Pretty easy, as it was so quiet.
Border Force agents intervened before reaching check-in to verify our ability to leave Australia (this is where they check passport, then ask for exemption letter, if you have, and if not, call someone to check your immigration records to verify your entry/exits from the country would suggest you are not resident). The check (ability to leave the country) was repeated by checkin agents. The rest was the normal process - security then smart gate.
The longest part was waiting at checkin for them confirm if Bar Pulpo, airside, was open to use our vouchers (given vouchers in lieu of lounge access), as if not we would have to use them land side (one of their staff was heading airside to the gate just then, so they agreed to check).
The other tips
1) Very little F&B airside. In MEL, Bar Pulpo was open, but only had drinks and overpriced chips/chocolate bars available as was shortly closing, so we spent our vouchers all at once on 2 drinks each.
2) Don't be a lemming! We noticed almost the entire flight sitting at the gate the flight was departing from (~100 people). This was particularly important leaving Melbourne when the city was recording up to 700 cases a day. Unless clinically deaf, difficult to miss announcements, even being 100m away at an empty seating area, as it was the only flight departing. I guess the thinking is that everyone is getting onto the same plane anyway, but the aircon on the plane is such that spread is likely to be restricted to a few rows around where sitting. Needless to say, we sat well away from the gate in a gate full of empty seats (I do that at the best of times, I hate being in crowds if I don't have to be
It seems like a good time to travel economy.......... guaranteed 3 rows to yourself.
Thankyou, thats really helpful. Son will be exiting in early October. He has an email confirmation of permission to exit and yesterday his youth visa for UK arrived in record time. He is planning on taking everything he sent to get permission to exit.Had 3 seats, not 3 rows to myself! I just rechecked the seat map that I captured as screen shot, and it seems about 160 pax in economy out of 240, so about 60% of seats occupied. Staff advised us that this was due to a charter flight departing from SIN that morning to India. In line with government requirements, they did segregate SIN bound (in the front 7 rows of the plane) from connecting pax, so we had plenty of space in our part of the cabin, the rest was much fuller.
Have just had my own experience with the ABF exemption application process.
Submitted at 9.13am this morning (10OCT) and received approval at 10.18am. Grounds for exemption was 'Travelling overseas for 3 months or more'.
I selected 01-01-2021 as the outbound date, although it will probably be later than this. The confirmation explicitly states:
"Your departure from Australia is subject to standard border clearance processes – an exemption to travel restrictions does not exempt you from these requirements. You do not need to re-apply for permission to depart if your flight details or departing port change. A record of this outcome is available in border systems, in order to facilitate your departure."
Evidence I submitted included:
Also had a letter from friends outlining accommodation plans prepared in case I needed to add extra evidence.
- Records of previous frequent and prolonged travel to destination country (scanned copy of passport stamps)
- Previous (expired) residency permit for destination country
- Screenshot of active bank account (redacted balances and personal identifying info) in destination country
- Evidence of current local phone number in destination country
All in all, I can say that the process was extremely easy.
Agree. Son didn't have a ticket when he applied for permission to leave Australia and was approved.Been a while since I’ve looked, but ABF website now has a lot more detail about outbound exemptions, including examples and supporting evidence. This would appear to be the bible for anyone looking for an exemption...
Outward Travel Restrictions Operation Directive
Not mentioned anywhere I can find, but it appears that the requirement to provide a booking/ticket for travel, mentioned in early days, has now disappeared. Anyone have confirmation of that?