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Overseas travel for Commonwealth parolees

This information is for persons convicted of Commonwealth offences only. This information is not for persons convicted of state or territory offences. To find a relevant contact in relation to state and territory parole requirements, visit the state and territory corrective services contacts page.

Overseas travel

Federal offenders subject to Commonwealth parole orders and/or licences must obtain written permission from a delegate of the Attorney-General before they may travel overseas.

Federal offenders subject to Commonwealth parole orders are still serving their sentence and are permitted to live and work in the Australian community under parole supervision. Frequent or ongoing overseas travel is not appropriate for a person who is on parole, nor is it compatible with parole obligations.

Commonwealth parole conditions require that a Commonwealth parolee or licensee wishing to travel overseas during their parole and/or licence period must obtain written permission from the Attorney-General or the delegate.

A Commonwealth parolee or licensee who leaves Australia without such permission is in breach of their parole conditions.

During the first quarter of a Commonwealth parolee or licensee's parole period, overseas travel will only be approved in urgent and/or exceptional circumstances. Applications for overseas travel are determined on a case by case basis having regard to the purpose of parole, which is the rehabilitation of the offender through re-integration into the community under supervision. The maximum period of travel permitted during this time is four weeks.

For the remainder of a Commonwealth parolee or licensee's parole period, overseas travel will only be approved for a legitimate reason that cannot be delayed until the end of the parole or licence period. Overseas travel is not consistent with the intention of parole which involves supervision to support an offender's reintegration into the community. Overseas travel for the purpose of a holiday will not normally be approved. The maximum period of travel permitted during this time is six weeks.

How to apply

Commonwealth parolees and licensees may make an application to travel through their parole officer and their supervising parole service. There is no particular form which an application must take. However, it should be in writing and contain detailed information about the grounds on which the parolee or licensee is seeking to travel overseas. Applications should be made at least two months before the intended travel period, unless the particular circumstances of the application do not allow such time.

The parole service may prepare a written report for the consideration of the department that includes:

  • reasons for the intended travel, including any supporting documentary evidence
  • proposed itinerary, including the proposed departure date, length of proposed travel and intended accommodation
  • names of any persons accompanying the parolee or licensee during their travel
  • details of the parolee's current employment
  • the parolee's response to parole supervision.

In considering applications, the department may seek further information from the applicant or seek comments on the claims made in the applications from agencies involved in the case such as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Australian Federal Police and the state and territory corrective services departments. The application and any supporting material provided may be supplied to the relevant agencies as part of this process. This is done in accordance with the department's privacy policy.

Commonwealth parolees or licensees who are not Australian citizens are advised to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection before their intended departure to ensure they are able to return to Australia after any period of travel.

Commonwealth parolees or licensees are advised to contact the country in which they intend to travel to determine visa and/or other entry requirements. Some countries will not allow people with convictions for drug and/or other offences to enter into or to transit through their country. More information is available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Applicants are advised not to apply for a passport or make any travel arrangements before written permission to travel is granted by the delegate of the Attorney-General.

For more information, contact the Commonwealth Parole Office at cpo@ag.gov.au or:

Principal Legal Officer
Commonwealth Parole Office
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600