What is the new change in law for travel exemptions?
A new law recently came into effect on 11 August 2021 that removed the automatic Overseas Travel Ban Exemption for Australian citizens and permanent residents that live overseas. The health minister, Greg Hunt, amended the legislative instrument to tighten the travel rules on Australian citizens or permanent residents entering and exiting the country.
Prior to this change, if an Australian citizen was ordinarily resident in another country, they would be automatically allowed to leave to return to their overseas home without an exemption.
What does this mean?
It is essentially an extension of the government’s border ban that restricts Australian citizens and residents that live overseas from returning there without an approved exemption if they come to Australia for a visit.
The reason why this is important is that applications for exemptions to leave the Australia to return to their homes could now be denied. This could, in some cases, discourage those that live overseas to return home to care for a family member or for other personal reasons if they were concerned they would not be permitted to return home.
When does it come into effect?
Australian citizens and permanent residents currently in Australia visiting have until the 7th of September to depart the country to return to their overseas home. Following this date, an exemption will need to be approved under the new law.
Previously, travel exemptions had a three month expiry, Under the new laws, however, this is no longer the case. Those with travel exemptions approved before 11 August 2021, who have not yet travelled, may only use this exemption for a single departure from Australia.
What will visiting Australian citizens and residents that live overseas need to do after the 7th September?
For those outside Australia who want to travel to Australia then return to their country of residence, they will need to apply for an outwards exemption before arriving in the country.
For travellers from India and PNG – conditions have reverted to those that were previously imposed following the high level of pandemic infection in the previous weeks.
Australian citizens and permanent residents/INDIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA (‘PNG’) changes to travel exemptions.
The details of this legislation can be found here: Biosecurity (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Amendment (No. 1) Determination 2021
Do you need help with an exemption?
If you need advice or assistance on an outwards or inwards travel exemption, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation.