Can my parents travel to Australia?
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in early 2020, the Australian Government has imposed strict international travel restrictions, limiting non-Australian Citizens and permanent residents from travelling to Australia, except for in very specific circumstances.
Previous definition of immediate family
The Australian government has allowed immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia, to travel to Australia. Previously, this definition was limited to:
- a spouse;
- a de facto partner;
- a dependent child; or
- a legal guardian.
Given the strict definition of ‘immediate family’, this has resulted in many families being kept apart for more than 18 months whilst Australia continues to respond to the COVID-19 situation.
Parents allowed to travel
However, on 15 October 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a broadening of the definition of ‘immediate family’ to include a parent of an adult Australian. This means that, from 1 November 2021, parents of Australian Citizens and permanent residents will be permitted to enter Australia. This will extend to:
- biological parents;
- legal (including adoptive) parents;
- step-parents; and
- parents in-law.
Though immediate family are considered ‘automatically exempt’ and therefore do not require an individual exemption to travel to Australia, parents will still be required to apply to the Department for recognition of this status through the Travel Exemption Portal.
Things to consider if your parents wish to travel to Australia
When submitting this application, your parents will need to provide evidence, including identity documents, and evidence that they are the parent of an Australian Citizen or permanent resident.
Your parents are also required to hold, or at least have applied for, a suitable Australian Visa to facilitate travel, and you should provide evidence of this within the application. The most suitable type of Australian Visa will depend on a number of circumstances, including eligibility and ability to meet the specific requirements of each subclass. This visa will need to be granted before your parents will be permitted to enter Australia.
Further, it is a requirement prior to travel to Australia that you parents are able to provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated with a recognised COVID-19 vaccine, and have a vaccination certificate that meets the Australian Government standards. Your parents will also need to have a negative test before being able to board their flight to Australia. Quarantine requirements upon arrival to Australia will also be dependent on the rules in each state and territory at the place of arrival.
The inclusion of parents as immediate family is a welcome and exciting change, particularly for those Australian families that have been kept apart for an extended period. However, these changes can be difficult to navigate, particularly when it comes to determining which visa subclass will best suit each family member’s needs, and the documentation you will need.
Ramsden Migration Lawyers
If you require assistance in bringing your parents to Australia in light of these changes, please contact our team of experienced migration lawyers on 1300 749 709.