Parents can apply for travel exemption to Australia
Parents of citizens and permanent residents will be breathing a sigh of relief after the federal government opened up travel exemptions to come to Australia once international borders reopen next month.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced a major change in the definition of families would mean the parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents would be classified as “immediate family”.
He signed off on the change this week, meaning parents – be that biological, adoptive, legal, step-parents or parents-in-law – can now apply for an exemption from Friday.
Applications for a travel exemption can be made through the Home Affairs Department’s travel exemption portal for travel after November 1.
Speaking on 2GB, Mr Morrison said the change would enable families to be reunited for Christmas.
“There's a lot of people out of India, the UK, the US, who want to come home and be here for Christmas and be with their family here at Christmas, so that will enable that,” he said.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the change was only possible due to Australia’s high vaccination rates.
“For more than 18 months, many families with parents overseas have missed weddings, funerals, the birth of grandchildren and other significant events. I thank these families for their patience and their sacrifice over this period,” Ms Andrews said.
“The change is possible because many millions of Australians have rolled up their sleeves and been vaccinated.
“I look forward to further easing travel restrictions over coming weeks and months as Australia’s vaccination rate continues to climb.”
To apply, evidence of a parental relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident is required by the department as well as a valid passport and visa.
Parents must also be fully vaccinated with a jab recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Travel is still subject to state and territory quarantine arrangements.
Mr Morrison said he hoped as vaccination rates climbed, jurisdictions would speed up the rollout of home quarantine options.
“I was very confident of that as we got to where we’ve got with the vaccination rates … so it’s good it’s opening up.
“But there are a lot of Queenslanders … they can’t get home, I think we’ve got to get them home.
“We’ve got to get home quarantine working for them so they can get home.”
Originally published as Parents can apply for travel exemption to Australia
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