Open Borders between Australia and New Zealand

The ‘travel bubble’ between New Zealand and Australia

Quarantine free travel between Australia and New Zealand commenced on 18 April 2021. This has come as a welcome initiative for not only Australians but also temporary visa holders residing in Australia.

The open borders between the two countries will mean that temporary visa holders can travel to New Zealand and re-enter Australia without having to apply for an exemption to travel.

Travel Between Australia and New Zealand

Open borders between New Zealand and Australia

This is particularly of interest for foreign nationals who have had a visa cancelled or refused since last entering Australia and are either unlawful (that is – you do not hold a visa) or they hold a bridging visa  – this is what is called ‘section 48 bar‘.

When someone is ‘section 48 barred’, they are prevented from applying for most other visas while in Australia. This means that you would normally need to leave Australia.

This travel bubble with New Zealand may provide an opportunity for those applicants to leave Australia, apply for the particular visa while in New Zealand and either await the outcome of the Visa in NZ or return to Australia and await the outcome – if it is a subclass of Visa that can be granted onshore.

It also provides an opportunity for temporary visa holders who are not section 48 barred, but hold a visa which is soon to expire or are currently on a Bridging Visa and can only apply for their particular Visa offshore.

While the NZ ‘travel bubble’ will definitely provide some visa applicants with a low-cost option to apply for their visa offshore, Individual circumstances vary and we suggest you always consult with a Registered Migration Agent to understand how to proceed and what options are available to you.

Contact us

To know more, send us an email to or call us at +61399397292.

Read also

How to prepare yourself to travel to Australia


Rebecca Santaera,

Registered Migration Agent, Migration Ways

MARN 1173748

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