Immigration experts in Australia and NZ

Australia halves the number of international arrivals – What does this mean for visa holders and expats looking to return home?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new protocols and restrictions for all international arrivals into Australia to contain the new strain of coronavirus from spreading into the country. This comes at a time when 80% of Australians registered overseas are in countries where the new strain of COVID-19 is increasing. Many people wanting to enter Australia are worried they simply won’t be able to access flights and with the continued reduction in the number of arrivals into Australia, it’s a very real problem.

International arrival caps will be reduced to 50% in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland. For each state, this equates to:

  • 1,505 weekly arrivals in NSW
  • 512 weekly arrivals in WA
  • 500 weekly arrivals in QLD
  • Victoria and South Australia will continue accepting travellers at their current rate, taking into account that Victoria was already operating at less than 50% of their current capacity

Along with the reduced number of international arrivals, the National Cabinet recently introduced rules regarding air travel. Face masks are now compulsory for passengers on all flights, including domestic flights, and everyone must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding an international flight at the departure point.

Upon arrival, passengers will be tested again and irrelevant of a negative COVID-19 test result, they must still complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities.

In addition, passengers arriving from the United Kingdom will be tested for the new strain of the virus and a negative result will be required to fly into Australia.

These new protocols apply to all visa holders, Australian citizens, and permanent residents who are looking to enter Australia at the moment. With many people stranded outside the country and limited capacity for arrivals, huge numbers of people face the cancellation of flights or, if they can book a flight, exorbitant costs to secure travel back into the country.

With no immediate plans to reopen the country’s international borders, if you’re wanting to enter Australia it’s important you understand the new regulations and prepare your travel well in advance if possible.

We understand that there is a high level of stress surrounding and international travel right now, so if you need support to navigate these new regulations or to ensure you have a valid visa and travel exemption to enter Australia, please contact our team at We’re more than happy to talk through any concerns you have for you and your family safely traveling and entering the country.

These measures are temporary and we expect the caps to automatically return to their previous levels on February 15, 2021.

Majlinda Lulo

Chief Migration Strategist

Absolute Immigration


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