Travel Exemptions

Travel Exemptions Australia

Temporary Skill Shortage visa

If you aren’t travelling from New Zealand, or if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or a close relative of one), you will need a travel exemption to enter Australia.

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:

  • a foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) (see below)
  • students who have been selected to take part in an International Student Arrivals Plan that has been approved by the relevant state or territory government, and endorsed by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment as satisfying the Protocols and Preconditions for International Student Arrivals.
  • students who are in their final three years of study of a medical university degree, who have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice. The placement must commence within the next two months, and provide medical services to the Australian public.
  • a student completing year 11 and 12, with endorsement from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), and support from the relevant state or territory government health and education authorities. Further information regarding this process can be found at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
  • a student in your final two years of study of a dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which begins within the next two months.
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
  • a Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holder in the following circumstances:
    • where the subclass 300 visa has been granted; and
    • the subclass 300 visa application was lodged at least 12 months before submitting a travel exemption request.

    This means if you applied for a subclass 300 visa on or before 18 August 2020, and you have now been granted your subclass 300 visa; you are eligible for an inwards travel exemption on 18 August 2021.

If you are coming to Australia for work and are a foreign national sponsored by your employer, you must be working in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) (see below).

If your occupation is not on the PMSOL, you may be granted an exemption if you are:

  • travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response; or 
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies; or 
  • with critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services (such as in medical technology, critical infrastructure, telecommunications, engineering and mining, supply chain logistics, aged care, agriculture, primary industry, food production, and the maritime industry); or
  • delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery (such as financial technology, large scale manufacturing, film, media and television production and emerging technology), where no Australian worker is available; or
  • providing critical skills in religious or theology fields

The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

The original 19 occupations (ANZSCO code) are:

  • Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
  • Construction Project Manager (133111)
  • Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  • Veterinarian (234711)
  • General Practitioner (253111)
  • Resident Medical Officer (253112)
  • Psychiatrist (253411)
  • Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
  • Midwife (254111)
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
  • Registered Nurses nec (254499)
  • Developer Programmer (261312)
  • Software Engineer (261313)
  • Social Worker (272511)
  • Maintenance Planner (312911)

On 22nd June 2021, a total of 22 new occupations were added to the PMSOL. They are:

  • Accountant (General) (221111)
  • Accountant (Taxation) (221113)
  • Accountant (Management) (221112)
  • External Auditor (221213)
  • Internal Auditor (221214)
  • Electrical Engineer (233311)
  • Civil Engineer (233211)
  • Structural Engineer (233214)
  • Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
  • Transport Engineer (233215)
  • Mining Engineer (233611)
  • Petroleum Engineer (233612)
  • Surveyor (232212)
  • Cartographer (232213)
  • Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
  • Orthotist / Prosthetist (251912)
  • Multimedia Specialist (261211)
  • Analyst Programmer (261311)
  • Software and Applications Programmers (261399)
  • ICT Security Specialist (262112)
  • Chef (351311)

On 27th July 2021, a further three occupations were added to the PMSOL. These are:

  • Hospital Pharmacist (251511)
  • Industrial Pharmacist (251512)
  • Retail Pharmacist (251513) 

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Your request must include:

  • traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
  • proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
  • your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
  • a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
  • accompanying evidence.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts at This is Australia have applied for and been granted numerous travel exemptions for their clients. Contact us today to arrange for one of our dedicated Migration Agents to assist you in applying for your travel exemption.

Call +61 (0)7 5592 0755
Or book an appointment with one of our registered migration agents.
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It’s important to note that the government is continually reviewing arrangements for visas during the pandemic. Each visa class has different concessions, and these concessions may change at any time. Contact us or call us on +61 7 55920755 for up to the minute information and advice.

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