Australia opens its borders for eligible visa holders

Announced on November 22nd; from 1st December 2021, triggering its final phase of international travel resumption, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be welcomed into Australia without the need to apply for travel exemptions.

This much-anticipated decision will open Australia’s doors for skilled migrants, tourists, backpackers and international students to arrive over summer and will be music to the ears of retail, hospitality, educational and agricultural enterprises, so long deprived of international input.

Eligible visa holders will be those who hold the following visas:

Subclass 200 – Refugee visa

Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa

Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa

Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa

Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa

Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa

Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa

Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa Stream)

Subclass 407 – Training visa

Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa

Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa

Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa

Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa

Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa

Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa

Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa

Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa

Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa

Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional visa)

Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 500 – Student visa

Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants)

Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa

Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa

Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa

Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa

Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa

In addition, Australia will welcome back fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions outlined on Travel restrictions and exemptions.

Fully vaccinated Japanese and Korean citizens may also visit major Australian states, without a requirement for quarantine.

From December 1st fully vaccinated, substantive holders of visas listed above, Australian citizens, permanent residents, or those deemed to be exempt will not require travel exemptions to travel to and from Australia.

For travel to and from Australia, holders of Bridging visas, substantive visas which do not appear on the above list or those who are not in an exempt category will, at this time, still need to apply for travel exemptions.

Requirements for qualification as “fully vaccinated”

For the purposes of travel, Australia recognises only those administered with the required dosages of TGA approved vaccines.

Acceptable vaccines: Two doses, received at least 14 days apart:

AstraZeneca Vaxzevria

AstraZeneca Covishield

Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty

Moderna Spikevax

Sinovac Coronavac

Bharat Biotech Covaxin

Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60 year olds)

Or one dose of:

Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.

Vaccination exceptions – Arrangements for children

  • Travellers who, for medical reasons, cannot receive vaccinations will need to provide acceptable evidence of their medical exemptions. Quarantine requirements may possibly apply, varying from state to state.
  • Unvaccinated children under 12 will be able to access the same travel arrangements as fully vaccinated adults.
  • Arrangements are in place, which allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children to travel with their fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
  • If the child is intending to travel with unvaccinated adult family members, the entire group will be deemed as unvaccinated.
  • Passports will be used as proof of age.

Visitors will be required to return a negative PCR test, carried out within three (3) days prior to departure.

Quarantine requirements vary

Travellers entering Australia will be welcomed into and may travel between NSW, Victoria and the ACT without a requirement for quarantine.

Regulations vary, from state to state. At the moment, travellers wishing to arrive or to visit other states, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia or Tasmania, may either be refused entry or they may be subjected to a state quarantine period.

To obtain a travel exemption

Applications for travel exemptions must be submitted at least two weeks but not more than two months prior to anticipated travel. They must be accompanied with all supporting documentation and information, evidencing individual circumstances and need.

We’re here to help

At Sellanes Clark, we are always ready to offer qualified assistance. We understand the complexities of evolving immigration and legal issues and we recognise the many advantages of prompt action.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the friendly migration lawyers at Sellanes Clark – specialising in all immigration matters.

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