Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are special conditions for entering Australia. This webpage is intended to serve as a 'concierge' to direct you to the most helpful, accurate and up-to-date information from the authoritative sources.

What do I need to do for a visa?

To apply for a visa, you should refer to the Department of Home Affairs webpage.

COVID-19 travel restrictions

The following webpages have specific information about border restrictions, travel exemptions required for entry to Australia and those individuals applying for visas that are currently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • COVID-19 and the border—Updates to Australia's immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
  • Critical Skills and Sectors—Information on COVID-19 and the border in relation to coming to Australia and travel exemptions under critical skills and sectors.
  • Leaving Australia—Information on COVID-19 and the border in relation to temporary visa holders, Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents leaving Australia.
  • Staying in Australia—Information on COVID-19 and the border in relation to staying in Australia
  • New Zealand Safe Travel Zone—Information on quarantine free safe travel zone from New Zealand to Australia from 16 October 2020 for individuals who have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more travelling to Australia on quarantine-free flights.

Travel restrictions are subject to change and therefore you are strongly encouraged to regularly check the Department of Home Affairs' COVID-19 and the border website for the latest information relating to Australia's immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Do I need a travel exemption to enter Australia?

Yes. You cannot come to Australia unless you are in an exempt category or you have been granted an individual exemption to the current travel restrictions by the Australian Border Force (ABF) or the Department of Home Affairs. To check whether you are in an exempt category, or to see if your circumstances might be considered for an individual exemption, refer to Travel restrictions.

It should be noted that a valid visa may be required before an exemption request is considered. The grant of a visa does not guarantee that a travel exemption request will be approved (and vice-versa).

The Australian Government will continue, over the coming weeks and months, to monitor the impact of the broad range of public health, economic and support measures taken to protect the Australian community, and respond as necessary to protect Australians' health and to support economic recovery.

The most up-to-date information will be published at Coming to Australia.

Requesting a travel exemption

Travellers who are seeking an exemption from current travel restrictions will need to lodge an online travel exemption request—see: Travel Exemptions Portal

If travellers do not already hold a valid visa, they may need to apply for the appropriate visa and then submit their travel exemption request. Both a travel exemption and a visa are required, although the grant of a visa does not guarantee that a travel exemption request will be approved (and vice-versa).

Travel exemption requests are considered on a case by case basis by the ABF Commissioner or an authorised decision maker. Organisations will need to provide a strong business case and supporting information, which includes:

  • confirmation from the relevant industry body that travellers are critical to the screen, arts or cultural industries
  • details of the economic activity related to that industry—revenue, contracts, generation of spending, jobs for local industry professionals
  • evidence of support for the project from the relevant state/territory government or state health authority i.e. evidence/details of government funding
  • how travellers will conform to state/territory quarantine requirements and manage health risks (including evidence of COVID-19 safety plans for live performance events)
  • traveller details—copy of passport photo page for all applicants and the name, DOB, visa type and number and passport number.

Where possible, travellers should apply for a travel exemption at least four weeks, but not more than three months, before their planned travel.

Group travel exemption requests

Travel exemption requests for groups identified and endorsed by the relevant screen, arts or cultural body/organisation can be lodged in the Home Affairs online Travel Exemptions Portal.

It is important to note that each request (whether it be a group or an individual request) must contain the above information in support of the business case. Where, for example, a group is granted a travel exemption and then further requests are submitted for additional travellers, each new request should also contain the above information. Reference should also be made to any related exemption request (i.e. Exemption Ref—TEPXXXXXX).

How do I meet quarantine requirements?

When arriving in Australia you'll be subject to the Australian Government's mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at your first Australian destination / port of arrival. Measures vary from state to state, and may include caps on the number of international passenger arrivals and the requirement to contribute to the cost of quarantine. To ensure you have the most up-to-date and relevant information, consult the webpages below, including the state or territory you will arrive in, as well as any onward / interstate travel destinations.

General information about quarantine requirements is available at:

Advice on quarantine requirements for states and territories:

I am coming to Australia to make a screen production, do I need to apply for a Foreign Actors Certification Scheme?

As part of the requirements of a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) in the Entertainment Activities stream, you will need to obtain a foreign actor certificate from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in relation to the foreign performers you intend to bring to Australia to work on the production. Details including the application form and guidelines can be found here: Filming in Australia.

What support and advice is available from State Agencies?

State and territory agencies offer funding support and special requirements for their jurisdiction. These agencies can also provide supporting information for travel exemption requests being submitted to Home Affairs. You should contact the relevant agency for any state or territory you plan to film in.


Arts and culture


Staff from the Office for the Arts are available by phone and email to respond to specific queries.

Phone: 02 6271 1705
Email: foreignactors@arts.gov.au