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

 

Q: We have seen the travel ban and want to go back to Australia. Can the High Commission offer any support?

  • If you wish to return to Australia you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent and make arrangements to fly back to Australia. Australians can fly directly to Australia with Air Canada, or transit through the United States. Please note however, starting from 26 March, Air Canada flights to Australia will be progressively suspended. More information can be found here: https://www.aircanada.com/au/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html. Please check with airlines to confirm flight options. A number of other key international transit hubs to Australia are closing or becoming severely restricted.  These include Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong. The High Commission is not able to assist with travel arrangements.  Should you require emergency consular support, please call the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.

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?

  • Should you wish to remain, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities (please see below). Should you decide to leave, Australians can fly directly to Australia with Air Canada, or transit through the United States. Please note however, starting from 26 March, Air Canada flights to Australia will be progressively suspended. More information can be found here: https://www.aircanada.com/au/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html. Please check with airlines to confirm flight options. A number of other key international transit hubs to Australia are closing or becoming severely restricted.  These include Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong. Please note, transport options will likely become more limited as the situation progresses. If you remain in Canada, there is no guarantee you will be able to return to Australia when you had originally planned to.

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

  • As of 25 March, the Australian Government has instituted a travel ban to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Should you wish to return to Australia, you should do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Australians can fly directly to Australia with Air Canada, or transit through the United States. Please note however, starting from 26 March, Air Canada flights to Australia will be progressively suspended. More information can be found here: https://www.aircanada.com/au/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html. Please check with airlines to confirm flight options. A number of other key international transit hubs to Australia are closing or becoming severely restricted.  These include Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong. Transport options will likely become more limited as the situation progresses. If you wish to return to Australia, you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent to make immediate arrangements to do so.

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?

  • 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.

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: otwa.passports@dfat.gov.au.

    The Australian Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver are also open for passport and notarial services on an appointment basis only. Appointments can be made by phone at 416-323-4280 (Toronto) or 604-694-6160 (Vancouver) but we encourage only those with urgent or imminent travel to come to a Consulate. We are receiving a large volume of calls and emails, so response times may be slightly longer than usual.

    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?

  • Please contact a passport officer by calling the Australian High Commission in Ottawa, the Australian Consulate-General in Toronto or the Australian Consulate in Vancouver. Details available at: 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?

  • As of 25 March, the Australian Government has instituted a travel ban to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Should you wish to return to Australia, you should do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Australians can fly directly to Australia with Air Canada, or transit through the United States. Please note however, starting from 26 March, Air Canada flights to Australia will be progressively suspended. More information can be found here: https://www.aircanada.com/au/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html. Please check with airlines to confirm flight options. A number of other key international transit hubs to Australia are closing or becoming severely restricted.  These include Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong. Transport options will likely become more limited as the situation progresses. If you wish to return to Australia, you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent to make immediate arrangements to do so. Please note: From 11:59 pm Saturday 28 March, 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. This will be at your city of arrival into Australia no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship. See pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-270320 for details

Q: I have a flight booked that has a layover in the United States. Am I still able to transit through the United States to get home to Australia?

  • Australians in Canada who are trying to return to Australia with an itinerary transiting through the United States may still be able to do so. However, this situation may change at short notice as the US and Canadian Governments introduce new boarder control measures. You must contact the US Pre-clearance Office at the Canadian airport you are departing from to confirm that you will be permitted to board your flight and transit through the US.  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

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?

  • 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: From 11:59 pm Saturday 28 March, 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. This will be at your city of arrival into Australia no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship. See pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-270320 for details. 

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.  Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents will be exempted from the travel restriction. Immediate family means spouses (including de-facto relationships), dependents and legal guardians. Prior to travel you will need to submit this form and they should not travel until they receive advise that they can. Appropriate documentation to prove family link will be required. Please note: From 11:59 pm Saturday 28 March, 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. This will be at your city of arrival into Australia no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship. See pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-270320 for details. 

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

  •  Yes, all travellers, regardless of nationality, are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Australia. From 11:59 pm Saturday 28 March, 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. This will be at your city of arrival into Australia no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship. See pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-270320 for details

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, upon arrival in Australia, you will also be required to self-isolate.

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?

  • 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. 

List of federal, provincial and territorial health authorities: