Australian Borders Close In Response to Covid-19 Threat

Responding to Covid-19 Threat Australian Borders Close To All Non-Residents

Effective 9.00pm AEDT on 20 March, 2020 ONLY Australian Citizens, residents and immediate family members will be allowed to travel to Australia. 

Key points

  • All non-residents will be banned from arriving in Australia from 9:00pm AEDT today.
  • This ban replaces earlier travel bans on foreigners coming from China, Iran, Italy and South Korea
  • Australians who return from overseas will still need to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the enhanced border measures in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

It applies to all people who are non-citizens and non-residents such as temporary visa holders and visitor visa holders.

Australian passport holders and permanent residents will still be able to return from overseas but they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

What is an Australian citizen ?

A person who holds a current Australian passport

What is an Australian resident?

1          A person who is not a passport holder of Australia but holds a permanent resident visa.

2          A New Zealand passport holder who is usually resident in Australia

You can come to Australia. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel. You must carry proof of residency (driver’s licence or documents in relation to your residency).

Who is an immediate family member of an Australian citizen and permanent resident?

In this case, immediate family means:

  • spouses
  • dependents
  • legal guardians

Without visa – You can’t come to Australia until you have a visa.

Apply for a visa and include proof (such as your marriage certificate, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children). If you are able to travel, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

With a temporary visa (except for Partner and Child visa holders) – Attach proof (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, birth certificate or birth certificate for children.

Do not travel until Immigration advises that you can. If the person is permitted to travel, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

Partner and Child visa holders (except Prospective Marriage visa holders) can come to Australia. They will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

New Zealanders Living In Australia

Mr Morrison said he had consulted New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about Australia’s new travel ban prior to announcing it.

“The New Zealand arrangement, in the same way as it has in the past, doesn’t apply to Australians living in New Zealand as New Zealand residents,” he said.

“Equally for New Zealanders living in Australia as Australian residents, these are the same rules that apply in both countries.

“We have worked today to align what we’re doing and I appreciate that openness.”

From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

Further to our announcement last night on the closure of Australia’s borders we have received the following information today.

What does this mean for HR Managers?

Plan A:

If you have visa holders overseas such as 482, 457, 400, 417 (working holiday) and business visas (ETA’s) and they are unable to arrive in Australia by 9pm AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) this evening  – they will not be cleared in their home country (country of departure) for travel to Australia. In this instance we suggest that you delay their travel.

Plan B:

If you have visa holders who are currently in Australia and their visa such as 482,417,457 or ETA is expiring and they cannot or do not wish to depart Australia – then they may able to apply for a visitor visa which will enable them to remain in the country.

Need to know more?

Should you need any information regarding the latest travel bans, or want to talk to someone regarding the options available to your employees in order to remain in Australia until the travel ban is lifted, please reach out to the Visa Executive team – TEMI’s Australian immigration advisers.

Amanda Tinner
Fellow of the MIA
MARN 0325139
Mob: +61 (0) 409 969 525
Skype: trounson

Published by: The Employee Mobility Institute, March 2020  

About the Author:

Amanda Tinner
Amanda Tinner, Visa Executive Pty Ltd, Fellow of the MIA, MARN 0325139

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