Inboud Travel Exemption Australia

I'm a temporary visa holder (from Portugal) that was living in Australia for a period of almost two years and in September 2020, unfortunately, I had to leave Australia suddenly because I found out that my mother was seriously ill and, unfortunatel she didn't survive.

My partner of 20 months is from England but he is also living in Australia. At the moment he is in the process of getting the sponsorship visa from his workplace so he is not able to leave Australia to meet me in Europe. I was diagnosed by a doctor with a Severe Anxious-Depressive Syndrome related to the separation from my partner that has proven to be harder than expected.

According to the information provided on the HomeAffairs website, temporary visa holders seeking to leave and then return to Australia, may apply for an inwards exemption before they leave, however applications will generally only be approved if:

1. The applicant meets the requirements for an individual exemption from Australia's Inward Travel Restrictions, AND

2. They have a strong compassionate or compelling reason to leave Australia supported by relevant documentary evidence, for example:

2.a) attending the funeral of a close family member overseas or visiting a close family member who is seriously or critically ill

I've applied 11 times already to the exemption visa (before and after leaving Australia), but it keeps getting denied. I've contacted HomeAffairs by phone several times asking for help, presented two complaints on their website, talked with several immigration agencies and lawyers, and even contacted local MP's to ask for their support and all without any positive outcome. In all my attempts of getting the exemption visa, I've attached proving documents such as the Death Certificate; the Proof of Relationship proving that my 20months partner is in Australia; documents proving that I have studies and work in Australia; and I also attached medical documents proving that my health is seriously affected by the separation of my partner, and that I was diagnosed with a Severe Anxious-Depressive Syndrome related to that.

With that said, I've proven strong compassionate and compelling reasons to leave Australia, but HomeAffairs doesn't seem to accept my medical condition as a compassionate inward travel reason to go back. From what I understand, there is no official definition from the australian government on what they consider a compelling or compassionate reason to get the inward travel exemption, so basically it's up to the immigration agent working at HomeAffairs to decide. I feel that my serious medical condition caused by the stress of the separation from my partner is being ignored and underappreciated.

Please can someone help me? What else should I do?

Thank you so much !

I can't help you, but I just want to say I'm very sorry for your loss and subsequent hardship. I hope things turn out better for you.

Did you follow these instructions?

What is the status of my travel exemption request?

Sorry to learn about your situation.

With the inward exemption, you are supposed to apply it before your departure from Australia in Sep 2020. It is extremely hard to apply for the inward exemption once you have left Australia.

You are right, the travel exemption is a temporary measurement by the government to take control of the Australian border. The officer assess your application for travel exemption is not obligate to provide any reason or guidance. Yes, it made your life harder and intolerable, and we also found the decision on granting travel exemption are random sometimes.

There may be an angle that you can attack if your partner is working in a critical role such as Medical service and if he leave his job to join you will harm Australian interests in dealing with Covid.

Let me know if this will help.

Ann ***

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