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Hi Everyone,

I have found this forum really helpful while my partner and I were making her 309 visa application. I noticed that there is very little information on the internet or the home affairs website about the travel facilitation letter. This can be requested for permanent and provisional visa holders who are having issues getting to Australia before their first entry date on their visa grant letter. I thought I would share our experience on here as a guide for what to expect if others need to apply for this letter:

THE PROCESS
We submitted the application through the home affairs website: Travel facilitation letter request form . It is available when the visa initial entry date has passed or will pass within 3 months. It asks some basic questions about what visa type you have, and your intentions for when you plan to travel. If you are eligible, it opens up a new set of questions starting with your initial entry date on your grant letter. It then asks for your location, personal and contact details, passport details and visa details. It also asks if you want to make an application for more than one person.

PROCESSING TIME
For us, we received a response in about a week. I haven't found much else on the internet to know if this is a long, short or average timeframe for this process.

RESPONSE
We received an email indicating that the application had been successful. The email included a facilitation letter as an attachment. This letter allows for an initial entry into Australia 12 months from the date of the facilitation letter, provided all other conditions of the visa are met and there is no other reason to cancel your visa.

To me, the most important thing to note here is that the facilitation letter was valid for 12 months from the date of grant, not 12 months from the initial latest entry date specified on the original visa grant notice.

We had no idea what the process for this form was or what the letter actually did if it was granted. Your experience may be different according to your circumstances but hopefully this helps to provide some clarity to anyone thinking of applying for the letter but are unsure when to do so or what assistance it provides if your application is successful.

Thanks everyone and best of luck.
 

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Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

My 309 visa has been granted recently and the last entry date for me will be in May 2022. However due to the Covid situation and some other circumstances, we would like to leave from Europe to Australia only in Fall 2022. Do you or someone on this forum know for how long the option to apply for the travel facilitation letter will be in place? Is this an ongoing option or only possible as long as the travel restrictions are in place in Australia?

Follow up questions unrelated to the travel facilitation letter would be - is it possible to only enter Australia to activate the visa before the first entry date and leave to my home country for a few months without repercussions to the visa? Is there a limit of how long you can stay outside of Australia on a 309 visa?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi,

I am in the same situation here, I got my 309 visa granted in Jan 2021 with a plan of going there in November 2021 but due to the ongoing border closure and caps on arrivals, our flights have been cancelled and I want to apply for an extension for the least entry date which is currently set for Jan 2022. Just not sure exactly when do I need to start the travel facilitation letter request form and how far will they push my last entry date (3 months, 6 months, 12 months?).

Thanks in advance,
Samantha
 
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