From 1 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to travel to and from Australia without a travel exemption.
Previously, only Australian citizens, permanent residents, and a very small group of visa holders were able to travel without obtaining an exemption.
For businesses and universities hit with the worker shortage and economic downturn, the reopening of our international borders is a welcome step on the path to recovery. The Australian government estimates around 200,000 temporary visa holders to take advantage of the relaxed travel restrictions.
Who is an 'eligible visa holder'?
Eligible visa holders – including skilled workers, working holiday-makers, international students, and refugees – as well as citizensof Japan and South Korea travelling from those countries can enter Australia from 1 December 2021, as long as they meet certain limited conditions (see below).
You are an eligible visa holder if you hold one of 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
What qualifies as 'fully vaccinated'?
International travellers must be fully vaccinated. To qualify as ‘fully vaccinated’, you must have had two doses at least 14 days apart of:
Bharat Biotech Covaxin
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60 year olds)
Or one dose of:
Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine
At least 7 days must have passed since your final vaccine dose. Mixed doses count, so long as the vaccines have been approved or recognised by the TGA. You must also obtain an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) as proof of vaccination.
Travellers who have evidence they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and children under 12, will also qualify.
Will individual State quarantine arrangements still apply?
Travellers returning to Australia can only enter and travel between NSW, Victoria and the ACT without quarantining. Other States will have their own quarantine requirements upon arrival. Before travelling, ensure you check the quarantine arrangements of the individual State you are travelling to on the Australian government’s website.
In short, you will be able to enter Australia without applying for a travel exemption from 1 December 2021 if you:
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