How to apply for an exemption from the foreign traveller ban

Posted: 20 March 2020 6:50 pm
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As new border restrictions for foreign travellers to Australia start today, some overseas citizens can apply for an exemption.

From 9pm AEDT today (20 March 2020) all foreign travellers will be banned from entering Australia in new rules established by the government in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This change in policy will apply to all non-citizens and non-residents – and in special circumstances, the immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

There is some hopeful news for some people who are affected by this new rule, as there is an option for applying for entry into Australia for these family members by making an application for exemption from the travel restrictions, as long as they have a "compelling or compassionate reason to travel to Australia urgently".

How to apply for exemption from travel restrictions

The applicant must provide a detailed explanation of why their family member should be considered and how they will be taking steps to self-isolate.

Applicants must send these details by completing this online form.

What to write

Here's a sample letter to make your life a little easier in these troubled times:

Dear Commissioner,

cc: [insert the email of the office of your local Federal Member of Parliament]

Please accept this application for an exemption from the incoming travel restrictions for my [describe immediate family member relationship: spouse/dependant or legal guardian].

I would be very grateful if you could please support my case, considering [explain the extenuating, compassionate circumstance here] and make a notation in the customer database allowing my [family member] to board their flight to Australia in [country] and allowed entry.

I commit to ensuring that my [family member] is in self-isolation [at home, in a hotel etc.] for 14 days as per the Department of Health guidelines, not visit any public places and not see visitors. In addition, I will ensure that we monitor them for symptoms that have been outlined by the government.

Please find attached proof of [family member]'s relationship with me, as well as evidence of return tickets for them back to [their home country].

Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely,[Your name]

Picture: GettyImages

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