After almost two years of Australia’s borders being closed to international visitors due to the Covid pandemic, Australia has now reopened its international borders to fully vaccinated visitors from Thailand without needing to apply for a travel exemption. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to undertake mandatory quarantine.
In addition to holding a valid visitor visa, visitors will also need to comply with any pre-departure requirements, which currently include submitting a Digital Travel Declaration to the Department of Home Affairs and providing adequate proof of an approved Covid vaccination. There is also a requirement to provide a negative COVID PCR test or medically supervised rapid antigen test prior to departure from Thailand. Each Australian state also has its own individual entry requirements which must also be complied with.
It is recommended that those that do not currently hold a visitor visa, apply well in advance of their proposed date of travel to Australia due to the significant backlog of visitor visa applications that were submitted over the past two years which did not meet the criteria for the grant of a travel exemption. Since Australia has reopened its international borders to visitors from Thailand, we are now seeing increasing delays in applicants obtaining appointments to undertake the required biometrics, which can only be done in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Biometrics can be booked online through the Australian Visa Application Centre. When booking a biometrics appointment for an Australian visa, make sure you select the correct location that you will attend, being either Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
In addition to the delays in obtaining biometric appointments, some applicants will also be required to undertake an Australian visa medical by an approved doctor in Thailand. We are also seeing considerable delays in obtaining appointments to undertake Australian visa medicals in Thailand. Generally, most applicants wanting to visit Australia for less than 3 months will not be required to undertake an Australian visa medical unless special circumstances exist. Applicants wanting to visit Australia for more than 3 months will be required to undertake a visa medical. There are currently approved panel doctors in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Udonthani.
After your visitor visa application has been submitted you will be notified by the Department of Home Affairs whether you are required to undertake an Australian visa medical in addition to the required biometrics. It is very important that the biometrics, and visa medicals if required, are undertaken within the timeframe stipulated by the Department. Failure to undertake the biometrics and any visa medicals will result in your visitor visa application being refused.
Applicants should also be aware that any visitor visa application submitted to the Department must evidence that their intention is to visit Australia as a genuine temporary entrant only. A visitor visa application that does not evidence this intention will be refused. Whilst it is certainly great news that Australia has reopened its international borders to visitors from Thailand, there are many formalities that need to be done. If you require any assistance in obtaining a visa to visit Australia from Thailand, please contact us at Thai Visa Express.