Australian High Commission
Canada
Responsibility for Bermuda

Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Please see below for responses to commonly asked questions related to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

 

Q: We have seen the travel ban and want to go back to Australia. Can the High Commission offer any support?

  • Other than for exceptional circumstances, the High Commission is not able to assist with travel arrangements.  Should you require emergency consular support, please call the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305. If you wish to return to Australia, contact your preferred airline or travel agenet and make arrangements to fly back to Australia.
     

    As of 4 April, Australians are no longer able to fly directly from Canada to Australia. Air Canada has suspended their direct flights from Canada to Australia until at least June 2020. There are non-direct flight options with transit through the United States, the United Kingdom or Qatar available beyond 4 April. These options are outline below.

    Transiting the United States
    Australians in Canada can still travel back to Australia via the United States.  There are currently three flight options, United Airlines (www.united.com) – (daily) San Francisco to Sydney, Qantas (www.Qantas.com) – LAX to Brisbane (once weekly - Friday) and Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com)  – LAX to Brisbane (once weekly - Thursday).

    Booking with United Airlines from Canada may allow a codeshare arrangement so that bags can be checked-in at the Canadian airport and will be checked all the way through to Sydney.

    Booking with Qantas or Virgin Australia does not provide for a codeshare arrangement between Canada and the United States.  Travellers will likely need to purchase two separate tickets (Canada to LAX and LAX to Brisbane).  Once arriving in LAX from Canada travellers will need to collect their bags and then check-in to their Qantas or Virgin flight.  This may require a terminal change in LAX.  We recommend you book flights with Qantas and Virgin Australia from Los Angeles to Brisbane directly with the airline.

    Even though there is a break in flights using Qantas or Virgin Australia,  we understand that the US will still permit this type of transit as long as the traveller can demonstrate onward travel without a stay in the United States. It is recommended that all travel between Canada, the United States and onward to Australia be completed on the same day.

    You must contact your travel agent or preferred airline to determine flight options between Canada and Los Angeles (LAX). Before purchasing any tickets, travellers must contact the airline with which they will be flying to the United States and the US pre-clearance office (Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver) where they will be processed through, to get the most up to date transit information and processing procedures. You can find the number of the US Pre-clearance Offices located at Canadian airports at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance. Please note, if you have travelled in China, Iran or certain European countries during the past 14 days, you may not be able to transit through the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have suspended entry for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their travel to the U.S. More information is available here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe.

    Transiting the Middle East
    Australians in Canada can also return to Australia flying with Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) daily from Montreal – Doha (Qatar) and onto a number of Australian capitals including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

    Other Options
    Other options to fly back to Australia may be available subject to airline schedules, transit restrictions and visa requirements.  You will need to contact your travel agent or preferred airline to identify these options.

    All airlines and intercity trains will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board.

    Please note: all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Travellers will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period and will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to their home residence) or continue on any domestic connections until the 14-day mandatory quarantine period has been completed.  See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department.

Q: I have a flight booked that has a layover in the United States. Am I still able to transit through the United States to get home to Australia?

Q: I hold a Canadian visa (ex: study/work/holiday visa). Will my visa be affected by the new border measures in Canada?

Q: I am an Australian on a working holiday visa in Canada and have seen the updated travel recommendations. I do not wish to leave Canada at this time, am I allowed to stay for the time being?

Q: I am on a working holiday visa in Canada. Should I go back to Australia or is it too late to leave now?

  • The Australian Government has instituted a travel ban to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Should you wish to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible by commercial means.


    As of 4 April, Australians are no longer able to fly directly from Canada to Australia. Air Canada has suspended their direct flights from Canada to Australia until at least June 2020. There are non-direct flight options with transit through the United States, the United Kingdom or Qatar available beyond 4 April. These options are outline below.

    Transiting the United States
    Australians in Canada can still travel back to Australia via the United States.  There are currently three flight options, United Airlines (www.united.com) – (daily) San Francisco to Sydney, Qantas (www.Qantas.com) – LAX to Brisbane (once weekly - Friday) and Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com)  – LAX to Brisbane (once weekly - Thursday).

    Booking with United Airlines from Canada may allow a codeshare arrangement so that bags can be checked-in at the Canadian airport and will be checked all the way through to Sydney.

    Booking with Qantas or Virgin Australia does not provide for a codeshare arrangement between Canada and the United States.  Travellers will likely need to purchase two separate tickets (Canada to LAX and LAX to Brisbane).  Once arriving in LAX from Canada travellers will need to collect their bags and then check-in to their Qantas or Virgin flight.  This may require a terminal change in LAX.  We recommend you book flights with Qantas and Virgin Australia from Los Angeles to Brisbane directly with the airline.

    Even though there is a break in flights using Qantas or Virgin Australia, we understand that the US will still permit this type of transit as long as the traveller can demonstrate onward travel without a stay in the United States. It is recommended that all travel between Canada, the United States and onward to Australia be completed on the same day.

    You must contact your travel agent or preferred airline to determine flight options between Canada and Los Angeles (LAX). Before purchasing any tickets, travellers must contact the airline with which they will be flying to the United States and the US pre-clearance office (Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver) where they will be processed through, to get the most up to date transit information and processing procedures. You can find the number of the US Pre-clearance Offices located at Canadian airports at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance. Please note, if you have travelled in China, Iran or certain European countries during the past 14 days, you may not be able to transit through the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have suspended entry for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their travel to the U.S. More information is available here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe.

    Transiting the Middle East
    Australians in Canada can also return to Australia flying with Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) daily from Montreal – Doha (Qatar) and onto a number of Australian capitals including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

    Other Options
    Other options to fly back to Australia may be available subject to airline schedules, transit restrictions and visa requirements.  You will need to contact your travel agent or preferred airline to identify these options.

    All airlines and intercity trains will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board.

    Please note: all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. This will be at your city of arrival into Australia no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship. See  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia. Should you wish to remain in Canada, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities (please see below) and follow Smartraveller’s recommendations for Australians who will be remaining overseas for the foreseeable future: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/covid-19-cant-get-home. Before deciding to stay, we strongly advise that you ensure that you have adequate access to health coverage and valid health insurance that covers a pandemic situation. As well you should be certain that you have sufficient finances and resources to be able to stay in Canada.   It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay in Canada for an extended period of time. Should you wish to make an enquiry regarding the status of your current visa, please contact the Canadian High Commission in Canberra here: https://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/australia-australie/contact-contactez.aspx?lang=eng or. For up-to-date information regarding existing Canadian visas, please contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on: +1 888 242 2100  or by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19.html.  

Q: I am an Australian in Canada and have been laid-off from my job due to COVID-19. Am I able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be available to workers who are residing in Canada and have a valid social insurance number.  Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents (including temporary foreign workers and international students) may be eligible to receive the CERB if they meet the eligibility criteria as reflected on the Government of Canada website. The eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Q: I’m an Australian in Canada on a working visa. Am I still eligible for health care if I have been laid off due to COVID-19?

Q: I am an Australian currently on working/holiday visa in Canada, but am travelling in a third country at the moment. Will I be able to get back into Canada or will I be forced to return to Australia?

Q: I am an Australian currently on a working/holiday visa in Canada, but have travelled back to Australia for period of time. Will I be able to return to Canada?

Q: I am an Australian currently living in Canada. Am I still able to travel domestically within Canada, despite the ongoing coronavirus situation?

  • The Canadian Government has announced that as of 29 March, all airlines and intercity trains in Canada will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Passengers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board. Should you wish to stay in Canada, we recommend that you follow the advice of local health authorities in whatever area you reside and that you stay up to date on their advice, as the situation is evolving quickly. A list of provincial and territorial health authorities can be found below.

Q: Is the High Commission in Ottawa still open? Am I still able to come in if I have any questions or concerns?

  •  Yes, the High Commission in Ottawa is still open, however due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and recommendations from municipal, provincial, and federal health authorities, we have moved to an appointment-only model. Should you wish speak with one of our consular staff or make an appointment to visit the High Commission, please call us at +1 613 236 0841. If you are calling in regards to a passport application or inquiry, our passport officer can also be reached at +1 613 236 0841, or via email at: otwa.passports@dfat.gov.au.

    The Australian Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver are also open for passport and notarial services on an appointment basis only. Appointments can be made by phone at 416-323-4280 (Toronto) or 604-694-6160 (Vancouver) but we encourage only those with urgent or imminent travel to come to a Consulate. We are receiving a large volume of calls and emails, so response times may be slightly longer than usual.

    Please do not attend the High Commission or either Consulate if you fall into any category requiring self-isolation by public health authorities.

Q: I need to fly back to Australia but my passport is close to expiration/expired. What do I do?

  • If you are flying directly back to Australia, Australian citizens will be permitted to enter Australia without a valid Australian passport. Please advise airline staff that you are an Australian citizen and do not require a visa to enter Australia (even if you are a dual national). The airline will contact the Australian Border Force to verify your citizenship, it is important you get to the airport early in case of any delays. Departure from the country you are in is subject to the rules and decisions of authorities in that country. If you require transiting through a third country, please contact a passport officer by calling the Australian High Commission in Ottawa, the Australian Consulate-General in Toronto or the Australian Consulate in Vancouver. Details available at: https://canada.highcommission.gov.au/otwa/appointments.html Please note: all passport services are by appointment only.

Q: I’m an Australian citizen residing in the United States, can I renew my passport in Canada?

  • Australian citizens in the United States should arrange to lodge their passport applications at the nearest Australian mission in the United States. Here is a list of our missions in the United States: https://usa.embassy.gov.au/passport-locations

Q: What evidence do I need to provide at the airport to prove I am the family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident?

Q: I am currently scheduled to travel back to Australia in the near future. Should I try to get on an earlier flight?

  • The Australian Government has instituted a travel ban to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Should you wish to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Australians can fly directly to Australia with Air Canada. 

    As of 4 April, Australians are no longer able to fly directly from Canada to Australia. Air Canada has suspended their direct flights from Canada to Australia until at least June 2020. There are non-direct flight options with transit through the United States, the United Kingdom or Qatar available beyond 4 April. These options are outline below.

    Transiting the United States
    Australians in Canada can still travel back to Australia via the United States.  There are currently three flight options, United Airlines (www.united.com) – (daily) San Francisco to Sydney, Qantas (www.Qantas.com) – LAX to Brisbane (once weekly - Friday) and Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com)  – LAX to Brisbane (once weekly - Thursday).

    Booking with United Airlines from Canada may allow a codeshare arrangement so that bags can be checked-in at the Canadian airport and will be checked all the way through to Sydney.

    Booking with Qantas or Virgin Australia does not provide for a codeshare arrangement between Canada and the United States.  Travellers will likely need to purchase two separate tickets (Canada to LAX and LAX to Brisbane).  Once arriving in LAX from Canada travellers will need to collect their bags and then check-in to their Qantas or Virgin flight.  This may require a terminal change in LAX.  We recommend you book flights with Qantas and Virgin Australia from Los Angeles to Brisbane directly with the airline.

    Even though there is a break in flights using Qantas or Virgin Australia, we understand that the US will still permit this type of transit as long as the traveller can demonstrate onward travel without a stay in the United States. It is recommended that all travel between Canada, the United States and onward to Australia be completed on the same day.

    You must contact your travel agent or preferred airline to determine flight options between Canada and Los Angeles (LAX). Before purchasing any tickets, travellers must contact the airline with which they will be flying to the United States and the US pre-clearance office (Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver) where they will be processed through, to get the most up to date transit information and processing procedures. You can find the number of the US Pre-clearance Offices located at Canadian airports at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance. Please note, if you have travelled in China, Iran or certain European countries during the past 14 days, you may not be able to transit through the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have suspended entry for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their travel to the U.S. More information is available here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe.

    Transiting the Middle East
    Australians in Canada can also return to Australia flying with Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) daily from Montreal – Doha (Qatar) and onto a number of Australian capitals including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

    Other Options
    Other options to fly back to Australia may be available subject to airline schedules, transit restrictions and visa requirements.  You will need to contact your travel agent or preferred airline to identify these options.

    All airlines and intercity trains will check your health before you board. This includes asking you health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board.

    Please note: all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Travellers will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period and will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to their home residence) or continue on any domestic connections until the 14-day mandatory quarantine period has been completed. See  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department.

Q: Can I transit into the United States from Canada by using land, rail and ferry crossings in order to get back home to Australia?

  • No, Australians in Canada who are trying to return to Australia with an itinerary transiting through the United States can only do so by air.  Transit by land, rail or ferry crossing is not permitted.

Q: I am an Australian citizen, will I be able to get back into Australia?

  •  Yes, you will be allowed back into Australia. Please note: all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Travellers will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period and will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to their home residence) or continue on any domestic connections until the 14-day mandatory quarantine period has been completed. See  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department. 

Q: I am an Australian Citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?

  • The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions to Australia to help stem the spread of COVID-19.  Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents will be exempted from the travel restriction. Immediate family means spouses (including de-facto relationships), dependents and legal guardians. Prior to travel you will need to submit this form and they should not travel until they receive advice that they can. Appropriate documentation to prove family link will be required. Please note:  all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Travellers will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period and will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to their home residence) or continue on any domestic connections until the 14-day mandatory quarantine period has been completed. See  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department.

Q: Will I have to self-isolate if I return to Australia?

  •  Yes, all travellers, regardless of nationality, arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities (e.g hotels), before they can go home. Travellers will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period and will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to their home residence) or continue on any domestic connections until the 14-day mandatory quarantine period has been completed. See  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department.

Q: Will I have to pay for my self-isolation when I land in Australia?

  • You will not incur costs as part of these quarantine arrangements. Together with State and Territory Government, a number hotels across Australia have agreed to provide appropriate facilities for all travellers that are required to complete the mandatory quarantine period. The accommodation will have all of the amenities and services you will need during your stay. Accommodation will include safe and hygienic accommodation, food and water and medical support. Should you have health needs, for example prescriptions for regular medications, arrangements will be made to facilitate these requirements. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department.

Q: I recently arrived in Canada and have been instructed to self-isolate. Can I return to Australia during this period?

  • If you are already in Canada and currently going through a 14-day self-isolation period, you must complete this before your onward journey to Australia. In all circumstances you must follow the instructions of local authorities. Please also be aware, upon arrival in Australia, you will also be required to self-isolate. Travellers will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period and will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to their home residence) or continue on any domestic connections until the 14-day mandatory quarantine period has been completed. See  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia for details. For specific information on the quarantine process of each state, please contact the relevant state or territory health department.

Q: I have received notification that my Australian visa has been approved.  Will I still be able to travel?

Q: If I change my travel plans can I still use the same visa to travel after the travel restrictions are lifted or will I need to apply again?

  • If you will be travelling within the validity period of your visa you will not need to apply again.  You can access our online Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check your visa conditions.  If your visa was granted after 1 February 2020 and you are affected by current travel restrictions, you will not be able to check your visa details and conditions using VEVO until the restrictions are lifted.  You should refer to your visa grant letter or access your ImmiAccount for this information.

Q: I would like to withdraw my application for an Australian visa as I no longer wish to travel.  How do I do this and will I get a refund?

  • If your Australian visa has not been granted and you would like to withdraw your application you will need to advise us of this in writing.  You can complete the form 1446 and attach it to your ImmiAccount or, alternatively, attach a letter clearly stating that you no longer wish to proceed with your application.  Please note that visa application charges are paid to assess your application.  Should you wish to withdraw your application you would not be refunded this fee. 

Q: I was granted a visa to travel to Australia but was not able to commence my trip due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.  Will I be refunded the visa application fee as I have not travelled?

  • The visa application charges (VACs) are a legal requirement for most visa applications. The VAC is payable regardless of the visa outcome or travel details.  Refunds are only issued in very limited circumstances.  These circumstances are referenced on question 21 of the Form 1424 – Refund Request.  For more information, please refer to the Home Affairs website.

Q: I recently travelled to Australia on a student visa but had to return to my home country due to the concerns of COVID-19.  Am I able to get a refund or a partial refund for the visa application fee?

  • The visa application charge (VAC) is the fee paid to assess your application and refunds are only issued in very limited circumstances.  Refunds would not apply where visa holders are unable to stay in Australia for the duration of their visa validity.  If you wish to return to Australia after the travel restrictions are lifted, you would need to submit a new application for a visa and pay the new visa application charge.

List of federal, provincial and territorial health authorities: