SBS language | “I thought I would have a travel exemption because I work in a critical sector,” says fully vaccinated international student from India

International Indian student at Sydney University of Technology felt her Pfizer vaccination certificate and disability job would bolster her request for travel exemption on arrival as she had planned to visit to his sick mother in India.

Taniya Jamwal’s hopes were dashed on June 26 when the Australian Border Force (ABF) rejected her request, declaring her “circumstances [to exit Australia] do not outweigh the risk to the Australian community ”.

Strong points:

  • Indian student Taniya Jamwal denied travel exemption to enter Australia from India
  • Completely vaccinated, she works in the disability sector, wishes to visit her sick mother
  • Temporary visa holders, including international students, can leave Australia but generally will not be allowed to return: ABF

Ms Jamwal, who received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, had requested a travel exemption upon arrival on June 10 and provided documents relating to her mother’s illness as well as her vaccination certificate.

“I thought I would get a travel exemption because I work in the critical sector, which is one of the conditions listed on the Australian government website for inbound travel exemptions. I don’t know why I was denied permission, ”she told SBS Hindi.

“I was hoping to make a quick return to Australia before my visa expires in August and I have a transition visa,” she added.

Indian national Taniya Jamwal had requested a travel exemption to visit her sick mother.

Provided by Taniya Jamwal

Ms Jamwal again requested an arrival travel exemption on June 30.

The ABF has warned Ms Jamwal that her visa could also be canceled if she tries to enter Australia after visiting India.

“You are not exempt from Australian travel restrictions. You are still subject to travel restrictions and, if you attempt to travel to Australia, your visa may be canceled as long as those travel restrictions remain in effect, ”the email read.

In response to a question from SBS Hindi, ABF said temporary visa holders are subject to conditions to obtain exemption from inbound travel to enter the country.

“Temporary visa holders (including student visa holders) in Australia can leave Australia at any time, however, they generally will not be allowed to return to Australia,” a spokesperson said in a statement. E-mail.

International students Australia

Taniya Jamwal’s hopes were dashed on June 26 when the ABF rejected her request, saying her situation did not outweigh the risk to the Australian community.

Provided by Taniya Jamwal

The ABF, however, did not say whether it canceled the visa of any student trying to return to Australia.

There have been discussions in Australia of allowing non-quarantine travel to fully vaccinated residents to and from Australia.

This follows the opening by European Union member states of non-quarantine travel to people who had been fully vaccinated using a digital vaccination passport. This vaccination passport has been made available to Member States since July 1.

A debate is underway in Australia over a similar travel protocol, but no decision has yet been announced by the federal government.

Students and international travelers in Delhi filling out papers before getting vaccinated against Covid-19 (

Students and international travelers in Delhi complete paperwork before getting vaccinated against COVID-19.


ABF told SBS Hindi that each case is unique and is reviewed individually based on the information and supporting documents provided by the claimant.

The spokesperson said temporary visa holders seeking to leave and then return to Australia can apply for an entry exemption before leaving. But a request will only be approved if:

  • Applicant qualifies for an individual exemption from Australia’s overseas travel restrictions
  • They have a strong, compassionate or compelling reason for leaving Australia supported by relevant documentary evidence, for example, attending the funeral of a close family member abroad, visiting a seriously close family member or critically ill or seek necessary medical treatment not available in Australia, or if travel is essential for business purposes

The ABF spokesperson clarified that the travel exemption will be granted to people traveling from India to Australia under limited circumstances, which are as follows:

  • Critical workers help Australia’s response to COVID-19
  • People traveling in the national interest of Australia
  • Persons traveling due to the death or funeral of a close family member in Australia
  • People visiting a critically ill immediate family member
  • People accompanying an Australian citizen or a minor permanently resident in Australia, where the child’s parents are currently in Australia

On June 25, the Australian government told SBS Hindi that nearly 10,300 Australian citizens and permanent residents stranded in India had expressed their willingness to return to Australia.

“The number of registered Australians changes frequently depending on people’s circumstances,” the Foreign Affairs and Trade Department said.

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