifc date?

It would be greatly helpful if you could let me know.

Thanks in advance

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

Question. Does the USA allow Australian travelers not ordinarily resident there to enter the country ATM? On the IATA website, it's very vague, seeming to imply it may be possible, but no specific instructions. They should be more specific - can an ESTA be used at the present time (assuming Australia allows you to depart)?

My concern is that even if the Australian government approves your request, you may not be granted entry by the US authorities. If you can wait for another few weeks, travel should be permitted as usual again.

Keep in mind that many countries are even more "cruel" - many (most?) Asian countries are not allowing foreign residents (expats) to return to their families (who are usually local citizens), except if they have a work permit although those currently in these countries are allowed to leave. In general, there is a much greater distinction being made between foreigners and locals in Asia. Basically, only local citizens (and diplomats) can return to these countries at this time. Whereas in Australia's and America's case, foreign residents or foreign nationals who are married to local citizens, are being allowed in, even if they don't live there.

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

I am a permanent Australian resident by the way. Thanks

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Thanks guys, do you think a witness letter from her mother would help? Mikey did you take photos of your passport and entrance visa?

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

I'm no expert mate but I'd include everything you have from a photocopy of your passport to travel docs (entry clearance, visas).. a witness letter, maybe, sure, why not?

Only other thing I can think of is keep in mind what port you actually go international from.. I was to fly from Brisbane to UK but now has a transit in Sydney then to UK.. I applied for a second exemption so I can leave the Sydney airport.

20 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

It would be extremely helpful if people that got an exemption to leave Australia to detail what specific reasons they gave for needing to leave Australia and what supporting documents were attached. We have a house in the french countryside where we have no bills to pay and no need to live off government support as we do now since we both lost our jobs. Plus my wife's parents need support and live close to our house there. Just would be really helpful to know if other people in a similar situation got an exemption and the specifics as to how they got such an exemption...

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 10

Does anyone with dual citizenship question the legality of the Australian government requiring dual citizens to justify and provide documentation for returning to the other country of citizenship. Does it not raise issues of Australia impeding on another country's sovereignty by preventing those citizens from going to that country?

20 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

yes I hear you. Find it pretty strange that that isn't automatically an exception. I would understand if they would force you to pay for the costs of 14 day quarantine if you wanted to come back before all restrictions were lifted. This way mostly stopping people getting in/out of the country at will... Nonetheless, it is a bit odd we're not allowed to leave...

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 10

Yes I agree! It would be totally fair that we should have to pay for the cost of quarantine if we are leaving the country at this time. I am going to write letters to my MP and the Minister for Immigration, it feels like a huge oversight.

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

Esp as there is NO such authority in the Migration Act. They are relying on the Biosecurity Act and it is highly debately if that provides sufficient legal authority to impose such a ban. Looks like it might be ultra vires (beyond legal authority).

The order is only in place for four week from 25 March 2020. May be extended or dropped then.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

its already been extended- evidenced by the fact that its already been over 4 weeks and its still in effect. It can also be extended fro 3 months at a time indefinitely. so if they wanted to keep this going for a year they can, especially if they deem COVID as a threat to public health

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

Jayce, businesses are starting to open up now and airline schedules for July are being released. I predict it should be possible to travel overseas again come early July. Of course, as more information comes to light it will become easier to predict, but at this stage that's what it looks like. There is some light at the end of the tunnel.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

I hope youre right! honestly during these times that's all we can rely on. I do also think that the Australian people wont really stand for an extended period like this.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

Hey Fred888

I don't think that the Migration Act is the relevant legislation. The Biosecurity Act, maybe.

But Australia's a party to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (1966), even though Australia hasn't bothered to incorporate it into an act of parliament. There's a provision in the ICCPR that allows this measure, c.f. my post further up in this thread. It appears as if they do have the legal authority by international treaty law

When UN treaties, to which a state is a party, allow for something, it's rather difficult to make the case that the state is acting ultra vires.

03 Feb 2018

Total posts 70

"Does anyone with dual citizenship question the legality of the Australian government requiring dual citizens to justify and provide documentation for returning to the other country of citizenship. Does it not raise issues of Australia impeding on another country's sovereignty by preventing those citizens from going to that country?"

It's more of a rights issue than a sovereignty issue. Not that renders this any less important. Imo, human rights are of greater importance than sovereignty (although many people and most states disagree with me). But even though this is contentious in terms of civil rights, the government is acting within a framework permissible by international law, in my opinion. And I'm no fan of Peter Dutton, to put it mildly.

The government has Art. XII(3) of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (1966) on their side. On the one hand, 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 the 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).

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

Before applying for an exemption to leave Australia, first make sure the country you want to travel to will allow you in. Some western nations may allow foreigners to enter, including those that aren't ordinarily resident, while others are only allowing residents back.

However, many (probably most) developing countries are not allowing foreigners to enter. Depending on the country, even residents and citizens are facing difficulty returning. Most countries will require a 14-day quarantine upon entry. I believe America doesn't do this though this may have changed.

Right now you'd have to be desperate to travel. Especially if you're a business traveler who then wants to return to Australia afterwards. I would think most of us would have built this into our contingency plans. I know I have. I have designated a contact as an interim on-site manager to manage things for my business in Asia, until such time as travel becomes possible again. It is what it is, but I know that right now, almost no foreigners are being allowed to enter with the exception of diplomats and work permit holders, and in some countries moving around within the country is next to impossible.

It's a different matter if you're resident in another country, such as the USA or the UK, and want to return to be with your family. In such cases, you may be allowed to return and should be allowed (from an ethical standpoint), but for business and leisure travelers, now is not the time, unfortunately.

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

All I can add is that I wrote what I needed to write and kept it succinct as to why I needed to fly. I didn't waffle on. Stated my need, dates I was looking at flying and the ports I would leave and enter. This was my last chance at a youth mobility visa as I am now 31 and my plans had been in the mix for sometime. My flights are in a months time. I included a photocopy of my passport and my entry clearance..

I had no coach for this. I just started my case and that's the best I can offer you. Supply evidence and be sure you actually can go to where you intend to before writing..

20 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

thanks a lot for the info mate... We'll try to get ourselves sorted first before making an application..

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 16

Did you receive an exemption?

Hi there!

I'm just wondering if I would still be able to fly to Montreal from Sydney on the 5th of July of this year. My purpose for going is to be with my family until mid September (nothing touristic). Despite all that is going on I have been really hoping that my mother and myself will be able to still go ahead. I have read in a few places that the Canadian border is closed until the 30th of June of this year (hopefully that date won't change fingers crossed) , now it's more a matter if our Australian border will allow us to leave. I'd appreciate it anyone has any information that they could offer me. Cheers!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

Too early to say. Wait and see.

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Hi,

Just wanted to give you an update. We have been granted the exemption today after applying on the 9th of April, for a flight on the 25th.

We applied under " conduct of business for critical industries" as my husband has been offered a job in agriculture/food processing industry in France.

We submitted the following documents:

passports

proof of marriage/relationship

employer letter explaining why the return of my husband was critical

proof of PR

flight tickets

proof of end of lease here

resignation letter for me

We received an email this morning saying the permission was granted, but no formal document attached.

Hope this helps,

20 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

great, thanks for the info, very helpful

21 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hey everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for me, I'm an Australian citizen with a partner in the UK and desperately trying to find out if there are options of me getting over there now with an exemption. I can see people have been applying on compassionate grounds although I feel we don't have too much evidence of a relationship as we don't own anything together but plan to still try. I would be planning to stay for as long as possible (I work remotely) we just want to be back together, the talk of this travel ban lasting longer than 6 months is really exhausting and horrible to hear.

My main concern is if I was approved an exemption, is the UK allowing people in on just a tourist visa? I obviously can't apply for the youth mobility scheme while everything is on hold, that was my plan this month. I just want to see if anyone has arrived in the UK on the tourist visa without having evidence of previously living in the country? I would be living with my partner and staying put whilst on the tourist visa until everything settles and I can continue with the original plans of applying for a working visa.

Any advice or comments are welcome, I'm really just needing a glimmer of hope right now.

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 10

Hi Bianka,

I am sorry to hear about you're situation. I have a similar problem to you, my partner is living in Denmark and I don't have any documentation to prove the relationship. Can you let me know how you go if you apply?

Cheers

02 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

Hi Bianka,

I am a Danish PR and my partner is Australian citizen. We did long distance for 6 months but I came to Australia on a research visa on the 13th of March(2days before the lockdown) and we live together for 4 months now. My visa will expire in September and I will have to go back to Denmark for defending my MSc thesis anyway.

We are hoping she will get the travel exemption so she could come live with me in Denmark and we are looking to apply for compassionate grounds. However, we only have 6 months' shared rental history and we could also get a lot of statements of relationship from her parents/our friends. We could also get depression documentation from the doctor

How did your situation turn out?Did you make it to UK?

We would very much appreciate some help!

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hey guys, I got knocked back 3 times trying to get my exemption approved with 2 personal letters from her and myself stating depression being seperated from my partner in the us. My doctor wrote a letter directed to Home affairs stating that they should allow me to be approved for exemption due to my depression. But I still haven't heard back if it's approved or not approved. Hope this helps.....

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

Hi Kyle!

please let me know if this works out for you. I'm in a very similar situation and with the talks of the travel ban being in place until 2021, I am quite distressed.

Thank you for sharing!

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Having just got back to the UK via an exemption due to business requirements, I would suggest staying in Australia.

Everything is closed here (apart from supermarkets), there are no restrictions/mandatory isolation requirements for people entering the country, therefore, I don't see how the UK is going to get a grip of the situation any time soon. Closing all businesses but allowing anyone to enter the country (if they can get on a flight) is not going to slow the infection rate.

The flight from Syd - Doha was full and Doha - LHR half full. You would be putting yourself and whoever you live with in the UK at greater risk in my opinion. I would have stayed in a hotel upon entry if it was an option, but they are even closed to all but health care workers.

I am actually in a very difficult and uncertain position. As I have previously stated, I have travel plans to Canada on the 6th of July. Though I have been given advice to wait and see for what the outcome will be closer to the date, I am uncertain if I should apply for travel permission. Another problem that came to my attention is that grandparents are not included as immediate family unfortunately, which makes the likelihood of obtaining travel consent very unlikely to me, though I need to go this July as there is no one to attend to my grandmothers health issues and declining health. I have read that Airlines will be re operating flights from the end of may all the way until the end of June however on the other hand the Australian government seems to be giving another message that overseas travel will not be permitted until 2021. Thoughts?

Wait and see looks like the right advice. At this stage the travel ban runs out on 18 June, so there is nothing now banning you from travel on 6 July, which also means you can't be exempted- there is nothing ATM to exempt you from. Of course it's likely the emergency and the ban will be extended, but for how long is anyone's guess.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

I doubt it will be extended further. There are lots of indications that normal travel will resume early July. Of course, time will tell, but I'm confident that's the way it will be. Airlines aren't going to go to the trouble of releasing schedules and then a few weeks later issue new schedules and do the same several times over. They know they'll be able to fly come July 1, hence the schedules coming out in recent days.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

Excuse me if I rant for a while! I can't believe the total lack of communication forthcoming from Home Affairs. I spoke to someone on Monday who at least made the effort to reassure me that although they were very busy, applications were proceeding, they were being prioritised by compassionate grounds and flight date, and that I should hopefully hear something soon. Today I spoke to a young lady who was adamant that they had no idea of processing times and there was no way of finding out any information, and I should just wait and hope - 3 business days before I'm due to fly! I'm a dual citizen trying to get back to the UK as my elderly mother is unwell and isolated on her own. I've resigned from work, given up my apartment & shipped my belongings back to the UK with no plans to return to Aus. Given that the whole idea of travel restriction is to stop people bringing the virus back when they return, what would be the point of stopping someone flying if they're not coming back? I'd be happy to leave my Aus passport at the border, or even renounce my citizenship if that's what it took to travel, but apparently that would take even longer than this woeful process (I applied on the 8th). So I'm just forced to wait, unable to change my flight date in case I finally get approval in the next few days, but risking hefty change/higher price costs if I change dates less than 3 days from my flight date. For all I know my application could just be lost, but there's no way of finding out. The whole process seems to have been poorly thought out, from the initial lack of email confirmation, no detail given as to what supporting documentation might be needed, to the lack of contact no./email for queries, the presumably inadequate number of people working on it causing the slow processing times.... I know there are many people suffering worse problems right now, but this is causing a lot of people enormous amounts of stress for no good reason. If I can't fly next week I'll be trapped in Australia with no job & nowhere to live & I'll be joining the queue outside Centrelink, which I don't think benefits anyone. It's time someone looked into this process, I've written to my MP as a start, perhaps some media attention is required...

Hope you all stay well & travel soon....

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

That sounds about on par for Dept of Home Affairs. The most incompetent dept in Australia. No surprise with that moron Peter Dutton in charge.

Im in a very similar situation to you. My husband and I are PR's but UKCitizens..with a British passport. We just want to get home to my Mum who is 90....! I really hope you can get back! I havent applied yet..as we want to go in June. Please let me know how you go!

Hi, why you don't apply? Because processing will take more than 1 week and if you get the approval that is valid for 3 months. I applied and I got the approval 2 days ago after 10 days.

Thanks,

Arezoo

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Kaycee, I am in exactly the same position. Applied 2 April. Sydney house sold, contents shipped, nowhere to live, UK as well as Aus passport, one way Qatar ticket 19 May, UK customs clearance, medical certificate, all documented, still no response. Did you find a number to call and the right prompts to actually speak to someone at Home Affairs? The movers known is so frustrating!

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

Hi Richard, the number on the main home affairs website just led to some options which weren't relevant, and the number I found for the Melbourne immigration dept gave only generalised information. Not much help either way, you might almost suspect it was designed to be as difficult as possible to discourage people from trying...

YO
YO

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi, Do you guys think Border Force Officers process documents on holidays and weekends?

I have applied for exemption on Sunday, 19th, intending flight on Monday, 27th.

Still, nothing hear from them. Wondering they work on weekdays 9to5.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

Hi, I very much doubt it - It's my understanding it's the Home Affairs/ Dept of Immigration who process the applications and Border Force just apply the regulations at the border. I applied on the 8th to fly on the 28th and likewise, crickets..... let us know how you get on

YO
YO

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi kayceemelb, OK, they are in different departments, hope granted soon each other. I am in Adelaide, so wanted to be granted before I head to Sydney Airport. I change my flight date if I don't receive an exemption by Monday morning.

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Have you received exemption approval yet?

YO
YO

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi, I have received an e-mail this afternoon saying "authorised". I am a PR holder from Japan, applied under the compassionate or humanitarian ground. My father is seriously ill. I have been coming and going between Japan and Australia for a couple of years. Actually, I have my residence certificate and health insurance card in Japan. I submitted my father's medical certificate from the hospital, a copy of my family register to prove my parent-child relationship, a copy of my Japanese residence certificate and my Japanese health insurance card.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Hi YO. How long ago did you apply? And when is your flight date? I applied 2 April to fly 19 May, but no response so far, so interested to know. Thanks.

YO
YO

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi richardd, I have applied on Sunday 19th Apr, and my flight date is tomorrow from Sydney, ABF seems to make exemptions according to the applicant's departure date.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

YO, when did you get your approval? Just one day in advance, or longer? And how did they inform you? Via email? Well done, and safe travels!

YO
YO

08 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

richardd, I've received the approval around 2pm today, via email, just one day in advance, my flight is 9pm tomorrow.

thanks, good luck!

21 May 2020

Total posts 6

Hi Yo

Would it be possible to know what the medical certificate said? Was very detailed in relation to your father circumstances? I am in the same situation than you and applying soon. Many thanks

26 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

Hey guys!

It's been very interesting reading all these different comments and about people's different experiences. I'd just like to share my dilemma as well and see what you all think. I was going to apply for canadian citizenship this year as my partner is canadian and now pregnant with our first child, I made the decision to pack up and move to Vancouver. Now due to the global situation I've been forced to put everything on hold for the time being. I bought tickets for the 22nd of June (my partner is due to give birth in mid- late July) and I had planned to stay for 3 months until the end of September due to work commitments. I had applied for travel consent based on compassionate grounds and explained the circumstances in full, unfortunately I was knocked back and told that I needed “supporting evidence”. I can't begin to explain the frustration and stress that I'm going through let alone trying to provide sources of evidence amongst everything that is going on and at the same time I don't want to stress my pregnant partner. I really do not know what I can do or what evidence it is that they are seeking. Would you suppose that by that time we will be permitted to fly internationally or am I going to have no choice but to go back and forth trying to find supporting evidence to obtain permission?

Thanks guys!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

Gather more supporting evidence and wait until late May/early June to re-submit, since that flight is still nearly 2 months away. BTW normal flight schedules, though on a reduced frequency, are showing up starting on July 1. If you can move your flight to early July, that may work out in your favour.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Willismw. Perhapd provide proof of your partner's citizenship, evidence of the relationship, medical certificate of pregnancy, invitation from your partner that she has invited you to join her, one way flight if not planning to return to Aus. Have you sold your house or terminated a lease? If so, show proof. Show this is not a holiday! I have done all of that in my case, a bit different to uours, still waiting on a decision, but hopeful. Hope this helps.

26 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

richardd. Thank you for all those helpful suggestions, I am going to try to provide all that evidence as best I can, though I really do wish that I had a marriage certificate between me and my partner because I feel maybe that would of been to our advantage in our current situation, never the less it's going to be a hassle that I will have to put my partner through in order to get things done. I have not yet sold my home as I had planned to come back to put all my affairs in order after my partner has given birth and when things have settled down in terms of this virus to apply for Canadian citizenship. A friend of mine that is an employee at the airport had mentioned to me that there is a chance that travel to the States and Canada will be allowed by June, though once again I will mention that I do not want to take the risk if travel is still not permitted at the time that I will need to travel.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Good luck William!

Hey there William,

I myself am suppose to be going to canada but on July 6 to attend to my elderly grandmother, though she isn't deemed to be immediate family unfortunately. I found it interesting you mentioned that you were told that we would be allowed to travel from Australia to the states/canada by June because from what I heard was similarly the same but 1st July (we're hoping that is) but in your case you need to travel in June so that wouldn't be helpful to you either way. There are too many different sources of information that we're hearing in regards to international travel, I don't know what to think anymore. I hope they will approve your application

26 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

armen.greg. Sorry to hear that you are facing issues traveling, I know it can be very stressful for any given individual. In your case unfortunately it would most certainly be more difficult to be granted travel permission, though for your sake and for the sake of others that require essential overseas travel I hope that the borders do open up for by June- July. I can only say to you that I was only told by a friend who works at Sydney Airport that possibly travel to the states and canada will be allowed by June however there has been no guarantee as such (others here may be able to provide you with further information). Regardless, I have already started compiling all the evidence required for my case and hopefully all will go well. I wish you the best of luck too!

that would be amazing to be able to travel by June, but the government seems to say nothing until 2021! hope your friend is right!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

July 1 is likely. Check airline schedules, most international flights are tentatively resuming then.

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Fyi, the exemption to travel is not dated and states the date is irrelevant, only the departure port must stay the same.

If the department is looking at applications by nearest departure date as seems to be the case, plus applications are not linked, so if you are rejected you have to start again. One could argue that applying for a date sooner than the intended date could give one more time to know the outcome before travelling.

This is not my recommendation, just an observation. Good luck all.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

The only problem with that, Ewar is that the application asks for flight details and date. In my case, having sold my Sydney house and waiting to fly 19 May one way to London, I am staying with my sister near Goondawindi, Qld. So I need time to get to Sydney to get my flight and get a friend to sell my NSW regd car! I need a few days' notice, not 24 hours as seems to be happening with the approval process. And what happens if I then get knocked back? So now it seems I will have to apply again and hope the Dept of Home AffairsI will give me a decision with more notice.

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Exactly my point. What is to stop you from applying again for travel on May 1st? It doesn't ask you to show you have booked a ticket, just the flight you would take and from where you will depart as this can't be changed. The exemption simply unblocks your passport from travel restrictions.

The exemption specifically states "You do not need to re-apply for permission to depart if your flight details change, unless the departure airport changes."

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Ewar thank you, very helpful comments. I wonder if I apply again, if I have to refer to the earlier case reference they give you ( not having had any response, let alone a rejection), or if you just start all over again from scratch. I don't suppose you have the answer to that!

Hi everyone, this has been a helpful thread, and hoping we all hear back soon!

I'm a dual Aus/US citizen and my husband has been granted legal permanent resident status in the US. We need to travel by July to ensure his visa doesn't expire. We are due to travel end of June. I've put in our travel exemption form end of March, and have yet to hear. It's now been 1 month. It's really frustrating to not be able to follow up at all especially since this is a migration case, not just a quick trip over and back. From reading this, I'm starting to think they could tell us with a matter of hours notice- which is obviously not feasible to rent out house, sell car, quit job....! has anyone who is permanently migrating been granted theirs? if so, what was the time frame? I applied under compassionate reasons as I couldn't find any other category to really fit and used evidence of my passport, his green card, and the fact that my family still live in the US and we could be closer to my elderly parents. hopefully we all hear soon

27 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Please let me know when you get the exemption.

I'm in a similar situation, an AU citizen with US green card. I am currently in AU but if I stay out of the US for more than 6 months, border protection can question my intention of living in the US. I have to be in the US before July to avoid the situation.

will do. when have you applied? and when is your flight? there seems to be no way to follow up, no one will give any answers

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Having originally appled 2 April for a flight 22 May and heard nothing, I re-applied today, indicating a flight 30 April to permanently migrate to the UK, house sold, goods shipped, still car to sell. We shall see!

27 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Hi richardd and stephanie918,

Thank you for sharing your details.

I had a situation and I'm currently waiting for my new passport (hopefully I get it this week).

I guess I'll follow Richard's advice, apply for an exemption three days before the flight, and then change the flight for a later date. We don't need to apply for a new exemption if there is any change in flight dates provided your port of departure remains the same.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

kmahajan, surely US border protection would understand why you couldn't return earlier? And aren't they extending the normal period you can remain outside the country before the green card is cancelled in light of this situation?

Even Thailand, a country that was very slow to grant extensions is allowing PR holders an extra year to return. Normally they only allow a 1-year absence before the permit is cancelled. Unlike the USA, they don't question PR holders why they spend a lot of time abroad.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Stephanie, I applied originally 2 April, and heard nothing, my flight then was 22 May. I have now today applied again, with a 30 April flight date, so we shall see if that works a lot uicker, being a much closer date. Fingers crossed!

i like that strategy! I wonder if the double up in the system will screw anything up? hopefully not. let us know if this strategy works

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

I'll post when I hear back re my application, maybe not for another 2 days.

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hey Richard, my flight is on the 30th. But still haven't heard if I'm approved yet. I applied on the 22nd. Let me know if or when yours get approved. Cheers

what grounds did you apply under? business? migrating? i'm starting to think they must be approving business at the 11th hour....??

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

I applied under the compassionate category, but noted in my comments that I thought I might also qualify under urgent business.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Fingers crossed for you, and forbid both! I expect you will hear on 29th.

27 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Congrats Richard and thank you for sharing all the details.

Wish you the best for future.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

I have secured my permission to leave! After applying 2 April for a flight 22 May and getting no answer, today 27 April I applied for 30 April, and it has been approved the same day. I applied on compassionate grounds, and in my submission siad I felt I qulaified on urgent business grounds. I don't know whaich one worked. I am moving to the UK, one way. I sent proff of sale of house, that my furniture has been moved, that I have bought a house in the UK, that I have a medical certificate, and stated that since selling the house I have nowhere in Australia to live. Hope this info helps some other applicants out there. Here is an extact from the approval:

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has considered your request and the ABF Commissioner has determined that your application to travel is authorised. Your departing port has been notified of this decision.

You do not need to re-apply for permission to depart if your flight details change, unless the departure airport changes.

Richard, I'm so happy to hear you got your exemption through.

I'm an AU/ Irish citizen, set to move back to Ireland in July / August in a very similar situation to you. A close family member is ill, so I've secured a new job in to move us all back home. It would be very stressful to put everything in place for the move, giving up my job and flat, if travel is not a sure thing. I suspect that things will be quite different by July, but this is very reassuring!

19 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Nice mate! I fly out on the 30th too but still haven't heard anything. You recon I should reapply ??? Stressing hard haha

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Kylemull, you could try again if you think you can beef up your case with attachments which verify your statements, and you have a strong case. Good luck!

also did you mention your previous application? or mention why you might need to "change" it?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

No I did not refer to my earlier application.

last question :) seeing as your one way ticket is mid may, did you attach that in your new application given you said you're now leaving in April? or did you just mention that you bought a one way ticket. i could attach my one way, but it does saay June so that could contradict

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

No I mentioned I had a one way ticket, but did not submit ticket this time. I just said I planned to fly 30 April and showed airline and flight details identical to my booking on 19 May.

23 Apr 2020

Total posts 23

did you end up getting an exemption?

awesome Richardd! that's great, I'll re apply. did you add additional information in your second application? i'm thinking I could add more proof. i'll apply tomorrow

great news for you! so when are you actually traveling now?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Stephanie, just try to present strong arguments and back them up with proof as attachments. I fly Qatar 19 May. Good luck!

thanks so much, i'll give it a shot. i'm so happy for you!

27 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Anyone gone/going to Thailand ? I'm a citizen of the country and have booked for JUNE 12th on compassionate grounds Thai airports will be cloed, or that i wont get authorised to leave

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 133

John, Thai airports will be closed to inbound flights other than repatriation flights until May 31. At this stage, I doubt the closure will be extended beyond this date, since flight schedules are starting to show limited flights to/from Thailand from June 1. However, most flights won't resume until July 1, which is when flight schedules more or less return to normal, though with reduced frequencies. Being a citizen of Thailand makes things easier for you, since you'll be allowed back in any time, but a 14 day quarantine awaits you between now and May 31, not sure about what will happen on June 12.

28 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Hi,

I did see an earlier post about the situation I'm in but I wanted to know whether anyone else is in a similar situation also. I am an Australian citizen currently in Australia but am needing to go back to the US. I have been studying in the US for the past 4 years on a F1 visa. I have spent more time in the US than Australia in the past 12 months. Does this mean I wouldn't need to apply for an exemption?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

If you have spent more than 6 of the past 12 months outside Australia, you should not need a permit. If in doubt, you could always apply, explain your circumstances, provide as much supporting documentation as you can to make the decision easy for them, and that should work. You should know though, as I found out in my situation, they process applications only a day or two or three before the date you put in the your application that you want to fly. If you try it a month ahead of your planned departure date, you won't get a reply (at least as it is working now) until just before your stated exit date. You can put in any date, it must be from the same airport gateway, for instance Sydney or wherever you will fly from. You hve to put in the flight number, and state your destinatio. But you don't have to actually book or take that flight on that day. Hope this helps.

28 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Thanks so much for your help!

change in airline shouldn't matter, should it? just a change in departure port..?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Can't say for sure, I changed as little as possible.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

Correct.

28 Apr 2020

Total posts 1

Hi guys,

I'm an Australian citizen but trying to get back to Canada as I have a work permit. The only flights available stop in the USA. Are we allowed to enter the USA for a connecting flight?

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 10

I'm not 100% sure, but my understanding is that the USA does not have the same concept of 'transits' that the rest of the world does. All arriving international passengers have to clear customs and immigration before going onto another flight. Therefore, you may have issues with this arrangement.

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Does anyone know how I can word this situation so it may be considered for exemption, I met by bf 19 months ago.. his USA military I'm Aussie we met in Korea twice last year relationship is long distance, haven't seen him in 10 months was going to travel to USA for a month in May to determine if I'm going to move there see how I like it or stay here before he gets deployed again in July.... it's time sensitive and sort of detrimental to the survival of the relationship. They have asked me to resubmit with evidence... besides his military ID, tickets from last year.. messages and daily call logs... what other evidence do you think would help?

21 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Hey!

I'm in a similar position with not having any strong evidence so you'll have to let me know how you go.. would be very interested

Good luck!

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

I suggest getting him or perhaps even his parents if possible/appropriate to invite you, and state exactly where you would stay. Could you go for longer? It might help show greater commitment.

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

How would he invite me? Formal letter on a military memo?. I cant stay longer due to work commitments here. Just finished my nursing degree and doing my transition program that was the plan then go over there perminatly when he came back from deployment but this 3 weeks was crutial to see if I even like the place and If it would all work out.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 36

I suggest a letter addressed to the Dept of Home Affairs stating the relationship, the circumstances, and that he is inviting you to stay, and giving the address. Just a suggestion!

06 Nov 2018

Total posts 14

That is hardly to fall under compassionate or urgent grounds. Just wait awhile.

29 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Hi Richard - I have also received an exemption with the same wording that you posted above.

On my email it still had the word 'unclassified' at the top - was this the same for you?

Thanks