Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses

  • Under the new Agricultural Workers Code, from 12:01am Friday 25 September, it will be simpler for a wider range of agricultural workers to gain a permit to cross the NSW-VIC border. The simplified approval system will make it easier for farmers who need to hire employees across the 2 states for the harvest, including seasonal workers.
  • Due to amendments in the Public Health Order, employers of agriculture workers will no longer have to wait up to 5 days for approval for their workers' registration. 

Introduction

On Friday 4 September 2020 a single border region was established. All residents of the border region, including critical service workers and residents in remote communities can apply for the new border region permit.

You’ll need a valid permit to enter NSW if you've been in Victoria in the last 14 days, except if you're entering NSW:

  • as an emergency or law enforcement services worker
  • to access emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
  • to avoid injury or escape a risk of harm. 

All NSW residents are strongly urged not to travel to Victoria. If travel is essential, then permits are in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and jobs of NSW residents.

Both adults and children are required to get a permit to travel from Victoria to NSW.

In almost all cases, permits are issued subject to conditions. Your permit will indicate if you need to:

You can apply for a permit online.

Eligibility

You're eligible for a border region resident permit, if you are one of the following: 

  • a Victorian border region resident crossing the border. Please note that:
    • you must not travel to any part of NSW that is outside of the border region
    • you must not enter NSW if you have travelled in a COVID-19 area of concern or a restricted area within the previous 14 days.
  • a NSW border region resident crossing the border. Please note that:
    • you must not travel to any part of Victoria that is outside of the border region or is a COVID-19 area of concern
    • if you do travel outside the border region in Victoria or to a COVID-19 area of concern you cannot enter NSW using the border region permit. You’ll need to apply for a NSW resident’s permit to re-enter NSW (requiring a flight to Sydney Airport and quarantine).
  • a NSW or Victorian border region resident crossing the border:
    • to permanently move home.

You may also be eligible for a permit if you're residing in a non-border region (i.e. not in the border region) and performing:

  • a critical service that is all of the following:
    • highly specialised
    • not available locally in the same or substantially the same form
    • not able to be provided remotely
    • approved by the head of your organisation, or the person receiving the service, who will need to Register a critical services worker for a COVID-19 NSW border entry permit.
      • Note: Requests to register a critical services worker will take approximately 5 working days to be approved.
  • an agricultural industry activity (including seasonal work), where the activity is:

You're also eligible for a permit if you are entering NSW:

  • for child access and care arrangements
  • after having accessed essential medical or hospital services in Victoria that are unavailable locally, or not accessible remotely
  • to attend court as a defendant, witness or a lawyer in a case, or to meet other legal obligations imposed by a court or an Act (such as bail or parole obligations)
  • on compassionate grounds for the provision of end of life support, or to attend a funeral or memorial service or in other exceptional circumstances. You will need to apply to NSW Health for a compassionate permit exemption code before applying for your border entry permit. All cases are reviewed by a medical team for eligibility.

Murray river, ACT and other considerations

Murray river

Residents on the Victorian side of the Murray river are now permitted to enter the river without a permit, providing they:

  • have not been in a COVID-19 area of concern or a restricted area in the past 14 days
  • do not enter an embankment, dock, port or wharf on the northern side of the Murray river.

The operator of a vessel, which includes the master of the vessel and the business operator, must take reasonable steps to ensure the above restrictions are adhered to.

ACT

If you're an ACT resident in Victoria wishing to return home, you can only access the ACT by air.

Other

You don't need a permit, if you're entering NSW:

  • as an emergency or law enforcement services worker
  • to access emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
  • to avoid injury or escape a risk of harm. 

What you need

To apply for a border entry permit, you need:

  • your personal details (name and date of birth)
  • your contact details (residential address, phone number and email address)
  • your eligibility category
  • a declaration on your COVID-19 exposure and overseas travel in the last 14 days
  • the address where you intend to stay in NSW. 

How to apply

  1. Before applying for a permit, you must check Victoria's current public health restrictions and comply with the travel restrictions. 
  2. Check the eligibility requirements
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the online form.

After applying, you'll receive an email with your NSW border entry permit. Please have your permit and supporting documentation with you when crossing the border. 

School students and staff

Border region students (and their parent/guardian) and school staff require a new permit to enter NSW to work or attend school in the border region from Monday 24 August.

Year 11 and 12 students (and their parent/guardian) and HSC teachers who live outside the border region will be eligible for an exemption to the Public Health Order, as long as they have not been in a restricted area (ie greater Melbourne) or another area of concern in Victoria within the previous 14 days.

Advice will be provided to these students and staff through Service NSW and the Department of Education, and a letter will be sent to them from their individual school.

Students, parents and staff eligible for this exemption should carry a copy of the exemption and the letter from their school certifying that they are currently enrolled in, or teach, Year 11 or 12 , with them at all times.

If Year 11 and 12 students (and their parent/guardian) and HSC teachers arrive in NSW by plane, they are also exempt from the obligation to undertake a quarantine period in a quarantine hotel.

Other staff and students who live outside of the border region in Victoria will not be eligible to enter NSW to attend school after 21 August, unless an exemption has been granted by the NSW Minister for Health. 

Border permit exemption process

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days must not enter NSW unless:

  • they hold a current entry permit
  • they are authorised to enter under the order.

If you’re requesting different permit conditions, you’ll need to apply for an exemption.

More information

  • The NSW Public Health Orders outline the specific reasons under which you may apply for a permit to enter NSW from Victoria. It is your responsibility to have the correct permit and supporting documentation for checking by NSW authorities upon arrival. For more information, including border entry rules and conditions, visit NSW-Victoria border restrictions
  • You may be allowed into NSW if you have supporting evidence but have not been able to get a permit, however this is not guaranteed. Visit Compassionate permits for travellers from Victoria to NSW for more information.