Covid-19 has also made its way to Australia. Since March the borders to Australia are closed for tourists and Work and Travellers (as well as most other visa holders).
In this article we will give you current information about entering Australia and will inform you as soon as this is possible again without problems. We will also explain where you are currently allowed to go and where not, based on the individual states and territories of Australia.
- Can I travel to Australia
- Can I travel within Australia
- Can I travel from Australia to other countries
- What about the planned Tasman Bubble between Australia and New Zealand
- Covid-19 App for Australia
- Important information regarding Working Holiday Visa for Australia
- Alternative Visa options during Covid-19
Can I travel to Australia
Since 20.03.2020 the international border to Australia is closed. Since then, only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members, including spouses, legal guardians and dependants, can enter Australia.
Get our free Australia Package now and let us inform you when the travel restrictions for Australia are lifted.
Entry into Australia is currently not possible for anyone with a temporary Australian visa. This includes all tourist visas, Working Holiday Visas and all other temporary visas. The only exception to this are those with special permits granted by Homeaffairs Australia. These exemptions are for example issued for your transit back to your home country.
An exemption can also be applied for people with jobs in critical areas. For all other persons there are currently no ways to enter Australia.
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Can I make a transfer via an airport in Australia
The transfer via an airport in Australia is currently possible. However, if you are staying for more than 8 hours, you will need to apply for a transit visa as well as the travel exemption for your transit through Australia. You will also need this exemption as well as the transit visa (subclass 771) if you have to pick up and check in your luggage again. For example because you have booked your flights separately.
Depending on the transfer airport, you may also need a special permit from the state where you want to transit.
Can I travel within Australia
Currently, you cannot travel within Australia without restrictions. Depending on the current spread of Corona, the governments of the individual states impose travel restrictions for certain areas or states and territories. Here we give you an overview of the currently known restrictions.
I wish to travel to (or within) the following Australian state
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- New South Wales (NSW)
- Northern Territory (NT)
- South Australia (SA)
- Victoria (VIC)
- Western Australia (WA)
Am I allowed to visit my family in Australia
You can visit your family in Australia if it is absolutely necessary. However, you must apply for an exemption. In addition, you will be taken to a state quarantine facility upon arrival and will be responsible for the costs (approximately 2000AUD) for 14 days.
Can I just travel around Australia
At the moment, many border closures between the individual states and territories make it difficult to travel. Within most states you can travel without any problems. The current Corona Hotspots are an exception and might stop you from travelling around if you visited one of these areas.
The crossing of the State Borders is in most cases only possible with a special permit. The current terms and conditions for entering the individual state can be found two sections above.
Can I travel from Australia to other countries
Tourists & citizens of other countries: You can leave Australia without any problems. A return after leaving the country is currently not possible.
Holders of temporary visas: Exit is possible, if the destination has no restrictions or border closures. Entry into Australia is currently not possible.
Australian and permanent residents: If you are Australian or permanent resident in Australia, you can currently only leave the country in very specific cases.
Possible travel excemptions include (among others) the following reasons:
- Your journey is part of the help against Covid-19 for other countries.
You are traveling commercially for critical industries (including import and export industries) and this trip is unavoidable.
- Travel for medical treatment that is not available in Australia.
- You are travelling on urgent personal issues (e.g. death of a close family member or similar).
- Your journey is due to humanitarian reasons.
- The trip is in the national interest of Australia.
If your trip falls under one of these reasons, you must apply for a travel permit via the Australian Homeaffair website at least 4 weeks before the start of your trip.
What about the planned Tasman Bubble between Australia and New Zealand
The proposed Tasman Bubble with New Zealand is postponed indefinitely.
A dual travel agreement between Australia and New Zealand was planned here. This was intended to enable unrestricted travel between the two countries without isolation after arrival. Due to the current pandemic situation in Australia, however, this is not expected to happen in the near future.
According to the latest statements, New Zealand is ready for the bubble with Australia, but is waiting until the situation in Australia is under control.
As soon as there are news about the Tasman Bubble we will share them with you in our post.
Covid-19 App for Australia
The use of the COVIDSafe-App is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect yourself, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe App, the faster the virus can be found and the faster it can be prevented from spreading.
The COVIDSafe app is available in English, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese.
How the COVIDSafe App works for Australia
You can register to use the app by entering the following data:
- A name (which can also be a alias)
- Mobile phone number
You will then receive a confirmation text message to complete the installation. Based on this information COVIDSafe will generate an encrypted reference code for the app on your phone.
For COVIDSafe to work, the app must be running on your phone in the background. You can use other apps at the same time.
If you have had contact with a person infected with Covid-19, you will receive a message on your mobile phone and can then be tested accordingly.
Important information regarding Working Holiday Visa for Australia
Alternative Visa options during Covid-19
During Covid-19, Australia created a special visa for certain groups. If your profession and employment is within the criteria, you can apply for the so-called “Covid-19” visa (subclass 408).
- Are you currently outside Australia,
you cannot currently enter Australia with your WHV.
- Are you already in Australia with your WHV,
you can still apply for your Working Holiday extension when you have completed your farm days. If you apply from within Australia, applications are still processed. Please expect delays. More about the extension of the WHV in our guide “Second Working Holiday Visa for Australia“.
- You didn't work enough specified work days, but still want to stay in Australia?
From 28 days before the expiry of your current visa, you can apply for the Covid-19 visa (subclass 408), if you meet the requirements. (Requirements for the Covid-19 Visa Subclass 408)
- Do you want to do a Work and Travel in Australia but have not yet applied for or did get your visa approved?
In this case we recommend you wait until the situation in Australia eases up again. Currently homeaffairs does not process visa applications for WHV if you are outside Australia.
Australia Covid-19 Visa (Subclass 408)
The so-called Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408) – Australian Government Endorsed Events was issued for the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With this visa you can stay in Australia if you have no other visa options and cannot currently leave Australia.
You can also apply for this visa and stay in Australia if you work in one of the critical sectors (including farms, food processing, healthcare, elderly care or child care).
If you are working in the medical sector, you can also apply for this visa.
Your Subclass 408 visa has been refused or you have individual questions regarding your visa application for Australia?
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Other related posts for you:
- Everything about the Covid-19 Visa (Subclass 408) for Australia
- The ultimate working holiday guide for Australia
- The best apps for your Australia journey
Ciao Julian 🙂
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