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Exciting New Changes at Australia’s Border

TANG LAW is pleased to hear of a selection of new, long-awaited updates to border policies in Australia.

International Borders Re-opening

On 1 October 2021, the Australian Government announced its intention to begin the gradual process of opening its international borders conditional on the success of the nationwide vaccination plan for States and Territories reaching 80% full vaccination rates.

NSW will kick off this process from the start of November, with fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents permitted to leave and re-enter the State still having to quarantine for 14 days and get a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours upon arrival. These restrictions will be removed upon the state reaching 90% full vaccination levels. Those under 12 years old and exempt from getting the vaccinations will be receiving a ‘recognised vaccination’ permitting them to travel.

However, the implementation and quarantine arrangements of this policy will vary nationwide with many jurisdictions not due to reach the full vaccinate rates until December 2021 and some may enforce home quarantine programs on re-entering Australia. WA Premier Mark McGowan has stated to not expect the State will open its borders until 2022.

Temporary Visa Holders

Under these rules from November, those holding a temporary visa will generally be permitted to leave the country, but still subject to restrictions in re-entering Australia. The Australian Government has yet to make a decision on the following groups of visa holders:

  • Skilled visas;
  • Student visas; or
  • International visitors travelling under an ETA or international visa arrangement.

Therefore, travel to Australia will generally not be open to temporary residents during the initial stages of this border re-opening policy and such changes not expected to be introduced until next year.

Travel Exemptions Update

On 15 October 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that parents of Australian citizens and permanent citizens will be classified as immediate family for purposes of travel exemptions to enter Australia.

This is great news for many families who have been seeking options for their mothers and/or fathers to join them in Australia since the start of pandemic restrictions from March 2020. These updates also come as hopeful news for many in time for Christmas celebrations!

The Migration team at TANG LAW has significant experience in preparing and lodging a variety of visa applications. If you would like to seek advice on your immigration options, give us a call today and we can help you find the best pathway for your migration journey to Australia.

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