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Australian Immigration Law Update: Australian Travel Waiver Update

by | Mar 16, 2021 | Migration, Travel Waivers

New requirements have been set by the Australian Border Force (ABF) for anyone who is travelling to, or transiting through Australia, after 22 January 2021.  Travellers must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to their airline. This test must be taken within 72 hours or less before the scheduled departure.

If a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test cannot be provided, the airline will not allow the passenger to board the flight.

Please note that there are some pre-departure testing exemptions, and these are:

  • Children aged under 5 years (4 years and younger) at the time of check-in for the scheduled flight departure
  • People with a medical condition (who can provide a medical certificate)
  • International air crew
  • Travellers on a designated green safe travel zone flight
  • People travelling from countries where COVID-19 PCR testing is not reasonably available. Exemptions for this purpose will be determined by Australia’s Director of Human Biosecurity

Along with the above changes, a further change is that an expiry date has now been imposed on outbound travel waivers under the following category:

  • Travel for three months or longer out of Australia

However, the above list is not exhaustive as imposing an expiry date may be at the discretion of an ABF officer. If your travel exemption has been imposed with an expiry date, you must make arrangements before the set date otherwise you will be required to apply for a new travel exemption.

Lastly, for any Australians who wish to depart Australia for three months or longer, it is mandatory to provide a signed form of a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration. The Statutory Declaration must state that the intended travel from Australia will be more than three months. Evidence supporting the travel exemption may include:

  • confirmed flight itinerary, with return date of at least three months after departure date
  • confirmation of leave from employment for three months
  • enrolment confirmation for study
  • a doctor’s certificate to support the claim of travelling in order to provide care for sick family members
  • any other matter that the traveller wish to raise in support of the request for exemption.

Note: A person who makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence – refer to section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959.

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