Immigration experts in Australia and NZ

Australian travel exemption fees expected to be introduced

Australian travel exemption fees expected to be introduced

In August 2020, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) introduced fees for all border exception expression of interest (EOI) requests and we believe Australia will do the same.

The introduction of these fees in New Zealand was a way for INZ to manage the huge number of applications, very few of which have been approved. INZ received over 27,000 EOI border exception requests with only 5,400 people invited to apply for visas and or travel since the border closure.

The fees for a New Zealand Border Exception EOI are:

  • NZD $380 for employers who request exceptions for ‘other critical workers’ (or organisations or agencies that sponsor requests)
  • NZD $45 for individual requests under all critical purpose categories

Australia is likely to follow in New Zealand’s steps

Currently it is estimated that Australia is denying three out of four applications for Australians to leave the country, despite being rumoured to receive upwards of 10,000 applications per week. Read more on this here.

The latest information released by the Department of Home Affairs stats that between March and June 2020 they received almost 73,000 travel exemption requests, with only 10,004 of those applications having been approved to leave Australia and only 3,759 approved to enter and remain in Australian (another 6,681 transit applications were approved). That only equates to 18% of applications being approved. You can read more about the travel waiver process here.

For businesses looking to bring staff into Australia it’s still extremely difficult to be approved for a Temporary Work visa unless the business is in one of the critical industries. However, if you understand the evidence the Department requires to prove the necessity of a staff member it is possible to be approved and we continue to see success in processing travel exemption applications.

At such a low rate of approval and high volume of applications for a travel exemption, we believe Australia will follow in New Zealand’s steps and introduce travel exemption application fees. It’s just a matter of time.

To find out more or if you’re considering applying for a travel waiver and want to have the best chance of success, contact our team today.

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