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Travel Ban Exemption


travel ban exemptions for those caught in the Australian travel ban and can't enter Australia from the Philippines


Australia has a travel ban in place. I think everyone knows this. We will display this for everyone so that everyone understands, but not all of you will be eligible.

If you are not eligible, we will tell you when you do your assessment….or if you requested a visa during this time. And if you are, we will apply for this at the same time as the tourist visa application.

NOTE: This is aimed primarily at educating our many existing Down Under Visa clients. Those who are not Down Under Visa clients and want qualified help, please do a Free Visa Assessment. See the link at the bottom.


Exempt People


  • Australian Citizens.
  • Anyone with a permanent visa. This includes anyone with a “temporary” partner visa, like a 309 and an 820. It includes Child Visas and Dependent Child Visas. (Sorry, but NOT Prospective Marriage Visas!)
  • Anyone with a NZ Citizen Family Relationship Visa.

If this is you, then you don’t need an exemption. 


Who can apply for an exemption?


This is for those visas which are NOT exempt, but are eligible for a Travel Ban Exemption:

  1. if we apply for it for you, and
  2. If they Department are convinced that you are eligible

So this is NOT an automatic process!

This is actually quite an annoying and often frustrating process. I think I’d rather a trip to the dentist to have wisdom teeth removed! The applications are processed by the Border Force people. They are NOT processed by the Immigration section of the Department of Home Affairs, and I won’t say any more!


Who is eligible to apply for an Exemption?


Temporary visa holders and applicants (eg tourist visas, including those who intend applying for permanent visas later) who:

  • are spouses (via MARRIAGE or GENUINE *DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP) of an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident and therefore members of his/her family
  • are the children of Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • are guardians of a child of an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident

* Thinking or “feeling” you are in a de facto relationship doesn’t cut it. Saying “We got a Registered Relationship Certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages” without having clear evidence of being in a de facto relationship for around 12 months (ie setting-up-house together, combining finances, purchases, leases, and being known and recognised as being in a committed relationship by family and friends), is not going to work. Nor is it going to work if you took three trips to the Philippines and stayed 2 weeks in a hotel.


That means no:

  • Girlfriends/boyfriends
  • Fiancees
  • Parents
  • Adult children who are not dependent on the Australian
  • Other relatives



Process of apply for a Travel Ban Exemption


We will apply for you, obviously. We have done plenty of these, and whilst they are often a struggle we do persist.

  1. We write a statement as to why you should be exempt
  2. We prepare evidence that you are a spouse/child/guardian etc, and if a spouse or child then a member of the sponsor’s family
  3. Lodge this with Border Force, and wait


Please note!

  1. We use what evidence we have on-hand, but IF we need more evidence we will ask you for it. That means:
    1. Do not complain!
    2. Do not say “But we already sent you…….!!” We ask you for more if we NEED more. We are helping you, OK?

2. Also please understand that we often get a refusal first time. What do we do? We keep trying! Sometimes this has taken 5 or 6 attempts before they grant it, yet we persist.

3. We always tell you when something significant happens. You know this. We do NOT tell you if an application for a travel ban exemption is refused! Why? Because this is routine! It’s not actually “significant” in the scheme of things. We just keep trying.

4. If I did tell you? We lodge plenty of these, and we re-lodge plenty of these. If I had to explain each and every time they said NO, I would need to devote an entire day a week to swapping emails with you and watching you get more and more stressed! Please leave us to it, OK?



Free online visa assessment form from Down Under Visa


COVID CONCERNS? Australian visas ARE still being granted. We can assess you (a) for an Australian visa AND (b) for a travel ban exemption. CLICK HERE and find out!


Jeff Harvie is a Registered Migration Agent from Australia, but resident in Philippines since 2010 with his Filipina wife Mila and large extended family. Experienced with the Philippines culture, cross-cultural relationships and bureaucracy as well as Australian visas and Australian Migration Law, he writes with authority and fortunately with enough informality and humour that the average Aussie gets it! Down Under Visa specialises in visas for Australians in relationships with ladies and gents from Philippines, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Read MORE


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