Australian Government Continues Its International Travel Ban Until March 2021
Australian international travel ban has been imposed since the early of 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. Since that day, many travellers had to postpone their plan to visit Australia or worked their best to get a travel exemption from Australian Border Force.
With its international travel ban, the Australian Government announced the extension of its international travel ban until March 2021 following the extension of the biosecurity emergency period.
Even though the Australian Government continues its international travel ban, it does not mean you lose your hope to migrate to Australia. It is still better to prepare your Australian visa plan as soon as possible. Hence, once the international border reopens, you already hold a valid visa and you may enter Australia without any issues.
Australian International Travel Ban And Its Period
Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the Australian Government, through the Australian Border Force, implemented a strict border measure for international flights. It aims to protect the Australian community from the pandemic.
The restriction also subjects to change. Therefore, the Australian Government does not state the exact date of when the international borders will reopen.
Currently, the Australian Government only allows travel exemptions for people who meet the travel exemption criteria. The majority of travel exemptions are processed in 7 days, but it will take a longer time for complex cases.
All travellers arriving in Australia must be in the exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption.
Who Is Exempted From Australian International Travel Ban?
Australian Government only allows people who are in the exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to come to Australia. The Australian Government will directly exempt you from the travel ban if you are:
- An Australian citizen or permanent resident,
- An immediate family member of Australians,
- New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia and their immediate family member,
- A person who has been in New Zealand for 14 days,
- A diplomat accredited to Australia and their immediate family member,
- A person transiting in Australia for 72 hours,
- Airline crew, maritime crew, including marine pilots,
- A person recruited under the Government approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme,
- A Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa holder.
Meanwhile, you will get an individual travel exemption if you are:
- A foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority to assist in the COVID-19 response;
- A foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority;
- Providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies;
- A foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia;
- A foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL);
- Military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement;
- A person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where haven is sought;
- A student completing year 11 and 12, with support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department;
- A student in your final years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months;
- Travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
Australian Government Update On Its International Travel Ban December 2020
The Federal Government of Australia announced the international travel ban would continue until 17 March 2021. It is following the extension of the biosecurity emergency period which put restrictions on overseas flights and cruise ships.
It will mark a full 12-months international ban since the Australian borders slammed shut on 18 March 2020.
The Federal Government of Australia emphasised the global situation is still challenging and dangerous as the disease spreads as quickly as ever.
Hence, the Federal Government believes Australia won’t be entirely safe as long as the international community is still in danger.
To protect the health of the Australian community, the Federal Health Minister of Australia, Greg Hunt, expects the first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available in March 2021.
It is one of the various steps that the Australian Government does to protect the health of Australians. The vaccine injection will be free for all Australians and Medicare-eligible visa holders.
The Government will put front-line healthcare and aged care workers as well as the quarantine staff whose jobs put them in the high-risk of exposure and transmission as the priority for the vaccine injection.
Then, the people with a high risk of contracting covid-19 due to their age and health conditions will be given second priority. The third priority will be those workers who are described as essential services workers.
Along with the action, it is hopeful that Australians will be protected with the influx of travellers entering Australia.
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Will There Be Compulsory Vaccination For Travellers?
Australian National Vaccination Policy suggested that Australian visitors are to be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or hold two weeks of user-pays hotel quarantine.
It is supported by Alan Joyce’s statement regarding the mandatory vaccination for all Australians who will travel overseas once international travel returns in 2021.
There will likely be an exemption for New Zealand or other COVID-safe travel countries as well as passengers who have medical exemptions.
With this plan in place, the airline, together with the Australian Government, is currently working on the management of ‘COVID vaccination passport’.
How Will The Extended International Travel Ban Affect Your Visa Application?
If you are planning to apply for an Australian visa application, you may still continue with your plan even though the Australian international border will not open until next March 2021.
You are still able to apply for an Australian visa as long as you have met all the requirements. It will be better to prepare your visa application sooner.
Does this apply to offshore partner visa application too? Yes, it does! If you have applied for an offshore partner visa, but now you are stuck in Australia, you may still proceed with your partner visa application. The Department will grant you your offshore partner visa application even though you are in Australia right now.
However, you need to make sure that you have a valid visa to remain in Australia during the processing of your partner visa.
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