Parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents will be included as an ‘immediate family member’ for consideration of inward travel exemptions from 01 November 2021.

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Currently, ‘immediate family member’ is only defined to include:

  • a spouse;
  • a de facto partner ;
  • a dependent child;
  • a legal guardian.

From 01 November 2021, parents of an adult Australian permanent resident or citizen would be included in the definition of ‘immediate family member’. Parents would be eligible for an automatic inward travel exemptions to travel to Australia whilst the international borders remain closed. 

Although it is considered an automatic category, the process is not automatic. The parent must first apply for the travel exemption where an officer will determine whether or not they fit within the category. The parent will also need to either hold a valid visa or have an active valid visa application at the same time as making the travel exemptions request. 

There will still be a cap on the number international arrivals for most of Australia and the Australian border is still closed to other international travellers. Therefore we would anticipate a high influx of travel exemptions request once this is open on 01 November 2021. Therefore, it is highly recommended for people wishing to return to Australia utilising this new policy to prepare all the necessary documentation such that the request can be lodged once available. 

More information regarding this additional inclusion to the existing travel exemption category will be announced by the Department of Home Affairs in due course.


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