There are quite a number of people, especially Partner Visa applicants and Prospective Marriage Visa holders and applicants, that are affected by the COVID-19 travel ban on entering Australia.
Some of these have applied for an exemption to the travel ban, and many have been successful, albeit not always at the first attempt.
It is important, when submitting an exemption application, to provide all the required information to prove your case.
The Home Affairs website on this quotes the following:
Apply online for an exemption
You need to apply for an exemption at least 4 weeks, but not more than 3 months, before your planned travel.
To complete a travel exemption request you should already hold a visa and you should provide information and documents to support your request. This may include the following:
- proof of identity
- evidence that you hold a valid visa
- travel itinerary
- marriage, birth, death certificate/s
- proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
- letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
- letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
- supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
- statutory declaration to support your claims.
Please do not submit multiple requests for one traveller, as only the most recent request will be processed.
Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time
The above information is at: covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions
I have seen information on travel ban exemptions being granted to Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300) holders, and Partner Visa (subclass 309) applicants with a subclass 600 visitor visa, or an existing ETA (subclass 601) visa.
Sometimes the exemption is granted after a few attempts, possibly due to increasing the relevant information each time, to finally provide what is needed.
I have seen that between 2nd February 2020 and 6th May 2020, only 262 inbound travel exemptions were refused, while 6,872 were granted, and allowed to enter.
During the same period, 1,065 applications for an exemption to enable outbound travel were refused with 2,937 being granted.
Illogically, the government seem to be happier to let people enter Australia, than leave.
I am not sure what the numbers are like after May 2020, but I feel they might have refused many more during June and July.
Contradictory Media on Travel Ban Exemptions.
One Media Story for Inward Travel Exemptions:
The Department of Home Affairs has revealed that it received a total of 40,147 requests for travel exemptions from persons seeking to enter Australia, during the period 20 March to 3 June 2020.
According to the latest available figures, the Department said it has approved 968 requests on compassionate grounds, 514 of applicants possessing critical skills, 329 requests of people on temporary protection visa or Safe Haven Enterprise visas, and 263 of people possessing critical skills in the field of medicine, among other categories who have been allowed to enter the country as of June 1.
Another Media Story:
Between February 2 and May 6, 6872 inbound travel requests were allowed and 262 refused.
And another for Outward Travel Exemptions:
Of the 4,002 Outwards Commissioner Discretions lodged from 25 March 2022 to 6 May 2020, 3,937 travel exemptions were approved. (ie: 65 were denied)
Between February 2 and May 6, applications for an exemption to enable outbound travel were granted in 2,937 cases and denied in 1,065 cases.
Oh… those two reports have very similar numbers, 3,937 and 2,937, with 1,065 and 65. It seems one of the reports is out by 1,000 !! Or, it is one big coincidence.
The official PDF report showing those dates, is no longer available.
Some Visa Applicants might find an Experienced Australian Migration Agent of great assistance.