How to apply for a Travel Exemption to leave Australia?
With Australia's borders closed indefinitely and international travel bans being strictly imposed. It is extraordinarily tough for anyone to obtain a travel exemption to leave Australia. It has been reported that only around 25% of 90,000 applications have been approved (many of the approvals are granted after multiple attempts).
If you're considering applying for an exemption to leave Australia. We have compiled a list of recommendations before you hit that apply button.
Where do I apply for a Travel Exemption to leave Australia?
First things first. To apply for an outbound travel exemption you need to head over to https://travel-exemptions.homeaffairs.gov.au/tep
From here you can register yourself or on behalf of someone else.
Should I apply for a Travel Exemption to leave Australia?
This question is hard to answer as each case is assessed on it's own merits. However, applications with non urgent requests such as leisure/holidays or applications without supporting information will be promptly rejected.
Before you put an application in, consider the duration of your leave from Australia. Is it short term (1-6 months), long term (6-12 months) or permanent relocation? The chances of approval for a longer term departure will be far greater. This is because Australia also has inbound travel bans on top of the scarce flights available. When you want to return back to Australia, you might not be able to.
If you're intending for a short term departure. The urgency and reason of your application will be most important.
The government have provided a list of eligibility criteria as guidance to anyone considering applying. We won't go into detail on each of the categories in this blog post. But essentially applicant/s need to fall in to a few categories such as:
- Temporary Resident/VISA holder returning to their home Country
- Leaving for urgent medical care not available in Australia
- Conduct critical business outside of Australia
A comprehensive list of the eligibility criteria is here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia#toc-2
If you believe you have a compelling reason which is not outlined in the eligibility criteria, and still wish to apply, we suggest gathering and attaching ample supporting information to boost approval chances.
Home Affairs outlines that: All requests should be submitted at least two weeks, but not more than three months, prior to travel. And only one application needs to be submitted at each time (Don't spam apply, as this will do more harm than good).
What type of supporting information is required?
The list of supporting information is pretty exhaustive. Depending on the nature of your request, we recommend compiling the below information as a starting point for your application:
- Place of residence whilst abroad (Tenancy agreements or evidence of relations residence)
- Financial evidence - Means to support yourself whilst abroad
- Credit reports
- Employment contracts to conduct work or business
- Medical certificates/letters
- Deaths certificates
- Relationship certificates
- Overseas VISAs
- Testimonies from relations overseas
- Your own testimony justifying the reason why you're seeking to leave Australia
*If any of your supporting documents are not in English. Ensure they are properly translated in english before submitting your application.
What to expect after you submit your application?
You've made it this far. Well Done! Once your application is submitted, it will be assessed. The assessment of your application may take some time due to the volumes received by the department of home affairs. Keep an eye out for notification texts and emails with the outcome of your application.
If the outcome of your application is rejected, don't be discouraged and be resilient. Revisit your application, try to gather some more supporting information if possible, then re-submit. Not all applications are approved in the first go.
If your application has been approved. Congratulations! Now make sure your passport is current and valid for use. Keep on top of your flight details in case of cancellations and reschedules. And lastly, familiarise yourself with the destination Country's entry conditions and quarantine protocols.
We hope this post helps anyone looking to apply for an exemption to leave Australia. We wish you all lot's of health and safety as we all navigate through these challenging times.