Changes to travel exemptions for Australians who normally live overseas
From 11 August 2021, if you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident who normally lives overseas, you’re no longer automatically exempt from Australia’s overseas travel restrictions. You can still leave Australia. But you’ll need to apply for an exemption and demonstrate your links to the country where you usually live. A transitional period applies until 7 September.
This change brings travel exemption requirements in line with those for other Australians, keeping the system fair for all.
The change will better assist vulnerable Australians overseas to return home.
If you’re currently in Australia and leaving the country after 11 August, you’ll also need to apply.
If you’ve already received an exemption to leave and have not yet travelled, you can depart using your existing exemption. You don’t need to apply for new exemption unless you’ve already travelled using your previous approval or wish to depart again in the future.
Transitional period until 7 September 2021
Until 7 September, if you arrive at the airport in Australia without an exemption you’ll be allowed to travel if your status as ordinarily resident overseas can be confirmed by an Australian Border Force officer at departure. You’ll need to apply for an exemption in advance through the travel exemptions portal for any future travel.
Applying for an exemption
You can apply for the exemption to return to your usual place of residence prior to travelling to Australia.
You’ll need to provide supporting evidence such as:
- foreign government issued documentation,
- evidence of residence overseas, or
- evidence of employment or business interest overseas
Submit your application at least two weeks, but not more than two months, prior to travel. If you’re travelling for compassionate reasons, you can apply inside this timeframe and the Department of Home Affairs will prioritise your application. You don’t have to book flights before requesting a travel exemption.
For more information or to apply for an exemption visit the Department of Home Affairs website.