All temporary visa holders, as well as Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents, must apply for a travel exemption to enter Australia. If granted, travellers must adhere to strict entry requirements upon their arrival, which includes evidence of their vaccination exemption.
In recent days there has been an intense legal battle between world number one tennis player – Novak Djokovic – and the Australian Minister of Home Affairs surrounding whether or not he complied with Australia’s entry requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
Djokovic’s visa was cancelled upon his entry to Australia, whereby he had spent several days in immigration detention. This was due to the finding that he had not obtained an adequate (COVID-19) vaccination related exemption upon entry. This is a requirement for entry to Australia for all unvaccinated travellers. Conversely, meeting Australia’s entry requirements are a condition on all Australian Visas. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in visa cancellation or swift deportation, similarly to Djokovic.
You are considered to be “fully vaccinated” for travel to and from Australia if you have completed a full course of a vaccine approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Those who are not fully vaccinated must provide proof of a medical contraindication recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register or their immunisation history statement. Alternatively, unvaccinated travellers must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated. This is by way of a medical certificate must be in English and include the following information:
- full name (matching the travel identification documents);
- date of medical consultation and details of the medical practitioner; and
- details that clearly acknowledge that there is a medical condition which means the traveller cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination is contraindicated).
If an unvaccinated traveller entering Australia cannot provide any of the above by way of an exemption, they will fail to meet Australia’s entry requirements and may also be detained or deported.
The TGA’s list of recognised COVID-19 vaccines are limited. If a traveller is not fully vaccinated with one of the below vaccination types, they will not be considered “fully vaccinated” for the purposes of travel to Australia:
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria;
- AstraZeneca Covishield;
- Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty;
- Moderna Spikevax;
- Sinovac Coronavac;
- Bharat Biotech Covaxin;
- Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60 year olds); and
- Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for a travel exemption or meeting Australia’s entry requirements, do not hesitate to contact our team.