31 Jul 2020

Travelling to Australia as a Critical Worker

Skilled migrants can now apply for a Travel Exemption to work in Australia under a more broad list of Critical Skills and Sectors.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner has added several new categories of international Travel Exemptions for critical work – including services for mining, supply chain logistics and food production. Here’s the lists.

Critical Skills for a Travel Exemption

Exemption categories for individuals with Critical Skills to support the supply of essential goods and services:

Medical technology

Critical infrastructure


Engineering and mining

Supply chain logistics

Aged care

Primary industry


Food production

Maritime industry

Last updated: 23 October 2020.

Critical Sectors for a Travel Exemption

Exemption categories for individuals delivering services in Critical Sectors for Australia’s economic recovery, in cases where no Australian worker is available:

Large scale manufacturing

Financial technology

Film, media and television production

Emerging technologies

Last updated: 23 October 2020.

Other Travel Exemption Categories for Critical Work

A non-citizen invited by the Government to assist in the COVID-19 response;

A non-citizen providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies;

A non-citizen providing critical skills in religious or theology fields;

A non-citizen sponsored by an employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) Read more here.

A non-citizen whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Government;

Military personnel;

A student completing year 11 and 12, with relevant Government support;

Persons travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons

Last updated: 23 October 2020.

Applying for a Travel Exemption

Unfortunately, a significant number of Travel Exemption Applications are being refused for insufficient evidence in meeting the exemption criteria. Applicants must present a well-documented case with sufficient evidence for meeting the exemption criteria. Read more about how Travel Exemptions work here.

Do I need to hold a visa before requesting a Travel Exemption for critical work? 

No – a person that meets the Critical Skills criteria can apply for a Travel Exemption first. A valid visa will however be required to travel to Australia.

Immigracious | Migration connections made simple

The Government has recommenced visa processing for temporary and permanent migration, however delays are being experienced across the migration program.

Please do get in touch if you have any queries about visa and exemption requirements for critical work. Our Registered Migration Agents can advise on your eligibility and guide you through the process of preparing your evidence requirements. 

Simply contact us at or +61 8 6263 4406.


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents
Department of Home Affairs

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Uncategorized


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