Australian High Commission
Canada
Responsibility for Bermuda

Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Please see below for responses to commonly asked questions related to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

Australians Residing Abroad & Travel to Australia

Q: I want to go back to Australia. Can the High Commission offer any support?
Q: I have seen the new cap on international arrivals to Australia. I have a flight booked in the near future. Will I still be able to get home?
Q: I hold a Canadian visa (ex: study/work/holiday visa). Will my visa be affected by the new border measures in Canada?
Q: I am an Australian on a working holiday visa in Canada and have seen the updated travel recommendations. I do not wish to leave Canada at this time, am I allowed to stay for the time being?
Q: I am on a working holiday visa in Canada. Should I go back to Australia or is it too late to leave now?
Q: I am an Australian in Canada and have been laid-off from my job due to COVID-19. Am I able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
Q: I am an Australian citizen who is/will be an international student studying in Canada. What should I do?
Q: I’m an Australian in Canada on a working visa. Am I still eligible for health care if I have been laid off due to COVID-19?
Q: I am an Australian currently on working/holiday visa in Canada, but am travelling in a third country at the moment. Will I be able to get back into Canada or will I be forced to return to Australia?
Q: I am an Australian currently on a working/holiday visa in Canada, but have travelled back to Australia for period of time. Will I be able to return to Canada?
Q: I am an Australian currently living in Canada. Am I still able to travel domestically within Canada, despite the ongoing coronavirus situation?
Q: Is the High Commission in Ottawa still open? Am I still able to come in if I have any questions or concerns?
Q: I need to fly back to Australia but my passport is close to expiration/expired. What do I do?
Q: I’m an Australian citizen residing in the United States, can I renew my passport in Canada?
Q: What evidence do I need to provide at the airport to prove I am the family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident?
Q: I am currently scheduled to travel back to Australia in the near future. Should I try to get on an earlier flight?
Q: Can I transit into the United States from Canada by using land, rail and ferry crossings in order to get back home to Australia?
Q: I recently arrived in Canada and have been instructed to self-isolate. Can I return to Australia during this period? 
List of federal, provincial and territorial health authorities
List of the state and territorial health authorities in Australia

 

Visas and Quarantine Details

Q: I have been approved for an IEC visa and have a job offer. Am I allowed to travel to Canada?
Q: I am an Australian citizen, will I be able to get back into Australia?
Q: I am an Australian Citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?
Q: Will I have to self-isolate if I return to Australia?
Q: Will I have to pay for my self-isolation when I land in Australia?
Q: I have received notification that my Australian visa has been approved.  Will I still be able to travel?
Q: If I change my travel plans can I still use the same visa to travel after the travel restrictions are lifted or will I need to apply again?
Q: I would like to withdraw my application for an Australian visa as I no longer wish to travel.  How do I do this and will I get a refund?
Q: I was granted a visa to travel to Australia but was not able to commence my trip due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.  Will I be refunded the visa application fee as I have not travelled?
Q: I recently travelled to Australia on a student visa but had to return to my home country due to the concerns of COVID-19.  Am I able to get a refund or a partial refund for the visa application fee?
Q: I currently hold a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa.  Will I be subject to the current travel restrictions?
Q. Do I need to apply for an exemption in order to transit through Australia en-route to a third country?
Q. Are holders of a Diplomatic visa (subclass 995) and their family members required to complete an exemption?

 

Q: I want to go back to Australia. Can the High Commission offer any support?

  • Australians are currently not able to fly directly from Canada to Australia. Direct flights between Canada and Australia remain suspended, and we are unsure when they will recommence, please monitor the Air Canada website for their latest advice. Commercial options remain via third countries, however flights are subject to change at short notice. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to predict future changes to flight routes or availability. Please confirm details directly with the airline or a travel agent.

Transiting via the United States

  • Due to limited airline service, flights via the United States may involve multiple stops within the United States, and may require the purchase of separate tickets for each leg. Please confirm with your airline or travel agent to determine if you will need to re-check baggage.
  • We understand that the United States is still permitting transit as long as the traveller can demonstrate onward travel without an extended stay in the United States. It is recommended that all travel between Canada, the United States and onward to Australia be completed on the same day, or as close to that as possible.
  • Travellers with concerns regarding transit via the United States should contact the local United States Consulate, or may also try calling the US pre-clearance office at their closest major airport. You can find the number of the US Pre-clearance Offices located at Canadian airports at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance.
  • Please note, if you have travelled in China, Iran or certain European countries during the past 14 days, you may not be able to transit through the United States. United States Customs and Border Protection have suspended entry for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their travel to the U.S. More information is available here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe.

Other Options

  • Other options to fly back to Australia may be available through the Middle East, Asia or Europe/UK hubs, subject to airline schedules, transit restrictions and visa requirements.  You will need to contact your travel agent or preferred airline to identify these options.

Canadian airports

  • Please note: all air travellers in Canada are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering, or you won’t be able to travel: http://ow.ly/USFU50zhZ73. All airlines and intercity trains will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board. You can transit Canada to a third counrty. However, the Canadian airport you travel through must have transit facilities to permit you to connect to your next flight without having to clear customs or immigration to enter Canada.

Arriving in Australia

  • All international travellers arriving in Australia, regardless of nationality or point of departure, must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g. hotels), before they can go home. Some States may charge travellers for mandatory quarantine stays. Several states in Australia have also introduced a limit (cap) on international travellers permitted to arrive daily or weekly in response to COVID-19. Travellers should refer to Australian State Government websites for up-to-date information on current entry restrictions and quarantine requirements (links below). Please contact your airline or travel agent to confirm travel.

Q: I have seen the new cap on international arrivals to Australia. I have a flight booked in the near future. Will I still be able to get home?

  • There is currently a cap on overseas travel coming into Australia. These caps will stay in place until at least 24 October, 2020. It is ultimately a matter for each airline to determine which passengers are boarded on a flight in accordance with the cap arrangements. If you’re wishing to return home, contact your airline or travel agent in the first instance for information on any changes to their flights. If you have already contacted your airline, and still require assistance, please reach out to one of our consular officers, during regular business hours, on: +1 613 236 0841 (Ottawa), +1 416-323-4280 (Toronto) or +1 604-694-6160 (Vancouver). While we acknowledge that caps on international arrivals into Australia have made it difficult for Australians abroad to return home, we are not able to liaise with airlines to determine if your flight will be affected. If you require emergency assistance after-hours, please contact the 24hr Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (within Australia). More information on the Government’s travel caps can be found here: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19/trying-get-home 

Q: I hold a Canadian visa (ex: study/work/holiday visa). Will my visa be affected by the new border measures in Canada?

Q: I am an Australian on a working holiday visa in Canada and have seen the updated travel recommendations. I do not wish to leave Canada at this time, am I allowed to stay for the time being?

Q: I am on a working holiday visa in Canada. Should I go back to Australia or is it too late to leave now?

  • The decision to stay in Canada or go home is yours. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to predict future changes to flight routes or availability.  

    Should you wish to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Direct flights between Canada and Australia remain suspended, and we are unsure when they will recommence, please monitor the Air Canada website for their latest advice. owever commercial options remain through third countries. Flights are subject to change on short notice – please confirm details with the airline or travel agent. Should you wish to remain, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities (please see below) and follow Smartraveller’s recommendations for Australians who will be remaining overseas for the foreseeable future: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/covid-19-cant-get-home. Before deciding to stay, we strongly advise that you ensure that you have adequate access to health coverage and valid health insurance that covers a pandemic situation. As well you should be certain that you have sufficient finances and resources to be able to stay in Canada. It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay in Canada for an extended period of time. Should you wish to make an enquiry regarding the status of your current Canadian visa, you will need to contact the Canadian authorities. This can be done via the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Client Support Centre here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/contact-ircc/client-support-centre.html. If you are unable to obtain information from contacting IRCC, or through reviewing the information on their website, including their help centre (https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/index-featured-can.asp), please contact the Canadian High Commission in Canberra to see if they can direct you to the information you require: https://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/australia-australie/index.aspx?lang=eng. For up-to-date information regarding existing Canadian visas, please visit IRCC’s website here: contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on: +1 888 242 2100  or by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19.html. 

Transiting via the United States

  • Due to limited airline service, flights via the United States may involve multiple stops within the United States, and may require the purchase of separate tickets for each leg. Please confirm with your airline or travel agent to determine if you will need to re-check baggage.
  • We understand that the United States is still permitting transit as long as the traveller can demonstrate onward travel without an extended stay in the United States. It is recommended that all travel between Canada, the United States and onward to Australia be completed on the same day, or as close to that as possible.
  • Travellers with concerns regarding transit via the United States should contact the local United States Consulate, or may also try calling the US pre-clearance office at their closest major airport. You can find the number of the US Pre-clearance Offices located at Canadian airports at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance.
  • Please note, if you have travelled in China, Iran or certain European countries during the past 14 days, you may not be able to transit through the United States. United States Customs and Border Protection have suspended entry for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their travel to the U.S. More information is available here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe.

Other Options

  • Other options to fly back to Australia may be available through the Middle East, Asia or Europe/UK hubs, subject to airline schedules, transit restrictions and visa requirements.  You will need to contact your travel agent or preferred airline to identify these options.

Canadian airports

  • Please note: all air travellers in Canada are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering, or you won’t be able to travel: http://ow.ly/USFU50zhZ73. All airlines and intercity trains will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board. You can transit Canada to a third counrty. However, the Canadian airport you travel through must have transit facilities to permit you to connect to your next flight without having to clear customs or immigration to enter Canada.

Arriving in Australia

  • All international travellers arriving in Australia, regardless of nationality or point of departure, must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g. hotels), before they can go home. Some States may charge travellers for mandatory quarantine stays. Several states in Australia have also introduced a limit (cap) on international travellers permitted to arrive daily or weekly in response to COVID-19. Travellers should refer to Australian State Government websites for up-to-date information on current entry restrictions and quarantine requirements (links below). Please contact your airline or travel agent to confirm travel.

Before deciding to stay

Q: I am an Australian in Canada and have been laid-off from my job due to COVID-19. Am I able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be available to workers who are residing in Canada and have a valid social insurance number.  Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents (including temporary foreign workers and international students) may be eligible to receive the CERB if they meet the eligibility criteria as reflected on the Government of Canada website. The eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html.

Q: I am an Australian citizen who is/will be an international student studying in Canada. What should I do?

  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published detailed information on how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting visitors, foreign workers, and students. Please visit the IRCC website here for information and updates related to your study permit. Individuals with concerns related to their scholarships or housing should reach out to their host institutions in Canada as a first point of contact. Please note, upon your arrival in Canada, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. If you do not have an adequate place to self-isolate, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will designate a facility where you must remain for 14 days. More details on the Government of Canada’s border closure and quarantine requirements can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

Q: I’m an Australian in Canada on a working visa. Am I still eligible for health care if I have been laid off due to COVID-19?

Q: I am an Australian currently on working/holiday visa in Canada, but am travelling in a third country at the moment. Will I be able to get back into Canada or will I be forced to return to Australia?

  • The Canadian Government has closed Canada’s borders to foreign nationals from all countries from entering Canada. For details of the Canadian border closure, as well details of various exemptions, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html. Please note, upon your arrival in Canada, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. If you do not have an adequate place to self-isolate, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will designate a facility where you must remain for 14 days. More details on the Government of Canada’s border closure and quarantine requirements can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

    If you are required to return back to Australia, contact your airline or travel agent to make alternative travel arrangements immediately. Please note, upon your arrival in either Canada or Australia, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Details of Australia’s self-isolation requirements can be found below.

Q: I am an Australian currently on a working/holiday visa in Canada, but have travelled back to Australia for period of time. Will I be able to return to Canada?

Q: I am an Australian currently living in Canada. Am I still able to travel domestically within Canada, despite the ongoing coronavirus situation?

  • All airlines and intercity trains in Canada will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Passengers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board. Should you wish to stay in Canada, we recommend that you follow the advice of local health authorities in whatever area you reside and that you stay up to date on their advice, as the situation is evolving quickly. A list of provincial and territorial health authorities can be found below. Some provinces currently have border restrictions in place to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Please follow the advice of local health authorities and are aware of local rules and regulations before deciding to travel domestically. A list of provincial and territorial health authorities can be found below.

Q: Is the High Commission in Ottawa still open? Am I still able to come in if I have any questions or concerns?

  •  Yes, the High Commission in Ottawa is still open, however due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and recommendations from municipal, provincial, and federal health authorities, we have moved to an appointment-only model. Should you wish speak with one of our consular staff or make an appointment to visit the High Commission, please call us at +1 613 236 0841. If you are calling in regards to a passport application or inquiry, our passport officer can also be reached at +1 613 236 0841, or via email at: [email protected].

    The Australian Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver are also open for passport and notarial services, and are ready to support Australians who are seeking consular support or advice. If you wish to speak with a consular officer in one of those cities, or to make an appointment to visit the Consulate, they can be reached at +1 416-323-4280 (Toronto) or +1 604-694-6160 (Vancouver) during regular business hours.

    Please do not attend the High Commission or either Consulate if you fall into any category requiring self-isolation by public health authorities.

Q: I need to fly back to Australia but my passport is close to expiration/expired. What do I do?

  • The Australian High Commission in Ottawa and the Australian Consulate-General in Toronto or the Australian Consulate in Vancouver remain open to provide essential passport and consular services during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your passport is expired or nearing expiration and you have imminent travel plans, please contact a passport officer at your nearest mission as soon as possible. Our contact details can be found here: https://canada.highcommission.gov.au/otwa/appointments.html. Please note: all passport services are by appointment only.

Q: I’m an Australian citizen residing in the United States, can I renew my passport in Canada?

  • Australian citizens in the United States should arrange to lodge their passport applications at the nearest Australian mission in the United States. Here is a list of our missions in the United States: https://usa.embassy.gov.au/passport-locations

Q: What evidence do I need to provide at the airport to prove I am the family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident?

Q: I am currently scheduled to travel back to Australia in the near future. Should I try to get on an earlier flight?

  • Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to predict future changes to flight routes or availability. Should you wish to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Flights are subject to change on short notice – please confirm details with the airline or a travel agent.

Transiting via the United States

  • Due to limited airline service, flights via the United States may involve multiple stops within the United States, and may require the purchase of separate tickets for each leg. Please confirm with your airline or travel agent to determine if you will need to re-check baggage.
  • We understand that the United States is still permitting transit as long as the traveller can demonstrate onward travel without an extended stay in the United States. It is recommended that all travel between Canada, the United States and onward to Australia be completed on the same day, or as close to that as possible.
  • Travellers with concerns regarding transit via the United States should contact the local United States Consulate, or may also try calling the US pre-clearance office at their closest major airport. You can find the number of the US Pre-clearance Offices located at Canadian airports at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance.
  • Please note, if you have travelled in China, Iran or certain European countries during the past 14 days, you may not be able to transit through the United States. United States Customs and Border Protection have suspended entry for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their travel to the U.S. More information is available here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe.

Other Options

  • Other options to fly back to Australia may be available through the Middle East, Asia or Europe/UK hubs, subject to airline schedules, transit restrictions and visa requirements.  You will need to contact your travel agent or preferred airline to identify these options.

Canadian airports

  • Please note: all air travellers in Canada are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering, or you won’t be able to travel: http://ow.ly/USFU50zhZ73. All airlines and intercity trains will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board. You can transit Canada to a third counrty. However, the Canadian airport you travel through must have transit facilities to permit you to connect to your next flight without having to clear customs or immigration to enter Canada.

Arriving in Australia

  • All international travellers arriving in Australia, regardless of nationality or point of departure, must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g. hotels), before they can go home. Some States may charge travellers for mandatory quarantine stays. Several states in Australia have also introduced a limit (cap) on international travellers permitted to arrive daily or weekly in response to COVID-19. Travellers should refer to Australian State Government websites for up-to-date information on current entry restrictions and quarantine requirements (links below). Please contact your airline or travel agent to confirm travel.

Q: Can I transit into the United States from Canada by using land, rail and ferry crossings in order to get back home to Australia?

  • No, Australians in Canada who are trying to return to Australia with an itinerary transiting through the United States can only do so by air.  Transit by land, rail or ferry crossing is not permitted.

Q: I am an Australian citizen, will I be able to get back into Australia?

  • Yes, you will be allowed back into Australia. Please note: all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, we are unable to provide information on when the quarantine requirements for travellers arriving in Australia will end. See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, and domestic travel restrictions, please contact the relevant state or territory health department (links below).

Q: I am an Australian Citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?

  • The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions to Australia to help stem the spread of COVID-19. If you or a family member wish to apply for an exemption, prior to travel you will need to submit this form. Do not travel until you receive advice that they can. Appropriate documentation to prove family link will be required. See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. The Department of Home Affairs is considering a large volume of requests for exemptions and there is currently no online facility to check the status of the request you submitted. Requests are only escalated in emergency situations. Please note: that there is no guarantee of approval for exemption or a decision on your request for exemption prior to your intended flight. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, and domestic travel restrictions, please contact the relevant state or territory health department (links below).

Q: Will I have to self-isolate if I return to Australia?

  • Yes, all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, we are unable to provide information on when the quarantine requirements for travellers arriving in Australia will end. See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, and domestic travel restrictions, please contact the relevant state or territory health department (links below).

Q: Will I have to pay for my self-isolation when I land in Australia?

  • Many states have now introduced a fee for their quarantine arrangements. You may have to contribute to the costs of  quarantine depending on which state or territory you are arriving into and when you purchased your ticket. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, domestic travel restrictions, and fee structure, please contact the relevant state or territory health department (links below).

Q: I recently arrived in Canada and have been instructed to self-isolate. Can I return to Australia during this period?

  • If you are already in Canada and currently going through a 14-day self-isolation period, you must complete this before your onward journey to Australia. In all circumstances you must follow the instructions of local authorities. Please also be aware, all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, we are unable to provide information on when the quarantine requirements for travellers arriving in Australia will end. See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, and domestic travel restrictions, please contact the relevant state or territory health department (links below).

Q: I have been approved for an IEC visa and have a job offer. Am I allowed to travel to Canada?

  • Effective May 8th, 2020 and lasting until further notice, only foreign nationals currently outside Canada who: (i) hold a valid IEC work permit or Letter of Introduction; and (ii) have a current and active offer of employment will be permitted to enter Canada.  Please note that this new provision applies to all three streams of IEC work permits: international co-op, young professionals, and working holiday.  Foreign nationals who do not have a job offer, should not come to Canada at this time.  Further, those who do have a job offer and are currently outside Canada must confirm that their employer is not subject to mandatory closure of non-essential businesses and will be able to start their employment after the 14-day isolation period before making any travel arrangements. More information can be found on the International Experience Canada website and a web page we developed on Questions and Answers related to COVID-19 from IRCC.

Q: I have received notification that my Australian visa has been approved.  Will I still be able to travel?

  • As of 25 March, the Australian Government has instituted a travel ban to help stem the spread of COVID-19. It will be important to monitor the information on the Department’s website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus. There is no provision to extend the validity of visas, even if the visa holder has not travelled with their visa.  Once the travel restrictions are lifted, if you intend to enter Australia past the validity of your visa, you will need to submit a new application and pay the visa application charge. For more information please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website at:  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/staying-australia#3

Q: If I change my travel plans can I still use the same visa to travel after the travel restrictions are lifted or will I need to apply again?

  • If you will be travelling within the validity period of your visa you will not need to apply again.  You can access our online Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check your visa conditions.  If your visa was granted after 1 February 2020 and you are affected by current travel restrictions, you will not be able to check your visa details and conditions using VEVO until the restrictions are lifted.  You should refer to your visa grant letter or access your ImmiAccount for this information.

Q: I would like to withdraw my application for an Australian visa as I no longer wish to travel.  How do I do this and will I get a refund?

  • If your Australian visa has not been granted and you would like to withdraw your application you will need to advise us of this in writing.  You can complete the form 1446 and attach it to your ImmiAccount or, alternatively, attach a letter clearly stating that you no longer wish to proceed with your application.  Please note that visa application charges are paid to assess your application.  Should you wish to withdraw your application you would not be refunded this fee. 

Q: I was granted a visa to travel to Australia but was not able to commence my trip due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.  Will I be refunded the visa application fee as I have not travelled?

  • The visa application charges (VACs) are a legal requirement for most visa applications. The VAC is payable regardless of the visa outcome or travel details.  Refunds are only issued in very limited circumstances.  These circumstances are referenced on question 21 of the Form 1424 – Refund Request.  For more information, please refer to the Home Affairs website.

Q: I recently travelled to Australia on a student visa but had to return to my home country due to the concerns of COVID-19.  Am I able to get a refund or a partial refund for the visa application fee?

  • The visa application charge (VAC) is the fee paid to assess your application and refunds are only issued in very limited circumstances.  Refunds would not apply where visa holders are unable to stay in Australia for the duration of their visa validity.  If you wish to return to Australia after the travel restrictions are lifted, you would need to submit a new application for a visa and pay the new visa application charge.

Q: I currently hold a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa.  Will I be subject to the current travel restrictions?

Q: Do I need to apply for an exemption in order to transit through Australia en-route to a third country?

  • Foreign nationals that will be transiting through Australian airports en-route to another foreign destination for a period of 72 hours or less will not be required to apply for an exemption. If the period awaiting a connecting flight in Australia is greater than 72 hours, the person will not be considered to be transiting and will require a discretionary exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions. You must follow the quarantine requirements in the state or territory that you arrive in. You may need to stay in hotel accommodation and you may be asked to pay for your stay, while you are waiting for your onwards flight. For information on quarantine requirements contact the relevant state or territory government health department.

Q: Are holders of a Diplomatic visa (subclass 995) and their family members required to complete an exemption?

  • Diplomats accredited to Australia, and their immediate family members, holding Diplomatic (subclass 995) visas are not required to apply for an exemption to travel to Australia. While Diplomats are not required to undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine on arrival into Australia they should isolate at their mission or in their usual place of residence on arrival for 14 days and continue to practise physical distancing, cough etiquette and hand hygiene.

Federal, provincial, and territorial website links:

State & Territory website links: