Australia Bans the Entry and Departure of Non-Essential Travelers Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concerns

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By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka, Armando Escobedo, Gladys Gervacio


To help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Australian government has restricted travel into Australia. Only Australian citizens, residents, and their immediate families can enter, and pre-approval may be required in certain circumstances. There is also a ban on travelers leaving Australia, effective beginning March 25, 2020. Limited exceptions may be granted.

Who May Enter Australia?

Under the current travel restriction, only Australian citizens and residents, and their immediate family members, may enter the country. “Residents” refers to permanent residents only, and New Zealand citizens who normally reside in Australia. All travelers to Australia must self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival, whether at home or in a hotel.

The immigration department must pre-approve the entry of immediate family members that are on temporary visas, prior to their entry into Australia. Spouses and de facto spouses of Australian citizens must also go through the pre-approval process before attempting to enter the country.

The Australian government may consider “compelling or compassionate” reasons for temporary residents to return to Australia, including involvement in public health or critical business projects.

Transit Within and Outside of Australia

People already present in Australia may be pre-approved to travel throughout the country. However, there is a ban on leaving the country, effective beginning March 25, 2020 until further notice. Exemptions may apply for those who are pre-approved to travel.

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For help managing coronavirus-related immigration and travel concerns, please contact our experienced attorneys for immigration assistance.

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