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Requirements for Travel to Australia

Great News! Australia has announced the reopening of its borders to all vaccinated visa holders, including tourists.
February 13, 2022

Australia closed its borders almost two years ago and has been progressively opening the borders since November of last year. 

The prime minister Scott Morisson announced on 7 February 2022 the final stage in Australia’s plan to reopen its international borders.

The Australian borders will reopen on 21 February 2022 for vaccinated tourists and other visa holders. 

Requirements for Travel to Australia

  1. Fully vaccinated

The bellow vaccines are recognised by the Australian Government for the purpose of travel to Australia:

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer)
  • Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)
  • Spikevax or Takeda (Moderna)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Janssen)
  • Nuvaxovid (Biocelect on behalf of Novavax).
  • Coronavac (Sinovac)
  • Covishield (AstraZeneca - Serum Institute of India)
  • BBIBP-CorV for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia (Sinopharm China)
  • Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)
  • Sputnik V (Gamaleya Research Institute)
  1. Unvaccinated travellers

Unvaccinated travellers will  need to provide proof that there is a medical reason that prevents them from being vaccinated before travelling to Australia and will still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia. 

If they receive a grant permission to travel, they will be subject to state and territory quarantine requirements.

Checklist when preparing to travel to Australia from overseas

  • Check if you are exempt from Australia's travel restrictions
  • Check if you can access reduced quarantine requirements
  • Obtain your foreign vaccination certificate
  • Complete an Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before your flight
  • Undertake a pre-departure COVID-19 test

At the airport

  1. Proof that you meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated, or proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. 
  2. Evidence of the negative pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test
  3. Evidence of an approved Commissioner’s exemption to travel to Australia (where relevant)
  4. Evidence that you hold an eligible visa (where relevant)
  5. The usual travel documentation including passport, immigration and customs declarations etc.
  6. Evidence that you have provided critical health information, which includes your contact details for Australia, a declaration as to your vaccination status and travel history for the previous 14 days. This is via the Australia Travel Declaration, submitted prior to departure as outlined above.
  7. Evidence of your approved modified quarantine arrangements (where relevant)
  • Preparing to leave Australia
  • Preparing to travel to Australia from overseas
  • COVID-19 testing and treatment

From 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need a valid travel exemption to enter Australia.

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible visa holders can travel to and from Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

You may also be able to travel to Australia without seeking a travel exemption if you are fully vaccinated and you are automatically exempt from Australia’s travel restrictions, or if you are travelling to Australia under a safe travel zone arrangement.  

All other people seeking to travel to Australia must apply for a travel exemption.

Note: From 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders will be able to travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

If you are coming to or from Australia you can check what you need to do before you travel by following the below guides:

  • Preparing to leave Australia 
  • Preparing to travel to Australia from overseas.

Fully vaccinated

You are considered to be fully vaccinated for travel to and from Australia if you have completed a course of a vaccine approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes mixed doses. Current approved or recognised vaccines and dosages accepted for travel are:

  • Two doses at least 14 days apart of:
    • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
    • AstraZeneca Covishield
    • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
    • Moderna Spikevax or Takeda
    • Sinovac Coronavac
    • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
    • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia)
    • Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V
    • Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid.
  • Or one dose of:
    • Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.

The TGA is evaluating other COVID-19 vaccines that may be recognised for inbound travel to Australia in future.

At least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA.

If you have not been vaccinated with the above doses or schedule, you do not meet Australia’s definition of ‘fully vaccinated.’ This includes instances where the dosing schedule or vaccine eligibility differs in your country of origin. There are some exceptions to this as outlined below.

Vaccination exceptions and arrangements for children

Travellers with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and children under 12 can access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travellers.

Arrangements are also in place in some states and territories to allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years to travel with a fully vaccinated adult.

If the child is travelling with unvaccinated adult family members, then the entire family group will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger caps.

Children aged under 12 years count as fully vaccinated for travel purposes. Their passport will be used as proof of age at the airport.

Passports will also be used as proof of age for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated 12-17 year olds.

Proof of vaccination when leaving or travelling to Australia

If you were vaccinated in Australia, you will need to show airline staff your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). The ICVC will be provided in PDF format for you to print or hold electronically on your phone.

If you were vaccinated overseas and do not have an ICVC, you will need to present a foreign vaccination certificate to airline staff that meets all of the requirements outlined on the Australian Passport Office website.

Getting a vaccination certificate does not mean that you are fully vaccinated. For example, your vaccination certificate may show that you have only had one dose of a two-dose vaccine. If your vaccination certificate does not prove that you that you meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated, you cannot use it for leaving or entering Australia. It is your responsibility to know your vaccination status and ensure your vaccine certificate supports your eligibility to travel to and from Australia. 

It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the requirements of the airline you are travelling with and any countries you transit.

You must also comply with all other travel and medical requirements for coming to Australia.

If the name on your vaccination certificate does not match your passport

If you are an Australian passport holder and you have changed your name, you can find information about how to get a new passport by contacting the Australian Passport Office.

If you were vaccinated in Australia but cannot get an ICVC because the name details on your vaccination certificate do not match your passport, you will need to contact the Australian Immunisation Register.

If you are travelling with a foreign vaccination certificate that does not match the name in your passport, you should also ensure that you have other evidence of your name, such as a marriage certificate or driver’s licence.

If you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons

If you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you will need to provide proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to airline staff. You should also check any requirements, particularly quarantine requirements, in the state or territory to which you are travelling. Proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons is separate to a Commissioner’s travel exemption.

Proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons when departing Australia

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident departing Australia you need to show evidence that you have a medical contraindication reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for all COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia. As proof you should provide your Australian COVID-19 digital certificate. You can otherwise provide your immunisation history statement.

If a temporary medical contraindication has been recorded on the AIR, the COVID-19 digital certificate will display a ‘valid to’ date. After this time, you will need to either:

  • check with your doctor to see if you can now get a COVID-19 vaccine; or
  • ask your doctor to update your status on the AIR if your medical contraindication is still valid.

If you cannot provide evidence that your medical contraindication has been listed in the AIR, you will need to apply for an exemption to leave Australia.

Only eligible health professionals as defined on the Services Australia website can report medical contraindications to the AIR. If you cannot demonstrate that your medical contradiction has been reported to the Australian Immunisation Register, you will need to apply for an exemption to leave Australia. 

 Proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons when coming to Australia

To access the same travel arrangements as fully vaccinated travellers, you must provide acceptable proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

If you are coming to Australia and have a medical contraindication recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) you can show an Australian COVID-19 digital certificate to airline staff. You can otherwise show your immunisation history statement.

If you do not have your medical contraindication recorded in the AIR you will need to show airline staff a medical certificate that indicates you are unable to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine because of a medical condition. The medical certificate must be in English and include the following information:

  • your name (this must match your travel identification documents)
  • date of medical consultation and details of your medical practitioner
  • details that clearly outline that you have a medical condition which means you cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination is contraindicated).

People who have received non-TGA approved or recognised vaccines should not be certified in this category and cannot be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.

The Australian Department of Health advises that previous infection with COVID-19 is not considered a medical contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination.

You can find information on medical conditions that mean vaccination is contraindicated on the Department of Health website. It also includes information on conditions not considered to be a contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination and not accepted for the purpose of a medical exemption to vaccination for travel to Australia. 

 You are responsible for ensuring your proof meets these requirements. Airlines will request your certificate at check-in.

You should check any requirements, particularly quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements, in the state or territory to which you are travelling as this will impact your travel arrangements.

If you are planning on traveling onwards to or through a different state or territory when you arrive in Australia, you need to check domestic travel restrictions. States and territories can apply their own travel restrictions.

You are responsible for complying with travel restrictions and requirements that apply to you. Please note: proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons is separate to a Commissioner’s travel exemption.

Quarantine and local requirements

Travellers to Australia need to comply with requirements in the state or territory of their arrival, and any other state or territories that you plan to travel to. This includes quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements. Restrictions may change at short notice. 

Quarantine requirements in Australia are determined by State and Territory governments.

If you wish to travel on to another state or territory you may not be allowed to enter, or may be subject to a quarantine period.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet entry, quarantine and post-arrival testing arrangements for each state or territory that you intend to travel to. You may be responsible for costs of quarantine if you arrive in a state or territory without meeting entry requirements.

 

New arrangements for eligible visa holders to Australia 

Fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. This includes eligible visa holders in Australia seeking to depart and return. You are not eligible to travel under this arrangement if you do not meet Australia’s vaccination requirements.

To be considered an eligible visa holder you must hold one of the following visas. If you have applied for the visa but it has not yet been granted, you are not an eligible visa holder.

Note: From 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders will be able to travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

 

Visa

Subclass 163 – State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa

Subclass 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa

Subclass 200 – Refugee visa

Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa

Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa

Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa

Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa

Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa

Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa

Subclass 402 – Training and Research visa

Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa

Subclass 405 – Investor Retirement visa

Subclass 407 – Training visa

Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa

Subclass 410 – Retirement visa

Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa

Subclass 444 – Special Category visa

Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa

Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa

Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa

Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa

Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa

Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa

Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa

Subclass 487 – Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa

Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 500 – Student visa

Subclass 560 – Student Temporary Visa

Subclass 571 – Student Schools Sector Visa

Subclass 572 – Vocational Education and Training Sector Visa

Subclass 573 – Higher Education Sector Visa

Subclass 574 – Postgraduate Research Sector Visa

Subclass 575 – Non-Award Sector Visa

Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa 

Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa

Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa

Subclass 786 – Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa

Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa

Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa

Subclass 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa

Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa



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