Returning to Australia Updated 29 October 2021 1015 (GMT)
Travelling to NSW (Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne) or the ACT (Canberra)? There are new rules from 01 November 2021. Read more.
Check Travel arrangements, testing arrangements and UK visa
- Check your travel arrangements with your airline. That means letting them know if you have particular vulnerabilities, be they medical or financial. Your airline is familiar with how to flag vulnerable Australians within their inbound passenger allocation. If you encounter difficulties with this process, you can email us to help. We deal with a high volume of queries so please bear with us as we triage responses.
- Check coronavirus testing arrangements, arrangements for travel before the airport and the rules for entry: you will need a PCR coronavirus test to travel to Australia and you will need to complete an online declaration. You may also be asked to disclose your vaccination status as it relates to COVID-19. Learn more.
- Check your financial situation, housing situation and UK visa. Limited inbound capacity is causing disruptions to some scheduled commericial flights and bookings on those services. You should check your capacity to shelter-in-place if necessary, including how you will support yourself, where you will live and the visa you hold. There is support availiable which you can apply for.
- Check the travel rules for leaving Australia. From 11 August 2021, Australian citizens and permanent residents who are ordinarily resident overseas will not be automatically exempt from Australia’s outward travel restrictions. From this date, they must apply for a travel exemption through the Travel Exemption Portal at COVID19.homeaffairs.gov.au. If you are outside Australia and want to travel to Australia then return to your country of residence, you can apply for an outwards exemption before you arrive in Australia.
Apply Support for living-costs or flight-costs if you need it, extra time on your UK visa
- If necessary, apply for support with living-costs from the Australian Government. If you’ve checked your finances and you require support to shelter-in-place while awaiting your return to Australia, you can apply for assistance with living costs. This will provide you with an interest-free payment to secure accommodation and essentials for you and your family while you wait to go home. You can find out whether you are eligible and apply here.
- If necessary, apply for support with flight-costs from the Australian Government: if your ticket is cancelled with your airline, the Government maybe able to help you access additional capacity on another carrier. That may carry an extra cost. If you've checked your finances, and you wouldn't be able to quickly purchase an additional ticket due to your financial situation, you might be eligble for a fixed-price airfare repayable to the Government and you should apply as soon as possible. You can find out whether you are eligible and apply here.
- If necessary, apply for exceptional assusrance on your UK visa. If your travel is disrupted, and you have checked your UK visa and it is close to expiration, you’ll likely need to apply for the assurance scheme. If you have not been able to leave the UK and you have a visa or leave that expires before 30 September 2021 you may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’. You can check with the UK Government here and apply for an ‘exceptional assurance’.
Register Update your details with the government so we can best support you
- Registration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is not compulsory for Australians overseas. It is used to identify where and how Australians are so we can provide support. If you haven't already, you can register here.
- In the event you cannot access a scheduled commercial flight or your booking is disrupted, the Government uses the information in your registration with us to prioritise vulnerable Australians for facilitated commercial flights and to connect you with opportunities to return home. It is important you keep it updated with information on where and how you are. Update your registration here.